Commonwealth Foundation


Commonwealth Foundation Marlborough House
Pall Mall
London SW1Y 5HY

Telephone: (44) 20 7930 3783

Fax: (44) 20 7839 8157


Website: www.commonwealth

Year established: 1965
Number of staff: 20
Annual expenditure: £3,000,000

Officers (2015):

Chair: Sir Anand Satyanand
Director: Vijay Krishnarayan
Deputy Director
: Myn Garcia

Aims and objectives:

The Commonwealth Foundation works on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth of Nations, a voluntary association today spanning 53 countries, six continents and almost a third of the world’s population. It is an intergovernmental development organisation with an international remit and
reach, uniquely situated at the interface between government and civil society.

The Foundation develops the capacity of civil society to act together and learn from each other to engage with the institutions that shape people’s lives. It strives for more effective, responsive and accountable governance with civil society participation, which contributes to improved development outcomes.

Main activities:

The Foundation produces guides to facilitate peer- to-peer learning and actively encourages capacity building. It uses the role of creative expression to achieve international development through schemes such as the cultural initiative Commonwealth Writers. It plays an active role in ministerial meetings, convening civil society meetings in the wings and facilitating a place at the table for people to speak directly to their governments, particularly the Commonwealth People’s Forum. It also awards grants to the value of one million GBP.

Recent publications:

Commonwealth Perspectives: Ideas for a New Development Agenda shows how civil society has been able to participate in, influence and benefit from the attainment of the MDGs.

A full list of the Foundation’s publications may be found at