USAID and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) first announced the Standards Alliance at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in November 2012 as a new funding facility focused on providing developing economies with concrete training, technical exchange, and other capacity building specifically related to implementation of the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement. In May 2013, USAID and ANSI entered into a public-private partnership to coordinate subject matter experts from throughout the private sector-led U.S. standardization system in the delivery of training and other technical assistance to Standards Alliance partner countries.
During the first year of the initiative, ANSI identified ten partner countries/regions and worked with them to establish specific work plans for 2014-2015. These work plans are available on the project website. Sample activities include support for national WTO TBT enquiry points, training and exchanges on standardization related to specific sectors, and training on best practices for regulation and standards development.
A key feature of the Standards Alliance is the public-private nature of the arrangement, leveraging the foremost expertise and experience from the private sector on standards and conformance. Private-sector organizations will have the opportunity to propose areas of focus for each country's work plan, specific projects or activities, or individual experts to conduct training or other technical exchange. In exchange for expert time contributed in completion of these activities, project funding may be used for venue or other fixed expenses such as travel.
The first year of the Standards Alliance has witnessed tangible successes, as well as opportunities for ANSI members to engage and influence developing countries and new markets for U.S. industry. To read more about these successes, please view the Annual Report for 2013-2014.
Interested organizations are invited to download the background document and template proposal here, which includes information about selection criteria and the timeline for review of proposals. The first stage in the process will be to submit a 1-2 page concept paper to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, September 30. Selected activities will be included in the relevant work plans for 2015 or later.