The Commonwealth works with national authorities to uphold transparency and accountability in public services. We pay particular attention to strengthening anti-corruption agencies, public administration and financial management systems in small and less developed countries.

Our collective concern in the Commonwealth is that the benefits offered by governments should primarily benefit the most vulnerable and marginalized communities. Attention, therefore, needs to be paid to both equity and efficiency, as both go hand-in-hand. The guiding principle should be to do the right thing and to do things right.

This means operating and delivering in ways which are responsive and accountable, as well as more efficient and effective. The focus, therefore, needs to be on ensuring that public systems are streamlined and managed to work better, faster and cheaper in order to deliver what is promised and what is needed.

This training programme is based on the design and implementation of performance management systems, which contribute to more effective government. It is presented in non-technical language and is primarily aimed at senior leaders and decision-makers in Commonwealth countries.

The course offers practical tools and techniques for improving systems of performance management in government. Specifically, the course focuses on developing a results-based performance management system and equips participants with knowledge and expertise in using SMART software, a proprietary software developed by the Commonwealth Secretariat. SMART stands for Strategic Management and Accountability for Results.

The course has so far benefitted over 2000 senior public officials who including Heads of Public Service, Permanent Secretaries and Directors. Four regional programmes were held in 2020 for Africa and Europe, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. The current focus is now on individual countries. Countries trained to date are Barbados, The Gambia, Namibia and Nigeria.   


  • To enhance participants’ skills and knowledge in performance improvement and management, based on theory and international experience, and cutting-edge tools and techniques.
  • To Provide an overview of the necessary knowledge and skills required to design and implement systems for improving Government Performance and the necessary training resources.
  • To further the development of a community of practice in Commonwealth countries and a network of professionals who can subsequently continue to enrich each other with their experience in improving Government performance.

This is a very comprehensive Course and is primarily tailored for participants with varying degrees of previous background in designing and implementing performance management systems in government.

Topics covered include:

  • Explanations about Government Performance
  • Meaning of Government Performance
  • How to improve Government Performance
  • How to measure Government Performance
  • International best practice and options for policy makers
  • Use of Performance Agreements in public sector
  • How to design Performance-Related Incentives
  • How to design and implement a Public Grievance Redress system
  • How to design and implement Citizens’ / Clients’ Charters
  • How to design and implement a system to measure and promote innovation in public administration
  • Frontiers of E-Governance
  • Role of Effective Communications in Government
  • How to develop a Strategic Plan in Government Departments
  • How to implement ISO 9001:2008 in Government Departments
  • Designing effective performance information management systems in Government
  • Creating Knowledge Management Systems in Government
  • Creating and managing Communities of Practice in Government
  • Institutional mechanism for managing Performance in Government

Participants are provided with contemporary information on developments in the field of Government Performance Management. Delivery is through lectures, panel discussions, group discussions and management films. Participant discussion of case studies and self-study assignments as well as preparation and presentation of hypothetical Commitment for Results (CFR) provide the participants with intensive first-hand experience in essential skills for government performance management.

Who should attend?

This course is intended for senior Government Officials, Senior Public Enterprise Managers, and Politicians from Commonwealth countries who are concerned with improving performance of their governments in their respective countries. It is expected that all participants will be university graduates, but candidates with other qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be considered. The medium of instruction is English.

Course Director

The course director is Prof. Prajapati Trivedi who is the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Sustainable Development Goal Implementation. Until recently he was a Senior Director heading the Economic, Youth, and Sustainable Development Directorate of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, UK.

From 2009-2014, he served as a Permanent Secretary to the Government of India in the Cabinet Secretariat, Prime Minister’s Office, where he was responsible for designing a highly regarded whole-of-government performance monitoring and evaluation system for government departments and reporting the results to the Prime Minister of India.

He served concurrently as the Chairman, National Authority Chemical Weapons Convention (NACWC). He also served as Economic Adviser to the Government of India from 1992-94; Senior Economist with the World Bank from 1995-2009; STC Chair Professor of Public Sector Management at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (1987-1992). Prof. Trivedi received M.Sc. (Economics) from London School of Economics in 1972 and Ph.D. (Economics) from Boston University in 1985. Author of five books and several academic papers, he has worked in more than 50 countries around the world.

In 2017 he became the first Indian to receive the International Public Administration Award by the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of public administration as a scholar and practitioner. He is also a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). Prof Trivedi started teaching Economics in 1974 and has taught in Economics in various programs at Harvard University since 1979.

Training Videos

More info

For more information about the Advance Online Training Programme in Government Performance Management, please email us using the following contact details: 

Dunstan Maina

Jacqueline Johnson

Public Administration Adviser

Public Sector Governance Unit                       

Governance and Peace Directorate     

Tel: +44 207 747 6364

Email: [email protected] 

Programme Officer

Public Sector Governance Unit

Governance and Peace Directorate

Tel: +44 207 747 6369

Email: [email protected]