The low level of understanding in civic education and inability to understand the difference between civic education, voter education and voter information was cited as the issue that has lead to numerous of challenges regarding this concept within in the organization. In order to enable the IEC and other stakeholders to establish a common understanding of the concepts and pave a way forward for planning and implementation of the outreach programmes, it was therefore decided that a Civic Education and Voter Information workshop should be conducted as a matter of urgency, as the issues around civic and voter education become a bone of contention within the organization.
Subsequently several discussions and consultative processes were held between the IEC management, relevant departments and service providers of Civic and Voter Education, where it was decided that the IEC would need to conduct a Civic and Voter Education Module as the number one priority.
In the context of the above-mentioned scenario, The Lesotho Electoral Commission – IEC in conjunction with International IDEA, the African Union Commission and GIZ organised a Five-Day Workshop on two BRIDGE Modules – Civic Education and Voter Information on 07 – 11 December 2015 in Maseru, Lesotho.
A joint collaboration was established between International IDEA and the African Union Commission and GIZ with the aim to develop capacity for the officials of various EMBs for effective management of all Electoral processes and administrative activities. This workshop is part of the Joint Activity Plan – JAP Project between the three afore-mentioned organisations where a series of capacity development workshops are organised and conducted throughout Anglophone and Francophone countries in Africa.
This workshop is one in a series of capacity development workshops that are planned as part of the training strategy with for the purpose of ensuring that EMB staff have the necessary skills and expertise to develop and implement strategies that will ensure that mandate of administering free and fair elections is carried out efficiently.
Lesotho Electoral Commission – IEC hosted the workshop; GIZ, IDEA and AU organised and provided the funding for the project including accommodation and subsistence and travel for the participants and consultancy fees for the Lead facilitator.
Twenty-three participants (10 Females and 13 Males) participated in the workshop. The following departments were represented: Civic and Voter Education; Human Resources Management; Training and Publicity Office; Public Relations Office; Legal Office; Logistics and District Electoral Managers
Some comments from the participants…
What is the single most important thing that you have learnt during the course?
“Eish! I can confidently differentiate between civic education and voter education”. (Kotsi Christopher Mohau).
“That gender balancing is also important in civic and voter education”. (Chababane Letsitsi).
“I learned that involvement of all stakeholders is very important in any activity”. (Moleboheng Ts’olo).
“The planning circle was the most interesting part. The method can be applied in all kinds of activities.” (Lehlohonolo Suping)
“Concept mapping used for daily activities to assist one to be able to know what they want and how its gonna be achieved.” (‘Maseara Mahlape L. Fosa)
What can be improved on the course?
How did u find the course facilitation?
“Very informative and good coordination of topics”(Chababane Letsitsi)
“The method used is the most suitable one has ever come across”. (Lehlohonolo Suping)
“Enjoyable different facilitator skills exchange to make workshop more lively” (Lenka G Letlatsa)
“The facilitation was good as different techniques was apply so as to allow us to express our ideas and whenever I am not clear on the subject discussed it was clarified ” (Mantsane Mahlatsi)
“It was wonderfully prepared and done, really enjoyable and interactive. Thanx (‘Maseara Mahlape L Fosa)
“Facilitation was good because they relied on the adult learners principles” (Ponts’o M. Kobo)
“Having BRIDGE course seemed to be worthwhile and be a pivotal tool to help us to change in the way we perceive things and work of changing our attitudes to a positive way”(Nthallo Dora Letsela)
“I am informed now unlike before”(Chababane Letsitsi)
“Thank you very much for allowing me to be part of this training” (Francis Faku)
“I thank the facilitators for giving me the opportunity to attend the course since the experience gained will be applied in my workplace. This means that I have changed
“For future the donor should identify the place that will be conducive to the participants” (Setlaeea)
“The whole program was well managed both the time for presentation of facilitators and participants. ‘FOCUS’ on the topics given was excellent; there was no accommodation for diviations both from the facilitators and also from the participants. The whole program was managed excellently. Well done.”(Mrs Manthati Mary Salemane)