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LCN Strategic Focus

Through careful reflection on environmental trends, opportunities and threats, and organizational strengths and challenges, LCN has developed seven strategic focus areas covering both the needs of its members and those areas for development in Lesotho where LCN can have a lasting impact. Realizing the goals in each of these focus areas will rely on four strategic functions within LCN: Evidence-based advocacy; building capacity, participatory approach through networking, and resource mobilization.

Strengthening civil society:

Strong, effective, independent civil society organizations are critical to achieving a healthy and prosperous future for Lesotho. Although LCN has had a positive impact with respect to previous programs to strengthen civil society organizations, renewed efforts are required over the next five years to provide members with tools and resources to the enable them to achieve financial independence and to improve the impact of their programs at local, district and national levels.

Goal of this Strategic focus area:

Strong, independent, effective civil society organizations at the local, district and national level.


Environmental Protection and Stewardship

Poor environmental stewardship will contribute to deepening crises in agricultural production, poverty, food insecurity and the loss of precious biodiversity and cultural heritage. As Lesotho is poised to develop its environmental resources to improve economic prosperity, access to basic services and overall quality of life, civil society will be called on to monitor these developments and to ensure that proper environmental impact analyses (EIAs) are conducted and that such processes include the voices of the poor and the marginalized.

Goal of this Strategic focus area:

A protected, well-managed, unique eco-system for Lesotho.

Economic Justice and Social Development

The benefits of economic growth and social development cannot be for the elite, the wealthy and the educated alone. As Lesotho experiences economic growth and development, community enlistment must occur and the poor and the vulnerable must experience lasting benefits. LCN, through its members, will continue to be an advocate for fair and equitable distribution of the benefits of economic growth and social development.

Goal of this Strategic focus area:

A pro-poor development agenda for more equitable and sustainable socio-economic growth and prosperity.

Governance and Accountability

Democracy continues to grow and mature in Lesotho. Events following the elections of 2007 have reminded LCN and its members that good governance and accountability still require strong support and protection. LCN and its members will continue to play a leadership role in developing the democratic process in Lesotho and in ensuring that all voices are heard equally in democratic debate. LCN and it members will continue to provide independent, non-partisan scrutiny of government systems and processes, including public expenditure management, to ensure that Lesotho’s precious resources are used with the highest standards of efficiency, accountability and equity.

Goal of this Strategic focus area:

Full civic engagement at all levels to bring about stable democracy, good governance and accountability.
Empowering the vulnerable and the marginalized

LCN and its members will continue to be strong and effective advocates for the vulnerable, the marginalized and the voiceless. LCN and its members will focus on empowering these groups by providing them with tools and resources to become seen and heard and to put in place their own independent, community-driven structures for their own benefit.

Goal of this Strategic focus area:

The marginalized and the vulnerable are seen (represented), empowered (supported), heard and protected.
Responding to HIV and AIDS

Over the next five years, despite the massive efforts underway to contain the epidemic, HIV and AIDS will continue to dominate the national development agenda. It will continue to be a major priority for LCN and it members. No other health and social issue has the same devastating impact on individuals and families across the nation. Over the next five years, LCN will strengthen and expand its leadership role in coordinating an effective civil society response to HIV and AIDS.

Goal of this Strategic focus area:

A well-managed (harmonized, coordinated, comprehensive) civil society response to HIV and AIDS
Harnessing Information Technology

LCN and it members recognize the power of technology in creating local, national, regional and international spaces for civil society dialogue and action. Over the next five years, LCN intends to upgrade its own technological resources to support is members to become better connected to the global digital community.

Goal of this Strategic focus area:

Informed civil society through effective use of IT.

Strategic Functions

LCN intends to achieve the goals and objectives of this plan by focusing its actions within the following strategic functions:

Evidence-based Advocacy

As LCN moves forward to implement this new strategic vision, it will strengthen and perfect its skills in evidence-based advocacy. This means that LCN will formulate policy positions based on a solid understanding of the facts and that it will communicate these positions to government and partners in a collaborative, non-partisan manner. Advocacy includes research and intelligence gathering to understand current and future trends and issues, development of position statements and policy options to influence debate on how Lesotho should respond to these trends and issues, and communication strategies and tools to share positions statements in such a way as to influence decision-makers to make the right choices for Lesotho and its people.

Building Capacity

Building the capacity of members will continue to be a critical function for LCN. The strength and power of civil society depends on the capacity of community-based organizations. For LCN, building capacity means listening to members and assisting them to identify and prioritize capacity development needs. It also means scanning the horizon nationally, regionally and globally for best-practices in capacity development.

Participatory Approach through Networking

In all of its functions, LCN strives to include all of the many different voices that make up civil society in Lesotho. Collaborative dialogue will remain at the centre of how LCN develops positions, identifies priorities and carries out its activities. The sectoral Commissions will remain the primary mechanism for soliciting the views of members and partners in the development of relevant plans and strategies

Resource Mobilization

Lack of an adequate funding committed on a stable, long-term basis has hindered the development of LCN and its members. The gains of capacity building are difficult if not impossible to sustain when organizations cannot obtain enough resources to maintain staff, to keep offices functioning and to develop and implement effective programs. LCN will continue to search out funding opportunities for the secretariat and for members. LCN will also give more attention to working with donors for changes in their approaches to supporting civil society.

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