For a better understanding of the implementation of OIE International Standards.

The OIE develops International Standards for animal health and welfare based on the latest scientific information. While their development is a central mission of the OIE, the Organisation must also look at how they are used by Members. Monitoring their implementation will enable the OIE to identify and analyse the difficulties faced by OIE Members and better support them. The OIE Observatory aims to ensure that the Standards developed are relevant and fit for purpose and to adapt capacity building activities to Members’ needs.

An initiative supported by the G20 Agriculture Ministers

The OIE Observatory is expected to contribute to the progressive international harmonisation of national sanitary rules applied to international trade. This will result in benefits to governments, the private sector and civil society and in this way increase trust in the multilateral trade system.

Making sense of evidence to address Members’ specific needs

The OIE Observatory provides a continuous and systematic mechanism to collect information and analyse the practices of Members’ in implementing OIE International Standards. This mechanism aims to create a better understanding of how these Standards are implemented, the different global trends and common challenges faced by OIE Members.

Expected benefits for OIE Members

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The OIE will be able to support its Members by providing:

  • Tailored capacity building activities for identified needs and by sharing successful practices; and
  • Improved accessibility and visibility of data for the use by both OIE Members and other stakeholders.

The data collected will provide a solid basis to contribute to the dialogue amongst Members, particularly in the area of international trade. The information collected will also guide the OIE standard setting-process. Two types of reports will be produced:

Implementation review reports: issued on an annual basis, will provide a high-level summary regarding the implementation of OIE Standards.

Thematic analysis: published on a pluriannual basis, will provide a more comprehensive and focused analysis on priority topics.

Launch of a pilot phase in 2020

Given the complex nature of the project, a gradual approach has been developed starting with the launch of a pilot phase.
Its objective is to test different aspects of the development of the OIE Observatory, such as the methodological approach, data collection and data analysis.

This phase focuses on the implementation of specific OIE Standards that benefit from quality data coverage through existing mechanisms either within the OIE (PVS Pathway, OIE-WAHIS, OIE Official disease status, Self-declarations) or within other international organisations.

In 2020, the Technical Item on “Required competencies of Veterinary Services in the context of international trade: opportunities and challenges served as the first prototype for the pilot phase of the OIE Observatory.

Presentation on the OIE Observatory at the 29th Conference of the OIE Regional Commission for Europe.

Steps towards an operational OIE Observatory

The design: a phased approach 

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  • Phase I (2017 – 2018)

Objective: to recognise the need for a mechanism to monitor the implementation of OIE Standards.
This was achieved through the adoption of Resolution No. 36 by the World Assembly of Delegates at the 86th General Session in May 2018, recommending the development of “an OIE Observatory to monitor the implementation of its international standards, to increase transparency and to identify constraints and difficulties faced by Member Countries”.

Technical Item of the 86th OIE General Session
Implementation of OIE Standards by OIE Member Countries: State of Play and Specific Capacity Building Need

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  • Phase II (2018 – 2019)

Objective: to explore potential solutions for the design of the OIE Observatory.
In July 2018, the OIE collaborated with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to benefit from its analytical expertise. The OECD carried out a study that provided an analysis of key features of OIE Standards, as well as a review of the existing sources of information in relation to their implementation. The OECD’s final report was published in February 2020.

Based on the recommendations of this report, the key features of the OIE Observatory, namely the objectives, key outputs, the scope and the selection of the standards for the pilot phase were endorsed by the OIE Council in September 2019.

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  • Phase III (2019 – early 2020)

Objective: to prepare the roadmap and make the OIE Observatory operational (including data management aspects, human resources and budget).

How to transform an idea into an operational reality?

After the design steps, the implementation phase was initiated with the deployment of the roadmap in 2020 and beyond, starting with the pilot phase.

The Governance

A specific governance for the OIE Observatory project was established during the design phase.

The Reference Group is composed of experts from:

  • OIE Members: Canada, Chile, China, New Zealand, South Africa, Tunisia.
  • Regional Economic Communities: Eurasian Economic Commission, European Commission, Gulf Cooperation Council; and
  • International Organisations: Codex Alimentarius, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).