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The APO plays key roles as an institution builder by strengthening the ability of NPOs and other institutions to promote productivity, provide training, and offer consultancy services to the public and private sectors. It also serves as a regional adviser, surveys the economic and development policies and performance of each member, and assists in formulating strategies for enhanced productivity and competitiveness.
These efforts are covered under the Individual Program designed to meet members’ specific needs. The program includes the Specific National Program, Individual-country Observational Study Missions, Bilateral Cooperation Between NPOs, Demonstration Companies, and Technical Expert Services.
Various types of individual-country projects have been implemented by the APO to address the needs of diverse stakeholders in member countries. While such projects have benefited selected members, they have given a limited boost to overall productivity improvement and competitiveness. This was because: 1) most such projects addressed only micro- and organization-level issues; and 2) the limited modalities of such projects put constraints on delivery times, types of intervention, etc. It was therefore necessary to introduce a project scheme with broader impacts, emphasizing the macro and policy levels.
The Specific National Program provides technical and consultancy services to NPOs or partner organizations in implementing national projects. It addresses the distinct needs and expectations of member countries to enhance productivity and competitiveness.
Under the Individual-country Observational Study Mission Program, a member country may send a mission(s) to one or more other members to study and observe recent developments and best practices in a particular area of interest relevant to its needs for productivity promotion.
The objective of this program is to strengthen members’ ability to improve productivity by providing opportunities to policymakers and stakeholders from member countries to study recent developments and best practices in advanced areas and establish networks by visiting world-leading institutions.
The economic development, level of competitiveness, and cultural diversity of members are great assets of the APO. Developed members such as the ROC, Japan, ROK, and Singapore are regularly ranked in the top 20 most competitive and innovative economies, while developing members are catching up rapidly. The Bilateral Cooperation Between NPOs scheme provides the perfect platform for members to learn more about and share best practices to improve national competitiveness. The scheme facilitates meetings between high-level officials of NPOs and policymakers as well as observations of new productivity initiatives and interventions to assist members in becoming more competitive.
The mission of the Demonstration Companies Program is to develop model organizations that showcase good practices of productivity improvement with the support of technical experts and NPOs and the commitment of the target organizations. Through capacity building and dissemination of the results, the program demonstrates good practices for other organizations to embark on similar improvements.
The Technical Expert Services Program provide technical assistance to NPOs and related organizations to strengthen their institutional capacities and upgrade their technical competencies in line with individual member country needs for productivity improvement. The creation of multiplier effects for the national productivity movement is expected from this program.