“Governance is too important and complex to be left to governments alone”

1 November 2012

Representatives of government and civil society gathered at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace on 1 November to celebrate the re-launch of the Commonwealth Foundation. 

One year on from the call from Heads of Government, the Foundation has embarked on a new phase in its commitment to strengthen and mobilise civil society. The re-launch encapsulates a new constitution, new strategy and new brand, which collectively enable the Foundation to strive for more effective, responsive and accountable governance with civil society participation.

Speaking at the re-launch, Irina Cattalini, CEO of the West Australia Council for Social Service, commented:

“The Commonwealth Foundation occupies a remarkably unique place at the interface between governments and civil society.  It is a rare opportunity for a collective of nation states and citizens to have empowered itself with such a valuable instrument. The Foundation has shown that it understands the critical importance of relationships and the diversity of people, cultures and experiences that make up the Commonwealth and this is all very well reflected in the new Strategic Plan.”

Participatory governance is a central concept of the new plan. Speaking on this theme, Commonwealth Foundation Director Vijay Krishnarayan explained:

“What we aim to do over the next four years is animate this central theme, by encouraging people to come together to discuss why and how they should engage with the institutions that shape their lives. At the same time we’ll be providing support to those institutions to help them respond to the need to engage with citizens. We’re committed to this because we believe in improving the quality of development outcomes for Commonwealth people. In our analysis that requires their voice and participation in development processes.” 

View photos from the event >>