Legislative Impacts Assessment

A Legislative Impacts Assessment (LIA) projects the costs, benefits, and distributional effects of different policy alternatives. LIA helps policy makers select between multiple policy options.

This course prepares legal experts to identify and, where possible, quantify a bill’s financial, economic, social, and environmental impacts. In this course participants also assess the draft law or normative legal act's consistency with other laws and regulations. This course offers an LIA approach that captures the differential impacts that a proposal will have on different groups.

Legislative and Regulatory Drafting Techniques: Introductory Course

Frequently drafters  (1) draft vague bills which will neither be interpreted nor implemented in a predictable manner, (2) rely on personal opinions to fill policy gaps, or (3) copy another jurisdiction’s law, uncritically reflecting extra-jurisdictional priorities and facts. These drafting strategies are fundamentally ineffective and undemocratic.

An implementable law contains commands, permissions and prohibitions that are unambiguous and that address the causes of problematic behaviors. Translating a policy into implementable, transformative  legislation requires
•    specifying the circumstances under which the government will deliver a service or impose a sanction, 
•    specifying who will make subsequent decisions, and
•    clarifying how government officials will balance divergent interests. 

A well-drafted law makes it possible to hold an implementing agency accountable for performing mandated functions and to prohibit the agency from engaging in unauthorized activities.

This course introduces the art of transformative legislative drafting that solves problems. The course begins by providing an overview of the hierarchy of laws.  It next challenges participants to identify ways to address a problem at different levels of the national legal system using different normative instruments. The course then introduces participants to the parts of the law and teaches them how to read a law and propose ways to improve it.

Legislative and Regulatory Drafting Techniques: Comprehensive Course

Building on the Legislative Problem-Solving Method, this course introduces a series of legislative drafting rules and tools, and guides participants through a series of exercises to:

1.    identify how drafting errors might affect a bill’s interpretation and implementation; 
2.    revise legislative provisions to improve clarity and reduce opportunities for the law’s addressees to engage in arbitrary abuses of power.

Participants learn the dominant rules of judicial interpretation and legislative drafting. They gain the skills to identify drafting errors, different ways that poorly drafted legislative provisions might be interpreted, and probable implementation/accountability problems that might arise from a variety of drafting errors. Participants then practice drafting clear and concise legislative provisions to solve problems within the limitations established by the Constitution, other statutes, and decision makers.

Research Tools for Legislation Development, Drafting, and Reform

This course teaches the basics of legislative problem-solving, beginning with policy and law development. Participants learn to use the Legislative Problem-Solving Method to provide decision makers with the evidence necessary to choose effective legislative solutions. At each step, participants learn and practice a number of research and presentation strategies to make information useful to decision makers. 

This course strengthens the capacity of parliamentary and ministry staff to support decision makers with the necessary facts, logically organized, to design legislative solutions that solve problems in a cost-effective way. The training is designed to enhance parliamentary and ministry staff members’ knowledge of, and ability to effectively use, a range of research and presentation tools.

Facilitating Consultative Legislation Assessment Processes

This course provides elected officials and civil servants with strategies they can use to shift the public’s focus from personal complaints and arguments about problems to addressing the broad causes of those problems.

Structuring public hearings and input sessions around the Legislative Problem-Solving Method means that constituents are better able to understand the different factors that policy-makers must consider. This approach equips people to participate constructively in developing policy proposals that have a high likelihood of proving effective when implemented. 

Input processes structured around the Legislative Problem-Solving Method also communicate the officials’ interest in developing effective solutions to key community concerns. Collaborative policy-making, conducted in the transparent, logical manner suggested by the Legislative Problem-Solving Method, can reduce ideological and interest-based policy rifts between voters and lead to more effective outcomes with less wasted time and resources.

Legislative Processes for Assessing Legislation

Legislative assessment requires a process to determine whether the enactment and implementation of a draft law will solve an identified social, economic, or environmental problem. In this course, we explore how the Legislative Problem-Solving Method can serve as a guide to assessing (1) whether a legislative proposal addresses an actual problem, and (2) whether passage of the legislative proposal would resolve that problem. 

This course features an anti-corruption checklist of behaviors that frequently undermine implementation, produce cost overruns or revenue shortfalls, and introduce unnecessary environmental or social risk. Participants use this tool to assess a legislative proposal’s provisions to ensure that the legislative proposal is drafted defensively against corruption.

Assessing Legislation and Advocating for Amendments

Legis offers one- to three-day issue-based workshops to assess how the provisions of existing or proposed legislation will affect a civil society group or economic organization’s interests.

Participants learn to identify amendments that could improve the law’s likelihood of being effectively implemented and/or that could mitigate the law’s adverse impacts. Participants also gain strategies for advocating effectively with officials to propose amendments. 

Assessing & Prioritizing Needs & Solution Action Planning

Many problems can best be solved and many needs can best be met at the social level. Within the broad frame of its organizational mission, every civil society group or organization must remain responsive to emerging needs it can address.

This course teaches participants to conduct a social audit, recognize their unique strengths and resources for addressing needs and problems, identify revenue resources, and develop a plan that is likely to have a high social impact. The course also shows participants how to determine whether they should seek government support for their efforts.

Introduction to Legislative Problem-Solving

This course is designed to introduce participants to a problem-solving approach that will help them devise solutions based on a more comprehensive understanding of the facts. The beauty and power of the Legislative Problem-Solving Method lies in its simplicity:
1.    Identify whose and what behaviors constitute the underlying social problem;
2.    Explain why people, and institutions, are engaging in the repetitive patterns of problematic behaviors;
3.    Propose a solution (or policy) that addresses the causes of the problematic behaviors; and
4.    Devise monitoring criterion, and evaluation protocols, to enable policy-makers to assess whether the policy is being implemented and, if so, if it is having the desired effect.

Program participants walk through case studies using the Legislative Problem-Solving Method and its basic tools. Participants regularly adopt the problem-solving method and begin to use it right away because it gives them a simple, logical framework through which they can differentiate between effective and ineffective solutions and policies. Legis specialists do not tell local experts and decision makers which solutions to pursue; we provide them with tools that they can use to identify effective policies, and provide them with support as they learn to use those tools.