The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), through its public-private partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) called the Standards Alliance, organized a two-day training in Lusaka, Zambia, on July 19 - 20. The event, titled "Evidence-based Regulatory Decision Making: the role of RIA and Public Consultation," was co-hosted by Zambia's Business Regulatory Review Agency (BRRA). Training focused on promoting the use of regulatory impact analysis (RIA) in the Zambian regulatory system and providing practical training for Zambian regulators on RIA implementation.
The training included 28 Zambian regulators and 5 members of BRRA. Presentations by U.S. and Zambian participants included those from the Grocery Manufacturer's Association (GMA), National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), Regulatory Strategies and Solutions Group (RSS Group), International Air Transport Association (IATA), BRRA, Zambian National Water Supply and Sanitation Council, Zambian Water Resources Management Authority, Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation, and Zambia Railways Limited. The presentations supported the Zambian government's ongoing emphasis on RIA and provided an opportunity for Zambian regulators to improve their agencies' regulatory review processes and procedures by emphasizing evidence-based decision making and stakeholder engagement.
An evening ceremony promoting the release of the Zambian "RIA Handbook" and the "RIA Standards and Guidelines" by Permanent Secretary Kayula Siame of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, and Industry, emphasized the importance of harmonizing RIA standards and guidelines across Zambian regulatory agencies. The handbook and guidelines describe the legal underpinnings and detail the processes and procedures for RIA in Zambia. These documents are now available in hard copy and will soon be available online.
HISTORY of BRRA
In 2014, Zambia passed national legislation establishing a centralized regulatory review agency, the Business Regulatory Review Agency (BRRA) and requiring the use of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) and public consultation for all new regulations - the first law of its kind in Africa. As the Government of Zambia works to implement the law's mandate, the Standards Alliance is providing capacity-building assistance to support the ongoing work of BRRA to advance the use of good regulatory practices within its regulatory system.
ANSI and BRRA held an initial workshop in May 2017, which was focused on the fundamentals of RIA and the role of the private sector in regulatory decision making with over 50 participants from the Zambian government, the U.S., and the Zambian private sector. Following this workshop, BRRA and ANSI agreed to develop an additional Standards Alliance training to promote the use of RIA in Zambia and as a practical training for Zambian regulators on the technical details of RIA implementation.
RIA offers the means to improve regulatory decision making and practices. It involves a systematic appraisal of the costs and benefits associated with a proposed new regulation and evaluation of the performance of existing regulations. Practices that can be further supported through public consultations and private sector inputs. These improvements will support Zambia's continued forward momentum by increasing regulatory efficiency, decreasing costs, and saving time. Additionally, these aspects will help to spur foreign investment as they make the Zambian market more predictable, transparent, and attractive for bilateral trade and investment.
The agenda, presentations, and photos from the workshop are available on the Standards Alliance webpage. For more information on the Standards Alliance and standards activities in West Africa, visit standardsalliance.ansi.org.