Methodology Handbook on legislative impact assessments

The aim of this Handbook is to provide Secretariat staff and other officials with a useful tool to help guide their preparation of impact assessments of draft laws brought forward for consideration and decision by MPs of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. 

This study is produced under the Project entitled ‘Parliamentary Accountability for the Security Sector in Ukraine (PASS Ukraine)’. Financial support for this study was kindly provided by the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs) of Global Affairs Canada. This was a collaborative effort involving members of the Agency for Legislative Initiatives and the Parliamentary Centre’s teams.A special acknowledgment goes to Rick Stewart, Legislative Impact Assessment Expert, for his continuous support and cooperation on this Handbook.

The information contained in this document draws on the training and guidance provided to Secretariat staff of two Rada committees – the Committee on Law Enforcement and the Committee on Ukraine’s Integration into the European Union – as part of a professional development opportunity to help strengthen their capacity to prepare such analysis. 

The purpose behind creating the handbook is to share the experience and knowledge acquired by the staff of these Committees more broadly, so that staff of other Rada committees and the structural units that examine draft laws may also gain a better understanding and ability to prepare good quality analysis of legislative proposals.

The Handbook is structured into four main parts, accompanied by a contextual prologue and epilogue, as well as related appendices. 

PROLOGUE – provides a brief overview of the OECD’s best-practice Principles that should guide the tools, practices and institutional arrangements that help support a robust law-making system.

PART 1 – “Nature and Value of Legislative Impact Analysis” – describes the concept of impact assessment in legislative and regulatory processes, the importance of impact assessment of draft laws for the legislative process, and international experience of using impact assessment in legislative and regulatory processes.

PART 2 – “Legislative Approval Process, Role of Impact Assessments” – provides a brief overview of the norms of the legislative process in Canada and Ukraine, respectively, the essence and role of accompanying documents, and expert-analytical support of draft laws by the structural divisions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

PART 3 – “Legislative Impact Assessment Methodology” – describes Canadian and Ukrainian practices in developing legislative impact assessment methodology, detailing the assessment stages and structural elements for its implementation. Taking into account the experience with preparing and using legislative impact assessments, brief considerations on ensuring efficiency in the assessment process are also presented.

PART 4 – “Gender-Based Analysis – GBA+” – allows readers to familiarize themselves with the essence and role of gender analysis as an analytical process that assesses the impact of draft laws on different groups of men and women, boys and girls.

EPILOGUE – provides a few observations about challenges in the current legislative system of Ukraine that hinder the ability for effective impact assessment, in order to help raise awareness of the consequences they have for effective decision-making.

APPENDICES – this section provides more detailed information ion the methodology of legislative impact assessment (tailored to both the Canadian and Ukrainian contexts), a list of valuable references to sources regarding impact assessment in legislative and regulatory processes, and examples of legislative impact assessment carried out by staff supporting two Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine committees: the Committee on Law Enforcement and the Committee on Ukraine’s Integration into the European Union.

It is useful to note that the analysis conducted by the Committee on Law Enforcement to the Law “On the Right to Civilian Firearms” was prepared earlier than the legislative impact assessment prepared by the Committee on Integration of Ukraine into the EU to the Law “On Amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine to Improve Activities of “joint investigative groups”. Accordingly, the evaluation methodology used by the respective committees is somewhat different in structure because over the course of the training and development project, Committee staff adapted and changed the way the methodology is applied to better reflect the Ukrainian context and provide more effective support to Ukrainian decision-makers.