n Journal of Public Administration - Citizen participation in policy and planning processes : the case of Qacha's Nek, Lesotho

Volume 50, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This article focuses on a study that explored citizen participation in the planning and policy processes in Lesotho with specific reference to Qacha's Nek. Qacha's Nek is one of the districts classified as a remote mountain area of Lesotho and is characterised by a low population density, and in most cases, can be viewed as predominantly rural with a need to develop and focus on policy development and planning. In Lesotho, citizen participation has been encouraged by the different governments since the era of Moshoeshoe in 1824. Since then, Lesotho has gone through many changes and different styles of government until local government was formally established in 2005. Since 2005, one of the main objectives of local government is to promote citizens' participation in decision-making, planning and the implementation of developmental programmes. This article supports the theoretical framework that citizen participation in policy and planning processes is important, since it is through citizen participation that government may be rendered accountable and responsive to the needs of the local community. To determine the current level of citizen participation in Qacha's Nek, interviews were conducted. The research found that, although citizen participation is currently taking place, it is limited and mostly undertaken by the community to get a reward. Although the main purpose of this article was to determine the level of citizen participation in Qacha's Nek, it also aims to make recommendations to improve citizen participation that could be relevant and beneficial to any community.

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