Background: In 2013 Sustineo was engaged by ASEAN Australian Development Cooperation Program (AADCP) to undertake a research project to provide the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection with technical outputs and communicative strategies that can help focus the attention of ASEAN on consumer protection issues in ASEAN member states. The primary objectives were to increase the knowledge base through production of technical outputs and increase the knowledge and awareness of consumer protection through communication strategies.
Approach: Our approach focused on the development of high quality research products, informed by the latest thinking in consumer protection, but sensitive to local country contexts. Through the recruitment of four international experts and the identification of assistant consultants from the region, we produced technical outputs that explored the nexus between best practice technical understanding with an appreciation of context and capacity. Relevance to the ASEAN region was further gained through field visits to Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam. This ensured high quality and relevant research products, and made certain this project also built capacity in consumer protection law and policy in the ASEAN region.
Outcome: Sustineo’s management and coordination of project outputs has ensured high quality, useful deliverables for ASEAN Member States. The products of the project, including four case studies, 24 consumer protection digests and a consumer protection knowledge base report, formed the basis for the 1st and 2nd ASEAN Consumer Protection Conferences (ACPC), held in December 2014 and 2015.
Each ACPC brought together presenters and participants from ASEAN Member States, dialogue and other cooperation partners from over 15 different countries and a broad range of public and private organisations. The project has been effective in identifying lessons learnt from the region to ensure better practice at the country government level.