The two years covered here, from July 2013 to June 2015, were a period of transformation for the Commonwealth Secretariat as we worked to translate into practical action our Strategic Plan from 2013/14 to 2016/17. The Plan is a clearly signposted roadmap, following implementation of the most fundamental reforms for a generation, both of the work we do and of the way we do it.
Some small states enjoy relatively high GDP per capita – giving the impression of economic strength – when in reality these economies are fragile and disproportionately affected by adverse economic shocks, natural disasters and extreme weather events.
The Commonwealth Vulnerability Resilience Framework was first developed in 2004 with the University of Malta to help countries better measure their susceptibility to shocks, including financial crises and extreme weather events, and develop targeted national policies in response.
The Framework was expanded in 2014 to capture the downsides of an unregulated or badly regulated market, environmental management, governance, social development and social cohesion factors, which are critical contributors to economic resilience.
The Secretariat facilitated meetings of the Openended Ministerial Working Group on Small States. The Group developed talking points and solutions from a Commonwealth perspective for key international development conferences preparing the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
In October 2013, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the World Bank published Tourism and Inclusive Growth in Small Island Developing States during the Small States Forum at the World Bank headquarters. The publication explores how tourism can facilitate growth, create jobs and improve livelihoods in Small Island Developing States. The analysis of experiences in Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles and other small states showed the direct and indirect benefits of tourism, discussed the main challenges and proposed recommendations for policy action.