The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and its Consumer Interest Forum (CIF) are pleased to announce the launch of the ANSI Consumer Participation Fund, an initiative that seeks to mitigate financial barriers to consumer engagement in the voluntary consensus standards system.
Five founding contributors have joined ANSI in pledging commitments to seed the fund:
Consumer involvement in standards development is vital, not only for providing insights that can improve standards outcomes, but also to help assure the inclusiveness and integrity of the development process. Attracting and engaging consumers in this process often poses a challenge, and both consumer representatives and standards developers cite lack of funding as a crucial barrier to consumer participation in standards development activities.
“Greater participation by consumers in standards development activities has long been one of ANSI’s goals, and we hope that providing this much-needed funding for travel expenses and participation fees will have a significant impact in bringing these representatives into the process,” said S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI president and CEO. “On behalf of ANSI, its Board of Directors, and its Consumer Interest Forum, I’d like to express our gratitude to the current funders for supporting this initiative. I encourage other stakeholders to join us in backing this fund so that we can continue to bolster consumer participation in our community going forward.”
The initiative will begin with a 12-month pilot period. Funds raised during this pilot period will be available to consumers participating in or attending an activity related to the development of a new or revised American National Standard (ANS) sponsored by an ANSI-accredited standards developer. Applications for funding will be considered from both consumer advocacy or public interest organizations with an associated individual participating in a specific standards development activity, and individual consumer representatives with relevant experience participating in a specific standards development activity.
Consumers interested in learning more about how they can participate in the standards process, and get support from the fund if needed, can visit the ANSI consumer website.
ANSI is currently seeking funding from additional groups—including standards developing organizations, companies, consumer advocacy groups, and others—who wish to contribute to the Consumer Participation Fund in order to ensure its long-term sustainability. Interested stakeholders can contact Cleo Manuel Stamatos, ANSI’s consumer legislative outreach manager, at 202-756-9204 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations.
The Institute represents and serves the diverse interests of more than 270,000 companies and organizations and 30 million professionals worldwide. ANSI is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). For more information, visit www.ansi.org.