Regulatory impact assessment (RIA) has been adopted in most OECD countries to improve regulatory decision making. RIA involves a systematic appraisal of the costs and benefits associated with a proposed new regulation and evaluation of the performance of existing regulations. Although RIA requires capacity building in terms of regulatory assessment skills, including data collection methods and public consultation practices, it offers the means to improve regulatory practice in low and middle-income countries as well as rich ones. This paper assesses the nature and scope of RIA and the challenges that will be faced in introducing the concept more widely across developing economies. Results from a survey of a small number of middle-income countries suggest that a number of developing countries have some form of regulatory assessment, but that the methods adopted are partial in their application and are certainly not systematically applied across government. The paper concludes by proposing a framework, drawing on the OECD guidelines, which can be applied in low and middle-income countries to improve regulatory decision making and outcomes.
Manchester, UK, CRC Working Paper, No. 56, 23 pp.