Evaluating Aid for Trade Effectiveness on the Ground: A Methodological Framework

Date period
21 November 2011

SummaryThis paper is part of a research project that ICTSD has undertaken to assess the effectiveness and impact of aid for trade (AfT) at the country level. In doing so, ICTSD seeks to complement existing monitoring mechanisms led by the WTO and the OECD by providing a comprehensive and integrated picture of the unique experiences of individual countries in their effort to enhance their capacity to trade through AfT.
As part of this project, this paper develops a comprehensive methodological framework for conducting country-level assessments of the effectiveness of AfT. It proposes a series of qualitative and quantitative indicators to measure critical aspects of the initiative, such as the additionality and predictability of funds, trade mainstreaming, local ownership of the initiative and donors’ alignment and coordination. These objective indicators are complemented by an impact assessment of AfT at the macro level and in a particular sector or AfT category.
While the methodology was developed for the purpose of conducting some pilot studies in Nepal, Cambodia, Malawi, Mauritius, and Peru, it can also be used as a basis for further studies in other countries or regions. Indeed, the framework developed in this paper aims to provide organisations interested in conducting country studies with a systematic approach to capture the unique experiences of individual countries in enhancing their trade capacity through AfT.