The Commonwealth Foundation’s Strategic Plan 2012-16 is based around the following programming strategies.

Capacity Development
Capacity Development (CD) can be seen as “a locally driven process of learning by leaders, coalitions and other agents of change that brings about changes in socio-political, policy-related, and organisational factors to enhance local ownership for and the effectiveness and efficiency of efforts to achieve a development goal.” (World Bank). The Foundation adheres to the principle that the individual, organisations and institutions involved should own and manage their own CD and use methodologies that contribute to sustainability. The Foundation will facilitate this process by: 1) providing support at various levels of the participatory governance system, 2) following a systematic process of CD that leads to sustainability, 3) utilising effective CD delivery methodologies, and 5) promoting knowledge sharing and learning as an important aspect of social transformation in bringing about locally-owned changes to advance a particular development.

Knowledge Management: Building a Culture of Learning and Performance
Knowledge Management (KM) serves as an overarching approach in the development and the implementation of the Foundation’s Strategic Plan for 2012-16. It offers the Foundation a discipline and a central strategy to ensure sustainability by 1) promoting knowledge sharing and learning, 2) systematically supporting replication of good and fit practices, 3) documenting and disseminating knowledge resources, 4) developing a communications strategy to increase awareness and understanding of the benefits of participatory governance and 4) maximising technology to enable meaningful learning and performance.

Mainstreaming Cross-Cutting Outcome Areas
This Strategic Plan highlights three cross-cutting outcome areas: gender equality, environmental sustainability and cultural respect and understanding, which will be integrated in the design and implementation of the Foundation’s programming. Mainstreaming these cross-cutting areas will ensure that they are integral parts of the Foundation’s planning, budgeting, programming, monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

Promoting Synergy and Coordination
The Foundation, as an outcome-based learning organisation, can only make progress in fulfilling its Mission and achieve the stated outcomes included in its Strategic Plan, by working in partnership with other organisations, both public and private. The Foundation is committed to development effectiveness and it is therefore imperative to coordinate and synergise its work with multilateral agencies, such as the United Nations, international development agencies and the Commonwealth Family to be able to build on current successes, pursue strategic partnerships and collaboration, and ensure that duplication of initiatives does not take place.