In most countries around the world parliamentary control bodies are established, which monitor and implement the rule of law, the fight against corruption and good public administration. Although the specific role of the Ombudsman institution may vary, the holder of this office is legitimized by parliament – either through direct elections or through appointment by the head of state or government by or after consultation with parliament.
The role of Ombudsman institutions is to protect the people against violation of rights, abuse of powers, unfair decisions and maladministration. They play an increasingly important role in improving public administration while making the government's actions more open and its administration more accountable to the public.
The International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), established in 1978, is the only global organisation for the cooperation of more than 190 independent Ombudsman institutions from more than 100 countries worldwide. The IOI is organised in six regional chapters (Africa, Asia, Australasia & Pacific, Europe, the Caribbean & Latin America and North America). In its effort to focus on good governance and capacity building, the IOI supports its members in a threefold way: training, research and regional subsidies for projects.