Values Based Investment in health, education and social development for the Commonwealth

Through the principles of its charter the Commonwealth secretariat has a duty to provide a values-based approach to investment of public funds in particular in health, education and social development.

The charter the recognises the necessity of access to affordable health services, education, clean drinking water, sanitation and housing for all citizens and emphasises the importance of promoting health and well-being through combating communicable and non-communicable diseases. It recognises the right of everyone to have access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food, consistent with the progressive realisation of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security.

These principles have been used to draw up values to promote, support and advance the core commonwealth values to facilitate alignment of investors objectives with those of the societies within which they operate.

These values are aimed both at policy makers and planners when making decisions on the allocation of public funds as well as to guide the private sector when developing investment and business opportunities.

Values for the investment of public funds:

Quality services which are, accessible, acceptable, appropriate, equitable, efficient, effective and safe

Cost effective, evidence based approaches, which take into account the opportunity costs of investing public funds, while promoting innovation and good practice

Sustainable approaches employed to facilitate economic, environmental and social development, in alignment with the 2030 sustainable development agenda

Promotion of these values aims to maximise progress in the key areas of; research and development, innovation, workforce development and wider capacity strengthening including workforce health. Investment in the fields of education, public health and primary health care need to be combined with sustainable infrastructure solutions including virtual infrastructure such as internet connectivity.

These values demonstrate a commitment to ensuring that health, education and social development in the Commonwealth is responsive to the needs of commonwealth citizens, and capable of addressing the significant global challenges of the future. Through this we aspire to a Commonwealth that is devoted to improving the lives of all peoples of the Commonwealth.

The draft guidance is available for download and public comment here

Please direct any feedback on this draft guidance to the health hub at