Connect across the Commonwealth: meet with and learn from colleagues in other NHRIs

14 October 2021


Applications for the current round of Connect Across The Commonwealth are now closed.

Following the success of the first round of Connect Across The Commonwealth in autumn 2021, we are repeating the scheme in early 2022. The scheme provides CFNHRI members with opportunities to share expertise directly with colleagues in other countries and regions.

‘Connect across the Commonwealth’ aims to increase knowledge-sharing across the CFNHRI and allow members to learn more about how human rights are upheld in different jurisdictions. To ensure maximum usefulness, we will try to match colleagues who are working on similar subjects or in similar roles.

The scheme is open to staff members at all levels as well as board members/commissioners from all CFNHRI member organisations – this isn’t just a scheme for senior leaders. If you wish to promote this in your organisations internal communications, we have prepared some suggested text about the scheme that you are welcome to copy and paste.

To apply, you’ll need to fill in a short questionnaire about your areas of work and expertise. CFNHRI staff will then try to match you with others working in a similar area and inform both parties of the person they have been matched with. It will be up to the two colleagues to arrange a meeting at a time and date to suit themselves, utilising their own video conferencing platform (we suggest using Zoom) or a video-calling app such as WhatsApp.

Colleagues will meet one-to-one for a conversation about their different work experiences. This should be approached as an informal chat rather than a formal meeting with an agenda. Following their meeting, participants will be asked to provide brief feedback on whether the ‘Connect across the Commonwealth’ scheme was helpful to them.

Prospective participants will need to:

  • Be employed by, or be a board member or commissioner, for a member of CFNHRI
  • Be prepared to dedicate at least forty-five minutes to meeting and sharing expertise with a colleague from another CFNHRI member organisation
  • Complete a short questionnaire to register their interest

Answers to your questions about Connect across the Commonwealth

Who can apply to be take part in the scheme?

Anyone who works for, or is a commissioner or board member, of a CFNHRI member organisation can apply to take part in the scheme. We are eager to encourage staff members from all levels to take part in ‘Connect across the Commonwealth’ – this isn’t just a scheme for senior leaders.

Can more than one person from each organisation apply to take part?

Yes, there is no limit to the number of colleagues from any organisation who can take part.

What do I have to commit to?

You have to commit to meeting online with a colleague from another CFNHRI member organisation for one meeting of around forty-five minutes. You also have to agree to sharing your contact details with CFNHRI staff and with the colleague you are matched with, and to completing a short feedback survey after your meeting.

What qualifications do I need to take part?

There are no qualifications required to take part apart from that you need to work for or be a commissioner/board member for a CFNHRI member. If needed, please get permission from your line manager to take part in the scheme before applying.

Will I definitely be given a match if I apply to the scheme?

We will endeavour to match everyone who applies with a colleague in a different country. However, we don’t know how popular the scheme will be so we cannot promise you’ll be matched with someone.

Will I just be matched with one person?

The aim will be to match each participant with just one other person. However, if it becomes apparent that you would be a good match for more than one other participant we may contact you directly to ask if you would consider meeting with more than one person. This would be entirely your choice and there is no obligation for you to attend more than one meeting.

Can I meet with the person I’m matched with more than once?

By signing up to the scheme you’re committing to sharing your expertise during one meeting but of course we would love it if it’s useful for you and your colleague to continue meeting. Any follow-up meetings should be organised only if you and the person you’ve been matched with both agree that this is useful.

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