Revitalizing and Reforming Regulatory Governance for Infrastructure in post-FCV Environments

The purpose of this new material is to identify tools and strategies that enable a Guiding Coalition (or backbone organization) to build a foundation for revitalizing existing infrastructure institutions and strengthening the governance of regulators. Fragility, Conflict, and Violence (FCV) affect the ability of many governments to monitor and incentivize infrastructure operators who deliver core services to citizens. The challenges of extreme poverty, weak institutional structures, low levels of trust, and limited access to infrastructure can seem overwhelming. The revitalization process involves developing a shared reform agenda, creating a measurement system (to facilitate a common understanding of the facts), communicating the situation (and plans) to stakeholders, creating of realistic targets, monitoring performance, identifying mutually reinforcing activities by stakeholders, and promoting continuous communication among those leading the reform initiatives.

A Regulatory System (or regulatory management system) is the set of formal and informal institutions, processes and actors responsible for oversight of the development and implementation of government regulation. In most senses it is a synonym for regulatory governance. The system include not only the formal sector regulator but ministries, political leaders not currently in positions of authority, infrastructure operators, current (and future) customers, environmental groups, development partners, and others who might support (or oppose) reforms. In a post-FCV situation, infrastructure performance is likely to be weak so identifying principles and strategies for improving sector outcomes can contribute to improved cost containment, better service quality, and greater access to services. The principles should be a basic part of a national policy for regulatory governance that aims to ensure systematically that the decisions of regulators are transparent, objective, impartial, and enforced as the decisions serve the public interest. Such decision processes and improved sector outcomes strengthen the bonds that bring citizens together. The strategies will need to promote credibility to groups providing financial resources, support legitimacy in the eyes of citizens receiving services, and incentivize efficiency in the production and delivery of those services.

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Learning Resources:

Governance of infrastructure regulators in post-FCV environments: Principles and Implementation manual (2018). Developed for the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) and the Regulatory Policy and Management team of the World Bank’s Governance, and Macro Trade and Investment Global Practices. This manual aims to support improvements in the quality of infrastructure regulation in countries exiting Fragile and Conflict-affected Status (FCS). Better regulation in these sectors both improves the investment environment and supports better sectoral performance.

Launching or Revitalizing Regulatory Systems.
This web-based portal is a project of the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), The World Bank, and the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida. This portal is designed for persons helping countries launch or revitalize regulatory systems, including low income and fragile and conflict affected states. It includes the latest analyses and case studies, tools for analyzing post-FCV situations, and FAQs targeted specifically to these situations.

Collaboration for Impact.
A successful initiative for revitalizing and reforming regulatory governance requires collaboration (within a core group), consultation (with key stakeholders), and communication (with all those affected by infrastructure). The goal is a shared vision identified by the core group: a Guiding Coalition (or Backbone organization). Some infrastructure issues are technical in nature, but undertaking major initiatives altering the governance of regulatory organizations requires adaptive leadership. The core group must have creativity and credibility as it develops a coherent strategy for changing the governance system. Coherence requires that the pieces fit together and the activities reinforce one another. Inconsistencies will lead to conflicts that diminish the likelihood of success. This web site provides a “framework to tackle deeply entrenched and complex social problems”.