Lesotho: Party capacity building

See also Representation and inclusivity in parties  ·  Inter & intra-party conflict  ·  Poll watching

Work to increace the capacity of political parties in Lesotho has been undertaken by EISA's Governance Institutions and Political Processes (GIPPS) department, under its Political Parties Support Programme, aims to contribute to an open, inclusive and democratic political system, by strengthening this crucial set of stakeholders in the processes of democratic governance. The political parties capacity building activities are focused on ensuring that political parties are democratic and function effectively.


Monitoring and Evaluation Workshop

28-29 Jun 2016

In preparation for training workshops on "Introduction to Monitoring and Evaluation Tools for Enhancing Oversight and Accountability" scheduled for 2016, material was developed to further the knowledge and understanding of participants in using monitoring and evaluation tools in a policy context. This content covered focuses on Understanding Governance, Accountability and Oversight; Exploring the link between Oversight and Accountability; Introduce Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) terms and concepts; Demonstrate through practical application how M&E can be used in a policy context and how M&E tools can be used for Oversight and Accountability and Demonstrate the application of a Theory of Change in a Policy context.

Participation drawn from eight different political parties, including the current ruling Democratic Congress (DC) as well as the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Patriotic Front for Democracy (PFD), Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL), Lesotho Workers party (LWP), Basotho National Party (BNP), Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and Lesotho Peoples' Congress (LPC) was held on the 28 and 29 June 2016. The workshop comprised 119 participants, eight male and 11 female, and 12 below the age of 35.


Training workshops were held in Lesotho at Leribe and Maseru. The first series of workshops attracted 21 participants drawn from the four main parties in Lesotho, the Democratic Congress (DC), All Bashotho Convention (ABC), Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), and Bathsotho National Party (BNP), while the second workshop attracted 27 participants drawn from the four main parties, as well as observer delegates from local civil society organisations.


To date, the EISA programme remains the only programme with an explicit and dedicated focus on political parties in the region, and particularly in the three countries in which the project is implemented. Support to political parties in 2011 was anchored in two separate, albeit complementary, projects which began in 2010:

  • "Supporting Political Parties' Internal Organisation and Capacity in the SADC Region", aims to enhance the leadership and organisational skills of political parties through capacity building and training.
  • The second set of activities aims at enhancing the performance of the parties in fragile and developing democracies in Africa so that they contribute more effectively to democratic governance. This is achieved firstly by institutionalising themselves as effective political parties and, secondly, by implementing a set of measures aimed at improving their operational and organisational efficiencies.


EISA adopted two separate but complementary approaches in the process of formulating benchmarks for political parties:

  • An expert reference group comprised of party representatives, academics and other stakeholders was established as an advisory body in guiding the development of the benchmarks.
  • In-country workshops and dialogues with political parties were convened in Lesotho amongst other African countries to develop benchmarks.

The benchmarks reflected the role which political parties played as well as addressed, through their own contributions, how parties in Africa ought to be institutionalized. EISA developed the benchmarks by convening a series of dialogues to canvass party input for the standards and indicators comprising the benchmarks. This served as input to EISA's Fifth Annual Symposium, 2010, which developed Benchmarks for Enhanced Political Party Performance for Democratic Governance in Africa.


EISA, for the first time, trained parties in the mountain districts of Lesotho, namely, Mohale's Hoek, Mafeteng, Qacha's Nek, Quthing and Thaba-Tseka where participants were located in often inaccessible places. Most of the participants were people who usually do not get first hand information because of their location. The programme therefore succeeded in breaking the internal and external barriers to their learning. The five training workshops were in collaboration with the Lesotho Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (LCN).


A Political Parties Programme Handbook was published as a tool for the development of country specific training manuals and presentations can be developed. The six modules covered are: political parties; leadership; public outreach; party coalitions/alliances; and conflict management. Activities carried out in 2008 focused on workshops for ruling and opposition parties in Lesotho, South Africa and Sudan through partnerships with the Netherlands Institute for Multi-party Democracy (NIMD), the University of Bergen (UiB), and the Swedish Christian Democratic International Centre (KIC).

A workshop was conducted for parties in Lesotho under the second phase of the capacity building project for 13 political parties in April 2008.

Two training manuals, Managing Intra-party and Inter-party Conflict in Lesotho: Training Manual and Promoting Intraparty Democracy in Lesotho: Training manual for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Lesotho Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) as well as for the Lesotho Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (LCN) and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).

Using Managing Intra-party and Inter-party Conflict in Lesotho: Training Manual EISA and the Lesotho Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (LCN) jointly conducted five training workshops in the districts of Maseru, Berea, Leribe, Butha-Buthe and Mokhotlong, focused on thematic areas such as gender representation in political parties, internal organisation, management and functioning of parties, leadership qualities within political parties as well as conflict and conflict management. About 150 participants from 13 out of the 19 registered parties in Lesotho attended these workshops.

EISA conducted a training workshop for political parties in Maseru in October 2008 based on the Promoting Intraparty Democracy in Lesotho: Training manual. The training aimed at assisting parties in the prevention, management and resolution of conflict. The workshop was attended by senior party leaders from the 19 registered parties, the IEC and the UNDP.

An analysis by Fako Johnson Likoti, How Parties Fared in the 2007 Election: A Theoretical Exploration of the Outcome, was published Journal of African Elections Volume 7 Number 1, June: Special Issue: Elections and Democracy in Lesotho.