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.

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.

P-IMA workshop in 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.

Workshop Summary Report
Workshop Programme

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

Regional workshop for the 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.

Aflandia case study
Participant list

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

Regional workshop in 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 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.