Improving EAC Health Care Provision through Evidence Based Legislation
15 Feb 2010, 09:00
The training workshop was attended by 30 participants being Members of Parliament from the EALA General Purposes Committee, Members of Parliament Chairpersons of Committees responsible for Health and Staff of Parliament from the Legal Counsels from the Parliaments of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
1-5 February 2010, Kampala Uganda
The workshop was opened by the Chair of the General Purposes Committee, Hon Lydia Wanyoto-Mutende who emphasied the need for closer collaboration between EALA and the national parliaments in implementing EALA passed legislation. Acknowledging the fact that whatever legislation passed by EALA cuts across the border and therefore it is critical that discussions on health issues be done collaboratively. The training workshop was designed to:
As participants went through the four steps of the Institutionalist Legislative Theory and Methodology (ILTAM) methodology discussions ensued around whether it is feasible to implement such a research extensive methodology given the current environment prevailing in East Africa.
Participants raised issues around the lack of resources both financial and human to conduct adequate research, the urgent need to implement laws to solve problems affecting the region, and also analysed how the methodology would fit in with the various methods of gathering evidence currently being used in parliament such as public hearings and constituency meetings.
Participants appreciated the usefulness of conducting research to inform the development of legislation, and called for more and increased capacity resident within the region to support the conducting of research that will be accessible to Parliaments both at national and regional levels. Participants expressed appreciation at the fact that they now had skills to assess and analyse bills. Most participants found the training useful and non technical providing them with the opportunity to reflect on the lawmaking process and how to improve already existing systems.
Members of Parliament present at the training felt that they could now identify the gaps in the legislation they had previously drafted , and that they would from then henceforth have tools to assist them in playing their oversight and law making role more effectively. However they felt a lot more capacity was needed to assist them institutionalise the process at both EALA and at the national parliaments.
Recommendations made at this workshop include the acknowledgement of the need to develop the research and training capacity of EALA staff and Members, increased collaboration with APKN in its activities. The members of staff present felt it was necessary to establish a network of parliamentary drafters and legal counsels to be hosted by APKN. Participants also agreed that the APKN Law Clinics would now be more meaningful and that the future participants would be more engaged and made firm commitment to effectively participate during the APKN Law Clinics to be carried out in collaboration with the Boston University School of Law in the second semester of 2010.
UN/DESA reiterated its commitment to support the Africa Parliamentary Knowledge Network and specifically the working group on Legislation through its project the Africa i-Parliament Action Plan.