Sustainable Development Goal 16 aims at building strong, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels that should advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in terms of a socio-environmental transformation. The central tasks of national parliaments include the implementation of the SDGs in national laws, which should be based on country-specific social, environmental and economic data as well as on the socio-politically required priorities. The overall objective of the planned activities is to contribute to identifying policy options for Members of Parliament to enable sustainable development through the creation of appropriate legal frameworks.
1) ICT and educational program for the National Assembly of Zambia
1.1) Development of a new information, communication and technology strategy (ICT Strategy)
On the one hand, this should contribute to a more efficient workflow within parliament and, on the other hand, it should improve communication with citizens and encourage their participation in the legislative process in Zambia. ICT is a fast changing area. The new strategy is designed to meet the current needs of the NAZ and take into account international technical development that has taken place in recent years. On-the-job training for parliamentary staff enables learning and reflection processes. New products and tools are being examined regarding their usefulness to the Zambian Parliament. Employees of the Austrian Parliament are available as resource persons. For example, the workshops in Lusaka will be led by the Head of the IT Department and a member of the Political Education Department of the Austrian Parliament.
1.2) Development of a democratic education program for children and adolescents
Official statistics show that almost half of the 17 million citizens in Zambia are below 15 years. In terms of promoting democracy, it is essential to teach the Zambian youth the importance of democracy and the role of parliament in the democratization process. The development of a target-group-oriented and pedagogically effective educational program will awaken interest in political participation. The pupils learn to see themselves as active actors in the democratic political system.
2) Joint Parliamentary Peer Group
A Joint Parliamentary Peer Group consisting of Austrian and Zambian MPs deals with the topic of "youth and education" in a bilateral peer-to-peer exchange. Specifically, the creation of appropriate national frameworks for the achievement of SDG 4.4 (higher numbers of young people and adults with professional and vocational qualifications for decent work and entrepreneurship), SDG 4.7 (qualification of learners through education for sustainable development and lifestyles) and SDG 3.7 (information and education on sexual and reproductive rights) are being discussed. While the Zambian parliamentarians are very interested in the transfer of knowledge about the dual education system in Austria in view of the high level of youth unemployment, Austrian MPs are intensively involved in the topic of Global Citizenship Education. In both parliaments, discussion events with experts contribute to the learning process.
3) Austrian Parliament as a place of a sustainability discourse
Sound information provision for Members of Parliament and a regular exchange between parliamentarians and stakeholders of the ministries, science and civil society contribute to establishing the Austrian parliament as a place for discussions and reflection on sustainability. Public events and round tables on specific topics, as well as Fairtrade exhibitions in Parliament have proven to be adequate activities.