An optimal procedure for designing co-ordinated controllers of power system stabiliser and flexible ac transmission system devices is developed for achieving and enhancing small-disturbance stability in multi-machine power systems. A constrained optimisation approach is applied for minimising an objective function formed from selected eigenvalues of the power systems state matrix. The eigenvalue-eigenvector equations associated with the selected modes form a set of equality constraints in the optimisation. There is no need for any standard eigenvalue calculation routines, and the use of sparse Jacobian matrix in the case of large system for forming the eigenvalue-eigenvector equations leads to the sparsity formulation. Inequality constraints include those for imposing bounds on the controller parameters. Constraints which guarantee that the modes are distinct ones are derived and incorporated in the control coordination formulation using the property that eigenvectors associated with distinct modes are linearly independent. The robustness of the controllers is achieved very directly through extending the sets of equality constraints and inequality constraints in relation to selected eigenvalues and eigenvectors associated with the state matrices of power systems with loading conditions and/or network configurations different from that of the base case. Simulation results of a multi-machine power system confirm that the procedure is effective in designing controllers that guarantee and enhance the power system small-disturbance stability.