Parliamentary strengthening is becoming an increasingly important part of governance work in international development, and many bilateral, multilateral, and non-governmental organisations (including political parties) are involved in parliamentary strengthening. According to a recent ODI study, the World Bank Institute, the Parliamentary Centre (Canada), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) are the major actors in this field. Parliamentary strengthening programmes typically emphasise training for parliamentarians and parliamentary staff through courses, seminars, workshops, or conferences. Empowering parliaments to exercise legislative oversight of government is a major objective.
Electoral support programmes have traditionally focused on elections themselves, and donor activity and donor coordination in this area have become fairly well developed. A trend is now emerging to extend support across a broader range of activities across the entire electoral cycle. In particular, support to political parties, which used to be considered too political and too risky, is emerging as an increasingly common activity for donors, sometimes acting through intermediaries.