Politikas ietekmes novērtēšanas sistēmas stiprināšana Latvijā

Valsts kancelejas un Apvienoto Nāciju Attīstības programmas projekta Politikas ietekmes novērtēšanas sistēmas stiprināšana Latvijā mērķis ir popularizēt ex-ante and ex-post novērtēšanas metožu ideju valsts pārvaldes darbinieku vidū, attīstīt politikas novērtēšanas sistēmu Latvijā un apmācīt valsts pārvaldes darbiniekus dažādu politikas novērtēšanas metožu izmantošanā.

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Publicējam VK un UNDP kopējā projekta dokumenta tekstu

United Nations Development Programme
Republic of Latvia

PROJECT DOCUMENT


Brief description:

The main objective of the project is to develop with Ministries of the Latvian government the capacity to carry out impact assessment of policies and legislation (a) that have already been implemented (ex post) and (b) that are under consideration (ex ante). This will strengthen the effectiveness of policy-making; ensure that policies adopted are more effectively implemented; and assist in maximizing budget effectiveness and, consequently, in strengthening medium-term budget management.

The outcomes of the project will be the introduction of a system of impact assessment within the Latvian Government’s mechanisms for policy review, policy formulation and policy coordination; a training programme to develop the capacity of ministries and agencies to carry out impact assessments; the development of procedures and practices on consultation with NGOs and the public; and the development of a core of expertise on impact assessment issues and on impact assessment training that will prove sustainable after the end of the project.



On behalf of: Signature Date Name/title

The Government _______________ _______ Mr. Roberts Zīle
Minister for Special
Assignment
for Cooperation with
International
Financial Agencies
State Chancellery _______________ _______ Ms. Gunta Veismane
Director

UNDP _______________ _______ Mr. Jan Sand Sørensen
UNDP Resident
Representative



___________________________________________________________________
United Nations official exchange rate at date of signature of Project Document: $ 1.00="0.637



A. CONTEXT

A.1 Development problem

The State Chancellery of Latvia has sought assistance from the UNDP to introduce systematic impact assessment of policies, laws and regulations, both existing and prospective. The absence of such impact assessment is regarded as a major weakness in the government’s mechanisms for policy-making and policy coordination. The main deficiencies in these mechanisms are:


  • There is little review of the effectiveness of existing laws and policies,

  • There is too great a preoccupation with the drafting of legal text, rather than with the policy substance of new laws or regulations,

  • The identification and analysis of different options before law drafting begins is insufficient,

  • Only rarely do ministries attempt to assess the actual economic or social impact of existing legislation, or the anticipated impact of planned legislation,

  • Consultation with economic and social actors (also represented by NGOs) affected by laws, although an effective and inexpensive way of gauging the effectiveness of laws, is not common.

  • Overall, inadequate attention is paid to practical issues and to the impact and effectiveness of laws.


Impact assessment will be increasingly important to Latvia in coming years: to improve the effectiveness of policy, to improve cost-effectiveness at a time of tight budget constraints, and to meet EU requirements: it is important to note that ex ante, mid-term and ex post impact assessment will be required for the implementation of EU structural instruments.

There are some isolated but encouraging examples of impact assessment in Latvian ministries, most of them of the ex ante variety. These include:


  • A major ex ante exercise coordinated by the European Integration Bureau to identify the impact of implementing the acquis communautaire. This exercise focussed on financial costs; economic benefits were more difficult to specify. A parallel analysis of macroeconomic impacts by the Ministry of Finance is still under way.

  • A UNDP-funded social policy monitoring project in the Ministry of Welfare that has encouraged the collation of social data as a basis for policy analysis. This has included both ex post analysis – the consideration of the effectiveness of past policy incorporated into an annual report – and ex ante, such as the modelling of changes in pensions and child allowances.

  • There are also now requirements to carry out environmental impact assessments of most large-scale infrastructure projects. The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development has initiated some work in this field (some related to EU requirements) including ex ante work that informed the preparation of a recent law on pollution.

  • An independent evaluation, commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, used to improve the Rural Development Plan for the multi-annual plan for the EU pre-structural instrument SAPARD.


However these are relatively isolated examples of good practice.

The estimation of budgetary impacts by the Ministry of Finance in conjunction with Finance Departments in line ministries is effective, at least as far as the first year of the implementation of a proposal is concerned. However the switch to a medium-term budgeting system will require the projection of costs over a five- year period, and evidence suggests that the system is not equipped to cope with this satisfactorily. The Policy Coordination Department, in the context of the new Methodology Guidelines for Medium Term Budget Planning, has noted that by 2001 there had been adopted legal acts for which there is no financing, whose total ‘burden’ amounted to 266.6 million LVL.

In short, some good practice exists but overall impact assessment is not much practiced.

Nor is there much consultation between government and outside groups: business, labour organisations, consumer groups, various other types of NGOs, or the public at large. Individual experts are consulted on occasion, but use of consultation as a systematic means of gathering data on how laws are working or might work is relatively rare. Some examples of good practice have appeared in recent years. There are requirements for consultation in the field of territorial and development plans, and environmental impact assessment: partner institutions were involved in the development of the National Development Plan and laws regulating regional policy, and the environmental impact assessments undertaken by the Environment Ministry were based on consultation with business. The Ministry of Welfare has used consultation as part of its social monitoring programme. The Law of Agriculture has established a Farmers’ Council, through which the Ministry of Agriculture consults farmers on the development and implementation of agricultural policy, including negotiations with the EU and other countries. There are requirements in specific instances for consultation with regional ands local authorities. But, for the most part, politicians and civil servants seem to remain sceptical, of, even hostile to, consultation. NGOs are often treated as having no legitimacy. The UNDP Human Development Report 2000-1 has highlighted this problem and has stressed the necessity of changing this attitude. Impact assessment provides one useful context for doing so. Helpfully, the Soros Foundation has expressed interest in collaborating on this aspect of the project.


A.2 How impact assessment could help remedy the problem

Impact assessment is the process of analysing the practical consequences of policy options. It can take two forms:


  • ex post impact assessment, which is the analysis of the effectiveness of policies or laws already implemented. In this case policy-makers need to identify the various impacts – budgetary, economic, social, environmental, etc – of the solution implemented, and whether this has been successful.

  • ex ante impact assessment, in which policy-makers ask what will be the various impacts – budgetary, economic, social, environmental, etc. – of different possible ways of solving a policy problem, use that analysis to inform the final choice of policy option.


Of the two, ex post analysis is the easier to introduce, since it concentrates on the known impacts of a policy previously adopted. Ex ante impact analysis is more complex, since the degree of uncertainty is much greater: data is more difficult to obtain, and it involves estimating the likely impacts of a number of options, using only approximate data. This requires more creativity and (depending on the degree of precision sought) greater technical skills.

It makes sense for this project to address both ex post and ex ante impact assessment because they are essentially two complementary facets of the same approach to policy improvement. Both have the same rationale, and both require the same approach. To separate the two completely is artificial: firstly, because the starting point for a new policy is (or ought to be) an assessment of the effectiveness of existing policy; and secondly, because in real life there is often not a sharp distinction between the end of one policy and the start of another. Reality is messy and incremental, and some degree of ex post assessment of existing policy is often part of ex ante assessment of possible future policy options.

If applied in the Latvian context, impact assessment offers many advantages:


  • It gives ministers and senior officials a clearer idea of the consequences of actions they are planning to take, and allows them to gauge the effectiveness of actions already taken,

  • It makes it much more likely that policies and laws will work effectively,

  • It ensures better use of resources by identifying the cost-effectiveness of different options,

  • Consequently it is a key tool for improving medium-term budget management,

  • Ex post impact assessment improves the quality of policy and legislation by reviewing the effectiveness of decisions adopted, identifying what works and helping decision-makers to rectify deficiencies,

  • Ex ante impact assessment improves the quality of policy and legislation by allowing better informed choices and enabling the government to take longer-term views rather than short-term ones,

  • It increases protection for citizens: for example, by encouraging decision-makers to consider the interests of different groups in society rather than be captive to narrow sectoral interests,

  • Impact assessment encourages economic growth by helping to identify and avoid unnecessarily burdensome laws and costs,

  • It encourages linkages between different policies and cross-cutting issues, and can encourage policy co-ordination,

  • It offers the staff of ministries a more interesting and intellectually stimulating type of work. And as the effectiveness of legislation improves, it can also reduce the burden on ministry staff of crises caused by the need to remedy recently enacted laws that have proved inadequate,

  • It improves public debate and the transparency of decision-making by allowing more convincing explanations to be given to the public and to affected parties about existing and new legislative proposals,

  • It encourages greater acceptance and compliance by the public.



A.3 International experience of impact assessment that can be applied in Latvia

These problems are not unique to Latvia. In 1998 and 1999 SIGMA carried out for the European Commission a series of assessments of the administrative capacities of those countries of Central and Eastern Europe seeking to join the European Union. These assessments revealed the same deficiencies in the policy-making systems of those countries as are described in Latvia (practice in Hungary and Poland is developing, however). These failings existed in spite of recognition in all these countries of the importance of impact assessment. Most central and eastern European countries already had some requirements (a government decree, or a law on legal drafting) imposing an obligation to assess policy impact; but these requirements often were not complied with, for lack of skills, time and other resources. Although ex post impact assessment was not covered by these assessments, the observation of SIGMA staff was that this was also rare.

In most countries with better developed systems of policy development and coordination – essentially the OECD countries - this kind of analysis is an integral part of policy development, carried out automatically by ministries as part of their normal work; it is so much a part of the routine working approach that it is not usually set down in a formal procedure. For that reason, it is difficult to point to existing systems in OECD countries that can be copied.

Insofar as particular ‘impact assessment schemes’ do exist, they differ between countries and often focus on one particular policy area. So for example:


  • in Australia, the UK, the USA, and by the OECD it has been used mostly to review existing laws and to vet proposed new regulations to reduce the overall regulatory burden;

  • in Germany it focuses mainly on budgetary costs of proposed legislation;

  • Finland, the Netherlands, Canada and Denmark concentrate on assessment of environmental impacts


These conceptions of impact assessment are too narrow for the Latvian context. Because existing analytical capacity throughout the administration is weak, a broader approach is needed, encompassing all types of impact: economic, budgetary social, environmental and others. And the schemes developed in the countries listed above, because they are narrowly focussed, are complex – too usually complex to apply across the whole spectrum of public policy.

As far as ex ante impact assessment is concerned, between 1999 and 2001 the SIGMA Programme undertook work to adapt and simplify the approaches used in these OECD countries so that they could be used to identify all kinds of policy impacts. As part of that exercise, SIGMA tested many of its ideas in Latvia, staging a programme of seminars for Latvian civil servants and submitting a draft paper to them for comments. The final version of that paper has now been published as “Improving Policy Instruments through Impact Assessment” [1], designed specifically for countries in central and Eastern Europe (although also of value to other transition and developing countries). The SIGMA paper examines the practicalities of introducing impact assessment, with a number of practical examples, and includes chapters on budgetary and economic impacts; using consultation in impact assessment; and the special application of impact assessment to accession to the EU. This paper is the best current exposition of the ‘broad’ approach to impact assessment and constitutes a good starting point for this project.


A.4 The regulatory framework

The impact assessment system will itself become part of the legal framework. The way in which it interacts with that framework is crucial to its success and requires extended consideration.

If the wider framework is not geared up to deal with analytical material, impact assessment will work badly and/or its conclusions will not be put to good use. It is generally recognised that coordination in Latvia is hindered by a strong tradition of autonomous ministries. This is likely to inhibit impact assessment, since inter-ministry consultation is one effective way of identifying impacts.

The relationship of ex post assessment to the wider policy-making framework is relatively simple: proposals submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers are required to contain amongst the supporting documentation an appraisal of the existing situation that the proposal seeks to remedy. Since most proposals address areas where there is already a Government policy in operation, ex post assessment will enable that analysis to be deeper and based in more solid information.

The relationship between ex ante impact assessment and the legal framework is more complicated. In Latvia, all policy decisions, laws and regulations of any significance are submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers. The relevant legal framework is therefore Regulation 160 on the Internal Procedure and Functions of the Cabinet of Ministers which governs the preparation, content and submission of issues to the Cabinet of Ministers.

The relationship of ex ante impact assessment to this framework is more problematic, because it has a direct effect on the operation of the existing mechanisms for policy coordination. In particular it would interact with:


  • concept papers - discussion papers in advance of draft laws or regulations. These often contain some degree of analysis of different options, although this falls short of thorough analysis of impacts.

  • consultation between ministries, which would become more complex, in that ministries would not longer be consulting each other primarily on legal text, but also on an assessment of the different impacts that different options would have.

  • the annotations system as revised with effect from 1 January 2002. This now requires that, when a proposal is submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers, far more detailed analysis of its likely impacts be submitted in support of then proposal. There is a link to ex ante impact assessment in that both analyse future implications: but while impact assessment estimates the impacts of a range of possible options, and so is an instrument for informing choice, annotations estimate only the impact of a single, recommended course of action.[2] There is therefore a need to consider how the work carried out during impact assessment can be used to inform annotations. (It should be noted that by the time this project begins, the annotations system will have been operative for some months; there is therefore no point in trying to add training on annotations into the impact assessment project, since civil servants will have grown familiar with it.)

  • the presentation of material to ministers. At present the material in annotations is not presented in a used-friendly manner, and apparently the same is true of the other papers submitted to the Cabinet. Reputedly, many ministers do not read (or lack the time to master) Cabinet papers. Presumably State Secretaries and members of the Saeima, who also receive the annotations, have the same problem. The Policy Coordination Department of the State Chancellery has initiated some work on the format and presentation of papers for the Cabinet of Ministers.


It must be also noted that the initiative to develop legislative proposals and acts also lie with the Parliament and President’s Office, and these legislative acts are not bound to follow the official procedure of the Cabinet of Ministers, which means that these legislative acts can be passed without using the policy impact assessment approach and filling out the annotation. However, the project limits its activities at this point and will not eventually address this gap. Nevertheless, it is planned to hold retreat for parliamentarians to acknowledge them with the policy impact assessment system as a tool for more efficient policy making process.


A.5 The Government’s strategy and commitment

The need for the government to address this issue was highlighted in Sir Robin Mountfield’s report “Public Administration Reform in Latvia” in May 2000: the State Chancellery “should have a small group checking ‘regulatory impact’, that is, checking in advance that intended laws and policies would actually achieve the desired results”. This has been echoed by several external reports since. The World Bank favors the introduction of impact assessment in Latvia (as in other countries) and intends to make the introduction of such a system a condition of the current Public Sector Adjustment Loan.

The Government’s direct response to these calls was the creation of the new Policy Coordination department of the State Chancellery Department whose remit explicitly includes the development of a system of impact assessment [3]. An impressively thorough analysis by the Department of the implementation of four recent government policies makes a strong case for the effectiveness of impact assessment as a tool to ensure the effectiveness of government policy, but acknowledges that such methodologies, both ex ante and post ante are at an early stage of development in Latvia [4].

There are close linkages between the Policy Coordination Department’s work on ex ante impact assessment, its work to develop a clearer system of policy planning, and its work to link planning to budgeting. The latter is closely linked to Ministry of Finance work on the introduction of medium term budgeting. This initiative on impact assessment therefore has to be seen as part of a series of initiatives to upgrade policy-making and budgeting, with the overall aim – as described in the Public Administration Reform Strategy 2001-6, adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers in May 2001 - of moving to a ‘results orientated rather than a process orientated work culture’, and ‘establishment of the link between policy development and budget planning’.

The Ministry of Finance has also recently created a special department for project appraisal in the context of the EU pre-structural instrument ISPA, and this Ministry has a strong interest, for budgetary reasons, in the appraisal of the impact of policies before they are adopted.

The Latvian Government commits itself to providing the following in kind contribution and resources to the project:


  • The commitment of the School of Public Administration to collaboration with the project in developing training, to the organization and delivery of training as well as providing training facilities for the project’s purposes

  • The commitment of time of staff in line ministries to attend training courses

  • The commitment of up to 20 staff in ministries to act as trainers under contract to the School of Public Administration and to act thereafter as experts and advisers on impact assessment issues within their ministries

  • To ensure the sustainability of the project, School of Public Administration will assume the continued support to line ministries in implementation of the impact assessment through retaining the course and materials in the school as well as financing trainers from the state budget for the training of civil servants in the subject matter upon the completion of the project.




A.6 Beneficiaries

The objective of the project is to improve the quality and implementation of public policy and the cost-effectiveness of public spending. Consequently the potential beneficiaries are all those affected by government decisions – that is, the entire population of Latvia. It is not easy to disaggregate this into discernible impacts upon particular groups of beneficiaries. However, there should be discernible benefits for the following:


  • Ministers and State Secretaries, in the sense that they will receive better quality data and analysis on which to base their decisions

  • Civil servants, in the sense that their professional development and skills will be enhanced and, very probably, their work made more interesting

  • Particular groups targeted by specific government programmes e.g. against poverty: more effective policy-making and implementation should help to maximize the benefits to them of those programmes

  • State Chancellery’s Policy Coordination Department in becoming experts and advocates of policy impact assessment being an integral part of policy development process

  • NGOs in obtaining methodology and training for being involved in policy development consultation process.



B. STRATEGY FOR USE OF UNDP RESOURCES

The UNDP’s Human Development Report for 2000/1, subtitled “The Public Policy Process in Latvia”, states: “The quality of policy-making must be raised. Never before has the quality of policy-making been so important to human development in Latvia as at present. It has become obvious that shortcomings in policy-making, rather than a lack of funding, often present the main obstacles to human development.” The Report illustrates the problem with examples of shortcomings in several areas, including pensions and rural development, and stresses the impact of such shortcomings on human development.

The Report draws particular attention to three failings: poor coordination, and particularly the failure to link specific policy decisions to clear long-term planning; the failure to link either of these to the availability of financial resources beyond the short term; and (a dominant theme in the report) the closed nature of the policy system, from which most of the agencies of civil society are excluded.

Failure to make progress in the field of public administration reform (PAR) has been identified as an obstacle to economic and social progress by a number of international financial and donor organizations: for example, failures in PAR have figured prominently in the European Commission’s annual reports on progress towards EU membership as an obstacle to Latvia’s progress towards accession to the EU; and the conditionalities attached to the World Bank’s current Public Sector Adjustment Loan demonstrate the scope and extent of reforms needed.

Impact assessment was identified as a suitable area for UNDP assistance as a result of analysis and discussion between the UNDP and the State Chancellery. The review of PAR in Latvia in mid 2000 by Sir Robin Mountfield highlighted the central machinery for policy-making and coordination as one of the key areas requiring reform. The State Chancellery has emerged as a significant source of initiatives for remedying these shortcomings, following the appointment in mid 2000 of a new Director of the State Chancellery, and the creation of a Policy Coordination Department. At the same time, sources of support for reforms in this field have shrunk. The European Commission terminated a Phare project on improving central government policy-making in 2000, and has no immediate intention of renewing such work. SIGMA was previously available to advise and support the Latvian Government in this area, and did some work with the Latvian Government on ex ante impact assessment. Changes in SIGMA’s remit now prevent it from doing such work, although it still has a remit to provide support on audit matters, and as such might be able to assist in the ex post field.

The State Chancellery has initiated various reforms drawing on its own resources, including the review of the annotations system, drafting policy planning guidelines, and collaborating on the development of medium term budgeting. They are less well equipped to initiate work in the field of impact assessment, however, because it is a relatively complex issue. While work has been done on ex ante impact assessment by the OECD and its member countries, and by SIGMA, there is no expertise on the subject within the Latvian government machine (or indeed within the country) on the subject. They therefore look for international assistance.

Therefore it is proposed to use UNDP resources to engage external consultants who will work with the Latvian government to devise and implement an impact assessment system for Latvia, to devise training programmes and materials, and to carry out ‘training of trainers’, with the long-term objective of creating a sustainable core of competence in these fields within the Latvian civil service.

In these circumstances, there is little scope for alternative strategies. The Latvian government’s own budgetary position is strained. It cannot provide the funds to engage the necessary foreign consultants. However, if external funding for those consultants is provided, the government can reorder its own internal priorities so that existing staff within the State Chancellery and School of Public Administration can work with the consultants to create the new system; and it can require line ministry staff to participate in training courses and implement what they have learned.


C. IMMEDIATE OBJECTIVES, OUTPUTS, INDICATORS AND ACTIVITIES

The development objective is therefore to improve the quality and implementation of public policy and the cost-effectiveness of public spending, by equipping the Latvian government machine with the techniques and expertise to apply impact assessment, both ex post and ex ante.

The strategy is for the State Chancellery, working in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, School of Public Administration, other ministries and government bodies, and with external assistance provided by UNDP, to:


  • Devise and secure within the Latvian Government’s systems for policy formulation, policy coordination and policy review, impact assessments (both ex post and ex ante) that will identify for selected existing laws and for proposed new laws:
    - budgetary cost
    - economic impact
    - social and environmental impact
    - efficiency and practicability in implementation
    - (in the case of existing laws) the effectiveness in meeting the aims of the legislation
    - (in the case of proposed laws) the likely effectiveness in meeting the government’s aims.
    and ensure that these assessments inform political decision-making

  • Devise and provide a training programme to develop the capacity of ministries to carry out impact assessments;

  • Develop guidelines for line ministries on the use of consultation as part of impact assessment procedures; and

  • Develop within the Latvian Government a core of expertise on impact assessment issues and on impact assessment training that will prove sustainable after the end of the project.


The following section sets out the activities to be carried out to achieve each objective, the associated outputs and indicators, and the approximate timing for each phase.



Objective C.1 Establish management and planning arrangements for project

Activities:

  • Agree membership of a Steering Committee of the key stakeholders within and outside the Latvian Government (including the State Chancellery, Ministry of Finance, the School of Public Administration and representative of NGO sector). Hold an early meeting to identify the main obstacles to the project, especially those of civil service culture, and how they may be overcome. Output: advice from Committee on addressing these problems. Indicator: records of meetings, containing clear and relevant advice.

  • Agreeing with the State Chancellery and other key stakeholders a ‘critical path’ of steps needed for the remaining phases of the project. Output: agreed critical path. Indicator: document setting out critical path, that is used by all involved in subsequent phases of the project.



  • Timing

    By the end of Month 1 of the project.


    Objective C.2 Establishing how impact assessment fits into the overall policy-making system

    Activities

    • Agreement between the State Chancellery, Ministry of Finance, consultants and others how impact assessment will inter-relate with the Government’s arrangements for policy making and coordination, including:

    • The relationship of impact assessment to annotations, policy planning, inter-ministry consultations, medium term budgeting, and pilot schemes to introduce strategic planning in ministries.

    • Which body or what mechanism will be responsible for oversight of the impact assessment arrangements and for ensuring that these exercises are carried out to an adequate standard ?

    • How and by what criteria will existing projects be selected for impact assessment?

    • What requirements will there be to carry out such assessments e.g. will ministries be required to undertake a specific number of ex post assessments each year?

    • What is the relationship between ex post and ex ante i.e. will ex post be required as a prelude to ex ante exercises?

    • What will be the relationship be between ex post impact assessment and the audit process within ministries?

    • What will be the relationship between impact assessment and the role of the Saeima in holding the government to account?

    • How to ensure that ex ante impact assessment begins at an early stage, so that it informs the analysis of the problem, rather than being carried out at the last moment, when it is simply a post hoc rationalisation of the recommendation

    • What mechanism for cooperation can be created between the Saeima and the Cabinet of Ministers to ensure that the full impacts of laws and amendments passed by the Saeima are made clear?

    • Agreement on the responsible body for management, oversight and quality control of policy impact assessment.


    Output: agreement on these arrangements. Indicator: document setting out agreed arrangements agreed by Steering Committee

    Timing

    This phase needs to be completed by the end of month 2 of the project.


    Objective C.3 Devise a system for impact assessment

    Activities


    • The creation of an overall procedure for the conduct of ex post and ex ante impact assessments within the government system, to include clarification of the role of the Policy Coordination Department of the State Chancellery. Output: written procedure. Indicator: procedure approved by members of the Steering Committee

    • Preparation of simple methodologies for conducting ex post and ex ante impact assessments. These will need to include guidance on how to quantify non-budgetary costs and benefits (e.g. the benefits of reducing pollution), and how to integrate such data into any comparative analysis of different policy options. Outcome: written methodologies. Indicator: procedure approved by members of the Steering Committee

    • Preparation of guidelines on the use of consultation to inform impact assessment, setting out in particular when consultation should be undertaken, what the obligations of the consulting ministry are (what information to provide, how long consultation should last), and how to use the data that the consultation yields. Output: written guidance. Indicator: procedure approved by members of the Steering Committee

    • Development of the mechanisms for involvement and consultation process with NGO sector in policy development process. Development of methodology and appropriate guidelines. Output: written procedure. Indicator: consultation mechanisms with NGO developed, documented, and fit into overall policy making.

    • A checklist of alternatives to legislation (better enforcement of existing laws, use of market mechanisms, etc) for use in the context of ex ante impact assessment. Output: checklist. Indicator: procedure approved by members of the Steering Committee

    • Compilation of these procedures and guidance into a relatively simple handbook for use in ministries. Output: handbook. Indicator: handbook approved by Steering Committee for circulation to ministries

    • Strengthening the capacity of the designated institution for the management, oversight and quality control of implementation of policy impact assessment in line ministries. Output: procedure and instruments for the management, oversight and quality control developed and appropriate training carried out.



    Timing

    This phase needs to be completed by the end of month 4 of the project (although the handbook may not be ready until the end of month 5).


    Objective C.4 Securing commitment from key stakeholders to the project.

    Activities:

    • Holding a retreat for State Secretaries, at which impact assessment will be explained and their support enlisted. Output: recommendation from State Secretaries to Cabinet that Ministers endorse the introduction of impact assessment. Indicator: clear statement of support from meeting, promulgated within Government machine by PCD.

    • Securing formal Government support for the introduction of an impact assessment system. Output: formal resolution from the Government. Indicator: text of resolution published and promulgated by State Chancellery.



    Timing

    Months 5-6.


    Objective C.5 Devise programmes of training and training materials

    Activities


    • Identify up to 20 local trainers, mainly from ministry staff. Output: list of trainers. Indicator: list approved by Steering Committee members.

    • Identify staff from ministries and other bodies to be trained. Output: list of staff. Indicator: list approved by members of Steering Committee.

    • Preparation of training programme for a generic course on ex post and ex ante impact assessment for line ministry staff. This will include details on structure, content, length, etc. Output: detailed training programme. Indicator: programme agreed by members of Steering Committee.

    • Preparation of training course outlines and materials for local trainers covering training skills and training in impact assessment, including practical example and exercises. Output: course programmes and materials. Indicator: programmes and materials available for use by trainers.


    • Timing

      This needs to be completed by the end of month 8 of the project. The identification of local trainers and staff to be trained started in January 2002; work on materials cannot begin until the system and methodologies are agreed, i.e. the end of month 4.


      Objective C.6 Trial methodologies and materials, and training of local trainers

      Activities
      [ul]
    • Training course for local trainers in impact assessment techniques and training skills delivered by external trainer. Testing of local trainers on their skills.

    • Methodologies, guidance, training courses and training materials revised in the light of feedback from participants.

    • Outputs: (a) training course delivered; (b) appraisal and revision of training materials. Indicator: revised materials available for use by local trainers.


    Timing

    By end of month 9


    Objective C.7 Deliver training to ministry staff


    • Each local trainer to develop from generic materials a case study or course materials appropriate to the context of their own ministry. External trainer to review these materials and to comment on them.

    • External trainer to attend first training course delivered by each local trainer to appraise and advise on their performance, and to certify local trainers.


    Local trainers deliver 2 day training courses to staff in ministries.

    Output: (a) delivery of courses of satisfactory standard by at least [12] suitably skilled local trainers; (b) assessments by consultants of adequacy of courses delivered by “trained trainers”; (c) certification by external trainer that these local trainers are suitably skilled. Indicator: Report to Steering Committee members stating (a) number of staff trained from each ministry, and (b) feedback on quality of training from external consultants and participants.

    Timing

    Months 10-15

    Objective C.8 Support impact assessment activities in ministries

    Activities


    • Establish network of trainers/advisers in ministries, coordinated by Policy Coordination Department, to provide ad hoc advice to individual ministries carrying out impact assessments for the first time, with some access to external consultancy. Output: useful and relevant advice. Indicator: assessment by ministry trainer/adviser and/or PCD of final quality of assessment prepared by Ministry.

    • Hold up to 8 seminars on specific issues or cross-sectoral issues for ministries requiring in-depth assistance in certain issues (with provision for external consultancy participation in up to four of these). Output: up to 8 seminars held. Indicator: assessment by ministry of usefulness of seminars.


    It is envisaged that the School of Public Administration will retain the function of providing the training to line ministries staff on policy impact assessment involving appropriate trainers (academia including) and keeping and updating the training materials.

    Timing

    At some point from month 9 onwards.


    Objective C.9 Review effectiveness of new arrangements and arrangements for their continuation after the end of the project

    Activities


    • PCD carries out survey through inter-ministerial network the number and quality of impact assessments carried out in each ministry in October/November 2003, and make recommendations for development and improvement. Output: improvement in impact assessment arrangements. Indicators: report to Steering Committee; implementation of Committee’s recommendations by State Chancellery.

    • Agreement between UNDP, State Chancellery and Ministry of Finance on arrangements to ensure that structures and centres of expertise exist to carry on impact assessment work after the project ends: allocation of responsibilities for oversight of system, checks on adequacy of assessments, training arrangements, etc. Output: satisfactory arrangements for continuing impact assessment work. Indicator: recommendations on post-project arrangements approved by Steering Committee and if appropriate State Secretaries.



    Timing

    Between October and December 2003.


    D. INPUTS AND MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS

    D.1. Executing Agency – the State Chancellery

    The State Chancellery will provide following inputs into the project:


    • Execution of the project according to the guidelines for National Execution

    • Appointment the National Project Director (for detailed description of the responsibilities of the NPD see Annex.2)

    • Opening of a separate bank account for advancement of funds and appoint the accountant responsible for financial administration of the account

    • Providing of the office space for the National Project Coordinator with an access to Internet and telephone line;

    • Providing office facilities and logistical support for external consultants working on the project

    • Taking steps to arrange all meetings and other events to ensure the engagement of ministers and senior officials in the project

    • Facilitating the contribution of the School of Public Administration to the project

    • Making arrangements for a secure and adequately funded institutional base for the continuation of the impact assessment system after the end of the project.




    D.2. The School of Public Administration:


    • Participating in the devising of the procedures, methodologies, training programmes and training materials for the project

    • Undertaking all arrangements for contracting of trainers, and organising training events

    • Making available training facilities for project’s purposes.




    D.3 Line Ministries:


    • Identifying staff to attend training and ensuring their attendance,

    • Implementing the impact assessment arrangements.



    D.4. UNDP

    UNDP will advance the funds to the State Chancellery as well as procure annual auditing services by an independent international auditing company.

    UNDP in close co-operation with the State Chancellery will be seeking additional donor cost-sharing for the project implementation. UNDP will provide individual donors with appropriate cost-sharing agreements and will provide donors with project Annual Reports containing information about project progress and achievements, including the financial reports.

    UNDP together with the implementing agency (the State chancellery) will provide donor visibility to the project through mass media and other sources. UNDP will participate in all project Steering committee meetings in the status of observers and will monitor the implementation of the project.

    UNDP together with the State Chancellery through an open completion will recruit the National Project Coordinator whose activities will be monitored by UNDP and supervised by the National Project Director (Terms of Reference of the National Project Coordinator is provided in Annex 1).



    At the request of, and in full consultation with, the Government, UNDP will provide support to the National Execution to the State Chancellery according to the inputs specified in the guidelines for the National Execution, specifically:

    Management oversight, specifically:


    • Project launching

    • Steering committee meetings

    • Monitoring the implementation of the work plan and timetable

    • Trouble shooting

    • Project document revision

    • Reviewing, editing, responding to reports

    • Technical backstopping

    • Policy negotiations

    • Operational completion activities


    Financial Management & Accountability, specifically


    • Advancing funds and monitoring expenditures

    • Assisting the Executing Agency in preparation of the required financial and other reports

    • Ensuring annual audits of NEX projects are completed and the audited financial statements together with the audit report reach UNDP headquarters (Office of Audit and Performance Review) no later than 30th April.

    • Budget Revisions

    • Financial completion activities: Ensuring projects are financially completed not more than 12 months after the date of operational completion by ensuring the final budget revision is promptly prepared and approved.



    UNDP will also ensure the link of the project technical assistance needs to appropriate international expertise that will be selected in close consultation with the State Chancellery and other counterparts as appropriate.


    D.5. Project Steering Committee (PSC)

    A Steering Committee is set up, consisting of the State Chancellery and its Policy Coordination Department, the School of Public Administration, NGO sector representative and UNDP. The Steering committee is a participatory consultative mechanism for reviewing the implementation of the project activities as well as body providing the strategic leadership and management of the project. The PSC will meet quarterly and will address issues of project funding as well as monitor overall project implementation and execution.


    D. 6. Project team shall consist of:


    • National Project Director (nominated by the State Chancellery)

    • National Project Coordinator

    • the relevant UNDP project manager

    • relevant staff of the State Chancellery

    • external consultants engaged by the UNDP after consultation with the State Chancellery

    • a representative of the School of Public Administration


    The Project team shall meet as necessary to review progress (including expenditure of resources) and agree the practical steps needed to carry the project forward.

    Overall supervision of, and responsibility for, the project shall lie with the UNDP Project Manager in consultation with the National Project Director.


    E. RISKS AND PRIOR OBLIGATIONS

    Factors that might put the project at risk are:


    • Failure of the Latvian Government at senior level – Ministers, or State Secretaries, or both – to provide commitment to the project; or make a formal commitment, but not support the project when it comes to implementation. The project can attempt to minimise this risk by attempting to engage the political and administrative leadership of the government in the earlier stages of the project, but as with all reform activities, it is impossible to insure entirely against this danger.

    • Changes of key personnel e.g. in the State Chancellery. For a variety of reasons, international financial institutions and donors are likely to urge the Government not to change key personnel, but the possibility cannot be ruled out.

    • Strong cultural resistance by ministries. The project will certainly face such resistance, and its entire strategy must include an element calculated to overcome it. It can most effectively be countered by engaging the support of the Cabinet of Ministers and State Secretaries, and by including in the training an element explaining the advantage of impact assessment. However, this is another area in which it is impossible to insure entirely against such risk factors.



    Prior obligations that must be accepted by the Latvian government are listed in the next section.


    G. MONITORING AND EVALUATION

    G.1 Monitoring by the Project Steering Committee

    The project will be executed nationally by the State Chancellery and monitored by the United Nations Development Program. The progress of the project will be guided by the Project Steering Committee through quarterly meetings. The steering committee mentioned above will be convened by the Project Director quarterly, to review the progress of the project, to approve future work plans, to verify that the project is conforming to the objectives set, and to advise on its future orientation.

    The main tasks of these reviews will be:

    a. to report on the execution and implementation of project activities, including financial administration of the project, by the Executing and Implementing Agencies;

    b. to assess and report on the quality of project activities and assistance provided and make recommendations thereof;

    c. to assess and report on the performance of all consultants;

    d. to assess the impact of the project on the development of an independent and effective court system in Latvia; and

    e. to make recommendations for ensuring the sustainability of the project outputs.


    These reports shall be circulated to all members of the project team and project steering committee.


    These reports shall include information on:


    • activities undertaken since the last report

    • progress against the stated objectives of the project

    • financial expenditure

    • planned activities and their expected contributions to meeting the project’s objectives

    • anticipated expenditure

    • proposed updating of the work plan and budget


    First Project Steering Committee meeting will convene following the signing of the Project Document. Its first task inter alia will be to approve project’s Logical Framework Matrix which will be project’s monitoring and evaluation tool as well as to revise and update the project’s Work Plan .


    G.2 Final Reviews

    After completion of the implementation of all project inputs, the project will be subject to an independent, external Final Evaluation. Costs associated with this evaluation are included in the project budget.

    The Final Evaluation will include three aspects: Financial Evaluation, Technical Evaluation, and Impact Appraisal. The Financial Evaluation will assess whether the financial inputs have been used effectively and according to UNDP rules and regulations and internationally accepted accounting standards. The Technical Evaluation will concentrate on the implementation of project activities; assess the effectiveness on how the tasks have been carried out and how outputs have been reached, and whether UNDP rules and regulations have been followed in this respect.

    The Impact Appraisal will assess what the concrete impact of the project has been and to what extent the immediate objectives have been reached.


    G.3 Auditing

    An independent auditing company will audit the project finances annually, at the end of each activity year of the project.


    H. LEGAL CONTEXT

    This Project Document shall be the instrument referred to as such in Article 1 of the Standard Basic Assistance Agreement between the Government of Latvia and the United Nations Development Program, signed by the parties on December 23, 1992. The host country executing agency shall, for the purpose of the Standard Basic Assistance Agreement, refer to the government cooperating agency described in that Agreement.

    The following types of revisions may be made to this Project Document with the signature of the UNDP Resident Representative only, provided that he is assured that the signatories of the project document have no objections to the proposed changes:


    • Revisions in, or addition to, any of the annexes of the project document;

    • Revisions which do not involve significant changes in the immediate objectives,outputs or activities of the project, but are caused by the rearrangement of inputs already agreed to or by cost increases due to inflation;

    • Mandatory budgetary annual revisions which re‑phase the delivery of agreed project inputs or increase expert or other costs due to inflation or take into account expenditure flexibility;

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