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Civil society organisations are critical for development. They critique development choices, provide a voice for marginalised sectors of society, build the capacity of people and organisations and provide important research and evidence. Where civil society participates in development decisions, outcomes are more responsive and accountable.

The Foundation supports civil society so that it can engage in policy processes more effectively. This means supporting organisation to develop, articulate and progress an agenda and then to identify and utilize the spaces available in governance structures – such as ministerial meetings, high level working groups and summits - to get its message across. 

To enhance the potential for progressive partnerships, legitimacy and accountability, the Foundation will work with regional civil society organisations Commonwealth regions and will support the efforts of regional civil society organisations to set regional priorities, articulate their collective issues, improve communication between regional organisations and their constituents, find solutions to address them and creates spaces/opportunities to interact and share solutions with each other.

  • Southern African Alliance for Youth Employment (SAAYE)

    Background The Southern African region (SADC) has a large youth population and low levels of decent employment for its youth, resulting in high levels of youth unemployment and underemployment. In South Africa, youth unemployment (15 to 34 years old) was 37 per cent in 2015 in comparison with an adult rate of 17 per cent […]

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  • Institutional strengthening of the East African Civil Society Forum (EACSOF)

    EACSOF is a platform for civil society organisations in East Africa.  EACSOF was established in 2006 to be the channel through which civil society can make representation to the regional governance institution, the East African Community (EAC). Its vision is to see an East Africa in which citizens are fully engaged and involved in all […]

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  • Strengthening West African civil society engagement with ECOWAS and national governments

    A strong West African civil society will contribute meaningfully to the successful design and implementation of development policies. However, CSOs in West Africa are operating with serious challenges, some of which include, low capacity to carry out their mandate fully, the lack of recognition and respect from governments and the unavailability of financial resources to […]

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  • Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

    There are 31 Small States in the Commonwealth, 25 of which are Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This constituency is of particular importance to the Foundation. SIDS issues are in focus on the global agenda, with the UN declaring 2014 the International Year of SIDS, and the Third International Conference on SIDS was held in […]

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  • The Caribbean Consultative Working Group (CCWG)

    The Foundation is supporting civil society in the Caribbean to form a consultative working group

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  • Commonwealth Foundation Leadership Exchange

    The aims for the Exchange are rooted in the Commonwealth Foundation’s mission to develop the capacity of civil society to act together and learn from each other to improve the lives of Commonwealth people. For the last decade, the Commonwealth Foundation through its biannual consultation processes has witnessed an increased interest in the potential of […]

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