On 13-14 September 2021, the Partnership of International Organisations (IOs) for Effective International Rulemaking (IO Partnership) held its 8th Annual Meeting with a theme of Facing global crises together: Better international rulemaking for better results. The meeting included a high-level webinar as well as a working-level meeting to agree on a common action plan for the years 2022-2023.
IAF Chair Xiao Jianhua represented IAF at the webinar, speaking on the benefits and challenges of transformative innovation and how IOs should adapt their instruments to change. He highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the use of remote auditing, assessment and evaluation in conformity assessment and accreditation, the steps that IAF has taken to provide guidance about managing certification and accreditation activities in a harmonized way during the pandemic, and how IAF is evaluating information gained from the pandemic to improve relevant rules as necessary. He noted that feedback on the use of remote techniques had been very positive, indicating that remote techniques provide confidence comparable to that provided by on-site techniques if there is an ideal set-up and could reduce risks, costs and environmental impacts of auditing, assessments and evaluations.
ILAC Chair Etty Feller represented both IAF and ILAC at the working-level meeting, where participants discussed priorities following the publication of the Compendium of International Organisation’s Practices: Working Towards More Effective International Instruments (IO Compendium). The IO Compendium, published in conjunction with the 8th Annual Meeting, outlines the experiences of some 50 IOs in five key areas:
1. Variety of international instruments – Untangling the web of worldwide rules.
2. Implementation – Putting the rules into practice.
3. Evaluation – Reaching out to others to make better rules.
4. Stakeholder engagement – Making sure rules get results.
5. Co-operation between IOs – Working together.
The Compendium is directed not only to policy practitioners, but also academic experts, civil society and private actors, and citizens with interest in the international rulemaking process.