Support to Parliamentary Centre of Asia

The Parliamentary Centre of Asia (PCAsia) builds the capacities of Parliaments in ASEAN countries in particular Cambodia and Laos plus Myanmar if the situation allows (CLM) to promote democratic accountability in the region. Complemented by the technical assistance of the Swiss Parliamentary Services (SPS), the Swiss contribution to PCAsia will support the capacity building of professional, non-partisan, ethical and accountable parliamentary services.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Democratic participation and civil society
Public sector policy
Legal and judicial development
01.04.2021 - 31.03.2025
CHF  3’900’000
Background Within ASEAN the political systems and the levels of maturity of the members’ parliaments vary substantially. The parliamentary institutions in the region are relatively young and, consequently, in most countries the legislative branch of government lacks expertise and human resources to effectively fulfil its functions. To allow the secretariats in the region to deliver non-partisan and effective support to parliamentarians, capacity development is essential because any future effective democratic institution capable of performing its core functions requires a principled and skilled group of civil servants. Besides funding, Switzerland will bring in its technical expertise through a renewed collaboration with the Swiss Parliamentary Services, interrupted in 2018 due to the deteriorating political context.
Objectives PCAsia contributes to improve the performance of the target parliaments through strengthening the capacity of parliamentary staff and by increasing the intensity of technical exchanges and experience sharing among their regional peers.
Target groups

- Parliamentary staff and parliamentarians of South-East Asian countries, in particular CLM.

- AIPA Secretariat and its staff members

- Future parliamentary staff

- Indirect beneficiaries: citizens in CLM

Medium-term outcomes

1. Parliamentary staff have increased capacity to provide support to parliamentarians to input draft legislation.

2. Parliamentary staff have improved capacity to provide support to parliamentarians to implement their representation function.

3. Parliamentary staff have improved capacity to provide support to parliamentarians to fulfil their oversight role, in particular at local level.

4. ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) Secretariat uses PCAsia’s services and engages in peer learning and exchanges.

5. PCAsia is recognised as a valued partner in the form of a capacity strengthening institute in legislative and democratic development support in the region and internationally.


Expected results:  

1. Parliamentary staff has increased analytical capacity to support: the oversight role of the parliament on the state budget; the legislative agenda through research products; and conduct public consultations on issues related to research products

2. Women’s Caucuses and women parliamentarians of AIPA are supported in their activities through technical and implementation assistance

3. Staff of AIPA Secretariat joins PCAsia’s training offer according to their capacity development needs

Results from previous phases:   This project builds on SDC’s previous support to the Parliamentary Institute of Cambodia (PIC) and its following key results: since 2012, PIC facilitated the elaboration of 299 research products by parliamentary staff and developed a regional information exchange platform and online library containing a total of 2,912 bibliographical records. Furthermore, a second Atlas on Parliamentary Diplomacy in the ASEAN context was published, and 183 outreach activities of the Cambodia parliament were supported. As outcome, the trained parliamentary staff were more empowered to fulfil their role. The perceivable quality improvement led to an increased demand by the parliamentarians on a wide range of the training programmes. Due to the illegitimate power shift in the Cambodian parliament in 2018 and the withdrawal of donors, PIC shifted its focus on the regional level. Sida shifted its funding support from the the Cambodian government to civil society organisations (CSOs). Both donors agreed on limiting PIC’s support to the technical assistance of parliamenterary services. The evolution from PIC to PCAsia and therewith the new regional focus responds to a lack of capacity building opportunities relating to parliamentary activity throughout the South-East Asia region.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Private sector
  • Foreign private sector North

Coordination with other projects and actors Sida Phnom Penh, Sida Bangkok, AIPA, and SPS.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    3’900’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’862’705
Project phases Phase 1 01.04.2021 - 31.03.2025   (Current phase)