Participatory Regulation

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Description

Anthony D. Williams:

"without transparency, oversight and accountability, self-regulation is clearly inadequate. At the same time, the speed, interdependency and complexity of today’s world makes a return to centralized rulemaking and enforcement increasingly implausible. All this makes me think that the kinds of organizational innovations that make the Linux community, twitter and wikipedia remarkable could help regulators address some their challenges.

The big opportunity initially may be to foster greater citizen or stakeholder participation in monitoring and enforcing regulations that already exist. Naturalists and recreational users could be enlisted to help document abuses on public lands, just as individuals and organizations around the world are able to bring human rights abuses to global attention using new channels like YouTube or Winess’s Hub.

But citizens and other stakeholders could also help design and promulgate new rules, particularly where there are gaps in existing legislation." (http://anthonydwilliams.com/2009/02/13/time-for-participatory-regulation/)


Examples

  • The consumer advocacy movements that currently police the social and environmental performance of industry are a good example: http://www.corpwatch.org/


By Topic

Anthony D. Williams:

  • Natural resources regulation [1]

--Global Forest Watch, http://www.globalforestwatch.org/english/index.htm : "improves transparency and accountability in forest management decisions by increasing the public’s access to information on forestry developments around the world. They have a cool Data Warehouse where users can download a vast array of geographical data and manipulate it for their own analyses using their interactive map server" [2]

-- Forest Stewardship Council, http://www.fsc.org/ and Marine Stewardship Council, http://www.msc.org/ : "set up as joint efforts of industry and conservation groups to impose new eco-labelling regimes that help consumers recognize and reward sustainable practices in forestry and fishing." [3]


  • workplace health and safety [4]

-- Worker's Rights Consortium, http://www.workersrights.org/ : "independent labor rights monitoring organization, conducting investigations of working conditions in factories around the globe. Its purpose is to combat sweatshops and protect the rights of workers who sew apparel and make other products sold in the United States." [5]

-- Fair Labor Association, Fair Labor Association: "brings together colleges and universities, civil society organizations, and “socially responsible companies”. Companies that join the FLA commit to establishing internal systems for monitoring workplace conditions and maintaining Code standards, being part of a rigorous system of Independent External Monitoring (IEM), and public reporting on the conditions in their supplier factories.. Similar to the WRC, the FLA brings together colleges and universities, civil society organizations, and “socially responsible companies”. Companies that join the FLA commit to establishing internal systems for monitoring workplace conditions and maintaining Code standards, being part of a rigorous system of Independent External Monitoring (IEM), and public reporting on the conditions in their supplier factories." [6]

-- The Cocoa Initiative, http://www.cocoainitiative.org/ : "emerged after investigations by human rights organizations revealed that child slaves were being forced to farm the cocoa that eventually finds its way into chocolate treats manufactured by companies such as Hershey’s, Nestle and Cadbury. Public scrutiny forced the companies to respond — even though they initially claimed that they bore no responsibility since they purchased their cocoa on the commodity markets and had no direct relationships with the cocoa suppliers. The public didn’t buy this excuse and the result was a unique partnership between NGOs, labour unions, cocoa processors and the major chocolate brands to change the way cocoa is grown." [7]


  • anti-corruption efforts [8]

-- Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi : ranks 180 countries by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.

  • "The Kimberley Process (KP) is a joint government- industry-civil society initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds – rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments to devastating effect in countries such as Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone. The Kimberley Process established a supply chain monitoring and diamond certification process that is supposed to ensure that conflict diamonds do not reach retail shelves. Although the initiative appears to have made considerable progress, Global Witness, which (along with Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) and other NGOs) had an unusually high level of involvement in developing and building support for the scheme, claims that there is still a flourishing illicit trade in diamonds globally. Global Witness reports that poor controls in some diamond producing countries (e.g., Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone) allow significant volumes of blood diamonds enter the legitimate trade through Ghana and Mali, where they are being certified as conflict free."

(http://www.wikinomics.com/blog/index.php/2009/02/13/participatory-regulation-and-anti-corruption-efforts/)


  • "The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is similar in intent to TI’s bribe payer’s index — it also aims to strengthen governance by improving transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. The EITI initiative works directly with participants in the extractive industry (e.g., mining, oil & gas companies and governments) to set a global standard for companies to publish what they pay and for governments to disclose what they receive. The goal is to ensure that the revenues from oil, gas, and mining companies in the form of taxes, royalties, signature bonuses and other payments become an important engine for economic growth and social development rather than simply enriching the ruling elite."

[9]


  • "Wikileaks is arguably the most open and participatory anti-corruption efforts in the mix. Its core objective is to provide a platform for people who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations and it does this by hosting a wiki for mass document leaking and analysis. To date, it has received over 1.2 million documents from dissident communities and anonymous sources, focused largely on exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East." [10]P2P State Approaches