In March-June 2016, Ilia State University and Public Policy Research and Training Center (PPRTC) held the second (coaching) phase of the training “Regulation Impact Analysis: Theoretical and Practical Aspects”. The objective of the second phase was to engage participants into case analysis and discussions. Two cases had been introduced before the group was involved in the coaching phase. The cases were selected and drafted according to group members’ preferences, i.e., their functional duties in the Parliament Budget Office (PBO). The following cases were offered for their consideration:
However, in the end of March, while working over the program assignments, the PBO received draft amendments on two laws: Tobacco Excise and Right-hand Drive Vehicles in Georgia. Two thematic teams were formed within the PBO to undertake the tasks of incoming legislative initiatives. In line with the training curriculum, in such circumstances the team had to shift from case analysis to draft laws’ assessments.
In such a way, two groups commenced procedure to prepare impact assessments for two amendments received. The early draft statement on Tobacco Excise amendments has been presented during the 3rd phase of training. All the necessary comments and remarks were noted down for additional consideration and the team is preparing for further move – starting stakeholders’ consultations.
As to the case of RIA of Right-hand Drive Vehicles amendments, it should be noted that the process has been slowed down. The reason is insufficiency of data which was requested from the line ministries. Unfortunately, statistical data needed to make adequate quantitative assessments as per needed variables are not in the possession of the respective public structures. Therefore, it was decided to shift to qualitative side of exploration hence trying to collect firsthand information by means of qualitative methods.
Participants were successfully integrated into University’s Moodle platform to get online access to their readers, get assignments and maintain communication with the instructor. Case analysis had been under implementation when the group, in line with the curriculum requirements had shifted to other activity – analysis of draft amendments submitted to the legislator. Overall, the coaching phase has significantly improved participants’ skills and made their research competencies compatible with the requirements in the RIA field.
Due to inability of the line ministries to provide needed statistical data, the team had to slow down the pace of assessment process and turn to other category of data collection. This, in turn required change in their research methodology. Instructors drew participants’ attention to the importance of the complex quantitative methodologies. They came to conclusion that it is recommended to include advanced quantitative tools in the next, final phase of the training.
The final 3-day training program will involve the delivery of the qualification on the tools of economic impact assessment. The participants will make acquaintance with the international and Georgian cases in the RIA. Besides, the group will make the revision of the competencies acquired during previous two phases.