The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recently completed year two of its public-private partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) called the Standards Alliance. This milestone is marked with the publication of an annual report highlighting the activities and accomplishments during the 2014-2015 timeframe. This and previous annual reports are available on the program website.
First announced by USAID in November 2012, the Standards Alliance is a funding facility that provides technical assistance to developing countries, specifically related to implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barrier to Trade (TBT) Agreement. In May 2013, USAID and ANSI entered into a public-private partnership to coordinate subject matter experts from the private sector-led U.S. standardization system in the delivery of training and other technical assistance to Standards Alliance countries.
Examples of activities carried out in year two include:
EAC Workshop on TBT Notifications and Public Consultation (Tanzania, August 2014)
Training for Peruvian regulators on analytical tools for rulemaking (Peru, October 2014)
Training on conformity assessment for COPANT member countries (Mexico, November 2014)
North American Conference on Good Regulatory Practices (Mexico, December 2014)
Conference on Food Additives: A Global Perspective on Safety Evaluation and Use (El Salvador, January 2015)
Training on effective ISO participation for Lesotho, Malawi, and Zambia (Lesotho, April 2015)
Workshop on U.S. Automotive Standards and Technical Regulations conducted with ASEAN countries on the sidelines of APEC Automotive Dialogue (Philippines, April 2015)
U.S.-SADC Exchange on Good Regulatory Practices (South Africa, June 2015)
Through these and other activities, the Standards Alliance achieved concrete and positive results, including:
Publication of a Uniform Plumbing Code specific to Indonesia (UPC-ID) through an open, consensus process (March 2015)
A 28% increase in ISO participation, and at least one new p-member "twinning" arrangement
Nine new MOUs between Standards Alliance countries and U.S.-based standards developing organizations
An increase in WTO TBT notifications across several Standards Alliance countries
Effective facilitation of U.S. TBT-specific trade concerns through Standards Alliance events
The success of year two is due in part to the high level of involvement by the U.S. standards community. At least 20 ANSI members, including standards developers, conformity assessment bodies, government agencies, trade associations, and individual companies, were responsible for driving the content and results of the past year of Standards Alliance activities. This upward trend reflects a growing understanding for the business and policy benefits of this type of engagement.
Call for Proposals for Year-Three Activities
To further boost this involvement, ANSI is issuing a call for proposals for year three of the Standards Alliance. Proposals may come from ANSI members or other private-sector organizations interested in supporting cooperation and capacity building in the areas of standards development, technical regulations, good regulatory practice, and conformity assessment.
Interested organizations are invited to download the background document and template proposal, available here, which includes information about selection criteria and the timeline for review of proposals. The first stage in the process will be to submit a 1-to-2 page concept paper to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 30. Selected activities will be included in the relevant work plans for 2016 or later.For more information about the Standards Alliance, please see http://standardsalliance.ansi.org or contact Leslie McDermott, senior manager of international development, at email@example.com.