The World Trade Organization has contracted Karsten Weitzenegger to evaluate a phytosanitary capacity development project of the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF). The independent ex-post evaluation of STDF project performance offers lessons and recommendations to improve future project results.
The Project STDF/PG/350 entitled “Global Phytosanitary Manuals, Standard Operating Procedures and Training Kits” was requested by Côte D’Ivoire, Jamaica, Malaysia, and Sudan in March 2011, in collaboration with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat, housed by FAO.
The project goal was to improve the capacity of National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) to implement IPPC obligations and International Standards on Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) by providing them with internationally accepted technical resources, such as manuals, Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) and training kits. Specifically, these manuals and kits would inter alia provide detailed guidance on establishment and effective operation of NPPOs and areas such as import verification, export certification, pest surveillance and pest risk analysis.
The project focused on: (i) setting up a Phytosanitary Resources website, i.e. an electronic portal containing a wide array of technical resources and materials; (ii) a global call to identify existing technical resources for review and validation by experts; and (iii) identification and development of priority technical resources (manuals, SOPs and training kits) to support implementation of ISPMs and effective management of plant health issues by NPPOs. Following a call to NPPOs worldwide, over 300 different resources (from e-learning modules, diagnostic protocols and advocacy materials) were shared, validated and posted online.
The project used the convening power of the IPPC to build on existing work and resources, to avoid “re-inventing the wheel” and duplication. Specifically, the project was used to review and validate a number of existing resources and develop new ones that addressed core functions of the IPPC, effective NPPO management and urgent topics. By the end of the project, the Phytosanitary Resources website was set up and populated with relevant content.