3.10. Recommendations - Assisting use of DIAL by DMC users
The main priority, and cost involved, in ongoing development of Project DIAL
and in any follow-on RETA will be at the `supplier end', the development and
maintenance of the DIAL facilities. These factors are considered in more detail
in the following Chapters.
Separate consideration must be give to what steps the Bank and interested DMC
governments could take (within justifiable cost limits) at the `user end', in
order to facilitate effective usage of the DIAL facilities by their intended
audiences. The maximum utility from the development of the DIAL facilities will
be obtained if potential users in the widest range of DMCs have sufficient
access to the Internet and understand how to make the most effective use of the
We assume that it would not be possible at this stage for the Bank to provide
specific assistance in DIAL access and use to every DMC, due to the costs
involved and the early stage of the Project. However, it would be valuable to
develop a model for effective DIAL access in a selection of DMCs, as this would
provide a number of benefits:
- It would allow testing within a number of DMCs of the most effective ways
to encourage use of DIAL, including obtaining feedback on its contents and
features from DMC users.
- It would allow user guides, training materials and training techniques to
be developed for DIAL and tested with DMC target audiences. These materials
could then be made available to all DMC users (and other users), including
provision via the internet.
- It would give the Bank a basis for considering whether any broader RETA
concerning DIAL access and training might be justifiable at a later stage.
survey respondents identified communications costs as the main potential
impediment to DIAL access, it may not be sensible to make this a high priority
in expenditure of Project DIAL funds. There is obviously a limit to the extent
to which the Bank could or should underwrite internet access costs in DMC
law-related Ministries, in order to further the aims of this Project. The costs
of underwriting access in any open-ended way would be unpredictable, and the
costs of internet access are small compared with the potential benefits that
Project DIAL can deliver. It would also be very difficult and unduly intrusive
to ensure on an ongoing basis that Internet usage was for DIAL use.
- As part of any follow-on RETA, a component should be included to assist
use of DIAL by the target audiences in a selection of DMCs.
- The same seven DMCs included in the DIAL feasibility study should be
considered for selection, but other factors may justify the choice of
additional or different countries.
Governments in DMCs are likely to provide computing facilities and Internet
access to legislation officials for a range of reasons and potential uses, with
the use of Project DIAL facilities being only one of many potential uses. Users
will make the best use of Project DIAL if use of the Internet becomes a routine
part of their working lives, not something divorced from normal routine. It
would therefore usually be extremely difficult to assess to what extent the
provision of any computing facilities, or communications costs, could be
attributed to DIAL use. In addition, telecommunications costs are generally
declining around the world, and this element is likely to be less of an
impediment to access in future.
The provision of effective access to the Internet for legislation officials is
the most tangible indication that a DMC government can give that it wishes to
make use of Project DIAL. It can be seen as that country's contribution which
helps justify the cost (to the Bank or other funding bodies) of provision of
assistance in DIAL training, and (perhaps) admission of that country's
officials as Authorised Users of DIALogue.
a country has provided Internet access to officials, provision of various forms
of training in Project DIAL use, should form part of the Project priorities.
Various forms of training are possible, and it is probable that a mix of forms
should be supported, depending on available funds. It is possible that DMC
governments would be willing to pay for some training, but it is equally
reasonable for the Bank or funding bodies to bear some of this cost.
The most obvious and probably most cost-effective form of training, given the
nature of the subject matter, is training delivered via the Internet. This will
also support all other forms of training that may be considered, and make them
- The provision of computing equipment and telecommunications costs by the
Bank should be a low priority in funding a follow-on RETA.
- If funding is provided, the best form of funding would be a fixed amount
per country for internet access charges to help underwrite the cost of training
of the primary audience in that country (legislative officials) in DIAL use.
Such funding should be provided on the basis of an appropriate agreement with
the relevant agency in that country to assist in encouraging DIAL use. A sum of
US $5,000 or less per country should be sufficient for this purpose.
One element of such training, accessible to any users of DIAL, is the type of
interactive `study guide' of which a simple example is provided in the
interactive hypertext Guided Tour of Project DIALhttp://www.austlii.edu.au/au/special/dial/tour.html].
On-line tutorials on use of the AustLII system are also under developmenthttp://avoca.austlii.edu.au/~dan/tutorials/].
A more effective but more resource-intensive method of providing Internet-based
training is to offer a course running for some weeks where a hypertext study
guide is supplemented by e-mail contact between students and teacher, and
possibly an e-mail discussion group open only to the students in the group.
Students can then be required to do research exercises, and have group
discussions of any problems they encounter. It would be possible to offer such
a course to 40 or more legislation officials from DMCs at a time. Models for
such forms of teaching are availablehttp://www2.austlii.edu.au/itlaw/].
Since such courses involve no travel costs for either teacher or students, and
can be done `out of hours' at times of the student's choosing, there are
significant cost advantages. However, the required teaching resources are
significant, and the highest priority for such courses would be `train the
trainer' courses, where those who are admitted to the course have made a
commitment to `on-training' of other legislation officials in their country in
Project DIAL use.
There is a valuable potential symbiosis with the DIALogue facility, if anyone
who had completed such a course then became an Authorised User of DIALogue, so
that the DIALogue facility can become one of the ways in which they maintained
their `DIAL expertise'.
If a DMC is undertaking some form of systematic training of legal officials,
then it may be sensible to consider providing DIAL training as part of this.
This may involve an expert in DIAL research travelling to the location where
the training course is taking place in order to give a few days intensive
training courses. Those trained could then be required to do follow-up training
Another alternative, but more expensive for either DMC governments or funding
bodies, is to bring key officials from a range of countries to a central
location (such as the Bank, or the location of the DIAL facilities) for group
training. The highest priority should be `train the trainer' courses, rather
than high level `end users'. Again, those trained could then be required to do
follow-up training via Internet.
The International Development Law Institute (IDLI), based in Rome and the
Philippines, runs regular training for lawyers from developing countries, and
it could be very valuable if courses on Internet legal research and DIAL use
were included in its programmes.
The parties best placed to develop and deliver training, at least in the first
instance, will be those who are operating the DIAL facility. Whichever mix of
training options is chosen , it seems that the development of training
resources and delivery of training will be a substantial part of the task of
those operating the ongoing DIAL facilities.
any follow-on RETA it will be necessary to choose one or more agencies in each
selected DMC to whom assistance and training will be provided, as it will not
be possible to provide training to all agencies involved in the drafting and
reform of legislation.
- In any follow-on RETA, provision should be made for some training of
primary audience users in selected DMCs.
- The party that operates the permanent DIAL facility should also have a
major role in development and delivery of training in Project DIAL use.
- The training facilities that are developed should include both on-line
training via the Internet, and face-to-face course, and should include the two
methods in combination.
- A priority should be given to `train the trainer' courses, where those DMC
officials who receive DIAL training have made some commitment to `pass on' that
training to other users in their country.
- Any subsequent development of the DIALogue facilities should include
provision for those who receive DIAL training to become Authorised Users of
DIALogue, so that the DIALogue Discussion facility (in particular) can develop
(in part) as a forum on the effective use of the DIAL research facilities.
- Where the Bank has a role in the provision of training for legislative or
judicial officials from DMCs, consideration should be given to inclusion of a
component on use of DIAL in that training.
- The Bank should seek cooperation from other organisations that provide
training for legislative or judicial officials from DMCs to consider inclusion
of a component on use of DIAL in that training.
- In any follow-on RETA the Bank should make provision for the DIAL
facilities to at least be publicised to the secondary audiences in DMCs, even
though the provision of training to those diverse audiences would be impractical.
One strategy for well-targeted publicity and/or training concerning Project
DIAL may be to identify one such `key legislation agency' for each country, and
to encourage that agency to become expert in locating and using foreign law
resources on the Internet, and to encourage other Ministries involved in the
drafting and reform of legislation to also use these resources.
Potential `key legislation agencies' to participate in this aspect of Project
DIAL include the State Secretariat in Indonesia, the Ministry of Justice in
Vietnam, the Ministry of Law and Justice in Pakistan, the Ministry of Law and
Justice in India, and the Bureau of Legislation Affairs in China.
In keeping with the previous discussion and recommendations, it should be a
condition of the choice of agency for involvement in this aspect of the project
that it makes some commitment to the provision of internet access costs for its
legislative staff, and that it has some willingness to communicate and
encourage DIAL use among other legislative officials in the country.
However, the interest, capacity and suitability of any particular agency to be
involved in any follow-on RETA cannot be decided in advance of further
information about an agency and discussions with it, so it would be unwise to
specify at the outset the agencies to offered involvement.
- One `key legislation agency' should be chosen for each selected DMC in the
- It should be a condition of the choice of agency that it make some
commitment to the provision of internet access costs for its legislative staff,
and that it has some willingness to communicate and encourage DIAL use among
other legislative officials in the country.