The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable
Development (ICTSD), in cooperation with Saana Consulting and
with the support of the UK Department for International Development
(DFID), has recently launched a project to undertake, upon request,
needs assessment diagnostic studies in Least Developed Countries
(LDCs) aimed at identifying their needs for financial and technical
co-operation in the context of the implementation of the WTO
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property
Rights (TRIPS), which sets minimum substantive and procedural
standards for intellectual property at a multilateral level.
According to the Decision of 29 November 2005,
and for the purpose of facilitating targeted technical assistance
and financial cooperation, LDCs are asked to provide the TRIPS
Council with comprehensive information, preferably before 1
January 2008, as to their individual needs for assistance in
implementing their TRIPS obligations.
Diagnostic Study and National Stakeholder Consultations
As a contribution to this process, the project has provided
technical support to undertake, upon request, a comprehensive
diagnostic study and assessment of technical and financial assistance
needs in LDCs. Sierra Leone and Uganda, upon their request,
were selected as the first two pilot countries for the IP technical
assistance needs assessment project:
Leone needs assessment and national stakeholder consultations,
6 - 19 July 2007
needs assessment and national stakeholder consultations, 18-
27 July 2007
LDC Consultations in Geneva
ICTSD with Saana Consulting organised a dialogue titled Improving
Intellectual Property Technical Cooperation for Least Developed
Countries to Facilitate the Implementation of the TRIPS Agreement
in Geneva on 3 May for Geneva-based LDC missions to the WTO.
The purpose of this meeting was to present their draft diagnostic
toolkit, tailor-made to the needs of LDCs, explore challenges,
options and further inputs for the needs assessment exercise
and consider countries that would be interested in participating
in the country needs assessment study. The project was also
introduced at the LDC Group coordination meeting at the WTO
where formal feedback on the project and the toolkit were received.
All these consultations and comments have helped ICTSD to revise
and improve current activities to LDC needs.
Objectives of the Needs Assessment
The overall objective of the national needs
assessment assignment is to help LDCs identify their technical
and financial cooperation needs in light of the request by the
TRIPS Council in its decision of 29 November 2005 and their
obligation to implement the TRIPS Agreement by 1 July 2013.
The needs assessment included a national stakeholder
dialogue which to introduce and explore the diagnostic study,
gather information from stakeholders, facilitate identification
of needs and present the approach to using the diagnostic
toolkit developed by Saana Consulting for ICTSD.
The specific objective of the current needs
assessment is to review the current status of the IPR and innovation
reform process in LDCs and to provide direct assistance for
the next stage of detailed planning and implementation of the
required legal and administrative reforms, together with a tailored
program of capacity building and awareness raising for key stakeholders
from government, the private sector and civil society. In undertaking
the needs assessment, the engagement of officials and ministers
from government departments and agencies involved with IP-related
policymaking, administration and regulation was essential in
generating a successful outcome for the assignment. In addition,
the participation of other stakeholders including businesses,
academia, consumers and civil society was a great asset to generating
a transparent and open assessment process.