Regional Poverty Observatory Civil Society Steering Group Meeting
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The Lesotho Council of NGOs Economic Justice Coordinator Mr Sekonyela Mapetja attended the Regional Poverty Observatory CS Steering Committee meeting in Johannesburg on 12-14 November 2014.

The SADC Regional Poverty Observatory (RPO) was established in August 2008 to contribute to the SADC goal of reducing the number of people living in poverty by 50% before 2015.

The objective of the meeting, which was hosted by the SADC Council of NGOs and involved representatives from 7 member countries, was to establish a Civil Society Poverty Observatory Steering Group Committee which will report on the progress of the observatory towards its mandate and objectives.

Agenda items also included how best to encourage multi-stakeholder participation in policy dialogue and to decide the most effective way to disseminate information to the public in order to gain maximum support.

The meeting endorsed the role and contribution that the SADC Council of NGOs plays in coordinating the poverty observatory and acknowledged the need to develop a common definition of poverty. Each state will compile a poverty profile, which will provide a detailed description of the relationships of poverty. Member states agreed to send a participant for training on the Multidimensional Index on Poverty in March 2015 in order to build on their knowledge and enable them to move forward more effectively.

The RPO steering committee will now report to the council of ministers rather than the SADC secretariat.

The delegation from Lesotho was made of Mr Sekonyela Mapetja and Mr Retselisitoe Pulumo from the Ministry of Development Planning. Mr Pulumo is a member of the 25 member SADC Steering Committee and is also the Chair of Lesoth's Poverty Observatory Committee.
Glenn Farred- Programme Manager Poverty and Development- SADC-CNGO facilitating Regional Poverty Observatory meeting
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