Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project
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Component 3: Performance Based Management in Cross-Border Administration

HomeComponent 3: Performance Based Management in Cross-Border Administration

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In addition to the strengthening of technical capacities (Sub-component 2.2), change management will be key to success in improving border management.
Adaptive challenges must be seen alongside technical and behavioral challenges, especially when introducing the new procedures and innovative changes in border management. In this sense, capacity building supported under Sub-component 2.2 will aim at improving professional skills, and will target both traders and border officials. It will primarily focus on raising mutual awareness on their respective rights and obligations as stated in the ‘Charter for Cross-Border Traders in Goods and Services’, as well as on strengthening basic elements such as a professional attitude to border operations, customer care for officials, duty calculation for traders, mutual respect and understanding of constraints, etc. More generally it will progressively build mutual trust. On the other hand, change management activities planned under Sub-component 3.1 will build on those exercises and develop different tools and incentives to increase professionalization for border officials only.

There is strong complementarity with the activities listed under Component 2, especially regarding the strengthening of Joint Border Committees (Sub-component 2.1).
Empowered JBCs will play a key role in successfully implementing the proposed change management approach, as well as contributing to enhanced inter-agency coordination and communication.

Sub-component 3.1: Professionalization and Change management in the border agencies (US$2.4 million)

This Sub-component will first conduct a functional review of institutional effectiveness and efficiency at the Customs and Immigration offices in each of the three countries.
It will assess the existing organizational functions and staff skills and identify any functional and skills’ gap to meet defined institutional targets. The results will support senior management to develop strategic organizational functions and staffing plans at the border posts.

Building on the functional review, the project will propose appropriate changes in staffing planning and human resource management system, and elaborate the training program that will be financed under the Sub-component 2.2.

In addition to the strengthening of technical capacities (Sub-component 2.2), change management will be key to success in improving border management.
Adaptive challenges must be seen alongside technical challenges, especially when introducing the new procedures and innovative changes in border management. Such changes can lead to resistance which can be mitigated through strengthened coordination and communication among stakeholders. An absence of discipline in the organization of work and management has been identified as one of the fundamental problems that leads to an insecure environment at the border, for instance, the presence of a large number and range of officials at the border. Therefore, this Sub-component will provide a hands-on coaching program with a change management approach based on the principles of empowerment, integrity, collaboration among various stakeholders and discipline.In short, the Sub-component 3.1 will provide support for the institutional and Human Resource (HR) functional review and the change management coaching program through the procurement of international consulting services.

Sub-component 3.2: Performance Based Management and Incentive Mechanism (US$2.15 million)

The project will support the use of Performance-Based Management (PBM) as a mechanism for enforcing the application of border management rules and regulations.
The ultimate goal of PBM is to provide improved services, a secure trade environment and ultimately increase fiscal revenues through greater flows of trade. The customs agencies in all three countries have been introducing and piloting PBM at their customs offices. Building on this experience, the project will provide technical and hands-on support to enhance PBM at customs, introduce it at the other border agencies, and include the key indicators related to improvement of the cross-border environment for small scale traders as part of performance measurement of officials in all of these agencies. These indicators will measure both technical aspects such as crossing and clearing time and collection of fees, and behavioral changes such as integrity, courtesy, and respect of ethics etc.

The project will support feedback mechanisms through the development of an appropriate evaluation method and introducing a third party monitoring mechanism using Information Technology (IT) tools.
The current performance evaluation system in each of three countries varies but generally uses the traditional approach of annual evaluation by the immediate supervisors and managers of the officials. In order to make the PBM evaluation more meaningful, the project will introduce a simple IT tool to monitor traders’ satisfaction and service performance at the borders and regularly provide feedback to the officials 14 . The reporting would encourage and motivate border agents in achieving their objectives and improving their work in day-to-day operations. In addition, a perception survey by traders on an annual basis will be conducted by using mobile phone technology to provide more accurate feedback on the performance of agencies and agents and the quality of services provided. This will be complemented by the hotline by which traders can report harassment, to be financed under Component 2, which will capture the number of complaints and provide the basis to deal with them in real-time.

Building on international experiences15, the project will develop a program for improved PBM with an appropriate incentive mechanisms.
As a way of motivating staff, the project will provide technical assistance to develop appropriate incentive mechanisms. The project will support in-kind compensation and other types of rewards for the best performers. In addition, considering the extremely low level of remuneration, especially in DRC, which is one of the fundamental factors for persistent corruption and extortion of goods and money from traders, the project would support the government to develop a financial incentive mechanism if considered appropriate.

In short, the Sub-component 3.2 will provide support for an annual perception survey and the performance-based management Technical Assistance (TA) through the procurement of international consulting services, and in-kind rewards through the procurement of goods/nonconsulting services in each of three countries.