Approaching From the Bottom
The effectiveness of competition law depends on the extent to which the law has actually evolved in a country in tandem with socio-economic and historical developments in that country. It is necessary that there be some amount of acceptability and ownership of the law among the stakeholders, which is possible only if their expectations and concerns are taken into consideration while drafting, implementing and revising the law, and if their capacity is built up to the point where they can effectively participate in the enforcement process. This is essentially the inspiration to the bottom-up approach of the CUTS’s 7Up Model.
Some NGOs, especially consumer groups, can be strong allies for competition policy and law because they know how it can benefit consumers. Donors could find it effective to fund relevant work by reform-minded NGOs, especially those based in developing countries. DFID has funded research and advocacy programmes (such as the CUTS 7Up projects) that include participation by local consumer groups” (Implementing Competition Policy in Developing Countries, OECD Development Assistance Committee Hot Topic Paper, 2006)
The model involves partnering with local research and advocacy institutions in project countries, engaging a wide range of local stakeholders including the business, the polity, consumer groups and other NGOs, media, academia, lawyers, etc. in National Reference Groups, carrying out perception surveys, and undertaking several research, advocacy and capacity building activities.
In addition to the critical role of coordinating and maintaining the sustainability of the project, CUTS provides required expertise to the target beneficiaries. Flexibility is strongly retained to ensure that the demands and most urgent needs of the beneficiaries be met, while complementarity and synergy with other initiatives are kept in mind.