Cape Town, South Africa – The data collection phase of AWEPA’s programme on Strengthening SADC Parliamentary Engagement in the Budget Cycle has recently been concluded in the Parliament of Lesotho. This is the second parliament, following Namibia, in which the three-year programme has been initiated.
The AWEPA Cape Town team was welcomed into the Parliament of Lesotho in early May 2016, where interviews with MPs and staff from both houses were concluded and relevant documents collected.
The initial stage of the programme involved the collection of information on the engagement of the Parliament in the National Budget Cycle. The comprehensive information gathered in Lesotho will form the basis for reflection and discussions on how this engagement can be optimised. This information will also be used as the basis for the national focus group discussion that will take place later this year and the regional peer-to-peer dialogue that is to take place next year.
Overall, the programme aims to support parliaments in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region in their national and peer-to-peer reflection on their engagement in budget process. Such reflections are ultimately expected to yield practical strategies that will enable SADC parliaments to strengthen their budgetary engagement. The third round of data collection will take place in Zimbabwe.
The programme activities are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).