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Developing Tools and Strategies for Regional Competition Advocacy

Client: Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit

Background: Establishing a competitive economic region is a fundamental component of ASEAN Economic Community goals as outlined in the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint. Competition policy and law is crucial to the efficient functioning of economic systems as they help ‘level the playing field’ between market players, lead to greater consumer welfare outcomes and contribute to the productiveness of the economy more generally.

The Deutsche GIZ commissioned Sustineo to undertake an ASEAN-wide Competition Policy and Law Advocacy project to promote the advantages of competition policy and law to all stakeholders. The scope of activities included developing and maintaining an interactive website, and producing a suite of advocacy deliverables.

Approach: The approach to this project was a focus on the fine balance between providing relevant and accurate information on competition policy and law issues in a format that was easily digestible among a range of audiences.

Phase 1 of the project was focused on consultation with the relevant policymakers in ASEAN Member States (AMS). The purpose of this phase was to emphasise the importance of competition policy and law advocacy in the context of achieving the goals outlined in the ASEAN Community Economic Blueprint. Importantly, Sustineo highlighted the challenges facing the promotion of competition policy and law in the region and how the development of an advocacy message and collaterals will address these challenges. Officials were asked to consider the development of an overarching message and whether this should be targeted at: a broad regional level, distinct AMS categories or individual AMS. Sustineo outlined the key pillars for successful dissemination of social marketing messages, referring extensively to examples of existing best practice.

Phase 2 of the project was focused on developing the mechanisms through which the messaging developed in Phase 1 could be disseminated. This was achieved through the development of a web portal and advocacy collaterals. Particular attention was given to ensure that the design, functionality, hosting, maintenance and administration of the proposed web portal and the content of the advocacy collaterals was informed by the information gathered in Phase 1. To ensure that the sustainability of the messages and mechanisms developed Sustineo emphasised that the key principles to establishing and maintaining an effective website are clear governance arrangements and the regular contribution of quality content.

Outcome: Following an extensive period of consultations with key policy makers in ASEAN Sustineo successfully delivered a suite of competition policy and law advocacy tools, including web portal, a pamphlet, and a brochure. These tools can be accessed here.

Sustineo received feedback from many of the project stakeholders who outlined that they were particularly happy with the messaging of the completed products and that they felt they would contribute to greater awareness of CPL issues in the ASEAN region. The on-going use of the web portal highlights the sustained utility of these products.