Shaping Policy Reform and Peer Review in Southeast Asia

Integrating Economies Amid Diversity

image of Shaping Policy Reform and Peer Review in Southeast Asia

The Southeast Asian region has experienced remarkable economic dynamism in the past few decades. An interesting feature of recent developments in the region, is that in spite of its diversity, several initiatives have been launched towards integration.

The peer review mechanism has been a tried and tested instrument for OECD member states to work together successfully over the past decades. This tool could benefit the Southeast Asian region as it helps identify good practices, establish standards and principles and ultimately improve the performance of participating economies. This publication presents the proceedings of a conference in which  the possible application of peer reviews to address regional and domestic challenges in Southeast Asia were discussed.


Peer Review in the Context of Regional Integration in Southeast Asia

In thinking about the topic of this publication it occurred to me that a useful question to address would be: “What, if anything, is different about peer review in the context of regional integration?” In answering this question I will do three things. First, I will outline three aspects of peer review. These are peer reviews as peer learning, peer preview as support for domestic stakeholders, and peer review as peer pressure. In outlining these elements I will argue that peer learning is the core of peer review and that attempts to more aggressively pursue peer pressure will almost certainly undermine the process. Second, I will outline the preconditions necessary for peer review to work well. Third, I will comment on whether undertaking peer review in the context of regional integration helps or hinders constructive peer review. Naturally this last aspect will be heavily influenced by the specific regional integration project, but I think that some general observations can be made.


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