Factsheet #16

Regulatory impact analysis

Instrument Type


Governance Level


Governance Mode


Water management topics addressed

Drought & water scarcity
Water abstraction for irrigation and other economic activities
Water quality issues due to nutrient pollution
Water quality issues: Other reasons

Implementation requirements

Financial capacity


Human capacity


Political buy-in


Timeframe for implementation


#16: Regulatory impact analysis


A Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) is a tool, which helps to base decisions whether to adopt or change laws and regulations on facts and evidence. RIA is about taking into considerations all alternative solutions, which sometimes may include non-regulatory ones or simply doing nothing. It provides necessary information on costs and benefits to different stakeholders and analyses economic, environmental and social impacts of potential solutions.


If carried out correctly, RIA can enhance transparency and coordination between different policy realms. participation is enhanced through consultation, and conflicting interests are made transparent. RIA represents a structured approach to assessing the positive and negative impacts from an environmental, economic and social perspective of a planned policy or alternatives thereof. Oftentimes, RIA comprise a number of different elements, including e.g. a cost benefit analysis, consultation, etc.

Example: The Dutch Integral Assessment Framework (IAK)

After the OECD’s Regulatory Policy and Survey highlighted critical deficiencies in the Dutch RIA-System, the Netherlands implemented in 2011 the Integral Assessment Framework (IAK) to address these shortcomings. The IAK is intended to be a fully integrated component of the process of decision making for the political action of the government. As such, the IAK establishes that, when developing new regulations, officials must identify relevant IAK provisions and address seven central questions of the framework. An assessment on the expected regulatory burdens as well as on 20 pre-established quality requirements (these includes for example assessment on the impact on Business, on citizens or on gender equality) need to be carried out by the competent ministry for every regulatory proposals. The Dutch independent advisory body (ATR) then reviews the proposal verifying the results with respects to the quality requirements. Once the proposal is approved by the ATR, it is submitted first to the respective High Committees of Senior Officials, then to the Council of Ministers and the Council of State in later phases, before the final submission to the Parliament.


OECD (2020). Regulatory Impact Assessment. OECD Best Practice Principles for Regulatory Policy
https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/regulatory-impact-assessment-7a9638cb-en.htm Retrieved on 22 September 2020.

OECD (2020). Ex Ante Regulatory Impact Assessment: Netherlands. OECD Reviws of Regulatory Reform http://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/RIA-Netherlands.pdf Retrieved on 22 September 2020.

OECD (2014) Water Governance in Jordan – Overcoming the Challenges to Private Sector Participation. OECD Studies on Water https://www.oecd.org/countries/jordan/water-service-governance-in-jordan-9789264213753-en.htm Retrieved on 24 September 2020

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