Workshop on Participation and Regulatory compliance: a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)

Hanoi. From July 8 to 9, 2014, a two-day launch workshop on “Participation and Regulatory Compliance: A Randomized Controlled Trial” was hosted at Mekong Development Research Institute.

The project will assess Vietnam’s current process for participation by firms in the drafting of new business regulations, testing whether this participation can improve labor rights and safety. The study is essentially an experiment on the effects of more aggressive, well-funded strategies for mobilizing business input and will have very real implications for VCCI strategy and for Vietnamese public policy going forward. The project will use a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to analyze downstream compliance with a technical regulation on chemical storage by five randomly assigned treatment groups. After the final regulation is promulgated, the team will monitor the firms in all five groups to test compliance with the final legislation. By selecting safety requirements for hazardous chemicals that are readily observable, the study aims to find clear evidence of whether participation led to downstream compliance and which of the three mechanisms is most responsible.

The workshop brought together participants from government agencies, i.e. the VCCI, Center for Analysis and Forecasting (CAF), Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM); international organizations, i.e. the World Bank (WB), International Labor Organization (ILO); international experts and the Mekong Development Research Institute staff.

During the workshop, the guest speakers – Hector Salazar Salame, Executive Director from Poverty Lab of MIT (JPAL) Southeast Asia and Dr. Markus Taussig from National University of Singapore delivered an overview of the project and gave lectures on Impact Evaluation methods, particularly on the Randomized Control Trial method which will be used in this project.

Dr. Cuong Nguyen and MSc. Nga Nguyen from MDRI presented the survey implementation plan to gather the sufficient data for the project with the highest quality and over the shortest time. The workshop was ended with an open discussion on all possible issues and problems that might occur during the project implementation process.