Trade Facilitation: Rapid Evidence Assessment


The objective of this Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) is to review the evidence on the impact of trade facilitation on trade performance. In particular, the assessment focused on the following questions: what has been the impact (on trade costs, volumes and values) of different types of trade facilitation interventions in developing countries and which factors lead to positive and negative impacts?

A Rapid Evidence Assessment follows a particular methodology which consists of a structured literature search and selection process. Subsequently, a quality assessment of the studies that met pre-set inclusion criteria is carried out according to the guidance provided in DFID’s How to Note: Assessing the Strength of Evidence. This quality assessment forms the basis for a synthesis of the selected evidence.

The key findings of this Rapid Evidence Assessment on trade facilitation are:

  • trade facilitation reduces trade costs and increases trade flows
  • improvements in infrastructure, customs efficiency and regulatory environment have the greatest impact on trade
  • the effectiveness of trade facilitation interventions is context specific
  • impact evaluations and case studies help to highlight what works best, where and why, and can contribute to better design of trade facilitation interventions.


Basnett, Y.; Massa, I. Trade Facilitation: Rapid Evidence Assessment. ODI, London, UK (2015) 45 pp.

Trade Facilitation: Rapid Evidence Assessment

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