Senior Programme Officer: People of the Commonwealth

This position is part of our advocacy programme: People of the Commonwealth. Applicants are strongly encouraged to have relevant advocacy experience

The organisation

The Commonwealth Foundation is an international intergovernmental organisation established by Heads of Government in support of the belief that the Commonwealth is as much an association of peoples as it is of governments.

It is the Commonwealth agency for civil society; a unique, stand-alone organisation established by, funded by, and reporting to governments but with the explicit aim of advancing the interests of the people of the Commonwealth.

The Foundation is dedicated to strengthening people’s participation in all aspects of public dialogue, to act together and learn from each other to build democratic societies. To that end it works to:

  • Support the active and constructive participation of Commonwealth citizens in all aspects of their governance
  • Nurture the growth of vibrant and free civil societies in all Commonwealth countries
  • Advance the principles and ideals of the Commonwealth

People of the Commonwealth

The People of the Commonwealth (POC) is the Foundation’s new outreach and advocacy programme. POC aims to bring Commonwealth citizens and their views into the centre of discussion and decision-making on critical issues that affect the lives of individuals and their communities. The programme uses multiple platforms including the Critical Conversations series, the Commonwealth People’s Forum; and engagement in Commonwealth policy and other intergovernmental spaces to inform, unite and inspire to effect change.

The Senior Programme Officer

The Senior Programme Officer (SPO – POC) is an exciting and critical new role within the POC programme. You will bring energy, creativity and coordination skills to design and lead a variety of advocacy projects that help create change, and build knowledge and partnerships around our key thematic focus areas: health, environment and climate change, and freedom of expression.

You will work with the Programme Officer to be a key interlocuter between civil society and governments. You will work as part of a small team to create opportunities, coordinate events and convene meetings that seek to influence Commonwealth Member States to live up to their commitments in the Commonwealth Charter and other policy agreements, such as the Sustainable Development Goals.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Design, lead and deliver events and meetings that provide a platform for civil society to engage and influence the Commonwealth
  • Develop cross-programme advocacy strategies around the Foundation’s thematic focus areas
  • Develop a good understanding of policies, strategies and ongoing debates and discussions around the Foundation’s thematic focus areas
  • Identify influencing opportunities to strengthen and sustain our advocacy strategies
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key external stakeholders and build strong working relationships with partners and other Commonwealth organisations
  • Ensure that the Foundation’s cross-cutting priorities are appropriately integrated into all aspects of programme work and procedures including MEL systems and reporting.

Closing date:

9 August 2021, 1pm GMT


Week of 16 August 2021

Ideal start date:

1 September 2021


  • Starting salary — £35,000 pa
  • 15% of gross salary in a tax-free gratuity payment, payable every 3 years.
  • Holiday allowance of 30 days (plus 8 bank holidays and 4 privilege days)
  • Learning opportunities at the Foundation for career development


Please provide a covering letter, CV and copy of proof of right to work in the UK using the application form found on this page.

We expect your covering letter to demonstrate how your experience meets the requirements of the role and the Foundation’s values. When writing it please refer to the above and information found in the job description, competencies set out in the attached annex under the ‘officers’ column. Each of these resources can be downloaded below.

Job Description: Senior Programme Officer, People of the Commonwealth Commonwealth Foundation Competency Bank
Deadline for applications
9 August 2021 1pm BST

Sorry, the applications for this position have now closed.

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