This monitoring exercise, undertaken by the
NAPC with the support of international expertise, focuses on the implementation and impacts of the
GAFTA Agreement in Syria, with special attention to agriculture-related implications.
It serves the main purposes to find out
whether the implementation of GAFTA has progressed as foreseen or it is constrained by some
critical factors, and whether the agreement itself is working towards reaching the planned
objectives of enhancing trade, integration and development. An early identification of
such factors enables policy makers to make necessary adjustments in policy design and
implementation in time, thus increases the performance of GAFTA in reaching its objectives.
This activity was carried out
between October 2003 and April 2004, applying the steps and methods of policy monitoring
contained in the
FAO “Manual on Monitoring Policy Impacts”. The planning and execution
of the monitoring exercise was supported by the FAO Consultant Mr Manfred Metz.
By monitoring the implementation
and impacts of GAFTA, the NAPC aims, on one side, to analyse the Syrian involvement in
the agreement and, on the other side, to test and apply the MPI (Monitoring Policy Impacts)
methodology as a system to carry out the analysis.
In line with the MPI methodology,
this pilot activity passed through the following analytical steps. First, the objectives
and tasks of the monitoring exercise were defined. Second, the Syrian trade policy was
reviewed, by preparing the log frame matrix, linking the objectives at each level of the
matrix in hierarchical order, from the overall objectives to the specific GAFTA objectives
and the planned results and instruments. Third, the impact model was developed, on the
basis of a review of the GAFTA documentation, of experts’ consultations as well as
stakeholders’ interviews and analysis. Fourth, appropriate impact indicators were selected.
The research design was then developed, using the comparison method (before and during implementation of the agreement), complemented by a qualitative approach of impact assessments by the stakeholders. Therefore, relevant data was collected, relying on the NAPC and WTO trade statistic as well as on the Arab Organization of Agricultural Development (AOAD) database, in order to carry out the final analysis. The compilation and analysis of the data led to the results that are presented in the downloadable report.