Regulatory policy

Better regulation and innovation


OECD Recommendation for Agile Regulatory Governance to Harness Innovation

Innovations are fundamentally changing the way we live and work together. They have direct consequences on the well-being and cohesion of society as a whole, as well as strong impacts for businesses in all sectors, through effects on productivity, employment, skills, income distribution, trade and the environment. If well governed, innovation can lead to substantial welfare gains. However, it raises profound and interrelated regulatory challenges that have become even more pressing because of the social and economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Recommendation for Agile Regulatory Governance to Harness Innovation, will help policy makers unlock the potential of technology and innovation while safeguarding public protections. It provides a conceptual framework and guidance for developing and implementing agile and resilient regulatory approaches and facilitate co-operation within as well as across borders in response to innovation-related challenges and opportunities. It is organised around 4 pillars:

  1. Adjusting regulatory management tools to ensure regulations are fit for the future;
  2. Laying institutional foundations to enable co-operation and joined-up approaches, both within and across jurisdictions;
  3. Developing or adapting the governance frameworks to enable the development of agile and future-proof regulation;
  4. Adapting regulatory enforcement activities to the “new normal”.

In addition to the inputs from a range of OECD bodies, the Recommendation has benefited from feedback from a variety of stakeholder groups, through both targeted and public consultations. Beyond the OECD, the development of Recommendation has also shown its timeliness and relevance by supporting the broader G7 and G20 agendas on this topic. The Declaration of G20 Digital Ministers of 5 August 2021 acknowledges, for instance, the contribution of the Recommendation as well as the survey on agile regulation developed by the OECD for the G20 Digital Economy Task Force.


Background information

To help poster sound and forward-looking policies and regulations in a context of rapid change and high uncertainty, the OECD Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) and the Network of Economic Regulators (NER) are implementing a joint programme of work structured around two main axes:

  • Agile approaches to using and adapting regulatory policy and governance in the face of the disruptions and opportunities brought by innovation;
  • Data-driven approaches for more effective and efficient rulemaking and regulatory delivery.

A key outcome of these joint efforts, the Recommendation for Agile Regulatory Governance to Harness Innovation was adopted by the OECD Council at Ministerial Level on 6 October 2021, on the proposal of the RPC.

The OECD will continue to support Adherents and follow up on the Recommendation’s implementation by carrying out dedicated research and analysis, developing additional practical tools and resources, and promoting the exchange and dissemination of relevant experience and good practices.








Agile Nations



For further information, please contact Miguel Amaral.



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