DPE shared its rich experience in Constructive Engagement Advocacy with Southern African Social movements and the civil society gathered in Dares Salaam in August.
DPE co-hosted a tent on democracy and human rights at the SADC People’s Summit under the organisation of Southern African People’s Solidarity Network which DPE also chairs. In here DPE shared the situation of democracy and human rights in Lesotho. The contribution DPE is making to challenge injustices but with engagement approaches that also take along citizens was applauded, and many learned how they could as well influence reforms in their own countries. The recent campaign that DPE mounted mobilising citizens to stop the Prime Minister from removing President of Court of Appeal was given the limelight as the practical advocacy way of engaging for real change. Other countries like Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania for an example also reported police brutality like Lesotho and applauded insight into how they can engagement more meaningfully.
At the civil society forum organised by SADC-Council of NGOs DPE shared how Constructive Engagement Advocacy can be more effective than the traditional confrontational and antagonistic approaches. DPE gave an account of its influence in the civil society fraternity and that of the sector in the broader society in unlocking barriers. DPE said that speaking to authorities educates, influence, inspires, informs and has enormous change effect. DPE shared its strategies ranging from Community Parliament helping ordinary citizens to inform national budgets, People’s Tribunals helping people participate in the legislative process, policy dialogue, community voting and recently community libraries. Through these civil society has been critical in the reforms.
In both platforms, DPE got a list of organisations pledging that they want to be guinea pigs in the region to test the DPE approach.