Strengthening Evaluation Culture with Legislators in Times of Crisis: Mexico

Strengthening Evaluation Culture with Legislators in Times of Crisis: Mexico 

The CLEAR LAC training team offered the course Use of Information and Evidence for Legislative Decision Making for 20 parliamentarians and 20 advisers of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies. This Chamber is the highest budgetary authority in the Mexican government as it approves the federal budget on a yearly basis. The course was tailored for deputies who partake in the Surveillance Commission of the Federal Superior Auditor.  

The Mexican political system is going through a period of deep change that has disrupted its policy pathway. The new administration has enforced harsh austerity measures by cutting off the budget from several institutions and previous administrations’ flagship programs, as an effort to fight corruption.   

The courses' objective was to present evidence from evaluations as a reliable tool for policy budgeting and supervision and to nudge legislators to use evidence the next time a cut-off proposal is put forward or before approving the federal budget. To that end, trainers prepared hands-on presentations and activities that allowed the deputies and the advisers to interact with evidence. During the last session, Deputy Ruth Salinas said that the course should be delivered to all representatives before taking their seats in the Chamber. The Surveillance Commission asked CLEAR LAC for a second course to deepen their understanding of evidence use in the legislative branch.   

The COVID-19 pandemic and its social and economic implications are putting the Mexican public budget under great stress. CLEAR LAC holds that policy evaluation is a very important tool for learning and innovation in adverse contexts. Capacity-building activities with deputies contribute to underpinning a much-needed evaluation culture for troubled times.