By: Digital Regulation Platform/World Bank
Introduction to institutional collaboration
Digital transformation is increasingly supporting all sectors of the economy, changing societies and market landscapes while improving access to and delivery of services across multiple industries. This revolution brings both challenges and opportunities, which will require greater collaboration between policy-makers, regulatory authorities, and other stakeholders to effectively harness technological progress and successfully address the challenges of digitalization. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has identified how collaborative regulation marks a fundamental change in the way that governments develop regulatory frameworks and rules. It reveals how collaboration among institutions, industry stakeholders, and cross-sector regulators is critical for regulatory relevance, coherence, and impact at the domestic, regional, and international levels in areas such as health, finance, education, transportation, and energy (ITU 2018).
Today’s complex interconnected environment poses major challenges to regulators and policy-makers, revealing the need for more innovative and inclusive solutions to shape a common digital future and attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Accordingly, in May 2016, at the Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR-16), the ITU presented the concept of collaborative, or fifth generation (G5), regulation under the generations of regulation model (see figure below). The G5 model adopts a new system of cross-sectoral regulation, involving harmonized rules with holistic and collaborative approaches, as well as high-level principles that will drive broader development and benefits for all digital service users worldwide (ITU 2020).
Optimal design of digital policies and regulation is crucial to accelerate digital transformation. The pace of digital transformation demands a new regulatory strategy that involves all stakeholders, of different sizes, backgrounds, and industries, as well as a market-driven and metric-based approach in which decisions and rules are based on detailed evidence. The combination of collaboration and informed decisions, together with social and economic impact considerations, are conducive to fast-forward digital transformation for all.