Virtual Workshop on Organizational Performance Measurement for the WCO ESA and WCA Regions

04 March 2021

The WCO is continuing its series of regional workshops on the topic of organizational performance measurement. A Virtual Multi-Regional Workshop on this topic was held successfully from 23 to 26 February 2021 for the WCO East and Southern Africa (ESA) and West and Central Africa (WCA) Regions, in cooperation with the Anti-Corruption and Integrity Promotion (A-CIP) Programme (financed by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) and WCO-ESA Project II whose objectives are “To progress the Trade Facilitation (TF) Agenda within the framework of the WCO Mercator Programme in the East and Southern Africa Region, 2016-2021” (financed by Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs).

WCO Deputy Secretary General Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa welcomed participants and highlighted the objectives of the Workshop, which were to support the development of the comprehensive WCO Performance Measurement Mechanism (PMM), facilitate the exchange of national experiences, address the issue of diversity in the WCO regions and create reliable assessments for strategic decision-making. He underlined the ambition of the PMM to be feasible and relevant for each national administration, providing a politically recognized and evidence-based, scored assessment that can be used to improve Customs’ performance and make an impact on the economic development and business environment at national and international level.

The Workshop participants were also welcomed by Mr. Phodiso Valashia, Commissioner of Customs, Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) and Vice-Chair for the WCO East and Southern Africa (ESA) Region, and Mr. Mbongo Koumou Guénolé, Director General of Customs and Indirect Taxes of the Republic of Congo and Vice-Chair for the WCO West and Central Africa (WCA) Region. Mr. Phodiso Valashia drew the attention of Workshop participants to the relevance of the PMM for strategic planning purposes at the regional level, while Mr. Guénolé underlined its role in building the accountability and legitimacy of Customs vis-à-vis the private sector and the public as a whole.

Ms. Nikita Dhawan from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation highlighted the alignment of the PMM with the overall objectives of the A-CIP Programme in relation to integrity, good governance and capacity building. In his welcoming speech, Dr. Mika Vehnamaki from Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs reflected on the importance of performance measurement in terms of assessing the progress of cooperation actions and reducing trade costs.

During the event, Members had the opportunity to exchange experiences and views on performance measurement, including its role for strategic decision-making, the development of key performance indicators (KPIs) and data collection. Furthermore, the participants took part in the ongoing efforts to develop the PMM, providing positive feedback on its current design and contributing to its elaboration through group exercises.

Some of the lessons learned include observing the different level of maturity of the Customs Administrations in the establishment of a performance measurement system; the necessity to balance the functionality, legitimacy and rigor of the  evaluation, as well as to assure its sustainability through necessary  adaptation and learning, making it a living WCO mechanism to assist the dynamic needs of strategic decision-making. Overall, the engagement of the participants resulted in a successful workshop and provided important insights that will help the WCO Secretariat fulfill its endeavor of developing this PMM.