The Governance and Institutional Development Division (GIDD) works as a partner with all Commonwealth peoples, committed to providing excellent technical assistance for capacity-building and sustainable development in public institutions in particular, and in private-sector and civil society institutions with public responsibilities.
It promotes the ‘new public administration’ ethos in the Commonwealth, with the aim of assisting member countries in their efforts to improve the performance of their public services as part of the structures of good governance.
The long-term vision of GIDD is for every Commonwealth country to have an effective system of public administration providing the essential institutional infrastructure for an appropriately balanced system of democratic governance, economic competitiveness, social cohesion and environmental sustainability, which will be a symbol of Commonwealth membership.
GIDD promotes the installation and strengthening of essential national capacities of public administration required for good governance and national development in each member country, based on the experience of Commonwealth best practices and values.
This is done by providing an integrated programme of technical assistance services to member countries to enable each to develop the critical structures, systems, institutions and human resources for public-sector administration as well as in crucial development areas. The technical assistance services include a package of:
This programme covers strategies for the reform of the full spectrum of the public administration and management as well as issues relating to civil society and private sector institutions with a public responsibility. The division has in-house specialist expertise in areas such as governance, public sector reform initiatives, public expenditure management, human resource management and development, public–private sector partnerships, public sector informatics, sub-national administration and anti-money laundering. The targets and contents of the programme vary according to the short- and medium-term priorities set by CHOGM and ministerial meetings.
The work of GIDD is supported by a network of Commonwealth professional associations, including Commonwealth Association for Corporate Governance, Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management, Commonwealth Centre for Electronic Governance, Commonwealth Local Government Forum, Commonwealth Network of Information Technology for Development and others (see entries in Directory of Organisations in Reference).
Specialist consultants and volunteers
GIDD provides long- and short-term technical assistance through the services of specialist consultants and volunteers to member governments and regional organisations, in response to their needs towards building national capacity and institutional strength. In any one year some 200 such specialists are in the field in developing countries throughout the Commonwealth. The experts come from both developed and developing countries and are very experienced in their fields; their assignments range from a few days to two or three years.
Experts may work in any area related to development. Demand is especially high in economic, environmental and educational planning, legislative drafting, natural resource development, good governance, public administration, public finance and tax administration, development of the services sector, poverty-alleviation related activities and development of physical and social infrastructure. Experts not only supply skills and fill gaps but must help the country to achieve national capacities, setting up systems and training local counterparts.
GIDD is also responsible for the Commonwealth Service Abroad Programme, an innovative volunteer-based programme, and on average places about 30 volunteer experts per year to assist member counties. The programme is also the Commonwealth Secretariat’s response initiative for post natural disasters such as the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the Pakistan earthquake in October 2005.