Improved Business Processes through Adapting and Learning
The West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Trade Hub) Activity commenced its implementation in 2019 and released two different Annual Program Statements before the COVID-19 pandemic impeded worldwide activities. The Trade Hub surveyed its pipeline firms to identify underlying reasons for the low rate of successful applications and to understand the medium- to long-term investment plans of these businesses.
With a combination of CLA integration in program design and enabling conditions, the Trade Hub was in a unique position to benefit from a few of the framework's sub-components. External and internal collaboration between staff and key stakeholders provided the flexibility needed to deploy CLA through a survey of firms. Two follow-up internal Pause, Reflect, and Adapt sessions generated important learning. The Trade Hub boasts a culture of openness and trusting relationships which provided the needed up-to-date information regarding the situation with its partner firms and how the Trade Hub could be used as a vehicle to improve their uncertain business situations, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The use of CLA helped provide efficiency in the Trade Hub’s processes, with a 30% reduction in time spent on grants-related administrative tasks. This translated in improved relations between the Trade Hub and its external stakeholders. It also allowed staff more time to focus on providing more quality and targeted assistance to its partner firms.