In 2008 the Management Programme in Infrastructure Reform and Regulation (MIR) launched the African Electricity Regulator Peer Review and Learning Network (Peer Learning Network). The project, which is an addition to the MIR’s suite of Executive Education short courses, seeks to take the learning experience from the classroom to the workplace through intensive one week peer reviews through which the regulatory systems in a country’s power sector are evaluated.
The Peer Learning Network places a special emphasis on the Chief Executive Officers of regulatory institutions and it is they who conduct the actual peer reviews with secretarial assistance from the MIR. The pilot phase of the Peer Learning Network comprised the electricity regulatory agencies of Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia and Zambia. This membership gave the pilot phase diversity in geographical and the extent of power sector reforms.
The current phase of the Peer Learning Network focuses on Southern African Development Community countries and its membership comprises Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Zambia
The approach used by the Peer Learning Network is an adaptation from Brown, Stern et al (2006) Handbook for Evaluating Infrastructure Regulatory Systems where a regulatory system is seen as comprising three spheres (depicted below): regulatory governance; regulatory substance; and regulatory impact.
Over a one week period and in accordance with guidelines that have been agreed upon, the members of the Peer Learning Network meet with the government minister responsible for the electricity sector, board members, management and staff of the regulatory agency, senior management of regulated utilities, consumer groups and other relevant stakeholders.
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