Author: Wenxing Pan, Deputy Director (CMIM, Strategy and Coordination) and Hu Xue, Senior Strategy and Coordination Officer
A robust organizational evaluation plays a key role in results-based management. It promotes a strong sense of accountability and a culture of organizational learning, which in turn fosters high-quality and results-oriented operational processes, as well as an optimal allocation of resources.
As a young organization of 10 years old, AMRO has already established its own organizational performance evaluation system and is further strengthening its implementation toward a results-oriented international organization.
Establishing the organizational Performance Evaluation Framework (PEF)
AMRO is accountable to its shareholders: the 27 member authorities, comprising the Finance Ministries and Central Banks in the 14 ASEAN+3 economies.
Since 2013, AMRO has started to measure its performance to enhance accountability through self-evaluation practices, shortly after its establishment as a regional economic surveillance unit in 2011.
After attaining its enhanced status as an international organization in 2016, AMRO has stepped up efforts to establish a systematic and results-focused organizational PEF. The rationale is two-fold: (1) to generate consistent performance information for organizational learning and strategic management, and (2) to demonstrate stronger accountability to its shareholders.
Benchmarking the best practices of its peer international organizations, AMRO developed an organizational PEF in 2017. Following the successful conclusion of the PEF pilot in 2018, AMRO’s Executive Committee (EC), composed of 27 Finance and Central Bank Deputies, endorsed the adoption of AMRO’s PEF starting from January 1, 2019.
The PEF, which comprises a results framework and a set of indicators, aligns with AMRO’s organizational strategy and establishes linkage between the result statements and the annual work program. It also sets clear logic chains, which demonstrate how AMRO can achieve the designated outputs and outcomes through its three core functions – surveillance, CMIM support, and Technical Assistance (TA); eventually delivering its mandate of contributing to the macroeconomic and financial stability of the region.
Incorporating results-based management into operational cycles
Today, the PEF serves as an integral part of AMRO’s results-based management cycle of “Plan-Implement-Monitor-Analyze-Learn”. It is implemented in a systematic way to generate results data, analysis, and learning, which are applied to inform organizational decision-making and strategic planning.
Following the PEF, we regularly gather feedback on our core operations through multiple channels, including annual surveys with its member authorities and TA participants, and periodic operational progress tracking. Furthermore, we use a media monitoring platform to track and measure AMRO’s media coverage.
Results information and data are analyzed and thoroughly discussed among all our operational groups to derive the lessons learned and formulate recommendations for further institutional improvement.
While reporting the performance results and lessons learned in AMRO’s Annual Results Reports to its shareholders for accountability, we also adopt the constructive suggestions and recommendations in AMRO’s annual work program and medium-term strategy.
For instance, we stepped up efforts in expanding research on emerging issues and structural challenges of high relevance to members, including Global Value Chains, climate change, and digital currencies, etc. We also conducted more TA needs assessments among member authorities to better develop annual TA plans, and enhanced outreach activities through organizing media briefings for the publication of the annual consultation reports on member economies for greater influence.
Via the learning process and results-based management cycle, AMRO’s operational efficiency and effectiveness as well as accountability are further improved. The recently concluded AMRO’s 2021 PEF survey garnered a record-high participation rate from all our 27 members. Overall, we received encouraging acknowledgments and markedly higher scores for members’ satisfaction of AMRO’s products and services in many areas, including policy advice, research products, technical and intellectual support for the CMIM, and TA programs.
Establishing the PEF represents a promising start for AMRO’s path toward a results-oriented international organization. For it to truly work, we have been taking concrete measures to incorporate the PEF into our operations processes.
First, creating an institutional enabling environment. With the strong support of our members, we established the results support function and empowered AMRO’s Strategy and Coordination Group with a clear mandate to implement the PEF. Through the introduction of an Integrated Evaluation Cycle, we aligned the results data-gathering processes with the planning process of budget and work program to ensure that the planning benefits from results data analysis and learning.
Second, fostering strong organizational ownership. AMRO’s Senior Management provides constant guidance and support for AMRO staff to change the way we work and deliver results for members. All the different functions of AMRO have been involved in the design of results framework and indicators, and regularly participate in intensive internal deliberations on results data and analysis to develop concrete follow-up plans. During these processes, the awareness and understanding of PEF and results-based management among AMRO staff gradually improved, with enhanced ownership over the years.
Third, enabling an “evergreen” evaluation system. We continue to refine the results framework and set of indicators in accordance with our updated medium-term strategy of new priorities and key initiatives. This ensures that the PEF effectively captures AMRO’s operational progress and supports the implementation of the work program. The latest refinement was endorsed by the EC in 2020 and came into effect in January 2021.
The way forward
Results-based management is an iterative approach that requires fine-tuning through regular reviews and updating of frameworks to ensure their continued effectiveness. As one of the building blocks, the PEF also requires constant refinement and improvement along with the institutional development of AMRO.
Building on the past achievements, we will continue to study the good practices of our peer international organizations and further enhance the PEF and results-based management to anchor AMRO as a truly results-oriented international organization.