The Standards Alliance in cooperation with the Business Regulatory Review Agency (BRRA) of Zambia co-hosted a four-week training series on "Good Regulatory Practices for Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) Teams in Government Ministries" in Lusaka, Zambia. This workshop series was conducted in follow up to previous Standards Alliance activities focused on the same subject, and the training is designed to promote additional capacity building to strengthen the implementation and institutionalization of RIA across public bodies and regulatory agencies in Zambia. RIA is a decision-making tool used to appraise the potential impacts of new and existing regulations or policy options on the local business environment and foreign investments. The workshop series took place virtually, with the first and second cohort of officials attending 4-day trainings on September 21 – October 2, 2020, and the third and fourth group of officials attending on October 13 – 23, 2020.
Over the four-week period, 80 participants from 23 Zambian ministries* participated in the event, which included the following expert speakers: Nathan Frey, Principal, Regulatory Strategies and Solutions Group (RSS Group) & former official at the Office of Management and Budget Office of Internal Regulatory Affairs (OMB OIRA); Jason Ighani, Co-founder, Kite Global; and Brandon de Bruhl, Adjunct Faculty, University of Southern California also former OMB OIRA official. Mr. Frey lead the training by providing an overview of RIA, focusing on how to design effective public consultation mechanisms, engaging stakeholders, the role of RIA in regulatory decision making, and building effective RIA teams. Mr. Ighani’s presentation centered on team development, and how effective and resilient teams drive success in policy-making.
The trainings included case studies, group exercises, quizzes, and pre-recorded videos designed to promote best practices in the development of RIA. The workshops also provided systematic training on the key steps for performing RIA and highlighted strategies for participants to use as they lead their ministries and colleagues in collecting data and drafting RIA reports. These sessions emphasized practical exercises on how to write and structure a RIA report, gather qualitative and quantitative data from all relevant stakeholders, conduct consultations, and effectively utilize cost-benefit and cost-effective analysis.
In a survey completed by workshop participants, half of the participants agreed that the training greatly improved their understanding of how to effectively perform and write a RIA. Additionally, 75 percent of survey respondents noted that their understanding of key core elements of effective RIA teams had greatly improved following this training. All participants also noted that, following the training, each of their individual ministries would be taking immediate steps to implement RIA in their policy and regulation development processes. Ultimately, the key takeaways from the workshop were an impressive appetite for the training materials, and the participants’ clear desire to learn more about RIA. Through the interactive sessions, the participants expressed interest in implementing RIA in their policy development processes, and were keen to discuss effective team-building and what that might look like within their individual ministries.
Week 1: September 21 – 24, 2020
Week 2: September 29 – October 2, 2020
Week 3: October 13 – 16, 2020
Week 4: October 20 – 23, 2020