Independent technical review of policy impact assessments can play an important role in supporting learning and improvement of assessments over time. Reviews can also help to enhance transparency, trust and confidence in the implementation of policies, and the reporting of their impacts. The Technical Review Guide helps policymakers and technical reviewers engage in productive reviews that enhance policy assessments.

The Technical Review Guide provides guidance for planning and conducting technical reviews. The guide outlines three different approaches for review and provides guidance on selecting the most appropriate type of review. The elements that define a credible review and the steps to follow when pursuing or conducting a review are discussed.

The guide is applicable to impact assessments that have followed the key recommendations approach.

Executive summary

Chapter

1

What is the guide and why should I use it?

This chapter explains the role technical review can play in supporting learning and improvement of impact assessments over time. Reviews can also help to enhance transparency, trust and confidence in the implementation of policies and actions and reporting of their impacts. This chapter should be read to understand whether to use the guide.

Chapter

2

Key concepts, steps and principles of technical review

This chapter introduces key concepts contained in the guide, provides an overview of the steps involved in the technical review of assessment reports, and outlines the principles to help guide the technical review.

Chapters

3 & 4

Overview of technical review

This section describes the three approaches for conducting technical review provided in the guide and helps the user select the type of technical review that fits their objectives. Chapter 4 provides guidance to the user and technical reviewer on the qualifications that are important to have in a technical review team.

Chapter

5

How to determine the objectives, criteria, scope and type of technical review

This chapter helps users determine what their objectives are for technical review. Technical reviews are structured to meet the specific objectives of the user. They can focus on learning and improvement, increasing transparency of reported impact assessments, or both. Determining the technical review objectives is an important first step, since the design of the technical review will be guided by the identified objectives. Once the objectives are established, the appropriate criteria, scope and type of technical review can be determined.

Chapters

6 & 7

How to prepare for and plan the technical review

Chapter 6 helps the user to prepare the information and evidence necessary for the technical review. Guidance is also provided to the reviewer for preparing a proposal for the review and to the user for selecting a reviewer. Chapter 7 provides guidance to both the user and reviewer as technical review planning is a joint effort. The user’s objectives, as well as the established criteria and scope of the review, inform the reviewer’s activities and schedule.

Chapter

8

How to conduct technical review

This chapter provides guidance on conducting technical review in accordance with the technical review plan. Guidance is provided for conducting a desk review to evaluate whether the assessment report is consistent with the criteria upon which the assessment was based, as well as for undertaking a field visit to support the review.

Chapter

9

How to report on technical review

Reporting on the technical review process and results provides users and stakeholders with assurance that the technical review plan has been followed and explains and justifies any changes made to the assessment report as a result of the technical review. Technical review reports also document the areas of an assessment report that could be strengthened, thereby contributing to enhanced future assessments. Reporting on technical review combined with reporting on the impacts of the policy can further build support for the policy, among the public, specific stakeholder groups and donors. This chapter discusses the information that is recommended to be included in a technical review report and an assessment report regarding the technical review.

Glossary, references and contributors

This section contains the glossary, abbreviations and acronyms, references and contributors.

List of key recommendations

This is a summary of the key recommendations provided throughout the guide.