The objective of the PISA programme, which was prepared in consultation with government and civil society, is to contribute to increasing citizens’ awareness of governance structures and their ability to engage in democratic and developmental processes.
The financing agreement for this programme was signed by the Minister of Finance, Honourable Dr. 'Mamphono Khaketla, on behalf of the Government of Lesotho, in the presence of European Union Ambassador, Dr. Michael Doyle.
Speaking about the launch of the programme, Ambassador Doyle underlined that "in order for citizens to be enabled to exercise their civil and political rights and duties, public awareness campaigns and civic education programmes should be undertaken at both national and local communities' levels. This programme, which will be implemented in close partnership with government bodies and civil society organisations, will contribute to strengthening the country’s democratic and rights' based culture." He further said that the programme re-emphasises the EU's commitment to supporting Lesotho and its people to promote inclusive governance and a well-informed public, thus helping to pave the way towards an active citizenry in a democratic society.
For Lesotho's development, it is deemed important that citizens exercise their democratic rights by duly taking part in public life. Both state and non-state stakeholders, as well as ordinary citizens, require more knowledge and information and greater awareness of development and governance issues. Likewise, elected representatives and civil servants require skills training in the efficient provision of information to Basotho on government policies and service delivery, important for the alleviation of poverty in the country.
The Participatory Initiative for Social Accountability programme will be implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) over a period of three years.