The flag of the Kingdom of Lesotho (centre) flying at United Nations headquarters in New York (UN Photo/Loey Felipe)
Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD speaks at workshop to generate dialogue on Lesotho’s future development.
On 10 April 2017 the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Advocate Vasu Gounden, was invited to be a resource person at an Inception and Methodology Workshop hosted by the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP’s) county office in Maseru, Lesotho. The workshop is part of the Lesotho Foresight and Scenario’s Project (LFSP), which is a collaboration between UNDP, the Lesotho Ministry of Development Planning (MoDP) and the National University of Lesotho. Under the theme “The Lesotho we want: Imagining the Future, Shaping Today”, LFSP is intended to generate thoughtful dialogue on Lesotho’s development pathways into the future. It is designed to contribute to the efforts of the Lesotho United Nations Country Team (UNCT) to support national development and the entrenchment of capacities within national institutions, such as the National University of Lesotho. It is also intended to feed into the development of a new National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) headed by the MoDP. Specifically, LFSP will provide a platform and process through which national stakeholders will have a non-partisan space to explore pathways to a stable, peaceful and prosperous future. Lesotho stakeholders will engage with the question, “What will Lesotho look like in 2030 and what decisions might we need to make today to have the future we prefer?”.1
The above workshop, held from 10-12 April 2017, was the launch of the LFSP. The workshop brought together Lesotho stakeholders (government, academia, civil society, private sector and media) and local and international speakers and experts.
Advocate Gounden presented the keynote address during Session 2 focusing on “Setting the Stage: Global and national social and economic trends and their relevance to Lesotho’s developmental aspirations”, with a presentation focused on the topic “Lenses for the Bigger Picture: Global and Continental Trends and what they tell us”.
Advocate Gounden’s participation in the first day of the workshop was to help provide information on global and continental trends and the “what” and “why” of foresight and scenario planning. The first day also highlighted Lesotho’s developmental journey, lessons and opportunities from the perspective different sector leaders and stakeholders. The second day is aimed to focus on the “how” of scenario research and planning including practical experiences and methodologies, and the delineate of the areas of focus for the LFSP. The third day will involve a technical working group meeting to further streamline the details of the research phase.
Advocate Gounden has been a resource person to UNDP on a number of occasions, most recently in November 2016 when he was a resource person at their Collaborative Leadership and Dialogue Training which was held in Lilongwe, Malawi, and at their High Level Seminar on Conflict Prevention, Dialogue and Reconciliation in Africa, which was held in Gauteng, South Africa.
- This proposed organizing question is tentative and could/will likely be reviewed or changed by the stakeholders during the dialogue.