• Improve:

    Understand and address needs through capacity building and business-advisory solutions  

    After a benchmarking assessment, the next stage is to design a performance improvement plan where ITC works jointly with the TISIs to identify key areas of improvement for the institution. This is charted out in a Performance Improvement Roadmap (PIRM) which outlines a phased programme for implementation to address identified weaknesses in an institution’s managerial and operational performance. ITC can also provide technical assistance to TISIs in implementing their respective PIRMs.

    Managerial Performance

    ITC assists TISIs in developing or refining their mission, devising strategies that meet SMEs' needs and charting operational plans to achieve strategic objectives. It helps TISIs to fine-tune their governance structures, human-resource planning and marketing strategies to streamline operations. ITC also supports TISIs in mainstreaming gender issues in their strategies.

    Operational Performance

    ITC helps TISIs to analyse macroeconomic trends, the institutional landscape and needs of the business community to ensure that the services offered are relevant. It assists TISIs to better position, promote and deliver services to their SME clients by using innovative online and offline channels. ITC also provides support in developing mechanisms for TISIs to charge for services.

    ITC offers TISIs assistance in improving their trade-support services to SMEs in these key areas:

    • Trade information

    • Market analysis

    • Business environment

    • Export value-chain optimization

    • Export promotion

    • Gender mainstreaming

    Lastly, ITC offers business generation solutions to increase business transactions in targeted sectors. TISIs receive technical assistance so they can identify trade opportunities and translate them into business transactions through events such as regional buyer-seller meetings, trade missions and trade fairs.

    ITC has invested in the development of specific tools and methodologies that include engagement protocols, analytical models, processing software and information management platforms, manuals, guidelines, training modules and training presentations including e-learning modules.

    Many of those tools and methodologies are proprietary, exclusively developed by ITC and to be used by its team of staff and trusted consultants to facilitate and accelerate implementation, ensure consistent quality and ultimately reduce the costs of delivering assistance to TISIs.

    In addition and in order to constantly develop the quality and consistency of its work, the team has implemented a knowledge development and knowledge management strategy that includes a formal programme of training of staff and selected consultants, post-mission debriefings for knowledge sharing and a central and disciplined documents filing system.

    Below is the summary of current tools developed by the TISI Strengthening team.

    Leadership and Direction

    • Strategy Design & Implementation: Formulation, refreshment and implementation of strategy by the TISI for the TISI; processes and coaching to ensure sustainability.
    • Change Management: Support for management to effectively embed change.
    • Good Governance and Risk Management: Global good practice in Board stewardship, including probity, membership and self-review; boundary setting; training for both management and Board to optimise results; right-sized risk management.

    Resources and Processes

    • Customer Relationship Management: Approaches to segmentation; developing trusted relationship with customers; undertaking needs assessments; capturing, using, retaining customer information.
    • Knowledge Management: Using and valuing knowledge as a core asset; learning organisations; improving efficiency and effectiveness through behaviours, processes and practices.
    • HR and Organisational Development: HR strategy guidance, competency frameworks, coaching approaches, access to standard HR tools; internal communications.

    Products and Service Delivery

    • Service Portfolio Design & Delivery: Using client needs to develop responsive and relevant service portfolio; design thinking; service definition; supporting processes; review processes; delivery guidelines.
    • Business Generation: Identify regional business opportunities; develop linkages and set up B2B meetings.

    Measurement and Results

    • Performance Measurement and Reporting: Designing and implementing performance measurement frameworks; determining measures based on strategy map; cascading KPIs; importance of the people component; using measurement to improve performance; using measurement to communicate to stakeholders; reporting performance; building a dashboard.
    • Performance Measurement and Reporting Regional Workshop: Also offered as a workshop for several institutions but at a more generalised level.


    • Foreign Trade Representative (FTR) Methodology: Strengthening foreign trade representation; guide for practitioners.
    • E-learning courses: Understanding the Role of the TISIs (Eng/Fr); Helping SMEs Generate Export Business; Client Management (Eng/Fr); Working with FTR (Eng/Fr).
    • Case studies  

    ITC can also improve their trade support services to SMEs through market analysis tools. ITC’s Market Analysis and Research section has developed a range of online market analysis tools to help users examine trade & foreign investment statistics, customs tariffs, official market access regulations, voluntary standards and company contacts in potential markets. In addition to these tools, capacity building services are provided, including a large set of training programmes such as workshops, webinars, seminars, and mentoring activities to empower the SMEs performance.

    Market Analysis and Research Tools

    1. Trade Map: Trade statistics for international business development

    1. Market Access Map: Improving transparency in international trade and market access

    1. Investment Map: To improve foreign investment attraction and targeting

    1. Standards Map: Your roadmap to sustainable trade

    1. NTM Business Surveys: Increasing transparency and understanding of non-tariff obstacles to trade

    1. Trade obstacles alert mechanism(upcoming): Identifying and tackling obstacles to trade

    1. Export Potential Map (upcoming): Find the most promising products, sectors and markets

    For more information and to access these tools, please visit: