- In Belize and St. Lucia high level retreats were held for the Cabinet and CEOs/Permanent Secretaries following the change of government in recent elections. These seminars developed a framework for working relationships between the cabinet and senior civil servants, facilitated by Commonwealth advisers.
- A series of workshops in Commonwealth Africa were held to focus on strategic performance management and measurement. These provided opportunities for countries to share experiences in implementing performance management and to identify challenges and solutions. Countries are developing action plans to help them align their systems to national and individual ministry objectives. Management development institutes have also participated, enabling them to develop, design and implement training programmes aligned to the needs of the public service.
- Effective procurement management and improved procedures have been developed through the creation of a network of procurement managers. This has facilitated networking and exchange of best practice between African and Caribbean countries.
- The skills-gap in legislative drafting in Africa and the Caribbean continues to be addressed through mentoring, on-the-job training and specific training programmes, including for the staff of attorney generals’ offices.
- Work to strengthen the capacity of the police force of Sierra Leone in the key areas of community policing, human rights, general criminal investigations and policing in a democratic setting has continued through the delivery of the fourth six-week training attachments for police officers to the Botswana Police College. This is an example of the south-south collaboration which we promote.
- Concerns about decentralisation were explored through senior level workshops in Swaziland, The Gambia, and Ghana. These exposed central government policy makers and local government officials to challenges, solutions and lessons learnt by other countries. A number of publications on decentralisation, including the book “Financing Local Governments”, were launched.
- In the field of Public Expenditure Management a project “Building Pyramids in the Valleys” was created to sustain the transfer of skills and knowledge in member countries by engaging senior officials drawn from finance, budget and audit. In 2007, Heads of Government and Finance Ministers endorsed and adopted the interactive Commonwealth Public Financial Management Self-Assessment Toolkit (CPFM-SAT), developed under this programme. This web based interactive toolkit is capable of evaluating country public finance reform, and ministers have made a commitment to use the tool biennially. Under The Commonwealth Public Procurement Network, heads of national procurement agencies and senior officials peer-reviewed the performance of 11 African countries.
- Through our Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme, we have advised over 30 governments on PPPs and corporate governance. We have helped create PPP units in Fiji, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Zambia. Training programmes for public sector executives in India and Malawi highlighted partnership options that exist in emerging markets and enhanced the capacity to manage them. The Secretariat also developed a flagship leadership programme for senior officials involved in structuring and developing PPPs.
- Through our volunteer Commonwealth Service Abroad Programme we have supported projects for institutional capacity building through technical assistance across a range of sectors including: health care delivery in the Maldives and Sierra Leone; improving productivity in the handicraft sector in Swaziland; and ongoing collaboration with the Commonwealth Youth Programme on youth credit initiatives in Botswana, Cameroon and Tanzania.
- The Commonwealth-Grameen Poverty Dialogue Programme facilitates capacity building of delegations in member states. It is a practically-oriented training programme that facilitates women’s access to finance and alleviating poverty through microcredit, especially in rural areas. It provides skills training to personnel of financial institutions so they can identify viable and sustainable projects and enterprises and are familiar with loan approval and disbursement processes. It also promotes networking among credit organisations.