Since the start of the Doha Development Agenda, donors have provided annually USD 21 billion on average to activities that are closely associated with the aid for trade categories identified by the WTO Task Force. In order to ensure that aid for trade delivers maximum value for money there is an urgent need to develop a body of evidence on what works and what doesn’t in building trade capacities in low-income countries.
This session will provide an overview of the existing evaluations of donor programmes and projects that could be considered as Aid for Trade and assess the current practices (i.e. specificity, frequency, rigour and robustness). In addition, it will summarise the lessons learnt on the effectiveness and impact of Aid for Trade and identify the areas where more knowledge and evidence is needed to draw more specific conclusions. Finally, it will explore the need (and possible options) for practical guidance to evaluate Aid for Trade at programming and policy levels. For instance, when evaluating aid for trade it might not be enough to monitor only spending, or rates of return or efficiency gains on individual projects or programmes – but there is also a need to monitor the sequencing of interventions.