Magazine article International Trade Forum

ITC Moves Forward: The Views of ITC Clients and Donors Are Helping the New Management Team to Shape the ITC of Tomorrow, in a Changing Environment for Trade Development

Magazine article International Trade Forum

ITC Moves Forward: The Views of ITC Clients and Donors Are Helping the New Management Team to Shape the ITC of Tomorrow, in a Changing Environment for Trade Development

Article excerpt

ITC's new senior management is using the recommendations of a major external evaluation of ITC, led by Denmark, as a point of departure to initiate a change management process. The aim is to transform the organization into a centre of technical excellence that responds effectively to its clients in developing and transition economies.

The first step was to set up focus groups at the beginning of the transition process in June 2006, to explore areas outlined in the evaluation report. This has provided useful insights and recommendations for ITC's future orientation and programme of work. It has resulted in some initiatives being launched and decisions being taken.

These include:

* Updating ITC's mission statement and strategic objectives (see box).

* Setting up pilot country teams to review how ITC can have a more strategic, coherent and holistic approach to country projects, using sound results-based principles.

* Strengthening the strategic planning, resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation function within the Office of the Executive Director.

* Taking measures to strengthen the communications team, including consolidation of communications-related functions under one umbrella.

* Introducing an Operations Committee to review and decide on operations-related matters.

* Reviewing ITC's suite of tools and products to ensure the alignment of ITC's toolkit to client needs, assess possible redundancies or overlaps and identify new areas where tools, products and services need to be developed.

* Researching the potential to provide a methodology for Trade Promotion Organization Benchmarking.

* Reviewing ITC performance standards.

* Closer, more frequent consultation with stakeholders.

* Preparing an annual Consolidated Programme Document (CPD) that includes ITC's yearly work programme in the form of a "logical framework" and introduces targets and expected results.

Ongoing discussions

Recommendations related to ITC's governance structure, resource mobilization and trade-related technical assistance (TRTA) delivery mechanism were the subject of a retreat with stakeholders in October 2006. At the meeting, stakeholders agreed that further consultation and research were necessary before changes could be made to the governance structure. ITC will continue to discuss this subject with different groups in order to prepare a proposal which will increase efficiency and improve oversight of the organization. This will be done in 2007.

On the other hand, stakeholders unanimously welcomed the idea of presenting a Consolidated Programme Document linked to ITC's work programme and endorsed its proposed format. ITC is looking to expand the number of donors and develop more partnerships with United Nations agencies and other organizations. It is hoped that donors will consider the CPD as a basis for voluntary contributions to ITC.

A new management tool

The Consolidated Programme Document is designed to facilitate a more results-oriented approach in planning ITC's activities. It aims to respond to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and promote country ownership of ITC's programmes.

The CPD aims to:

* Ensure that ITC's programme of technical assistance remains relevant and addresses the needs articulated by its clients. …

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