Fiji Regulatory Impact Assessment
A regulatory impact assessment (RIA) can assist in determining the change effected by regulation/policy (henceforth combined and referred to as regulation) and isolating the right variables for achieving the regulatory objectives, financial inclusion being one of them. The Fiji RIA undertaken by BFA comprises the ex-post appraisal of Fiji’s first financial inclusion strategy (2009-2014) and the following related policy measures undertaken between 2009 and 2015. It is designed to serve as a pedagogical tool for future use by the RBF and other policymakers in Fiji conducting RIAs on financial sector policies.
The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) wished to assess the impact of its microfinance and financial inclusion policy framework to determine whether it has increased or deepened access to finance among underserved populations in Fiji. Thus, the RBF sought a structured impact assessment which would not only assess the current framework but could also be applied to future regulations as well.
BFA conducted an ex-post regulatory impact assessment (RIA) of Fiji’s first financial inclusion strategy (2009-2014) and several policies related to microfinance, mobile money, and financial inclusion. In addition, BFA trained the RBF on the RIA methodology and how to conduct ex-ante analysis of regulations, monitor during implementation, and ultimately conduct an ex-post evaluation which can inform subsequent policy frameworks.
Findings and Key Takeaways
When designing a new policy instrument, policymakers should take steps to improve the quality of the outcome of the policymaking process. This includes:
- Identifying the problem based off of baseline evidence and the overall policy goal
- Defining the specific objectives of the policy
- Analyzing the market-wide and broader socio-economic impacts of the alternative options
- Comparing options and selecting, and
- Outlining future steps for policy monitoring and evaluation