Integrating the policy agendas of Better Regulation and Sustainable Development in Regulatory Impact - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – Integrating the policy agendas of Better Regulation and Sustainable Development in Regulatory Impact PowerPoint presentation | free to view - id: 14be1a-YjA1Z


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

Integrating the policy agendas of Better Regulation and Sustainable Development in Regulatory Impact


Integrating the policy agendas. of Better Regulation. and ... conflict moderation. social and ... or values in a process pre-structured by experts or ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:33
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 39
Provided by: michals1


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Integrating the policy agendas of Better Regulation and Sustainable Development in Regulatory Impact

Integrating the policy agendas of Better
Regulation and Sustainable Development in
Regulatory Impact Assessment
  • Michal Sedlacko
  • Research Institute for Managing Sustainability
  • WU Vienna

A short terminological note
  • policy appraisal as the framing term RIA, SIA,
    evaluation (Turnpenny et al, 2009)
  • sub-field of public policy or a sub-field of
    evaluation research?
  • performance of appraisal systems judged on a
    number of criteria deregulation, compliance
    costs, better regulation, sustainable development
    (sustainability appraisals)

SD Governance and good governance
The governance background
  • normative concepts
  • good governance ? better regulation ? RIA
  • sustainable development
  • other governance dimensions
  • knowledge-based governance
  • multi-level governance
  • network governance and new governance
  • deliberative governance
  • governance by evaluation

Governance for SD 1
  • The major governance challenges raised in Agenda
  • Integrating environment and development in
    decision-making (chapter 8)
  • Increasing the coherence of policies between
    different jurisdictions (chapters 8, 38f)
  • Strengthening the Role of Major Groups such as
    local authorities, workers or businesses (Section
  • Facilitating a long-term strategic perspective
    (chapter 8 and throughout the document)
  • Achieving all this by utilizing different types
    of information and knowledge for decision-making
    (chapters 35, 40)

Governance for SD 2
Linking principles of SD to good governance
Linkage at EU level
  • ECs impact assessment
  • a full IA is now required for all items in the
    Commissions Legislative and Work Programme
  • pursues objectives of better regulation
    necessity, efficiency, effectiveness, openness...
  • fosters horizontal policy integration and policy
    coherence as well as deliberation impacts in the
    economic, environmental and social domains,
    examines possible synergies and trade-offs
  • many shortcomings and slow improvement

Governance by evaluation
  • Multiple types of appraisals around the policy
    cycle, with varying roles of the evaluator
  • needs assessment, feasibility assessment, RIA,
    various IAs, accompanying evaluation, ex post
    evaluation, value-for-money studies etc.
  • Able to provide
  • legitimisation and justification of costs
  • conflict moderation
  • social and policy learning
  • However, neither procedurally co-ordinated nor
    having equal legal footing, no overall framework
  • New style of policy-making?

A brief introduction to regulatory impact
The RIA tool
  • RIA is a process that accompanies (and to some
    extent structures) policy development and
    supports decision-making
  • however, can be used also for regulation already
    in place (ad interim, ex post)
  • typically conducted by administrative staff
    (planners) and attached to the regulative
    proposal when submitted to governmental debate or
  • numerous forms of output explanatory memoranda
    attached to legislative proposals, impact
    analyses, background studies, justification
    reports attached to policy proposals, fiscal

Where does RIA come from?
  • quantification of administrative burdens of
    implementation, monetization of financial impacts
    on the state budget
  • technical assessment procedures (EIA, HIA, risk
    assessment) and their move upstream
  • good governance principles

current conception of RIA
RIA and regulation development
  • where is the border between RIA and policy
  • tasks such as problem definition, analysis,
    consultation, setting up of monitoring
    mechanisms, communication etc. are all to some
    extent already present in and understood as part
    of policy development
  • RIA becomes distinct through the examination of
  • RIA should integrate (not duplicate) existing
    procedures into one coherent process

Pros and cons
  • Many advantages
  • better regulation
  • streamlined, formalised procedures
  • can ensure that all major interests compete on a
    level playing field (Radaelli, 2007)
  • fit into administrative culture enables to
    explore preferences between competing groups and
    regulators (who wants what)
  • receiving a lot of attention, especially at the
    EU level

Pros and cons
  • Risks and challenges
  • practicality vs. complexity having to deal with
    non-linear, indeterminate processes and complex
    causal chains and at the same time provide usable
    knowledge to decision-makers
  • sensitive to timing and political will
  • risk of strategic use
  • requires capacity
  • danger of formalism (then the meat is going to
    take place elsewhere)
  • institutional challenges stemming from
    cross-sectoral nature

Lessons from evaluation research
Purposes of an evaluation
  • Substantive rationales (Vedung, 1997)
  • internal and/or external accountability
  • basic knowledge advancement
  • intervention improvement
  • Strategic rationales (Suchman, 1972 Vedung,
  • posture
  • postponement
  • eye-wash
  • ducking responsibility

The accountability purpose
  • accountability whether what was supposed to be
    done was done (summative function)
  • internal elected politicians hold the
    administration responsible for its actions
  • external citizens (or clients) hold elected
    politicians and their agents responsible for
    their actions
  • aspects of accountability (Rossi Freeman,
    1989) legal a., fiscal a., delivery a., coverage
    a., impact a., efficiency a.
  • the purpose of accountability to external parties
    calls for an external evaluation (greater
    credibility as objective procedures)
  • high risk that internal evaluator would focus on
    components that work well be reluctant to reveal
    negative results perform deceptive balancing
    (playing field for strategic behaviour)
  • external evaluator has more expertise and
    experience is less afraid of job loss has a
    reputation to care for

The improvement purpose
  • go/no-go, live-or-die decisions are relatively
    rare (due to vested interests) and therefore
    evaluation is rather used for improvement (Weiss,
    1972), i.e. formative function
  • evaluation should be internally conducted
  • evaluation is quick to initiate
  • achieves rapid learning (done by the same people)
  • there is no-one to conceal findings from
  • sound methodology is less important
  • better access to people
  • deeper understanding
  • the evaluator can facilitate implementation

The knowledge purpose
  • learning a meta-evaluation is an evaluation of
    one or more evaluations that intends to
    systematically establish their value and merit
    (Widmer, 2005)
  • primary potential audience (the users) are
    typically the evaluation community, academic
    researchers, public policy and administration
    institutes etc.
  • done externally by universities or research
    institutes (although can also be conducted

A case for theory-based evaluation
  • there is too little examination as to how the
    proposed regulation will be applied, enforced and
    monitored in practice
  • ? the evaluators need to
  • push the regulators to elaborate the regulation
    proposal in more detail
  • make the implicit assumptions and ideas of the
    regulators explicit ? theory-based evaluation

How sustainable development affects appraisals
Reflection of SD in appraisal 1
  • assessing and aggregating impacts occurring in
    multiple domains (holistic approach)
  • technical incommensurability
  • weak or strong sustainability? (substitutability
    of individual forms of capital)
  • variety of data collection methods
  • participatory observation, focus groups,
    elicitation of preferences through economic
    methods, mixed qualitative/quantitative designs
  • acknowledgement of values (SD is a normative
  • long-term designs (long-term impacts)
  • perspective in many ways radically different from
    mainstream economics (limits to growth, human
    wellbeing, rationality of economic agents)
  • indirect impacts

Reflection of SD in appraisal 2
  • different and non-reducible viewpoints
  • social incommensurability, weak comparability of
  • concern for public/stakeholder participation and
  • wider range of stakeholders involved in data
    collection or consultations
  • deeper involvement of stakeholders, up to the
    point of stakeholders framing the issues of
    relevance empowerment
  • dealing with different types of information
  • facts and values, quantitative and qualitative,
    expert and lay knowledge, insights and judgements
  • dealing with different territorial and temporal
    scales of ecosystems and social structures and
  • dealing with complexity and uncertainty shift
    from substantive rationality to procedural
    rationality and learning

SMCE/MSIA cutting-edge instruments in
sustainability appraisal
  • social multi-criteria evaluation (SMCE) and
    multi-scale integrated assessment (MSIA)
  • replace consultation as they are highly
    participatory and deliberative
  • process-oriented (iterative)
  • integrate various kinds of knowledge
  • clarify the role of expertise (discussion
    support/decision support)
  • stress on procedural rationality instead of
    substantive rationality
  • address complexity and uncertainty
  • address social and technical incommensurability
  • support comparison of alternatives

Considerations for an SD-supportive RIA system
RIA setup 1
  • central oversight unit fit into the structure of
    the central government (e.g. PMs office) or an
    independent agency, advisory council, perhaps a
    place for SD council or commission?
  • helpdesk
  • RIA units in every department (legal, economic,
    SD-related expertise)
  • horizontal network for exchange and cooperation
    especially relevant for SD
  • horizontal policy integration
  • (sectoral) peer reviews
  • stable personnel, administration of the network
  • external experts (researchers, consultants,
  • peer reviews, peer review board?
  • national evaluation society
  • a body responsible for the RIA system and
    regulatory reform as a whole (inter-ministerial
    task force, audit agency, parliamentary

RIA setup 2
  • requires not only changes in administrative
    procedure (streamlining of regulation
    development), but a change of incentives
    structures and policy-making culture
  • strengthening responsibilities RIA signed by a
  • give political weight to the central oversight
  • developing micro/meso/macro capacity is critical
  • ensure learning through ex post assessments and
  • regulatory planning/agenda opportunity for an
    umbrella national SD strategy (move upstream)
  • provide strategic SD frame ? identify regulation
    needs and conduct stakeholder analyses ?
    regulation development and RIA
  • would also simplify assessment of effects

Initiating RIA
  • Timing
  • … the RIA process has to start at the beginning
    of the regulation process, not after the
    regulation has been written out. (Flemish RIA
  • timing of RIA may be more important than the
    methodology employed (Jacobs, 2006)
  • if IA occurs before modifications are made
    through inter-sectoral/public consultation and
    government debate, it loses objective relevance
  • Who should conduct a RIA?
  • Regulatory impact analysis is best carried out
    by the project team which is preparing the
    regulation. (Flemish RIA guide)
  • independence threat vs. insight sufficient
  • society-wide effects are outside of the scope of
    ordinary policy analysts and RIA environmental
    economists (Radaelli De Francesco, 2007)

Scoping RIA 1
  • how costly and time-consuming can a RIA be?
  • on the other hand, how formalised/flexible should
    RIA be?
  • importance of a given regulation should
  • the number of investigated options (including
    combinations of options)
  • the number and level (aggregation) of utilized
    assessment criteria and examined impacts
  • the minimum significance (magnitude,
    reversibility…) of investigated impacts
  • how far in the chain of effects should the
    analysis go
  • the extent of quantification
  • range of examined target groups/stakeholders
  • breadth and depth of consultation
  • the number of partial RIAs and supportive

description of effects
Scoping RIA 2
  • importance of a given regulation should not
  • calculation of administrative costs
  • analysis of legal aspects of proposed regulation
  • making assumptions and hypotheses explicit
  • regulatory coherence
  • balanced consideration of impacts across all
    three domains of sustainable development
  • consideration of at least the zero alternative
    (basic justification for regulation)
  • communication and accessibility of RIA report
  • how decide on importance of regulation? (this
    procedure should be formalised)
  • monetary thresholds
  • qualitative criteria
  • screening through a first phase or a light RIA
  • opportunity for strategic use?

What methods for RIA?
  • Traditions of impact assessment
  • economic methods (monetization CBA,
    macroeconomic modelling)
  • difficult to foresee the extent of induced
    behaviour modification (despite of what
    neoclassical economists would want you to
  • technical methods (scientifically proven
    pathways EIA, HIA)
  • often formal checklists (lists of impacts)
    needs regular review
  • expert judgment (decisions on complex issues
    shift from substantive to procedural rationality)
  • choice of experts is extremely important
  • Other recommended methods
  • participatory modelling, participatory
  • social multi-criteria methods SMCE/MSIA
  • theory-based evaluation
  • multi-method designs

Is participation pursued to…
  • … elicit preferences or values in a process
    pre-structured by experts or
  • to explore different problem definitions and
  • … improve regulation through accessing knowledge
    or is knowledge sought to legitimate decisions
    rather than shape action?
  • instrumental reasons
  • defuse conflict
  • provide knowledge
  • normative reasons
  • Aarhus ? good governance
  • substantial reasons
  • legitimisation of decisions

Issues to address
  • participation in what capacity as members of the
    public, as neutral experts or as stakeholder
  • different roles and rationalities
  • stakeholders issues of internal accountability
    and representation
  • what barriers to participation exist?
    (requirement of highly technical sector-specific
    knowledge, costs to participate,
    legal/institutional forms etc.)
  • risk of culture of institutionalised dependence
  • ? flexible and multi-track participatory designs
    to cover institutionalised stakeholders,
    regulation-specific marginalised groups and
    individual citizens, as well as their various
    information needs and capacity

Concluding remarks
Key messages
  • political dimension of RIA
  • motivation of politicians for adopting/resisting
    RIA, incentive structures and strategic use by
  • RIA is being introduced into environment which
    was not empty in addition to existing
    administrative procedure in regulation
    development symbolic exchanges, negotiations and
    coalition building, co-ordination, establishment
    of control structures (principal-agent
    relationships), strategic and symbolic use of
    knowledge, rent seeking etc. were taking place
  • expectations, usage and quality are linked

Key messages
  • there are lessons to be taken from evaluation
    research (e.g. on the internal/external character
    of RIA and its purposes, the political context,
    as well as theory-based evaluation)
  • SD constitutes a set of specific challenges the
    field of sustainability appraisal/SD evaluation
    addresses these issues (cutting-edge instrument
    of SMCE/MSIA)
  • design of consultation and participatory
    exercises is extremely important
  • making RIA to better serve SD concerns is an
    opportunity for overall improvement of regulatory
    reform processes
  • horizontal policy integration and policy
  • upcoming challenge vertical policy integration

Thank you.