Enhancing SPS capacity to promote trade for development in LDCs

Benin Fishing

STDF collaborates with the Enhanced Integrated Framework

The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) aims at enabling least developed countries (LDCs) to build and strengthen their trade capacities, better integrate trade in their national development strategies and use trade as a tool for growth and poverty reduction.

The STDF and the EIF work closely together to improve LDC's trade performance. Continuous collaboration with the EIF is essential to enable the STDF to play its coordination role and to fulfil its target to devote at least 40 per cent of project grant resources to LDCs and other Low Income Countries.  This collaboration has materialized through joint undertakings (such as the project design and formulation training module and related workshops) and through provision of comments and input during the preparation, validation and update of Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies (DTIS) and on Tier II project proposals.

Study commissioned jointly by EIF/STDF: Analysis of consideration given to SPS issues in DTIS 

Building on this history of successful collaboration, the EIF and STDF commissioned a study in 2015 that analyses the coverage of SPS issues within DTIS reports. The study analyzes the coverage of SPS needs in those reports, identifies good practice for future studies and provides recommendations to improve the analysis of SPS issues in the DTIS process.

An EIF/STDF briefing note highlights the scope, findings and recommendations of this joint work. The study is available here.

Prioritizing SPS needs in trade development agendas and action plans of LDCs, through an adequate consideration of SPS challenges in DTIS report, will assist in directing additional Aid for Trade flows towards building SPS capacity. The ability to control SPS risks and meet international standards is a key element determining participation of LDCs in the international trading system and gain and maintain access to markets. Improved SPS capacity also helps in raising agricultural productivity and in enhancing domestic agricultural and food safety levels.

Additional information on STDF and EIF's collaboration in past years is available below.  


STDF – Overview of needs and assistance in eight least developed countries

The STDF prepared a desk study (G/SPS/GEN/900) on SPS needs and assistance of eight Least Developed Countries (LDCs), i.e. Benin, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Lesotho, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal and Yemen. The study was based on a review of existing needs assessments, notably the Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies (DTIS) and other publicly available information. The report complemented and strengthened UNIDO's broader programme proposals aimed at addressing the supply-side constraints of the eight LDCs and identified areas where future SPS technical cooperation activities with a positive trade effect might be focused. The final report was presented at the LDC Ministerial Conference on Aid for Trade in 2008.

STDF – EIF pilot training on project development

Beneficiaries' participation in project development is a crucial factor in enhancing ownership and in making technical assistance more effective. In 2011, the EIF initiated the roll-out of pilot training for national-level stakeholders in selected LDCs to build their capacity on project identification, formulation and design. The STDF participated in two training workshops in Nepal and in Central African Republic (CAR) in 2011. Both countries identified SPS needs as a priority issue.

Traning activities were conducted with the assistance of the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) of the University of Wolverhampton. The programme provided the STDF with an opportunity to assist SPS stakeholders on the ground in preparing project proposals using "logical frameworks".

A Practical Guide on Trade-related Project Identification, Formulation and Design has been developed for the Enhanced Integrated Framework by the CIDT.