Training of Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation (PCE) Facilitators
Improve the capability of developing countries to use the Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation (PCE) tool to identify gaps and deficiences plan their national phytosanitary and development programmes and design relevant capacity-building activities.
This project will train eighty individuals in the use of the IPPC phytosanitary capacity evaluation (PCE) tool so that, in future, they can act as facilitators of phytosanitary needs assessments and action planning processes in developing countries. It is expected that improved performance and better plant health status will, as a result, boost safe trade and improve market access for SPS-sensitive products from developing countries.
The PCE is a management tool designed by the IPPC that allows a country to assess the capacities of its existing or planned phytosanitary system in order to identify and address shortcomings. A PCE is therefore a crucial element to strategic planning, which can assist national plant protection organizations (NPPOs) to prioritize their activities and develop appropriate national phytosanitary action plans. Although the PCE is designed in principle as a self-assessment tool, effective application may require the support of competent facilitators. Among other qualities, facilitators must display a thorough understanding of plant health, stakeholder management skills, knowledge of national and international phytosanitary control systems, familiarity with the IPPC, the specific obligations of its contracting parties and the relevant international standards. Most countries are currently constrained by the lack of a suitable facilitator that can lead the PCE process, leading to numerous requests to the IPPC (directly or channelled through the FAO) to facilitate application of the tool. It is clear, therefore, that there is considerable and increasing demand for qualified individuals to provide this service. The training of eighty candidates – drawn from a representative range of countries/regions and with appropriate language skills – is expected to result in a pool of qualified facilitators that can meet this demand on a global scale. By enhancing countries' access to suitable facilitators of PCEs, the project expects to generate an increase in the number of countries evaluating their phytosanitary capacity and, as a result, implementing reforms that will lead to the general improvement of phytosanitary systems.
Sustainable growth in the pool of available PCE facilitators
The project aims to promote sustainable growth in the pool of available PCE facilitators by providing initial training for group of eighty beneficiaries in the use of the IPPC’s PCE tool. The sustainability of the project results will be guaranteed through the involvement of existing regional centres of expertise, such as COPE in Kenya, which will carry out refresher courses in the future. The long term impact of the project will also be ensured through the development of training materials (in English, Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish) and other tools intended for use by the facilitators in order to transfer skills acquired through the project. Training will be carried out through workshops, over a period of two weeks, in four locations in Africa, Asia and Central America. At least four PCE facilitators will have their training validated through the practical application of PCE tools in a national setting, closely accompanied by members of the IPPC secretariat.
Coordination of technical assistance and support for phytosanitary capacity-building
The IPPC manages a range of capacity development projects in developing and least developed countries, worth ca. US$2-3 million, and the demand for IPPC services is increasing. The IPPC governing body has therefore decided to actively seek collaborators in the delivery of its capacity development activities. The PCE tool, moreover, has been recognized by a number of donors and providers of technical assistance as a way of determining the type of assistance and level of funding that they provide. Given the importance of phytosanitary capacity evaluation to plant health across the globe, as well as the implications for trade, it is important to reduce the burden on the IPPC in facilitating this process. The project seeks to expand the use of an internationally recognised tool by contributing to the pool of facilitators available to support the technical assistance community.
Widespread use of PCE facilitators in developing countries and improved phytosanitary performance
The project envisages the implementation of the PCE tools by newly trained facilitators in four different countries, in order to validate the training received. Trained facilitators will thereafter be directed towards new opportunities to apply the tool in practise. In order to be included on the official roster of approved PCE facilitators, participants must (i) meet at least 80% of the evaluation criteria over the course of the training and (ii) apply the PCE tool in practise and assist a NPPO to develop a draft national phytosanitary action plan. There are currently more than 20 pending requests to the IPPC for application of PCE tools, and the project seeks to reduce this backlog through the deployment of facilitators that have successfully completed their training. The sustained use of successful trainees will be a key indicator of project impact.