EPE TIG Week: Michel Ehrlich on Monitoring Legislation

My name is Michel Ehrlich and I am the Publisher of EU Issue Tracker. We provide regulatory monitoring and tracking services, looking at European Union (EU) regulation and policy, and we cover several major policy areas including Environment, Energy, Transport, and others.

There are, of course, a large number of people, in a wide variety of organizations, who need to know what is coming at them in the ever-changing regulatory environment. What we are constantly seeing is that one of the challenges many people face is how to extract the specific policy knowledge that they need from what can look like an unmanageable tidal wave of raw information. There is the question of “where to begin,” but also the question of “how to continue” in the face of the unceasing flood of information.

Hot Tip: We recommend to our clients a strategy of scan-and-prioritize. Do not try to achieve a complete, in-depth mastery of every regulatory initiative that might be of some conceptual relevance. Rather, you need to be able to quickly survey the horizon and identify the top issues that you absolutely need to focus on, and prioritize your time on those. For the rest, keep an eye on them, but don’t invest large amounts of time on them unless one (or more) of them suddenly evolves into a high priority issue (for example, as a result of a radical amendment of a legislative proposal mid-way through the process).

Hot Tip: Organize, analyze, and summarize. To be in a position to scan and prioritize effectively, you must first impose some structure on the mass of information. But in fact, you are not imposing the structure, you are discovering it; you need to sort out the various distinct policy initiatives from each other. Then analyze each of those initiatives, and based on the analysis, summarize what they mean for you. Working from summaries rather than the original policy documents produced by the regulating authorities is going to be a big time saver.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Earthweek with our colleagues in the Environmental Program Evaluation AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our EPE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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