Interview with an MP

The Parliamentary Network Secretariat had a chance to sit down with Senator Joy Gwendo. She was elected to the Board of PN at the 2015 GPC in Washington, D.C. Senator Gwendo is a champion of women's empowerment and a successful journalist. We were able to interview her, posing questions about what she sees for the Network in the future, as well understanding being able to get more personal with the Senator from Kenya.

Q: How is the Parliamentary Network relevant and important to you and your colleagues internationally? 
A: The Parliamentary Network is important to me because of the platform it gives me to learn best practices from other members of parliament from advanced countries. Considering our Parliament is operating on a bicameral system which is a new thing after the 1st attempt that failed in 1963, my colleagues also get a chance to learn much from interactions and meetings with Members already in this system.

Q: In what ways can the Parliamentary Network positively impact the development debate in the coming 2 years?
A: The Parliamentary Network can positively impact the development debate by engaging Member countries in sessions on money management and better funding sources. In this way, energy will be targeted towards development once availability of funds is enabled.

Q: When did you begin to engage with the Parliamentary Network and what were the reasons to become a Member of the Board at the Network? 
A: I started engaging with PN two years ago and I wanted to be on the forefront of these discussions as well as be at the decision-making table. Thus, I decided to try my luck in the board elections and it was an overwhelming success.

Q: Do you have any thematic interests that you would like to concentrate on as a Board Member? How would you like to see your interests addressed within the Parliamentary Network?
A: I am interested in women empowerment. And if at all Members of the Board would find a way of sponsoring an empowerment program in my county then it would be my Joy.

Q: Do your constituents see the effects of international development cooperation? If yes, how?
A: Not much yet but I look forward to a few things I have in the pipeline.

Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
A: I like dancing.

Founded in 2000, the Parliamentary Network is an independent, non-governmental organization that provides a platform for Parliamentarians from over 140 countries to advocate for increased accountability and transparency in development cooperation. The Rt Hon. Liam Byrne is the current Chair of the Parliamentary Network.


The Network – via its international secretariat, regional chapters and country chapters – reaches over 1000 Parliamentarians in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. It strives to increase transparency and accountability in the development cooperation process by fostering the oversight role of parliaments and civil society. The Network has a specific focus on multilateral aid and a sub-focus on the work and modus operandi of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the world’s largest multilateral funders.


It provides a platform for MPs and civil society to hold to account their own governments, as well as International Financial Institutions (IFIs), for development outcomes.

Membership is free of charge and open to elected parliamentarians who currently hold a mandate. As a member, you will receive The Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s policy materials, including the quarterly Network Review publication and the Parliamentarians and Development series.

You will also be eligible to attend the Annual Conference and participate in discussions with senior World Bank and IMF leadership. You can also be invited to take part in the Parliamentarians in the Field country visit programme.
In addition, the The Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund often invites partner organizations to join its activities.