A Tynwald Hansard project is to support the National Assembly of The Gambia.
Tynwald’s Head of Hansard Ellen Callister will travel to the West African country at the end of July to deliver an initial week-long intensive training programme, the first of a two-phase project sponsored by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).
The project comes in response to a specific request from the Assembly on learning of the success of a two-week training programme delivered in the Isle of Man by the Tynwald Hansard team to two officers of the Parliament of Sierra Leone in September 2016.
Mrs Callister, who will be joined in The Gambia by the WFD’s programme officer for Africa Charlotte Egan, explained: ‘The programme will focus on setting up digital audio software and equipment and training the Hansard team in their use, as well as providing practical assistance with templates and a style guide, organising workflow streams, developing teamwork and planning a strategy for clearing backlogs of work.’
The second phase of the project will see the Parliament of Sierra Leone’s Musa Foullah, editor of debates, supported by Samuel Songa, head of the department for official reports, deliver a follow-up week of training in The Gambia in September.
Mrs Callister explained: ‘Musa was one of the two officers from the Parliament of Sierra Leone seconded to Tynwald last year. Since sharing what he learned from the study visit with his colleagues he has been instrumental in leading them to clear their transcription backlog with support delivered by us remotely and bringing their Hansard service up to date and published online.
‘I am pleased that Tynwald will be capacity building in association with the WFD once again and that the services of our Hansard team continue to be recognised internationally. I am very much looking forward to working with our opposite numbers in The Gambia; projects such as these not only contribute to advancing the process of parliamentary democracy in developing countries but also to broadening the scope of Tynwald’s outreach opportunities.’
The Parliament of Sierra Leone’s Musa Foullah, editor of debates, is pictured with Tynwald’s Head of Hansard Ellen Callister while on secondment to Tynwald in September 2016. Photo Paul Dougherty Tynwald Seneschal