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Small States Centre of Excellence - Our work

The work of the Small States Centre of Excellence falls under the following non-exhaustive areas:

Capacity building
The Centre will provide targeted training and capacity building by partnering with established training Institutions. While it will offer an internet based facility, the Centre's Partners might provide physical training courses, exchange programmes and peer-to-peer mentoring at venues located across the various regions of the Commonwealth - Caribbean, Pacific, Indian Ocean.

Training programmes

  • The training programmes undertaken by the Centre include, but not limited to:
  • Performance Management and Accountability;
  • Natural Disaster Preparedness and Management;
  • Public Debt Management
  • Debt Sustainability Analysis;
  • Negotiation;
  • Diaspora Investment
  • SDG Surveillance and Monitoring; and
  • Oceans Governance.
  • Youth Development
  • Gender Mainstreaming

Technical assistance
The Commonwealth Small States Centre of Excellence will provide Technical Assistance to strengthen national implementation capabilities in the areas identified as priority areas for these countries. This assistance will be tailored to ‘best fit’ members’ needs and circumstances and will be delivered in the form of toolkits and advisory support.

The Commonwealth is in the process of developing a catalogue of toolkits which will catalyse practical manifestation of the knowledge, experience and insights in solving public policy challenges. These set of operational tools and practical techniques will be instrumental in the identification and implementation of unique solutions to a common public policy challenges faced by many countries. These will be embedded into the Centre’s core activities as and when they become available within the next twelve months to support implementation of various work programmes. Below is a list of Toolkits that are at various stages of development in the Secretariat.

Support for small states missions
Through the Centre, we further plan to develop a work programme for tracking key global events, processes and negotiations taking place in Geneva and New York Mission to prepare our smaller members through these undertakings. This programme will entail tracking all meetings/events; selecting the most pertinent ones from the list; conduct background analytical work and research to identify the challenge and provide appropriate and practical recommendations; prepare briefing material for small states missions; conduct briefing sessions with these missions prior to these meetings/events; and accompany small states missions, if applicable, in these meetings/events to provide back-up support.

Knowledge management
The Centre will provide a one stop shop for data, information and knowledge tools on small states development and governance. The clearing house will take the form of an online library, with possible links to the Commonwealth’s archives and library, including the iLibrary.

SSCOE research conference
The Centre will also deliver an annual small states research conference beginning in 2018, to create a platform for academic dialogue on small states challenges, and to create a store of research information which will be made available to small states’ governments.

This will be a periodic publication published in an interactive and electronic format to provide real-time and emerging news pertinent to the development of small states.

Communities of practice
These are peer-to-peer networks where the focus is on learning and building capacity and members interact virtually or in person to share knowledge, develop expertise, solve problems and advance their practice.

Case studies
The Secretariat realised that there is a significant amount of actual practitioner experience that has NOT been properly documented in succinct, layman (non-academic) terminology. As such, the Centre will take significant time and resources to compile these case studies and best practices for hosting on the SSCOE website.

Discussion portal
The Centre’s website will also facilitate live and virtual interactions between key stakeholders from small states to share best practices and experiences, pose questions and identify solutions, provide updates, etc. This place will also host the Centre’s blog which will encourage discussion of pertinent issues. These forums will be moderated by the Centre.

Peer-to-peer networks
These are peer-to-peer networks where the focus is on learning and building capacity and members interact virtually or in person to share knowledge, develop expertise, solve problems and advance their practice. These would take the shape of platforms such as the Global Biennial Conference and other discussion forums that may either be conducted virtually or in-person