The Compendium of International Organisations’ Practices: Working Towards More Effective International Instruments represents a collective effort to reinforce and improve the process of international rulemaking, the backbone of global co-operation, for better impact and results for countries and their citizens. The document is designed to serve not only all national and international policy practitioners, but also civil society actors, academic experts, private actors, and citizens who seek to understand, benefit from and perhaps even contribute to the international rulemaking process, which is meant to benefit all.

This Compendium examines the rulemaking practices, governance arrangements, and organisational dynamics of international organisations from across and beyond the IO Partnership. A first chapter examines the diversity of instruments comprising the international rulemaking ecosystem. The subsequent sections describe the trends and challenges in international rulemaking, and set out key principles for improving the implementation and evaluation of international instruments, ensuring efficient stakeholder engagement and maximising opportunities for co-ordination across IOs.

The IO Compendium is the most recent contribution to a growing body of work on IOs carried out by the IO Partnership. This includes a broad-based stocktaking report in 2016 on International regulatory co-operation: the role of international organisations in fostering better rules of globalisation, a synthetic Brochure in 2019 on The contribution of international organisations to a rule-based international system, and eleven case studies of individual IOs. These analytical milestones have emerged from collaborative exchanges in working groups, annual and technical meetings, brainstorming sessions, academic discussions and workshops and thematic webinars. In September 2020, the IO Partnership reaffirmed its commitment to improving international rulemaking through a Joint Statement from the Secretariats of the International Organisations to continue working together to improve the quality of international rulemaking.

The IO Compendium was developed collaboratively between the OECD Secretariat, the IO Partnership Focal Points and the secretariats of participating IOs, via five dedicated working groups (see acknowledgements). A first draft was circulated to the IO Partnership and other participants in the 7th Annual Meeting of the IO Partnership to serve as background material for the discussions. It was then submitted for comments to the OECD Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC), the IO Partnership and Academic Friends of the IO Partnership in October-November 2020, then revised and submitted in a new iteration to the same constituency in March-April 2021. The content builds on two surveys of IO partners carried out in 2015 and 2018 and periodic discussions held within the IO Partnership and working groups between November 2019 and July 2020 as well as analytical work conducted in the context of the IO Partnership on international rulemaking since 2014. It also builds on lessons of individual IOs gathered through 47 detailed IO practice templates filled in by participating IOs throughout 2020. The final report was prepared for publication by the OECD Secretariat.

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