Developing and transition economies find it difficult enough
to prepare export strategies and work programmes, far less to engage in
performance measurement and strategy evaluation. Performance measurement
is generally the result of external pressure from a Ministry of Finance
and Planning or from an international funding agency, which, in
response to a request for funds to implement the national export
strategy requires some form of justification. In many cases, it is only
at this point that the export strategy stakeholders suddenly realize
that performance measurement is important.
The issues then arise:
National export strategy, its process and implementation, its
specific programmes and implementing agencies must be subject to
performance measurement and evaluation, not to satisfy funding sources,
but to ensure effectiveness and efficiency and as a process of constant
self-improvement to remain relevant.
There are three recognised levels of performance measurement
of increasing difficulty: the first focuses on inputs, the second on
outputs and the third and most difficult on outcomes, or impact.
We must engage in benchmarking and seek to be aware of the
tools and procedures which others use, because there is little point in
re-inventing the wheel. But we must also be aware that there is no "one
size fits all" and each country will have to develop systems of
performance measurement and evaluation which suit their circumstances –
level and stage of development.
intended result of the debate will be a "best practice" approach to
strategy performance measurement and evaluation.