Interagency Coordination




The CEB Inter-Agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity is led by UNCTAD and includes UNIDO, UNDP, ITC, FAO, WTO, UNEP, ILO, UNCITRAL, UNOPS and the five UN Regional Commissions.

The CEB Inter-Agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity is an interagency mechanism dedicated to the coordination of trade and development operations at the national and regional levels within the UN system.

The United Nations Inter-Agency Cluster makes a concrete and direct contribution to the UN system-wide coherence reform by coordinating its participation in the:

Since its establishment in April 2007 and its official launch by the United Nations Secretary-General during UNCTAD XII in April 2008, the Cluster has been a dynamic instrument for ensuring the inclusion of trade and related matters in the United Nations assistance operations and contributing to United Nations system-wide coherence. It is a successful inter-agency mechanism employed to draw up joint programmes in the One United Nations pilots and in countries having adopted a “Delivering as One” approach.

Participation in the One United Nations pilots and in countries having adopted a “Delivering as One” approach

The following is a summary of the main initiatives undertaken by the CEB Cluster since its creation, including operations in the One UN Pilots and in countries having adopted a “Delivering as One” approach at the national and regional levels.

Participation of the Cluster in the One UN Pilots:

Joint programmes are being implemented and/or designed by the Cluster in Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, Vietnam and Uruguay.

In addition to the One UN pilot countries, the number of countries having adopted the “Delivering as one” approach when formulating new UNDAFs, based on the 2010 UNDG Guidelines for UN Country Teams on how to prepare an UNDAF is increasing. Many United Nations Resident Coordinators are requesting the Cluster’s assistance to address government priorities on trade-related and productive capacity issues at the country level.

In 2012, the Cluster was involved in the design and implementation of joint programmes with different intensity and configuration at the national and regional levels:

Operations of the Cluster at the national levels:

  1. Africa: Comoros, Lesotho, and Sao Tome and Principe;
  2. Arab States: Egypt, the State of Palestine and Iraq;
  3. Asia and the Pacific: Afghanistan, Bhutan, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nepal and Myanmar;
  4. Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Serbia Ukraine and Uzbekistan;
  5. Latin America and the Caribbean: Ecuador and Panama.

Operations of the Cluster at the regional levels:

(a) Africa: The Cluster is participating in the “Industry, Trade and Market Access (ITMA)” regional initiative. The regional operations aim at promoting sustainable growth, wealth creation and global integration through three priority areas, namely industrial policy and institutional direction development, upgrading production and trade capacities and boosting intra-African trade. The Cluster’ intervention includes UNCTAD, UNECA, UNIDO, UNDP, ILO and the WTO.

(b) Arab States: In 2012, five agencies of the Cluster, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNIDO, ILO and ITC jointly designed a regional project for the members of the League of the Arab States “Aid for Trade initiative for Arab States”. The initiative aims at providing a platform for targeted trade reforms, strengthen employment and competitiveness, trade promotion and regional trade integration building on the experience and ongoing activities in the region and at country level of the five collaborating agencies.

(c) Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States: The Cluster is participating in joint initiatives developed in the context of the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) jointly supported by UN ESCAP and UNECE. In this context, in 2012, UNCTAD and UNECE submitted an “Aid for Trade Project Concept Note” on customs data exchange and harmonization.

Interface with Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF)

When dealing with member countries of the Framework, activities included in the joint programmes are in conformity with those proposed in the diagnostic trade integration studies. This is for instance the case in the “Delivering as one” United Nations pilots Cape Verde, Mozambique, and Rwanda, but in other LDCs such as Bhutan, Comoros, the Lao PDR and Lesotho.

Contribution to United Nations system-wide coherence

In June 2012, the Government of Albania hosted the fifth Intergovernmental High-level Conference on the DaO to discuss the achievements, challenges and lessons learned so far. During the Conference, the member states insisted that the benefits of the implementation of the DaO were by far greater than any shortcoming, and that “there was no way back to do business with the UN as before”. The member states highlighted that the government’ ownership of the UN assistance as well as the alignment on national priorities greatly improved since 2007. UNCTAD, which represented the Non Resident Agencies (NRAs) during the Conference, emphasized that the DaO greatly facilitated the access of Governments and United Nations Resident Coordinators to the expertise of the NRAs, in particular on policy aspects. UNCTAD also highlighted that the DaO not only led to more coherence but as well significantly increased quality of the joint-operations as they benefit from a wide range of expertise existing within the UN system.

On 21 December 2012, the UN General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution (A/Res/67/226) on the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR), which assesses the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and impact of UN operational activities for development and establishes system-wide policy orientations for the development cooperation and country-level modalities of the UN system for the period 2013-2016.

The Cluster was mentioned as an example of best practice in the Report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the 2012 QCPR. The report notes that it provides new opportunities for cooperation on economic development as well as “greater access to the range of development expertise and resources in the United Nations system”. The message was reiterated during the General Assembly debate regarding the UN system wide coherence in October 2012.

The UN Inter-Agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity and its active participation in the UNDG on all matters pertaining to the participation of non-resident agencies in UNDAFs has been contributing for the past few years to overall policy-orientations for development cooperation enshrined in the above mentioned resolution. The development impact of the Cluster proved to be much wider and deeper than the impact achieved by the operations of agencies acting alone. The clustering approach, by being effective from the design to the monitoring and evaluation’s phases of the UNDAFs at the country level or similar exercises carried out at the regional level proved to be a strategic instrument in the operationalisation of system-wide coherence. Such thematic approach, firmly anchored within the overall “Delivering as One” architecture could be replicated and become a standard operating procedure as it greatly ease the coordination between the United Nations agencies, the national partners, the United Nations Resident Coordinators system and the donors.

For more information:


Manuela Tortora
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Palais des Nations
8-14, Av. de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10 Switzerland

Tel: +41 22 917 1234
Fax: +41 22 917 0057







Monitoring Aid for Trade

The WTO Task Force on Aid for Trade recommended establishing two accountability mechanisms to track progress in implementing the initiative and to enhance its credibility; at the local level, to foster genuine local ownership and ensure that trade needs are integrated into national development strategies and adequately addressed; and at the global level, to increase transparency about what is happening, what is not and where improvements are required.

Following these recommendations, the OECD and the WTO established an aid for trade monitoring framework. The objective of the framework is to promote dialogue and encourage all key actors to honour commitments, meet local needs, improve effectiveness, and reinforce mutual accountability.

The WTO and OECD periodically review aid for trade to monitor what is happening, what is not, and where improvements are needed. This transparency helps to underwrite progress in the Aid-for-Trade Initiative, facilitating dialogue and holding all stakeholders to account. The monitoring provides general impressions and allows progress to be assessed at the global level. It is based on self-assessment, complemented by independent evaluation findings and academic research.

The original aim of monitoring was focused on the measurement of flows, raising awareness about the role of trade in development and creating a community of best practice. It has subsequently evolved to examine implementation, effectiveness and results. Since 2007, the monitoring framework has broadened the global aid-for-trade partnership. Efforts to monitor aid for trade have been successful with strong participation from the donor community, partner countries and providers of South-south co-operation.

The WTO has suggested that Global Value Chains and Private Sector Development will be the central themes of the 4th Global Review of Aid for Trade which will take place in the summer of 2013. This will explore how aid for trade is supporting private sector development activities in developing countries, and in particular LDCs, in the context of expanding global and regional value chains. Other themes such as Regional Trade integration and the Impact of aid for trade will remain important. The sub-section below reviews the OECD contribution to monitoring. This includes providing a quantitative assessment of donor support through reporting of aid-for-trade flows and qualitiative assessment of partner country and donor agency engagement based on local accountability and global review. The last sub-section concludes that the approach to monitoring has worked but it must continue to evolve to meet the changing demands of the aid-for-trade community.

OECD Contribution to Monitoring Aid for Trade

The OECD report on Aid for Trade: Making it Effective published in 2006, provided the parameters of the aid-for-trade monitoring effort. The report suggested that aid for trade should be guided by the Paris Principles of Aid Effectiveness. The Paris Declaration committed countries and organisations to increase efforts in harmonisation, alignment and managing aid for results with a set of monitorable actions and indicators. One of the key issues that the Task Force had to investigate was a definition of aid for trade. In the end, the accepted definition was based on the Paris Principles. Projects and programmes should be considered as aid for trade if these activities have been identified as trade-related development priorities in the recipient country’s national development strategies, e.g. trade-related infrastructure, adjustment and technical assistance (WTO, 2006b). Such definitions enable partner countries to tailor aid for trade to their national conditions and needs and enable better management of the programmes which are designed to achieve the desired results. The benchmarks below were selected. They include ODA for:

  • Technical assistance for trade policy and regulations: for example, helping countries to develop trade strategies, negotiate trade agreements and implement their outcomes;
  • Trade-related infrastructure: for example, building roads, ports and telecommunications networks to connect domestic markets to the global economy;
  • Productive capacity building (including trade development): for example, supporting the private sector to exploit its comparative advantages and diversify its exports;
  • Trade-related adjustment: helping developing countries with the costs associated with trade liberalisation, such as tariff reductions, preference erosion, or declining terms of trade; and,
  • Other trade-related needs: if identified as trade-related development priorities in partner countries’ national development strategies (OECD/WTO, 2009:52).

Tracking the flows

The official collection of aid-for-trade data originated from a decision made by WTO members at the Joint OECD/WTO Trade Capacity Building meeting on 4 May 2007. It was decided to use the OECD-DAC Creditor Reporting System (CRS) for the collection and monitoring of the broader aid-for-trade agenda instead of the Trade Capacity Building Database (TCBDB) which catered for the more specialised reporting on trade-related technical assistance and capacity building (TRTA/CB). The CRS aid activity database, contains detailed quantitative and descriptive data on individual aid projects and programmes. CRS data are used to analyse the sectoral and geographical breakdown of aid for selected years and donors, to examine aid that promotes specific policy objectives (gender equality, environmental sustainability, untying, aid for trade) and monitor donors’ compliance with various international recommendations in the field of development co-operation.

The CRS data are the unique source for official, standard and comparable statistics on Official Development Assistance. The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) collects aid flows at activity level through the annual DAC Questionnaire. The data collection is based on a standard methodology and agreed definitions. Detailed information on ODA eligibility, classifications and collection methods are given in the Reporting Directives. Data can be used to analyse trends and compare the efforts of donors. Governments, organisations and researchers make frequent use of it, and for the OECD, the CRS serves as a tool for monitoring specific policy issues, including aid for trade. The Reporting Directives undergo constant review and scrutiny by the DAC Working Party on Statistics.  Classifications (e.g. DAC List of ODA Recipients, DAC List of ODA-Eligible International Organisations, DAC sector/purpose classification) are updated on a regular basis.  

The categories of aid for trade used for the purpose of tracking flows are often confused with the definition of aid for trade. Consequently, many commentators have made the case that the “definition” of aid for trade is too broad and this diminishes its effectiveness. The objective of monitoring flows was to assess additionality and to hold donors who made pledges at the Hong Kong Ministerial to account.1 The starting point for this discussion was that it was impossible to define a priori what constituted aid for trade e.g. a component of an infrastructure project may be trade-related but it may also have other objectives.2 Therefore a set of broad proxies in the CRS were selected corresponding to the categories listed above. Furthermore, members of the OECD Working Party on Statistics agreed to modify the CRS to accommodate the collection of aid-for-trade data by adding a trade-related adjustment code and a policy marker for trade development activities.

Local Accountability and Global Review

The implementation of the monitoring would be based on two accountability mechanisms: the first at national or regional level and the second at a global level. Local accountability involved the strengthening of local ownership and management for results. The Global Review would review progress at the regional and national level, provide a forum for corrective feedback and ensure that the needs identified at the local level – whether financial or performance related – are addressed. The WTO-OECD Monitoring Framework was established based on these two dimensions to help track progress in the implementation and enhance the credibility of the Aid-for-Trade Initiative.

The objective of the monitoring framework is to promote dialogue and encourage all key actors to honour commitments, meet local needs, improve effectiveness and reinforce mutual accountability. The value of this joint OECD-WTO monitoring framework lies in creating incentives through enhanced transparency, scrutiny and dialogue so as to foster synergies between trade and other economic policy areas in developing countries and improve the coherence of aid for trade with overall donor strategies. These are all essential components of effective aid delivery as embodied in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (OECD/WTO, 2011). The various different elements of the monitoring mechanism can be described using a logical framework which ties together demand, response, outcomes and impact.

The logical framework to assess whether progress is being made towards the desired aid-for-trade goals consists of the following four elements:

  1. mainstreaming and prioritising trade (demand)
  2. trade-related projects and programmes (response)
  3. enhanced capacity to trade (outcome)
  4. improved trade performance and reduced poverty (impact)

Demand is obtained through partner-country self-assessments based on an OECD-WTO partner country questionnaire. In addition, these assessments also provide information about mainstreaming trade in development strategies, trade-related priorities, the delivery of aid for trade and co-operation between partner countries and donors.

Assessment of the response consists of the following:

  • Quantitative information (i.e. aid-for-trade flows) on trade-related projects and programmes is extracted from the OECD DAC Creditor Reporting System (CRS) database for the categories that are most closely related to the WTO Task Force definition.
  • Qualitative information concerning the response is derived from donor self-assessments, based on an OECD-WTO donor questionnaire. These self-assessments highlight the progress made by donors in developing operational aid-for-trade strategies, the extent to which these are implemented in line with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, and the different steps taken to improve the quality of aid-for-trade programmes.

Trade-related outcomes such as improved logistics, lower transport costs, higher productive capacity and ultimately more trade are examined through trade-related indicators outlined in aid-for-trade factsheets, evaluation findings and eventually in 2011 a series of aid-for-trade case-stories (see below). Impacts are the longer term contribution of trade to development objectives such as poverty reduction and these can be assessed using the Millennium Development Goals.


The monitoring process has largely achieved its objectives. As can be seen in Table 1, engagement by the various different stakeholders has been impressive and the number of elements in the framework has expanded over time while maintaining the commitment of donors and partner countries alike.

Table 1. Stakeholder engagement in OECD/WTO monitoring





Donor Questionnaire Responses




Partner-country Questionnaire Responses




South-South Questionnaire Responses




Regional Economic Communities



Case Stories





The OECD and WTO have put in place a credible and useful monitoring mechanism, vindicating the original recommendations of the WTO Task Force on Aid for Trade. Over the years the mechanism has been refined and expanded. The approach has succeed because monitoring has not been a passive activity, it has been complemented and reinforced by an active review process - one that promotes change by submitting feedback to donor and partner countries, providing an environment for dialogue, knowledge-sharing, exchange of good practice and information on trade-related assistance programmes.

In the last monitoring exercise, questions were asked about the usefulness of the global-level monitoring. The response was very supportive. Donor agencies almost universally consider the monitoring either very useful or useful. Providers of South-South co-operation and partner countries also view the exercise positively (WTO/OECD, 2011). The next monitoring exercise will further expand the reach of the spotlight to also cover the private sector. This poses new challenges for the aid-for-trade community and new strategic partnerships will be required to ensure a sufficient response rate from private sector actors. The next round of monitoring will provide a valuable update on where aid for trade stands, it will offer new approaches being developed to improve results, regional programmes and discuss ways to help developing countries to connect to global value chains.


Mr. William Hynes
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
2, rue Andre Pascal
F-75775 Paris Cedex 16, France

Tel: +33 1 45 24 15 68 Fax: +33 1 45 24 8500


For more information:

1 Specific pledges were made by the United States, Japan and the European Union. However some of these pledges may have been contingent upon a successful Doha outcome. Nevertheless, the Aid for Trade at a Glance Report in 2009 indicated that the Hong Kong pledges were successfully met.

2 The LDC submission to the WTO Task Force expressed reservations about this practice, i.e. “OECD does not distinguish between what could be narrowly defined as a trade-related infrastructure from more general multi-purpose infrastructures. Under that practice, figures for infrastructure seem to be exaggerated”. However it would be extremely difficult to identify specifically the trade-related component in every project.






In 2010, the WTO set up the Global Trade-related Technical Assistance Database (GTAD) to follow-up on the discontinued WTO/OECD joint database of trade-related capacity building projects, and to complement the OECD’s existing Creditor Reporting System (CRS) that provides data on trade-related aid, with a view to enhancing inter-agency coordination and coherence in the delivery of TRTA programmes.

The development of this centralized, but forward-looking information tool, aims at facilitating the coordination of efforts, and ensuring the coherence of approaches in programmes for activities delivered in the regions. Ownership of the GTAD includes all partner agencies, so as to ensure shared responsibility, continued cooperation, but also to increase the number of opportunities to advertise this information tool, so as to address the largest possible audience involved in trade-related capacity-building.

The GTAD database has 20 trade categories and includes an interactive search engine.

  1. Accession
  2. Agriculture
  3. Customs valuation
  4. Dispute settlement
  5. Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs)
  6. Rules
  7. Sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS): food safety, plant health, animal health and general
  8. Services
  9. Tariff negotiations
  10. Tariff reforms
  11. Technical barriers to trade
  12. Trade and competition
  13. Trade and the environment
  14. Trade and investment
  15. Trade-related training and education
  16. Trade facilitation
  17. Trade mainstreaming in PRSPs/development Plans
  18. Trade-related intellectual property rights (TRIPS)
  19. Negotiation training
  20. Transparency and government procurement

The GTAD can be found at:


Susan Harrison
Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation







The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) for trade-related assistance for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is a multi-donor programme that supports LDCs to become more active players in the multilateral trading system. The EIF combines the efforts of LDCs with those of six Core international Partner Agencies (the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank (WB) and the World Trade Organization (WTO)), donors and other development partners who act as observers (such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)).

In 2012, the EIF was rated as “highly relevant” to the trade and development priorities of LDCs according to the conclusions of the independent EIF Mid-Term Review (MTR) conducted between July and November 2012. As a result, the EIF Steering Committee (EIFSC) at its December 2012 meeting accepted the proposal to extend the EIF mandate to the end of 2015, with an additional operational period for project implementation up to 2017. EIF support to EIF Countries has gained momentum with 43 EIF Countries having projects receiving assistance to build stronger trade institutions and developing prioritized action plans to address trading challenges. The EIF now assists 48 of the poorest countries and is supported by 23 Donors, with pledges totalling US$240 million and contributions totalling approximately US$178 million as of 31 December 2012.

The EIF is an Aid for Trade (AfT) partnership in action for LDCs, which supports LDCs to be more active players in the global trading system by helping them:

  • mainstream trade into national development strategies;
  • set up coordination structures to deliver trade-related technical assistance; and
  • build trade capacity, including addressing critical supply-side constraints.

In this way, the programme works towards a wider goal of promoting economic growth and sustainable development and helping lift more people out of poverty. The EIF provides a vehicle for LDCs to leverage additional AfT resources and is a useful mechanism for donors through which initial AfT commitments can be delivered.

The EIF programme is now at an important juncture with a renewed focus on results, accountability, stronger donor coordination and governance with LDCs in the driving seat. The EIF’s global reach is matched by active engagement and coordination from Partner Agencies (IMF, ITC, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNIDO, WB and WTO). In this way, the EIF strengthens the donor harmonization agenda in line with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action.

Strategic collaboration is also ongoing with partners, such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Trade Facilitation Facility (TFF) of the World Bank, the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) and the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) TradeMark Southern Africa.

The first stage of the programme through Tier 1 projects provides the key tradeenabling building blocks for EIF Countries to work through how to prioritize actions needed to promote economic growth and sustainable development. The resulting Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies (DTIS) provide a common platform for government, civil society, private sector and development partner stakeholders to buy in and own the trade and development track a country is moving down to secure a strong trading future.

Building on strong in-country partnership, outreach and advocacy from the initial process, the EIF focuses on mainstreaming trade into national development plans, strengthening trade institutions and building requisite capacity needed to roll out joined-up and coordinated trade and development assistance. In Tier 2, the EIF works to support catalyst projects to overcome supply-side constraints to trade and help develop a strong and secure basis for export growth.

Approved Tier 2 projects in 2012 include: enhancing the sesame sector with a strong focus on private sector collaboration in Burkina Faso; institutional capacity building in sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards in Burundi; feasibility studies on establishing a cold storage facility, developing an existing export processing zone and identification and classification of tourism sites in Burundi; increasing exports of milled rice and high-value silk in Cambodia; adding value and improving the varieties of sesame, corn and palm seeds and plants in Central African Republic; adding value in agriculture with a focus on cashew nuts, groundnuts and sesame in The Gambia; promotion of fresh fruit and vegetable production for domestic and export markets in Lesotho; promoting the gum arabic sector in Mali; improving quality and adding value to ginger exports in Nepal; supporting eco-tourism in Sierra Leone; and improving the productivity and quality of honey in Yemen.

2012 EIF Highlights

The EIF is focusing on results delivery and has been supporting countries to operationalize the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework and report on the four main outcome areas of the programme. Following the EIF Anglophone M&E workshop in 2011, a Francophone workshop to prepare French-speaking countries for the evaluation of their national projects was hosted by Burkina Faso in 2012. Moreover, to enhance the programme’s reporting capacity and information-sharing, the EIF database also known as the “EIF Knowledge Hub” was launched in 2012.

In 2012, the EIF continued rolling out tailored capacity-building programmes offering ongoing support to LDCs. These included a project development module jointly developed with STDF and piloted in a training workshop in Senegal. The EIF also jointly organized with UNDP a trade mainstreaming module with pilots in Burkina Faso, Cambodia and Zambia to support the countries’ efforts to mainstream trade into national development policies. This has contributed to the adoption of a trade road map with set recommendations in Burkina Faso, a build-up to the next phase of mainstreaming trade in Cambodia and has started a dialogue to reform policy implementation in trade and trade-related ministries and agencies in Zambia.

The MTR of the EIF programme, which was carried out between July and November 2012, presented an important opportunity to take stock and show what was has been achieved so far. The MTR concluded that the programme was highly relevant to the current trade and economic priorities of LDCs and had positively contributed to strengthening capacities for trade-related strategies and plans, in mainstreaming trade into national development strategies and in ensuring a coordinated delivery of trade-related assistance following country priorities. The MTR also indicated that the EIF had supported countries in the areas of trade facilitation, market development, enhancing productivity, improving programme quality, addressing supply-side capacity constraints and trade integration.

As a result of the MTR discussions, the EIFSC at its December 2012 meeting accepted the proposal by the EIF Board to extend the programme mandate up to the end of 2015, with an additional operational period for project implementation running up to 2017. At the same meeting, the EIF partnership welcomed new chairpersons for the EIF Board and EIFSC. H.E. Mr Minelik Alemu Getahun, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, was elected as the new Chairperson of the EIF Board. H.E. Mr Getahun succeeded H.E. Mr Mothae Anthony Maruping of the Kingdom of Lesotho, who had chaired the EIF Board since its inception in 2007. H.E. Ms Päivi Kairamo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Finland, was elected as the new Chairperson of the EIFSC. H.E. Kairamo took over from H.E. Mr Hannu Himanen of Finland, who had chaired the EIFSC since the first meeting in 2010.

The EIF partnership also welcomed South Sudan as one of the new entrants to the programme following the EIF Board decision, increasing the number of EIF Countries to 48.

At the international level, the EIF continued to actively engage in international events that helped in addressing LDCs’ trade and development needs. At the thirteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII) in April 2012, the EIF hosted an LDC Ministerial Working Breakfast on the EIF along the theme “Integrating Trade into National Development Strategies: Accelerating Delivery of Results in the New Global Economic Landscape”. Along the margins of UNCTAD XIII, the EIF also participated in a special event hosted by the Government of Comoros focusing on Comoros’ Vision 2015 in preparation of a Donor Round Table on Aid for Trade, which was held later in 2012. The EIF took part in the Lesotho post-DTIS event hosted by UNCTAD focusing on using inter-agency cooperation to reduce poverty through trade. The EIF also joined the WTO to host an International Women’s Day event, which focused on how the EIF was supporting the drive for women’s economic empowerment in the poorest countries worldwide.

In addition, at the third annual meeting of the EIFSC, one of the eight film chapters from the EIF ‘Trading Stories’ project was premiered. This project focuses on disseminating information on good practices and lessons learnt and on showcasing country results. The Cambodia Trading Stories film chapter featured national trade voices from the community perspective, the private sector and civil society as well as the Government, showing the real impact of the programme in Cambodia.


  • Contributions as of 31 December 2012: Approx.US$178 million.
  • EIF countries to date: 46 LDCs and 2 graduated countries.
  • 31 multi-year Tier 1 ‘Support to National Implementation Arrangements (NIAs)’ projects in place to assist building stronger trade institutions, to mainstream trade and ensure coordinated implementation of priority activities proposed by the DTIS Action Matrices.
  • 43 validated DTIS.
  • 14 DTIS Updates approved.
  • 12 pre-DTIS projects under implementation.
  • 12 Tier 2 catalytic projects under implementation addressing national trading challenges.
  • 28 Tier 2 projects in the pipeline on sectors targeting export growth and income generation in support of pro-poor livelihoods, compliance with standards and value addition and in services including in tourism.

For more information, go to: or contact:






The Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade1 (GFP) was officially launched by the World Bank in 1999. It aims at pulling together all interested parties, public and private, national and international, who want to help achieve significant improvements in transport and trade facilitation in World Bank member countries.

A network of over 250 public and private partners (core partners include the World Bank, WCO, UNCTAD, UNECE, UNIDO, UN ESCAP, IRU, the Commonwealth Secretariat, BULPRO, Confederation of Organizations in Road Transport Enforcement (CORTE) and TIACA), and more than a thousand three hundred subscribed trade facilitation professionals worldwide, the GFP has become the reference forum on trade and transport facilitation. The Partners have together agreed to design and undertake specific programs towards meeting this objective, create knowledge, and support trade facilitation training opportunities while making use of their respective comparative advantage in the subject matter in a coordinated fashion.

The United Nations Trade Facilitation network has been established as a common platform for UN agencies involved in trade facilitation activities. It has been launched in response to the request from the High Level Committee on Programs of the United Nations Chief Executives Board to identifying Trade Facilitation issues to be addressed in a coordinated manner within the United Nations system. Recognizing that these agencies have different approaches to trade facilitation, the GFP platform concentrates information on each agency’s approach. It provides a doorway for users to investigate further the work carried out by the different agencies.

The GFP website portal is therefore designed as a “single window” for worldwide trade facilitation information and resources. It is maintained by the GFP Core partners and informs both on GFP partner activities and on other important trade facilitation events worldwide, sorted by TTF topics.

Core Partners

The Core Partners for the GFP are: World Bank, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), World Customs Organization (WCO), the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), International Road Transport Union (IRU), the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Confederation of Organizations in Road Transport Enforcement (CORTE) and BULPRO at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Core Partners are actively contributing partners, who commit to upload new content as it becomes available on their website, define internal information flows to update the website, and conduct quarterly reviews of the website. Individuals associated with Core or Regular Partners are eligible to receive automated notifications on the topics and activities of interest indicating changes that took place in the previous month.

GFP Activities

The World Bank is working closely with other organizations such as the IMF, WTO, UNCTAD, and WCO, to help policy makers and stakeholders from developing countries to better understand the stakes and the roadmap to trade facilitating reform and modernization. GFP covers a wide range of topic and activities, which include:

Topics covered

  • Border agency modernization
  • Building TTF Partnerships
  • Customs issues
  • Economic development and trade facilitation
  • Electronic commerce and business
  • Other trade facilitation aspects
  • Regional transport integration
  • Trade Facilitation for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME)
  • Trade liberalization and facilitation
  • Trade logistics and facilitation
  • Transit
  • Transport operations

Activities and projects include:

  • Trade and Transport Facilitation Assessment (TTFA)
  • World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI)
  • Preparation of customs guidelines
  • WCO time release for goods software
  • ASEAN countries: Pathway to Excellence
  • DAC project on trade facilitation
  • GFP gatherings
  • Meeting of governmental experts from Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries
  • Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Programme (SSATP)
  • The Northern Corridor Transit Agreement
  • TRACECA - Transport Corridor Europe Caucasus Asia
  • Trade and transport facilitation in Southeast Europe (TTFSE)

For questions related to the GFP and contributions, please email:


As part of the ongoing effort to supporting constituencies for reform through partnerships, the World Bank has supported the GFP for several years now and will continue to do so in the future as the GFP is an important vehicle for promoting the value of trade and transport facilitation both for developed and for developing countries. It is also one of the only vehicles available to date, which brings together international organizations and other donors (8% of total membership), UN entities (6%), Academia, NGOs and Media (3%), government officials and intergovernmental bodies (10%) and private sector representatives (32%) and individuals (42%) to debate and discuss trade and transport facilitation issues in an open and informal way.

The GFP holds meetings twice a year in Washington, Brussels or other locations to exchange information on on-going activities, review activities by the various partners, analyze most critical TTF matters, and attract new partners. In the last three years, following requests from GFP Partners, the GFP meetings took place in three different regions: Middle East and North Africa, Southern Africa, East Asia and the Pacific and the upcoming GFP 2012 meeting will take place in South Asia. The meetings offer opportunities to interact with experts from different organizations and discuss trade and transport facilitation issues as well as the role of private sector. Attendance to the GFP Meetings is by invitation only to all GFP Partners. For more information on the past or upcoming meetings, visit theGFP Gatherings.

For questions related to the GFP and contributions, please email:

For more information:

Trade Logistics and Facilitation websites:


Monica Alina Mustra
The World Bank Group
1818 H Street NW,
Washington DC 20433-0002

Tel: 202-458-8963,
Fax: 202-614-0468 Skype: damustra


1 For more information on the GFP please visit: A newly revamped GFP website offering new features and functionalities will be launched in September 2012.






The STDF is a global partnership that supports developing countries in building their capacity to implement international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards, guidelines and recommendations as a means to improve their human, animal and plant health situation and ability to gain or maintain access to markets. In doing so, it contributes to sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction, food security and environmental protection in developing countries. The STDF was established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Bank (WB), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Other organizations involved in SPS-related technical cooperation, such as the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), bilateral donors and developing country experts also participate actively in the STDF. The STDF is managed and housed by the WTO.

The STDF helps in increasing awareness, mobilizing additional resources, strengthening collaboration and identifying and disseminating good practice to enhance the effectiveness of SPS-related technical cooperation. The STDF also provides support and funding for the development and implementation of projects that promote compliance with international SPS requirements.

Enhanced collaboration in SPS-related technical cooperation

The STDF acts as a forum for coordination among partners, donors, observers and beneficiaries, so that they can achieve greater coherence and synergy in their operations, strengthen current and future planned cooperation activities and avoid duplication of effort. A key role for the STDF is to act as a bridge between the technical work of partners, donors and observers and a broader trade and development audience. Key coordination functions and responsibilities of the STDF include:

  • Maintaining regular and close contact with partners, donors and observers to ensure that their initiatives are publicized within the STDF and more broadly;
  • Raising awareness on the importance and role of SPS capacity building in enhancing trade and development in the context of Aid for Trade, in particular by maintaining close contacts with multilateral, regional and bilateral SPS-related cooperation programmes, such as the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF);
  • Implementing action-oriented research on cross-cutting, thematic topics of relevance to SPS capacity building (e.g. public private partnerships, SPS coordination, linkages between SPS and trade facilitation) to identify lessons learned, good practices and recommendations to enhance SPS technical cooperation, and organizing global and regional level workshops and consultations on these topics;
  • Mobilizing additional funds for SPS-related technical cooperation, and liaising with donors and other funding mechanisms;
  • Disseminating information on SPS-related technical cooperation activities, such as capacity evaluation assessments, training materials and project evaluations, through STDF meetings and those of partner agencies (including the WTO-SPS Committee), the STDF website, Virtual Library (i.e. an online repository of SPS capacity building documents), newsletter, briefings and publications.

Previous STDF events at global and regional level, in some instances organized back-to-back with WTO-SPS Committee meetings, addressed the following topics:

  • A workshop on SPS-related capacity evaluation tools considered the merits of specific and generic tools developed by international organizations, and helped to increase understanding of the various tools available and their practical application (2008).
  • An information session on private standards provided an update on recent developments in this area, and examined options for facilitating compliance with these schemes (2008).
  • A seminar on good practice in SPS-related technical cooperation, organized jointly with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), considered examples of good practice in SPS technical assistance, including use of the Paris Principles on Aid Effectiveness. It was based on STDF research carried out in East Africa, Central America and the Greater Mekong Basin Sub-Region (2008).
  • A seminar on SPS risks and climate change, organized jointly with the World Bank, raised awareness among donors and developing countries about the importance of integrating the climate change dimension into SPS control systems and technical cooperation programmes (2009).
  • At a regional meeting in Bamako, Mali, organized in close collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), research institutes, bilateral donors, multilateral organizations and other stakeholders agreed on a coordinated multi-stakeholder approach to control fruit fly in West Africa (2009).
  • A seminar on economic analysis raised awareness among participants about the costs and benefits of investing in SPS capacity building and the role and use of different economic analysis methodologies, specifically how they can be used to inform decision-making and enhance resource allocation (2009).
  • Participants at a technical working meeting, organized jointly with the OECD, identified and discussed indicators to measure the performance of national SPS systems.
  • In October 2010, the STDF, in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and the World Bank, organized a seminar on the role and value added of Public-Private Partnerships in the area of food safety, animal and plant health.
  • In 2011, a regional training workshop was organized in Southern Africa for SPS practitioners on the use of the Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) tool to inform SPS decision-making and resource allocation. This was preceded by application of the methodology in Mozambique and Zambia.
  • A seminar on international trade and Invasive Alien Species (IAS) was held in July 2012, in close collaboration with the OIE and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat to raise awareness and create synergies between SPS and environmental communities about IAS as a trade-related issue.
  • A regional training workshop for SPS experts took place in Bangkok in November 2012 on the use of the MCDA tool for Asian/Pacific countries, preceded by application of the tool in Vietnam.

Project development

The STDF Secretariat generally acts as a “helpdesk” for beneficiaries on project development. It ensures that conclusions, recommendations and lessons learned in all areas of STDF work are reflected in new proposals, and reinforce and complement the technical work undertaken by partners, donors and other relevant organizations and initiatives. The Secretariat regularly reviews project proposals that are submitted to the STDF for funding and assists beneficiaries in improving them before consideration by the Working Group. The Secretariat may also, in close consultation with its partners, accept to “peer-review” other SPS-related projects and programmes initiated by donors and other organizations and initiatives involved in the provision of technical cooperation. STDF reviews of such proposals may further ensure that information on planned projects and programmes is widely shared at an early stage and facilitate the application of good practice and the creation of synergies and increased collaboration among SPS-related technical cooperation providers.

Within the STDF, project preparation grants (PPGs) are a key mechanism to assist beneficiaries in the articulation of their SPS needs and the development of technically sound and sustainable project proposals. This may include the conduct of feasibility studies to assess the potential impact and economic viability of proposals in terms of expected costs and benefits. As part of the PPG process, beneficiaries are encouraged to apply existing capacity evaluation and prioritization tools in the area of human, animal and plant health to identify and prioritize their SPS needs, which may vary considerably across countries and regions. The application of these tools can provide a foundation for the development of projects, SPS action plans and wider donor strategies. An additional component of the STDF’s work in this respect consists of the mobilization of financial resources within the general donor community to fund resultant projects, rather than relying exclusively on the STDF’s limited budgetary funds.

Project implementation

The STDF has funds available to finance a limited number of projects, in line with beneficiary countries’ priorities. The following types of projects are given favorable consideration by the STDF Working Group:

  • Projects relevant to the identification, development and dissemination of good practice in SPS technical cooperation, including projects that develop and apply innovative and replicable approaches;
  • Projects linked to STDF work on cross-cutting thematic topics of common interest;
  • Projects that address SPS constraints through regional approaches; and
  • Collaborative and inter-disciplinary projects focused on the interface / linkages between human, animal and plant health and trade, and benefiting from the involvement of two or more partners or other relevant organizations.

The STDF aims to devote 40 percent of project grant resources to LDCs and other low income countries. To achieve this target, the STDF operates in synergy with other technical cooperation trust funds managed by the WTO which aim to mainstream trade into development policy, such as the EIF. Various projects have been developed and funded based on SPS needs identified in the EIF Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies.


The STDF grew out of a commitment by the heads of FAO, the OIE, the World Bank, WHO and the WTO at the Doha Ministerial Conference in November 2001 to jointly explore new technical and financial mechanisms for coordination and resource mobilization, and to build alliances between standard setting bodies and the implementing and financing agencies, so as to ensure the most effective use of technical and financial resources. The five organizations formally established the STDF in August 2002 as a partnership and a trust fund with seed funding from the World Bank and WTO. Membership of the STDF was further expanded in 2005 to include representatives of donors and developing countries. In 2007, observer status was granted to other organizations with expertise in the food safety, animal and/or plant health area, or implementing technical assistance projects in these areas.


The STDF comprises three main bodies:

  • The Policy Committee, which consists of high level representatives of STDF partners, donors and developing country experts. It sets policy guidelines and provides oversight on the overall direction of the Facility.
  • The Working Group, which consists of technical level representatives of STDF partners, donors and developing country experts, and includes participation by the Secretariats of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the IPPC, as well as by invited observers. Responsibilities include, inter alia, guiding the development of resources for the coordination and dissemination of best practice, and the review and approval of applications for funding.
  • The Secretariat which, under the administrative responsibility of the WTO, is responsible for administration of the Facility.

The Policy Committee meets once a year, and the Working Group normally meets two times a year (usually back-to-back with WTO-SPS Committee meetings in Geneva). All decisions are taken by consensus.

Key STDF documents include the Medium Term Strategy (2012-2016), the STDF Operational Rules and the STDF Work Plan for 2013.

For more information, including key documents, ongoing activities and project and PPG eligibility criteria, please visit the STDF website: or write to