The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), in coordination with the Business Regulatory Review Agency of Zambia (BRRA) and the Zambian Ministry of Commerce, Trade, and Industry (MCTI), co-hosted an intensive five-day training workshop on regulatory impact analysis. The event, entitled "Evidence-Based Regulatory Decision-Making: Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) 'Training of Trainers Workshop," took place on May 13-17, 2019, in Livingstone, Zambia. This is the third RIA capacity-building workshop organized by the Standards Alliance Program in Zambia.
The workshop was designed to promote the concept of RIA as a decision-making tool, which is used to appraise the potential impacts of new and existing regulations or policy options on businesses and foreign investment in Zambia. It provided systematic training to government regulators and trainers on the essential requirements for performing RIA and highlighted training strategies and methods for participants to best train their colleagues. The workshop training helped to ensure that at least one or two government representatives at each agency were familiar with RIA concepts and capable of defining a regulatory problem and establishing baseline criteria for what regulations should be subject to RIA in Zambia.
Approximately 70 participants from various Zambian ministries and U.S. and international organizations attended the event, including expert speakers Brandon De Bruhl, U.S. Office of Management and Budget-Office of Internal Regulatory Affairs (OMB-OIRA); Nathan Frey, RSS Group; Kees Jonkheer, Jonkheer Consulting; Dr. Roy A. Swift, WorkCred; and Linda Boden, National Board of Trade Sweden.
Experts provided various presentations and interactive sessions to bolster participants' understanding and use of international best practices in performing RIAs in their various roles as Zambian regulators. Additionally, targeted group exercises provided hands-on guidance and opportunities for participants to critically analyze existing RIA reports in Zambia. These sessions emphasized practical training on how to write and structure an RIA report, gather qualitative and quantitative data from relevant stakeholders, conduct consultations, and effectively utilize cost-benefit and cost-effective analysis.
Since 2017, ANSI and BRRA have collaborated on a robust work stream of activities to further strengthen and institutionalize RIA in Zambia. In April 2017, ANSI and BRRA held an awareness-building event to introduce the fundamental concepts of RIA as well as to highlight the value and importance of well-developed regulation to support trade and investment. Building on successes from the first activity, ANSI and BRRA hosted a three-day training for regulators in July 2018. The event promoted the use of RIA as an essential component of Zambia's regulatory infrastructure and provided the country's first practical training for conducting RIA. BRRA and MCTI released the Regulatory Impact Assessment Handbook for Regulatory Agencies and Public Bodies in Zambia during the training.
The handbook, which was developed by BRRA, is a blueprint for Zambian public bodies and regulatory agencies to use as a guide when undertaking RIA in the policy and legislation-making process. The RIA handbook features five chapters and provides a step-by-step guide on how to effectively conduct RIA. The overriding aim of the RIA handbook is to ensure that any regulatory agency conducting an RIA does so in accordance with the Business Regulatory Act, 2014, and the Standards and Guidelines issued by BRRA.
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.
RIA offers a 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. Improvements to practices that can increase openness, balance, due process, transparency, and consensus, like public consultation and private sector engagement, will help support Zambia's economic trajectory by increasing regulatory efficiency and boosting investor confidence, decreasing costs, building trust in government institutions, and saving time. Additionally, these aspects will help to spur foreign investment as the Zambian market becomes 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. More information on the two past RIA workshops is available on ANSI.org:
Workshop on Regulatory Impact Analysis on Zambia
Standards Alliance Organizes Second Regulatory Impact Analysis Training in Zambia
For more information on the Standards Alliance and standards activities in West Africa, visit standardsalliance.ansi.org.