The DPE programme has focused in the following four areas;
- Public Participation, Policy Dialogue and Advocacy
- Grassroots Movement for Peace and Social Change
- Open Communication for Democracy, Human Rights and Political Education
- Food Sovereignty and Environment/Climate Justice
Public Participation, Policy Dialogue and Advocacy
Under this programme DPE seeks: To advocate for democratisation of Lesotho through citizen participation in various governance structures/institutions
Unlock public participation barriers in the budgetary, legislative and governances processes in Lesotho.
Grassroots Movement for Peace and Social Change
Under this programme DPE seeks to: Use peace education to expose various community formations to alternative worldviews for creative open-minded action and solidarity networking.
Local capacity for debate, demand, solidarity and action to challenge unjust social and economic environment
Open Communication for Democracy, Human Rights and Political Education
Under this programme DPE seeks: To empower citizens to courageously challenge the powerful, oppose the greedy and engage elitists through advanced technological communication, evidence based advocacy and commissioned action.
Food Sovereignty and Environment/Climate Justice
Under this programme DPE seeks to: Empower smallholder farmers (sole reliance on farming for survival) to choose alternative farming, climate resilient and environmentally friendly practices to claim food right and control over natural resources.
DPE ACTION FOR PEACE
DPE Approaches and Strategies and their impact
DPE does this empowerment through its unique approach Animation. This is a process which facilitates the Critical Thinking of communities to come up with own solutions instead of inundating communities with information and expecting them to behave in a certain pre-determined fashion. Through Codes, Simulations, Role plays and other approaches DPE helps communities to develop critical mind to challenge injustice and build peaceful societies. The Animation is embodied in the Reflection –Action –Reflection methodology.
DPE has innovated and tested a Public Participation and Constructive Engagement Advocacy Strategy featuring
- National Community Parliament
Giving ordinary and rural communities platform to directly interact with policy makers including parliamentarians and Ministers. This has been done predominantly to give communities a voice on setting national budgetary priorities. This has brought changes such as building bridges in remote areas, cellular network connection, water supply, schools construction to mention few. On the occasion of official handing over of community electrification project in Khoelenya by Minister of Energy and Meteorology in 2015, all speakers; community representative, chief, community councillor, Member of Parliament and the District Administrator acknowledged DPE for community parliament as a platform that brought community in direct contact with ministry on this need;
- People’s Tribunal and Community Voting
Giving community opportunity to raise their voice on policies and laws. Through this, Lesotho Defence Force Recruitment Policy excluding HIV+ applicants from admission was changed. HIV and AIDS Bill which neglected progressive rights issues such as forced sterilization, shared confidentiality, testing without consent, criminalization, LGBTIs was stalled, community voices have been heard on the New Zealand Governance report, The Government I Want Campaign which informed political party promises for 2015 elections resulting among others into a Coalition Government Agreement giving reforms prominence;
- Community Based Organisation Animation
Exposing CBOs to the culture of peace and leadership that turned them into community catalysts and innovators of various community responses to the challenges they face.
- DPE quarterly newsletter: Dialogue/Puisano
Which is a newsletter where communities raise issues and the relevant government ministries respond. ‘Dialogue’ is an effective way to ensure that the voices of the communities are heard. People talked to Ministers through this and gained access to pension, footbridges for school children, class rooms for over crowed schools, Connection Infrastructure to National Broadcast etc.
This strategy has been commended by community councils and the district authorities for making their work easy. Empowerment that DPE creates, positioned ordinary members to have attention of Ministers