Project Overview

CRSD in association with the Commonwealth Secretariat are convening a group of experts in Legal Steering Committee. This committee has been formed to develop the legal and institutional framework for the Common Pool Asset Structuring Strategy (COMPASS) as part of the broader collaborative project Their Future, Our Action project. However, CRSD hopes to engage this method and draw on the generous pool of expertise and experience that the committee offers in other future projects.

COMPASS was developed through a transdisciplinary collaboration of action research, using our unique systems based methodology. Drawing on a wide ranging expertise, CRSD designed COMPASS to aid Small Island Developing States in attaining sustainable finance. It is a proposed financial mechanism which addresses the systemic barriers that SIDS face in attracting sustainable investment finance. Core principles include: 

  • Facilitating collaboration on scalable projects addressing common SIDS needs
  • Responsible innovation in collectively seeking blended finance 
  • Active risk management strategies drawing on SIDS' cooperation strengths
  • Recognizing SIDS' valuable natural and youth assets through indices like PERI-View and CamYouth.

The committee's mandate is to design a legal structure to effectively operationalise COMPASS.


Legal Steering Committee Role in 'Their Future, Our Action'

The Legal Experts Committee has been convened as part of Phase 3 of the Their Future, Our Action project. This is a two-year collaboration between the Commonwealth Secretariat and the CRSD at Cambridge. 

In Phases 1 and 2, the project developed the COMPASS concept along with indices like PERI-View and CamYouth. Phase 3 involves designing the legal and institutional framework needed to operationalize COMPASS. 

The committee will provide expert guidance on the optimal legal form, contracts, risk management strategies, operational protocols, and governance mechanisms to fulfill the COMPASS principles and improve SIDS access to investment finance.


Committee Meeting Outcomes

The inaugural virtual meeting brings together legal experts from across the Commonwealth Secretariat, academia, SIDS policymakers, and finance sector.

Key discussion themes:

  • Evaluating legal structures to execute COMPASS across diverse SIDS jurisdictions
  • Crafting legal terms and contracts to codify roles and responsibilities  
  • Developing risk mitigation strategies
  • Designing operational protocols, model contracts and evidentiary frameworks

Next Steps

CRSD hope that over next months, the committee will further develop details on the optimal legal design for COMPASS, including:

  • Proposing an appropriate legal form and jurisdiction for the COMPASS structure
  • Drafting legal contracts upholding governance and innovation principles  
  • Developing risk mitigation mechanisms including joint oversight bodies
  • Codifying operational protocols and model contracts adaptable across SIDS
  • Incorporating governance mechanisms to safeguard SIDS' interests

The goal is to design a comprehensive legal framework to operationalize COMPASS based on its core principles and purpose.