The project aimed to set up a database on SPS-related technical assistance to help reduce duplication and gaps in capacity building activities and to track overall assistance flows and trends.
Trade-related technical assistance and capacity building provide direct support to countries to build their human and institutional capacity and tackle global trade challenges. Many developing countries need support to meet the WTO SPS Agreement and to gain and maintain access to international export markets.
STDF’s founding partners – FAO, OIE, World Bank Group, WHO and WTO – have provided technical assistance and capacity building in trade over many years, and there was a growing need for better coordination to avoid duplication and strengthen coherence in programme delivery. At the same time, the project aimed to create an overview of all donors and programme support related to SPS projects.
The STDF database was measured by an overview of the assistance reported. For the period 2001-2006, a total of 2,475 entries for SPS-related technical assistance were reported. However, there was widespread underreporting from developed and developing countries, with a clear need to improve data reporting. Given that countries were responsible for submitting their SPS-related support entries, countries with a stronger capacity to monitor and report activities were, as a result, overrepresented in the database.
There is a need to make sure that countries can also report on the effectiveness of technical assistance.
STDF is a valuable coordination platform to exchange the latest information on SPS technical assistance.