Commonwealth forum to strengthen role of officials to deliver development

11 November 2011

Forums focus on enhancing the leadership role of senior officials to deliver public services

Public servants from around the Commonwealth will gather at the Commonwealth Secretariat’s headquarters in London from 14 to 18 November to strengthen their roles in implementing policies and strategies for development in their country.

Through two forums – ‘Women Leaders for Development’ and ‘Leadership at the Centre for Senior Leaders across the Commonwealth’ - the Secretariat will work with public servants on improving their leadership skills to achieve national goals for development and change.

Strengthening leadership in the public service is a key priority for Commonwealth countries, as it motivates high performance, coalesces development efforts, and galvanises support for public sector reform.

With more women taking up senior roles in public administration, the five-day ‘Women Leaders for Development’ forum, will discuss issues affecting women leaders working in the public service, and develop strategies to enhance their ability to enact change and be more influential in their respective roles.

The Commonwealth Day theme for 2011 is ‘Women as Agents of Change’, which celebrates women whose work has made a positive difference to the lives of others, and emphasises the Commonwealth message that by investing in women and girls we can accelerate social, economic and political progress in our member states.

On Tuesday, 15 November, the Secretariat, in partnership with the World Bank and the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM), will host the second forum for senior leaders, which will highlight leadership issues that are fundamental to good governance and development.

The forum will also profile public sector-related work that the Secretariat has carried out under the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC).

Governments and regional organisations in the Commonwealth seeking public sector reform can request assistance from the CFTC, which is resourced by voluntary contributions from Commonwealth member governments and overseas territories. Through the fund the Secretariat can either provide advice to a member state or deploy an external expert to the country.

The week’s events will also include the launch of the ‘Commonwealth Governance Yearbook 2011/12’ which is a collection of writings from public service practitioners and experts in public administration and management.

Other highlights will include a presentation by the World Bank on its experience in public service management and its new public sector reform strategy.