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Innovation at ITC: A new tool for improved institutional performance

 Benchmarking News

The TISI Strengthening team at ITC has over 100 years of shared accumulated experience of working with Trade and Investment Support Institutions (TISI)  globally. Because we have worked with dozens of organizations reviewing their results measurement frameworks as part of our Benchmarking and Advisory work, we were able to observe some patterns and similarities. In particular, we noted that after going through separate and complex processes to identify and select ways of measuring their progress and performance, many TISIs ended up with very similar indicators. Over the last six months we have translated this knowledge into a practical new tool for TISIs everywhere, aimed at:

  • simplifying and speeding up the development of a results measurement framework
  • democratizing the process of selecting a balanced set of indicators, so that everyone can engage
  • offering clear and consistent definitions, insights and recommendations on how to use the indicators
  • driving effective behaviour and supporting the execution of strategy.

 In essence, we have identified 66 indicators being used by TISIs, including trade promotion agencies, investment promotion agencies, membership-based organizations, sector associations and chambers, and user-pays service providers. Each indicator is described on a small card, providing information on the general intent, standardized definitions and formula, units, sources, and frequency of collection, along with recommendations on balancing and cascading the KPI across the organisation.

The selection, balancing and prioritization process is supported with several sets of divider cards that help filter, sort and cascade the selection of indicators. The system is aligned with the ITC Benchmarking platform and can be used alongside traditional LogFrames and Balanced Scorecard methodologies. A further sorting process provides the framework for an organizational dashboard.

It combines an attempt at standardization with a highly customizable design that allows specific contexts, strategies and mandates to be respected via:

  • the initial institutional-specific selection of indicators from the full pick and mix set of 66
  • the ability to provide detail on the intent and shape the definition of each indicator to make it specifically relevant
  • the opportunity to create new and unique indicators using the same template.

This innovative tool has now been piloted in performance management workshops in three continents and feedback has been very positive.

The cards have been designed to accompany ITC advisory support for TISIs. They are most helpful as part of the strategy development or review phase for a TISI, and when there is a strong performance culture and leadership commitment in place. They save time, support a consultative decision-making process and help create consistency within and across TISIs globally.

If you would like to find out more, or enrol for a workshop, please contact

Making the initial selection of strategic indicators at Pacific Islands Trade and Invest
Regional workshop participants in Costa Rica prioritize indicators to ensure both short and long-term results
Workshop participants use the card sorting process to design a dashboard.