Capacity Building of Employer and Business Membership Organizations

Data as a strategic asset for the organizational development and capacity building of Employer and Business Membership Organizations

Aligned to Outcome 1.1 of the Programme and Budget, the project aims to develop deeper insights into the opportunities for EBMO to position data as a strategic asset and while enhancing organizational capacities to take action.


Enterprises of all sizes, sectors and geographies are affected by major global trends in the world of work: ongoing technological innovation, global economic integration, demographic and generational shifts, climate change and sustainability demands, and skilled labour shortages. COVID-19 has amplified existing vulnerabilities and challenges vis-à-vis these trends, forcing significant business model adaptation in a short timeframe.

Like the businesses they serve and represent, Employer and Business Membership Organizations (EBMOs) are under pressure to innovate and adapt their organizations, practices and governance to operate in fast-changing environments and in response to unfamiliar and unexpected scenarios. With declining membership subscriptions, competition from new actors, the emergence of data-driven economies and ongoing changes in the world of business; EBMOs have recognized that the business of representing business has changed and are actively striving to define new value propositions to remain relevant, representative and influential. With analytics no longer the domain of large global enterprises with deep pockets, the strategic management and use of data has become a realistic solution available to support EBMO decision-making and improve organizational performance in ways that not only keep pace with change, but predict them.


The project aims to deepen insights and build capacity among EBMOs to:

• Identify strategic opportunities to provide data-driven value for their members in the changing world of business through policy work and services;

• Achieve operational efficiencies through implementing more data-driven business practices in key EBMO business units;

• Develop guidance notes, reference material and practical tools to support EBMO to innovate as organizations, through data-based structural design and human resource development initiatives;

Data as a Strategic Asset

Data is perhaps the most powerful, yet underutilized and poorly managed organizational asset EBMO have today. In most EBMOs data is fragmented across business functions, and few EBMOs have explicit policies recognizing data as an asset with the systems and procedures in place to ensure its appropriate stewardship. However, more effective use of data can lead to better business intelligence, analysis-based decision-making, and real-time information about operations, enabling EBMOs to improve their strategic and tactical decisions, provide meaningful insights and intelligence to members, and ultimately to have more influence over policy outcomes. Positioning data as a strategic asset involves recognizing the potential value of data, safeguarding that value through intentional collection, storage, retrieval and analysis of data; ensuring data becomes central to decision making and part of the EBMO’s competitive advantage; and sharing that value through thoughtful dissemination of data-based insights. 


• Research report on the type of data EBMO generate, capture and have access to;

• An assessment tool of this data’s potential value to strategic, organizational, and operational decision making, including how data is currently used;

• A data inventory and audit to assess the systems, processes and tools in place or needed to harness data as a strategic asset;

• Design, testing and deployment of EBMO transformation readiness assessments;

• Participatory action research with selected EBMO to enhance their survey and analytical capacity while building their data warehouse;

• A discussion paper/issue brief on the business case for EBMO to invest in data as a strategic asset;

• Compilation of relevant case studies and lessons learned on Data as a Strategic Asset;

• A practical handbook for EBMO on positioning data as a strategic asset;

• Design and delivery of training on data as a strategic asset in partnership with ITC;

Development partner(s)

Employers Confederation of the Philippines; Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation; Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

For further information please contact:

Mr Wade Bromley

Senior Specialist, Employers’ Activities

Bureau for Employers’ Activities (ACT/EMP)

Decent Work Team for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific