Call to engage communities in governance
COMMUNITIES need to be included in municipal governance processes to improve the quality of decisions made and policies formulated.
This was said by Lesotho Council of NonGovernment Organisations (LCN) Executive Director, Seabata Motsamai, during a threeday workshop held in conjunction with the Maseru City Council (MCC) to explore ways of engagement with the community for inclusive planning.
The workshop, which ended yesterday, was held under the theme “Enhancing Citizen’s Participation for Responsive Participatory Planning in Maseru City Council” and attended by area chiefs, councillors and members of parliament from within the municipality.
Mr Motsamai said community members needed to be included in municipal governance.
“Involving community members in municipal governance helps improve the quality of decisions made and policies formulated. This can be done by tapping into extensive and alternative sources of information and viewpoints which is sometimes referred to as soliciting or ‘hidden knowledge’,” he said.
Mr Motsamai said it was imperative to mobilise communities to promote participation.
“Mobilisation is the process of engaging communities to identify priorities, resources and solutions in a way that promotes participation. Such an approach encourages people to be their own agent of change,” he said.
“Community mobilisation creates communication channels between MCC and communities. It helps MCC to understand the community better and also for the community to understand MCC better.”
Mr Motsamai added: “Mobilisation is a platform for consensus building, transparency, accountability and responsiveness. It helps MCC to profile communities and come up with affordable rates for the community. It also contributes to the sustainability of MCC’S services and helps communities in transition by changing attitudes, norms, practices and behaviours.”
LCN Executive Director Seabata Motsamai.