Prioritizing SPS Investments for Market Access (P-IMA)

Developing countries face many demands to improve SPS capacity to boost agri-food exports and support other public policy objectives. Yet resources available from government budgets and donors are insufficient to meet all identified needs. This requires hard choices to be made between competing SPS investments.

The STDF has developed a framework to help inform and improve SPS planning and decision-making processes. The P-IMA framework offers an evidence-based approach to inform and improve SPS planning and decision-making processes. It helps to link SPS investments to public policy goals including export growth, agricultural productivity, and poverty reduction. In the process, P-IMA encourages public-private dialogue, boosts transparency and accountability, and improves the economic efficiency of investment decisions. The P-IMA user Guide uses a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach, as well as computer software (D-Sight) to help derive priorities.

Launch of a P-IMA Facilitators Handbook - December 2022: to facilitate and promote self-application of the P-IMA framework, a handbook has been developed. This handbook aims to provide detailed, step-by-step guidance on how to apply P-IMA to advise experts who facilitate the use of the framework, including in virtual environments. It will support facilitators in providing in-depth training on the P-IMA framework aimed at equipping public and private sector stakeholders in developing countries with the necessary skills to apply the framework to the prioritization of trade-related SPS capacity-building in their own country/region.

Highlights from regional and country experiences
Africa: COMESA, Ethiopia, GhanaMadagascarMalawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Uganda, Zambia 

Asia & the Pacific: Vietnam , Bangladesh

Central Asia: Tajikistan 

Latin America & the Caribbean: Belize,CARICOM,Ecuador

Armenia (Report and Executive summary)

Trade Mark East Africa: Unlocking regional trade in the East African region (Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, South Sudan and Rwanda)- 
Detailed report and abridged version.

External Evaluation on the Use of STDF’s Evidence-Based Approach to Prioritize SPS Investments for Market Access (P-IMA)

An external evaluation has unpacked the results, experiences and learning from the use of STDF's P-IMA framework globally. The evaluation concluded that the "P-IMA framework is highly relevant in terms of addressing stakeholders needs for prioritizing SPS capacity building options in ways that are transparent, inclusive, accountable, and participatory." It found that "over half of the SPS capacity building options generated through P-IMA's use were taken forward for funding, integrated into national action plans, and/or used to inform organizations’ strategies or national SPS investments and legislation. Over US$2.8 million was leveraged to implement SPS capacity building options." 

The evaluation also identified challenges affecting P-IMA's impact and sustainability, such as inadequate institutionalization in SPS decision-making processes and limited synergies in practice with SPS capacity evaluation tools. It concluded that "there is scope for greater collaboration with donors and development partners to support the use and mainstreaming of P-IMA, and leverage financing for the prioritized SPS investments. Improving MEL and tracking how P-IMA supports improved SPS decision-making and fund-raising would support this process." 

Download the external evaluation here.

P-IMA Webinar

Tuesday, 6 December 2022 

14:30 - 15:30 (CET)

Join us as we share results and experiences of using P-IMA to prioritize aflatoxin-related interventions in food and feed to support the implementation of the national policy for aflatoxin control in Ghana.

Opening remarks: Daniel Njiwa, Head, Regional Food Trade, AGRA

Key note presentation: Dr Rose Omari is a Senior Research Scientist at the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR- STEPRI), Ghana

Other discussants: Isaac Gokah (AGRA), Marlynne Hopper (STDF) and Roshan Khan (STDF)

Watch the recording of the webinar here

STDF P-IMA Practitioner Group

The STDF P-IMA Practitioner Group aims to support and improve the planning, delivery and dissemination of STDF's work on P-IMA. The STDF Secretariat convenes members of this Group to identify opportunities to promote the use of P-IMA linked to other ongoing/planned work, encourage innovations and synergies to catalyse resources for SPS capacity building needs prioritized in various P-IMA reports, and exchange experiences and learning.

More information about the P-IMA Practitioner Group is available here.

Briefing - Driving better decision-making: Prioritizing SPS investments for market access (P-IMA)

An STDF Briefing provides a concise introduction to the P-IMA framework highlighting different country and regional experiences. It sets out the key benefits of using P-IMA and outlines the steps in applying it.

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

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

Marlynne Hopper (STDF Secretariat) introduced the P-IMA framework, its guiding principles and the 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.

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. She 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, she 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.

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