Blog Archives

Apply! Assistant Programme Officer, Youth Division

Application Deadline: 28th January 2015 at 17:00 GMT
Location: London, UK
£28,500 pa + benefits

The Commonwealth Secretariat are proud to be supporting youth empowerment through our newly created Young Professionals Programme (YPP). The YPP creates multiple opportunities for talented and qualified young people from across the Commonwealth to contribute to our core work through the transference of technical expertise, innovative ideas, specialist knowledge and fresh perspectives.

The Assistant Programme Officer role sit within the Youth Division (YTH) and is focused on providing technical and administrative support to the Director. Responsibilities will include contributing to strategic and technical youth development programmes and special projects, and ensuring the smooth running of the Director’s office.


To be considered for this role you must be;
1. a citizen of a Commonwealth country
2. aged 27 years or younger at the time applications close,
3. possess a Bachelor degree or equivalent in youth development, social sciences or international development.
4. You will have at least one year of work experience in the design and delivery of youth development and/or youth-led development programmes and demonstrable experience in stakeholder management.

If you are keen to gain excellent experience in one of the world’s most high-profile youth development programmes and can thrive in our multi-cultural environment, we look forward to hearing from you.

We will accept a maximum of three (3) applications for YPP roles from each candidate.

click here

Commonwealth Youth Development Index Report and Website goes live!

commonwealth foundation logo





London, 19 September 2013

The Commonwealth has launched the first index measuring the development and empowerment of young people in countries worldwide.

The Youth Development Index (YDI) offers an inter-country comparison of the environment for young people, aged 15 to 29, across five key areas: education, health, employment, civic participation and political participation.

The first comprehensive attempt to aggregate global data on young people, the YDI was formulated to help decision-makers identify and learn from areas of success, pinpoint priority areas for investment, and track progress over time. The methodology was developed by independent academic experts from across The Commonwealth, in conjunction with the Institute for Economics and Peace.

Launching the YDI and its accompanying website and report on 19 September, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said: “The Index raises awareness both of successes and of investment needs, it will help identify and share good practices between countries, and will enable the tracking of progress over time.”

Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba added: “The current demographic profile of The Commonwealth, with a significant youth bulge in most member states, makes it more vital than ever that we engage in practical action that matches the sense of urgency and impatience for change being expressed by younger generations.

“The Commonwealth will continue to work with its member governments to develop and implement policies and programmes for the empowerment of young people.”

Key findings:

  • The countries with the highest overall YDI score in The Commonwealth are Australia, Canada and New Zealand, who are also some of the best performers globally.
  • 70% of Commonwealth countries are classified as having medium youth development, and 13% as having high youth development.
  • On average, young people aged 15-29 make up around 28% of the population in Commonwealth countries. The top ten countries in the YDI have smaller youth populations, averaging 23%.
  • Some low and middle-income countries outscore higher-income countries. Researchers found that a focus on economic growth at the expense of other key factors such as governance and services may not necessarily translate into gains for youth development.
  • Democracies score considerably better in the YDI compared to Authoritarian regimes.
  • The average youth unemployment rate in Commonwealth countries is 22.9%, compared to the global average of 19.2%. The prevalence of HIV amongst youth in Commonwealth countries is 2.1%, two and a half times the global average.

Researchers stressed the importance of more comprehensive data collection on indicators important to youth development, to produce evidence-based youth policies and continue to enhance the Index.

Director of the Commonwealth Foundation, Vijay Krishnarayan said: “It is tempting to see the Index as either an indictment or endorsement of past performances but rather we should see it as a spur to action, an aid to planning and a guide to the way ahead.”

Marc Kidson, Chair of the British Youth Council, added: “What is so encouraging to me, is that the Index is not a report about young people, it is a tool for young people. A tool to make sure they can draw attention to the challenges they face, a tool to make sure governments cannot assume they know best what young people need, and a tool to strengthen young voices with credible evidence.”

The YDI Results Report can be downloaded from the website or Here

 Notes to Editors:

The YDI measures youth development in 170 countries including 51 of the 54 Commonwealth member countries. The development of the Index was a target of The Commonwealth Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment 2007-2015.

Of the two billion people in The Commonwealth’s 54 member countries, around 60 per cent are under the age of 30.

Have Your Say: The Commonwealth Stakeholders’ Statement Consultation

Have your say on education in the Commonwealth: Stakeholders’ Statement Consultation

This August Education Ministers from across the Commonwealth are meeting in Mauritius to discuss the global education agenda at the 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (18CCEM).

Held in the wings of the Education Ministers’ conference, the Stakeholders’ Forum (27-31 August) is a major international education conference which brings together delegates from all education stakeholder groups – business, government, academia, civil society, and the development and donor communities.

On the last day of the Stakeholders’ Forum a Statement is presented to Education Ministers. The aim of the Statement is to give a voice to civil society working in education and enable them to represent their views and recommendations to Ministers. It is expected that the Stakeholders’ Statement will contribute to the education ministerial agenda both within the Commonwealth and globally.

We want to hear from you

We want the Stakeholders’ Statement to reflect the views of civil society from across the Commonwealth. A draft Stakeholders’ Statement has been written by a committee of civil society representatives working in education and development in the Commonwealth. Now it’s your turn: we are holding a public consultation on the draft text until 5 August.  We want to hear from you.

>> Read and comment on the Statement

The consultation will run until 5 August. It is a public consultation open to everyone across the Commonwealth.


Further information: The 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (18CCEM)

Education Ministers are coming together against a backdrop of global change as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All initiative (EFA) conclude in 2015. Ministers and key stakeholders will have the opportunity to consider the progress toward achieving the MDGs/EFA as well as the post-2015 agenda. Key deliberations and conclusions will inform the ministerial communiqué which will highlight how the Commonwealth can most effectively contribute to global education priorities.

>> Visit the 18CCEM website for more information

18CCEM is hosted by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Government of Mauritius in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Further Information: The Stakeholders’ Forum

The Stakeholders’ Forum is a unique opportunity to interact with a variety of education specialists from across the Commonwealth. There are still spaces available: if you are interested in attending please visit the Stakeholders’ Forum website

The Stakeholders’ Forum is organised by the Commonwealth Foundation in collaboration with the Government of Mauritius and the Commonwealth Secretariat, in partnership with Link Community Development and Nexus Strategic Partnerships Limited.

Apply:Commonwealth Foundation Leadership Exchange 2012

The Commonwealth Foundation Leadership Exchange is a five day learning exchange which brings together leaders and emerging leaders from across the Commonwealth. The 2012 Leadership Exchange will centre on ‘Stakeholder Engagement for Influencing Policy’.

The Exchange will take place from the 16–20 July 2012. 

Applications are now open. Deadline for applications is 20 May. 

Recognising the need to engage, understand and incorporate a wealth of knowledge, opinions and approaches, governments are increasingly looking to civil society to present new, alternative and progressive views for the future. The Exchange aims to shape civil society leaders to meet this demand and have an impact on policy.

Participants will take an active role on the Exchange, bringing their own knowledge, experiences and expertise to train and educate their peers. They will have as much to give as to learn and the Exchange will provide an opportunity to meet other leading thinkers and actors who are challenging traditional views and methods. The programme is thus structured around a combination of action learning, peer support and structured discussion and training.

The Exchange is open to civil society leaders and emerging leaders, who are currently engaged in national and international policy development and implementation activities, and who are current working in Commonwealth member states in the Asia, Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific regions. Applicants must demonstrate outstanding capabilities and experience from a wide variety of backgrounds and high level of professional achievement.

For more information on the application process please contact:

Guy Holloway
+44 (0) 207 747 6576