The APRM has three main bodies at the continental level:
APR Forum - It is a Committee of Participating Heads of States and Government of the Member States of the African Union that have voluntarily acceded to the APRM. The Forum is the highest decision-making authority of the APRM.
APR Panel - The Panel of Eminent Persons exercises oversight of the APRM process with a view to ensuring the independence, professionalism and credibility of the process. It also oversees the selection of the APR Mission Teams and appoints them to conduct country reviews.
APR Secretariat - Currently based in Midrand/ Johannesburg (South Africa), the Secretariat provides technical, coordinating and administrative support services to the APRM.
The Guidelines for Countries to Prepare for and to Participate in the APRM (Country Guidelines) call for countries to put in place relevant structures to facilitate the effective implementation of the APRM. From the countries reviewed so far, the practice has been to designate the following:
Focal Points - The APRM National Focal Point is established soon after a country accedes to the Mechanism and is subsequently responsible for managing the process, updating the Head of State or Government on the national progress, facilitating the self-assessment process and liaising with the APR Panel throughout the exercise.
National Commission / National Governing Council (NC / NGC) - This is the body that provides strategic policy direction to the implementation of the APRM. This body must contain upstanding citizens who command the respect of the general public.
National APR Secretariat - The National APR Secretariat provides technical and administrative support to the NC / NGC. It assists the NC/NGC in organizing sensitization programmes at the national and local levels.
Technical Research Institutions (TRIs) - These are the institutions that assume the responsibility of executing the APRM Questionnaire. They should be well-known for their competence and technical capabilities to conduct sound and objective research in the four APRM thematic areas.
The APRM has entered into special support agreements with three Africa-based partner institutions designated by the Forum as Strategic Partnersof the APRM. These are the African Development Bank (AfDB), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Africa.