In order to make its relationship with each Commonwealth Member State more systematic and interactive, the Commonwealth of Learning introduced a network of COL Focal Points in 2006. Each Minister of Education was requested to nominate a Focal Point (listed below) who would be COL's primary contact in a particular country.

COL's role is to help countries use a range of appropriate and available approaches and technologies to foster learning at scale. COL's work covers two sectors of activity: Education and Livelihoods & Health. Dialogue with the Focal Points will ensure that COL initiatives match national priorities. These discussions will help COL to develop Country Action Plans for each country for the next three years.

The COL Focal Points are expected to:

  • Interact with COL staff for all our programmes, giving us the necessary feedback to inform our ongoing interventions and to flag areas where new initiatives and interventions could be considered.

  • Have a co-ordination role among different ministries and institutions in their country, where necessary. The Focal Point would be a single-window contact between COL and a Government.

  • Receive and disseminate information about COL and its activities. COL will provide the Focal Point with copies of all the relevant information and material for dissemination to the appropriate institutions and agencies within the country, and will seek relevant information and feedback on programmes and activities from the Focal Point.

  • Receive advance advice about visits of COL staff to specific countries so that well-planned and adequately prepared interactions occur on all issues of mutual interest.