Evaluation and Oversight
Evaluation and oversight examines how a law is working, for whom, and at what cost. Although Congress has extensive oversight responsibilities, public participation in this stage of the legislative process is limited. With new technology, however, a watchful community can improve the outcomes of lawmaking by collectively monitoring the outcomes and impact of legislation. This participatory evaluation approach is also referred to as “social auditing” or “civic auditing”. Resident engagement in this stage is used to monitor the outcomes and evaluate the impact of laws on the overall well-being of the community. For example, the Promise Tracker campaign to monitor school lunch quality in Brazil has achieved success by inviting residents to use mobile phones to verify if lunches met program standards. At this stage, online participation gives lawmakers the potential to enhance accountability.Read More
- Online social auditing
- Online social auditing is the use of technology to engage the public in collectively monitoring and evaluating the effects of policies and laws. The use of technology has two key benefits. First, it can scale participation in periodic evaluations by drawing on a wider range of expert analysis and the collective experience of those affected by a policy or law to inform future policy formulation. Second, it can enable effects to be monitored in real time to improve existing service delivery.
- Evaluación De La Ley collects the opinion of Chileans regarding the application of pre-existing laws and policies. Citizens and social groups can can express their opinions, share information, make suggestions and raise their concerns regarding the law in evaluation. These comments can be submitted online and/or face-to-face in meetings facilitated by the Law Evaluation Department in the Chamber of Deputies.
- About the interviewee:
- Maryan Henriques is Research Coordinator in the Law Evaluation Department for the Chamber of Deputies of Chile, where she heads multidisciplinary team in the research process for the ex-post evaluation of laws. She has been with the Law Evaluation Department for nearly 7 years, acting as a researcher from 2012-2015 before becoming Research Coordinator. An established writer, she actually began her career as a journalist within the Chamber of Deputies before working with the publication El Observador shortly. She has also published several academic pieces of literature.
- The Science and Technology Committee of the United Kingdom’s Parliament launched the Evidence Check programme in 2016 to ascertain “what evidence underpins which policy in specific areas, how robust that evidence is, what the gaps are, and to determine how closely based on the evidence policies are.” An evidence check can be called for on a particular topic. For instance, the program has invited individuals and organizations to provide evidence underlying proposed policies on topics ranging from gender wage gaps to healthcare technology. The program uses a basic web forum to collect submissions and evidence from contributors, once the forum is closed to submissions the committee publishes next steps on the issue.
- About the interviewee:
- Tom Shane is a Content Strategist working at the UK House of Commons. He leads a small team that specializes in digital engagement, bringing in user generated content to inform the scrutiny of government, enhance democratic engagement, and to communicate the messages of House of Commons Select Committees. The work of Tom and his team is driving digital innovation in an historic institution, effecting change within a complex, multi-stakeholder environment.
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