The series of training sessions held by PIC and focusing on basic communications, first held for the Senate staff, was repeated from Monday 29 to Wednesday 1 July, for staff from the National Assembly. The 10 participants were staff from the secretariats to parliamentary Commissions and the Women’s Caucus who are particularly involved in organizing public consultations and oversight field missions.

Again, the training included the role of communications and public relations in parliamentary activity, guidelines about how to organize public consultations and other external events, and communications planning. Another session on report writing gave participants guidance in writing analytically to produce information to support parliamentary action after an event has taken place.

Each session began with theory, followed by a practical activity in which the staff were actively involved, exchanging ideas and sharing experiences.

Congratulating the participants, Mr. John Christopher, Director of Capacity Development for PIC, said: `The real test of the training is whether you use it in your working life. We hope that you will take what you have learned and adapt it to your daily practice.’ He added: `Communications are a vital part of parliamentary work and staff need to communicate effectively with clients, MPs and Commissions. They also need to help MPs to communicate externally.’

Responding on behalf of the participants, H.E. Mrs. Nun Thavy thanked PIC and the General Secretariat of the National Assembly for the opportunity to take part in this course. ‘We will all commit to applying the knowledge we have gained from this course in our daily work,’ she said, ‘as well as in the provision of service to MPs, according to our roles and responsibilities.’

The number of participants attending the course was limited to facilitate social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; masks were worn throughout, temperatures were taken each day and hand sanitizers were available.