Background and Introduction
The Research Department under the Information Direction Services, is responsible for research, information analysis and delivery services. Across the world the importance of having rigorous research evidence to inform legislative, representation and oversight work of parliamentarians is now a key requirement given citizens’ demand for accountability.
At Parliament of Zimbabwe, the genesis of the Research department can be traced back to 1982 when it started with a staff complement of two Research Officers. With the passage of time, the demand of research and information analysis services increased immensely. The number of portfolio and thematic committees in conformity with the Parliamentary Reforms which commenced earnestly in 1996, increased in 2013 from 13 to 26. In order to adequately serve the committees and the 350 legislators at large, the complement of researcher staff has since been increased 26 to fully carter for the specific committees that overshadow government line ministries that they oversight.
The department is headed by a Director with the support of nine (9) researchers with various academic backgrounds serving different committees which overshadow different sector ministries. The department comprises of research officers from different academic backgrounds, among others, governance, political science, public administration, international affairs, demography, economics and public finance, law, environmental studies and sciences and climate change, education, agriculture and agrarian reforms and land use, social policy, rural and urban development, and labor economics.
- To provide information to parliament committees through research products which include bills digest, policy briefs, fact sheets and draft questions for probing oral evidence during inquiries and field visit.
- To draft background papers, speeches and intervention notes for Presiding Officers, chairpersons of committees, and parliament delegates attending meetings and conferences locally, regionally and internationally.
- To rapporteur and produce reports of parliament and committees seminars and conferences conducted locally, regionally and internationally.
- To proffer advisory services to committees and chairpersons of committees.
- Collect, compile and analyze constituency informatics data base and profiles.
- Draft motion notes for parliamentarians
- To draft research papers on topics and subject of relevance and importance to parliament and committees work.