Voter and Civic Education Modular workshop in Lesotho
7-9 December 2023
The UNDP organised a three-day BRIDGE Voter and Civic Education modular workshop for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of Lesotho. This workshop held from 7-9 December 2023, was funded by the German Cooperation through the Africa Election Fund Project implemented by the UNDP. The workshop was identified by the Commission through a series of Needs Assessment Missions conducted. During the official opening of the workshop, the IEC Chairperson Mr. Mphasa Mokhochane, mentioned that the IEC and the German Government are working together to mitigate the ramifications of identified challenges faced by the Commission, which include enhancing institutional capacity of the Commission.
The Chairperson encouraged participants to seize this opportunity to enhance their knowledge of sound democratic processes and practices which are reiterated in the legal framework of Lesotho. Based on this mandate the IEC has prioritised this training because it is the bedrock for democratic elections not only for the Commission but for enabling informed citizenry.
Twenty, (9 women and 11 men) IEC Voter and Civic Education officials from the districts and headquarters participated in the workshop held in Maseru, facilitated by workshop-level facilitator Lydia Macheli, and accrediting-level facilitators, Rindai Chipfunde Vava and Tomsie Dlamini.
Participants demonstrated zeal and creativity in the design of VCE programmes, strategies for various target audiences which they committed to applying back at their workstations. During the feedback sessions, some mentioned that the concepts and knowledge acquired from the workshop provoked latent ideas that they will actively explore in developing and implementing Voter and Civic Education programmes for the benefit of the electorate. ‘The facilitators were well-organised, content-rich on the subject and created the perfect learning environment, with a lot of activities, which brought out the best from all of us’, opined a participant.
In closing the workshop, IEC Commissioner, Dr.Karabo Mokobocho Mohlakoana, expressed gratitude to the UNDP and German Government. She said the IEC appreciates being part of the Africa Election Fund Project committed to strengthening democracy in support to electoral processes. Listening in to the participants’ comments, she said she noted the thirst for knowledge among staff, the request for more BRIDGE workshops and acknowledged their enthusiasm to do more in promoting democracy for the people which will only be possible through a capacitated cadre of staff to implement VCE programmes coupled by an informed participation of voters.