The Commonwealth is a voluntary organisation of 53 member countries which are united by their common goals of development and democracy.
The Commonwealth helps governments to develop their capacity to deliver public services and work with public institutions to improve their delivery of key responsibilities.
The Commonwealth promotes good democratic practice by providing technical assistance and training as well as sending observers to countries’ elections on invitation.
Commonwealth principles on good governance were reaffirmed in the Harare Declaration of 1991. It promotes development, poverty reduction and the protection of human rights.
Good governance is a major priority for the Commonwealth. Pictured above are speakers and presiding officers at the 21st Conference of Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers (CSPOC) in Trinidad and Tobago, January 2012.

Sustainable Development Goals


Click a continent to view countries and resources:

About Us

The Commonwealth Governance for Development website is the first comprehensive guide to the enabling role that public sector leadership and governance reform plays in facilitating development – both the fulfilment of national development plans and performance towards the new UN Sustainable Development Goals. The 53 member countries of the modern Commonwealth share highly compatible systems of governance, education and law, and all have English as an official language. This ‘Commonwealth Factor’ allows for leadership and innovation in any one jurisdiction to be relatively easily replicated right across the Association. In addition, the primary intergovernmental agency of the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth Secretariat, has been helping member countries boost their development and strengthen their democracies for over 50 years, and this work is supported by many professional networks within the ‘Commonwealth Family’, which are dedicated to helping parliamentarians, judges, tax collectors, journalists, town clerks, etc. connect and exchange good practice.

This combination of systemic compatibility and institutional connectedness – the Commonwealth ‘Factor’ and ‘Family’ at their best – ensures that governance, oversight and regulatory agencies in Commonwealth member countries will continue to lead the globe in governance-for-development, and this website aims to play its part in supporting this.

In recognition of those Commonwealth leaders whose commitment to public service excellence has changed the lives of millions of their compatriots, and to help the international community identify and partner with the expertise in governance-for-development they need, this website will shortly launch the first ever Commonwealth Governance Expert Roster. Until then please click here to browse and purchase print editions of our governance publications, including the official Commonwealth Governance Handbook, and click here to register for your free copy of the inaugural edition of the Commonwealth Governance for Development publication.