Prioritizing SPS Investments for Market Access (P-IMA)

The STDF has developed a framework to help inform and improve SPS planning and decision-making processes. The framework – known as "Prioritizing SPS Investments for Market Access" (P-IMA) – aims to inform and improve decisions on where to invest in SPS capacity building. The new P-IMA user Guide uses a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach, as well as computer software (D-Sight) to help derive priorities.

A new STDF briefing note  provides a concise introduction to the P-IMA framework, explains the key principles behind the P-IMA approach and outlines the steps in applying the framework.

A number of countries (including Belize, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia) have already made use of this framework. Their experiences have highlighted many of the benefits of using P-IMA. For instance to facilitate public-private dialogue on SPS matters, increase political awareness about the benefits of strengthening SPS capacity, inform and improve national SPS planning and decision-making processes, support project design and leverage additional funding. Detailed information on national and regional experiences is available below. 

Country and Regional Experiences

Africa: COMESA, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Uganda, Zambia
Latin America & the Caribbean: Belize
Asia: Vietnam


Information session to present the P-IMA framework and new User Guide - March 2016




The STDF organized an information session on the P-IMA framework on the margins of the SPS Committee on 16 March 2016.

Ms Marlynne Hopper (STDF Secretariat) introduced the P-IMA framework, its guiding principles and the new User Guide. She also discussed the experience and results of the application of the framework in several countries. The session drew over 60 SPS delegates.

Ms Delilah Cabb (Belize Agricultural Health Authority) shared Belize's experience with the P-IMA framework. This work enabled stakeholders to identify the real costs attached to some SPS capacity building options, direct investments to areas with best returns, and identify new sources of funding nationally for some SPS capacity-building needs. Ms Cabb highlighted how the P-IMA framework complemented the use of sector-specific SPS capacity evaluation tools (developed by OIE, IPPC and IICA) in Belize, and underscored the importance of involving national SPS experts. Based on Belize's successful experience, Ms Cabb provided useful feedback to delegates that may be interested in the applying P-IMA to prioritize SPS capacity building needs in their countries.


Introduction to the P-IMA framework- Marlynne Hopper
The Belize experience – Delilah Cabb

Detailed information on the application of the P-IMA framework in Belize is available here.

STDF Briefing Note on Prioritizing SPS Investments for Market Access (P-IMA)

See the STDF Briefing Note. 11 on the P-IMA framework.

STDF Workshop Geneva - 2013 

The STDF organized a workshop on "Prioritizing SPS Investments for Market Access" at the WTO in Geneva on 24-25 June 2013.

The workshop facilitated a review of existing work to prioritize SPS investments for market access in developing countries, using the MCDA approach. Developing country experts shared useful feedback on the experiences and lessons learned in their countries. Several recommendations were made by participants to further improve the tool and guide possible future work by the STDF.

Documents and presentations are available below:

Workshop documents
Workshop Summary Report
Workshop Programme

Workshop presentations

COMESA MCDA Presentation
Ethiopia MCDA Presentation
Introduction to the use of MCDA
Malawi MCDA Presentation
Mozambique MCDA presentation
Seychelles MCDA Presentation
Uganda MCDA Presentation
Use of MCDA by USAID
Vietnam MCDA Presentation

Zambia MCDA Presentation

STDF Regional Workshop Asia and the Pacific - 2012

This workshop provided an introduction to the use of MCDA to prioritize SPS investments for market access, shared country experiences and discussed issues faced in using this methodology. The workshop programme can be found here.

Workshop documents
Aflandia case study
Participant list

Workshop presentations
Introduction to Workshop - Spencer Henson
MCDA Introduction - Spencer Henson
STDF Presentation - Marlynne Hopper
Aflandia case study - Spencer Henson
Belize Experience - Delilah Cabb
Vietnam experience - TranViet Cuong

STDF Regional Workshop Africa - 2011

This workshop provided an introduction to the use of MCDA to prioritize SPS investments for market access, shared country experiences and discussed issues faced in using this methodology.

Workshop documents       
Workshop programme
Workshop summary report

STDF: A joint initiative in SPS capacity building and technical cooperation- Melvin Spreij
Highlights from Recent STDF Thematic Work-Marlynne Hopper
Overview of the use of economic analysis to set priorities for SPS capacity building-Spencer Henson
A multi-criteria decision-making framework for setting priorities in SPS capacity building-Spencer Henson
Aflandia Country Case Study and Presentation-Spencer Henson
Establishing Priorities for SPS Capacity Building in Mozambique Using a Multi Criteria Decision-Making Framework- Ana David Timana
Application of the MCDA in Zambia- Doreen Malekano Chomba


This work emerged from a previous STDF activity on the use of economic analysis to inform SPS decision-making.