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About

NIALL JOHNSTON

Niall Johnston has had tangible success delivering technical assistance and development support to legislatures in developed, developing, fragile and conflict-affected environments across more than 60 countries and 170 legislatures for almost 25 years and has led technical assistance teams for more than 15 years.

Niall currently specialises in issues around Freedom of Religion or Belief (Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and inter-faith dialogue.

He is also a specialist in fragile and transitional parliaments, parliamentary financial oversight and security sector oversight, with strong expertise in parliamentary procedures, committee business processes and strategic planning. He has considerable experience in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and has conducted numerous legislative needs assessments, design missions and project evaluations.

Niall is very familiar with the issues around supporting parliamentary democracy in the context of post-conflict democracies as well as those in Muslim-majority countries. He was Chief of Staff to the first Speaker of the newly-created Northern Ireland Assembly following the Irish peace talks, conducted the first ever assessment on the state of democracy within the Parliament of Pakistan for the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group and has supported the transitional processes of the Constituent Assembly in Nepal.

With a firm understanding of the role of vulnerable and conflict-affected parliaments, he is a good communicator with an ability to operate at the highest levels with has a proven track record of conceptual thinking and exercising sound judgment.

International Appointments

International

INTERNATIONAL APPOINTMENTS

Mission and Public Affairs Division, Church of England

Advisor, FoRB Leadership Network – from 2019

St Benet’s Institute

Founding Member – from 2019

Centre for Democracy and Peace Building

Director (formerly Senior Advisor) – from 2016

World Bank Institute

External Advisory Group on Parliamentary Development, 2003 – 2010

Arab Region Parliamentarians Against Corruption (ARPAC)

Regional Taskforce on Transparency in Revenues, 2007 – 2009

BRAC University Institute for Governance Studies

World Bank Institute Fellow in Parliamentary Development, 2008 – 2009

Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action – UNFPA

Steering Committee for the International Parliamentarians, 2008 – 2009

Australian National University

International Advisor to the Parliamentary Studies Centre, 2005 – 2007

Professional Qualifications

Professional

QUALIFICATIONS

Member of the Institute of Directors (MInstD)
Member of the Institute of Supervisory Management (MISM)
Associate Member of the Institute of Management (ABIM)
Recent Career

Career

RECENT CAREER

2019 – present

Project Director, FoRB Leadership Network: 
University of Oxford and the Church of England

2019 – present

Strategic Advisor: 
Freedom Declared Foundation

2018 – present

Parliamentary Advisor: 
Somalia Stability Fund

2017 – 2018

2012 – 2017

ADAM SMITH INTERNATIONAL (ASI)

  • senior advisor on parliamentary oversight of the security sector in South Sudan

BRITISH COUNCIL

  • facilitating dialogues for young Bangladeshis on democratic engagement
  • designing a national youth parliament for Bangladesh

BRITISH COUNCIL and EUROPEAN UNION (EU)

  • technical PFM assistance to the Parliament of Pakistan
  • designing and supporting implementation of a monitoring, evaluation and learning system for the Parliament of Pakistan

CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (CIDA) and WORLD BANK GROUP

  • team leader for a joint CIDA-WBI parliamentary strengthening programme in Bangladesh

CANADIAN PARLIAMENTARY CENTRE and OXFORD POLICY MANAGEMENT (OPM)

  • technical expert lead on parliamentary oversight for a multi-donor support programme for financial oversight committees in the Parliament of Bangladesh

LONDON ORGANISING COMMITTEE OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES (LOCOG)

  • protocol team leader for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics

NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (NDI)

  • pre-election technical assistance mission in Myanmar

OXFORD RESEARCH GROUP

  • facilitating strategic planning for a group of Palestinian Israelis

STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK – CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (SUNY)

  • scoping mission for parliamentary strengthening in Myanmar

UK DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (DFID)

  • political economy assessment and recommendations for future programming in the Parliament of Bangladesh
  • evaluating UK-funded parliamentary support in Bangladesh

UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP)

  • team leader for evaluation of UNDP parliamentary support in Myanmar
  • designing and delivering security sector oversight training for the Turkish Grand Assembly

WESTMINSTER FOUNDATION FOR DEMOCRACY

WORLD BANK GROUP

  • Parliamentary Strengthening Cluster coordinator for the Asia, Caribbean and Pacific Regions and the Commonwealth
  • support to established and nascent PAC associations
  • designing and delivering parliamentary PFM capacity building events in Liberia and Viet Nam

2010 – 2012

Asia Regional Coordinator & European Representative (Parliamentary Strengthening Programme):
World Bank Institute

2007 – 2010

  • legislative needs assessments: Mongolia, Nepal, Sudan and southern Sudan (UNDP) and (World Bank Institute)
  • designing parliamentary assistance programmes: Bangladesh, Indonesia and southern Sudan (AusAID) and (World Bank Institute)
  • developing parliamentary research and training programmes in Bangladesh BRAC University’s Institute of Governance Studies and (World Bank Institute)
  • team leader for a joint CIDA-WBI parliamentary strengthening programme in Bangladesh (CIDA) and (World Bank Institute)
  • evaluation of parliamentary strengthening programmes: Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste (UNDP)
  • designing and delivering seminars and workshops: regional seminar on financial oversight for anglophone African parliamentarians, seminar on governance and the rule of law for parliamentarians from the Pacific, workshop for the Nepalese Constituent Assembly and the South Asia region on HIV policy (Joint Africa Institute) and (Parliamentarians for Global Action)
  • advising on parliamentary financial oversight: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Sudan, southern Sudan and Vietnam (World Bank Institute)
  • advising on parliamentary independence, corporate structure and strategic planning: Indonesia and Tanzania (World Bank Institute)
  • providing training on anti-corruption initiatives: Vietnam and Lao PDR (UNDP) and (World Bank Institute)
  • advising on parliamentary engagement with HIV and reproductive health issues (Parliamentarians for Global Action)
  • advising on the parliamentary follow-up to the International Conference on Population and Development (Parliamentarians for Global Action)
  • authoring handbooks on financial oversight for the Arab region, Bangladesh and South Asia ARPAC, BRAC University’s Institute of Governance Studies and GOPAC
  • co-authoring a retrospective on WBI’s parliamentary strengthening programme (World Bank Institute)
  • authoring and editing materials on parliamentary strengthening (AGORA)
  • facilitating political party engagement on parliamentary reform issues in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Viet Nam (National Democratic Institute for International Affairs) and (UNDP)
  • global legislative advisor to RADD: The Entertainment Industry’s Voice For Road Safety (RADD)

2003 – 2007

2002 – 2003

Senior Resident Director, Sierra Leone: 
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs

2001 – 2002

Political Development Coordinator, Bosnia and Herzegovina: 
Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe

2001

Director of the Leader’s General Election Tour: 
Liberal Democrats

1998 – 2001

The Speaker’s Adviser: 
Northern Ireland Assembly

1996 – 1998

Parliamentary and Political Adviser: 
Alliance Party
Publications

Publications

MY BOOKS AND ARTICLES

Global Parliamentary Report

Peer reviewer and sub-author:
Niall Johnston
Published: 2012
Publisher: IPU, UNDP

Mid-Term Assessment of Parliamentary Strengthening Programs in Bangladesh

Edited by: Niall Johnston
Published: 2012
Publisher: World Bank Publications

Parliamentary Committees in Action: A Capacity-Building DVD

Produced and presented by Niall Johnston
Published: 2009
Publisher: NDI, World Bank

The Functions of the Parliament of Bangladesh

By: Niall Johnston
Published: 2009
Publisher: World Bank Publications, Institute of Governance Studies (BRAC University)

Financial Oversight: A Handbook for Parliamentarians in the Arab Region

By: Niall Johnston
Published: 2009
Publisher: ARPAC

Financial Oversight: A Handbook for Parliamentarians in Bangladesh

By: Niall Johnston
Published: 2009
Publisher: World Bank Publications, Institute of Governance Studies (BRAC University)

Financial Oversight: A Handbook for Parliamentarians

By: Niall Johnston
Published: 2007
Publisher: World Bank Publications, GOPAC

Strengthening Parliament – Strengthening Accountability

By: Niall Johnston, Lisa von Trapp
Published: 2007
Publisher: World Bank Publications

Parliaments as Peacebuilders in Conflict-Affected Countries

Edited: Mitchell O’Brien, Rick Stapenhurst , Niall Johnston
Published: 2008
Publisher: World Bank Publications

Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures

Edited: Niall Johnston
Published: 2006
Publisher: CPA

The Role of Parliament in Curbing Corruption

Edited: Rick Stapenhurst, Niall Johnston, Riccardo Pelizzo
Published: 2006
Publisher: World Bank Publications

The Northern Ireland Assembly: A New Beginning?

Research article by Niall Johnston
Published: 2002
Publisher: Routledge

Countries visited

Travel


Contact

Contact

LET’S TALK