UNDP Lesotho Country Office (CO) undertook a collaborative team engagement of the 2022-2025 UNDP Strategic Plan as a means of adopting the new value and direction of the new strategic plan. The CO team engagement leveraged on creating a better awareness of the core values, directions of change, the six signature solutions and the three enablers of the strategic plan for better alignment and scale to UNDP Lesotho programming to the strategic plan and the Africa Promise.
The UNDP Strategic Plan calls for a #FutureSmartUNDP which adapts to the ever-changing planet and social, economic and environmental needs of our world. As development changes, UNDP also aims to change its approach to development by ensuring longevity of its programmes which address problems as they evolve, seize opportunities as they come and anticipate the unknown.
Although the Strategic Plan is defined for the period between 2022-2025, UNDP aims is to implement the 3x6x3 approach to the strategy which will guide people and the planet beyond 2025 in establishing solutions that are intergenerational. This combination will help UNDP continue to deliver on what it does best; integrated development solutions driven by country priorities.
UNDP will be accompanying countries towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through country programmes, driven by national development choices, and with poverty eradication at their core, and supporting countries in pursuing the three directions of systemic change: Structural transformation, leaving no-one behind, Building Resilience interdependently.
Building Resilience is central to the work of the Governance and Peacebuilding Unit (GPU) as conflict prevention, peacebuilding, disaster management and crisis response are crucial. This has been demonstrated in the Security Sector and Justice Sector Reforms Projects through which UNDP is supporting the Government of Lesotho in building the resilience to carry forth adequate security and implement accessible and fair justice during times of political unrest, especially those involving high-ranking political figures.
The Six Signature Solutions are the areas of highest country demand, and where UNDP best supports the United Nations (UN) system by scaling up development to capacitate countries to meet evolving needs.
Poverty and Inequality
Poverty and Inequality focuses on tackling inequality of opportunities by investing in enhanced capabilities which will drive people’s ability to move above the poverty line. By 2025, UNDP hopes to have assisted 100 million people to escape poverty, marginalisation and exclusion. Scaling up on youth economic empowerment, with a special focus on social entrepreneurship, green jobs, decent jobs and protecting informal workers.
UNDP Lesotho will help to address the multi-dimensional poverty which almost 1million Basotho live under (further worsened during the COVID19 pandemic) through the increase of opportunities for inclusive and sustainable economic growth and improving food security and decent work especially for women and persons living with disabilities. The country office has started addressing these through the implementation of five (5) projects, namely Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Growth, Green Value Chains Project, Plastic and Waste Management, Accelerator Lab and the Sustainability Support for Trade Project.
Governance focuses on helping countries to address emerging complexities by creating future-proof governance systems through anticipatory approaches and better management of risk. UNDP Lesotho’s support to the impending national elections serve as an example of the ever-evolving world of development and how UNDP continues to capacitate countries to reach a harmonious and future-proof unity by addressing complexities through enhanced governance systems. Additionally, UNDP Lesotho in partnership with the European Union (EU) are supporting the Government of Lesotho in the National, Justice and Security Sector Reforms Projects so that the impunity of political crimes by high ranking-officials can be put to an end in addition to creating systems which are efficient, accountable and serve ordinary Basotho with fairness and integrity.
Resilience and Environment
Resilience focuses on supporting countries and communities in building resilience to diverse shocks and crises, including conflict, climate change, disaster and epidemics, with Environment focusing on putting nature and the environment at the heart of national economies and planning; helping governments protect, manage and value their natural assets.
UNDP Lesotho has provided supported to the Government of Lesotho to become resilient by mitigating future environmental shocks through the Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change Project (RVCC), and the Green Value Chains Project (GVC) where communities are capacitated on ways to tackle environmental shocks to protect their arable land, sustain food security in Lesotho and to harness markets in green value chains. UNDP through these projects has capacitated the Ministry of Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation with the adoption of an AutoCAD system which will assist in designing water sources such as dams for the benefit of helping Lesotho to withstand future draughts. Through the Energy and Environment Unit, UNDP Lesotho further supports Lesotho in the renewable and affordable energy initiative through the Sustainable Energy for All Project (SE4All) where UNDP Lesotho is mobilising 20% of the private sector to establish energy centres and mini grids.
Energy focuses on increasing energy access for those furthest behind and accelerating the transition to renewable energy. UNDP Lesotho aligns with the above two signature solutions as they put nature, environmental preservation and access to energy at the heart of their work with the Government of Lesotho. This has been implemented through the RVCC and the SE4ALL Projects referred to above. The SE4ALL Project also aims to electrify rural Basotho homes through renewable energy sources.
Gender Equality focuses on confronting the structural obstacles to gender equality and strengthening women’s economic empowerment and leadership. UNDP Lesotho will assist the government of Lesotho to adopt policies which will enhance Gender Equality. A Gender Audit is currently ongoing within all the government ministries to provide baseline information to the extent to which Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) has been institutionalized in Lesotho’s public sector. UNDP is supporting the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation to strengthen capacities for gender mainstreaming, gender equality and women’s empowerment, in the context of the adopted the Gender and Development Policy (GAD) of Lesotho.
To achieve the UNDP 6 signature solutions, there are three (3) enablers which UNDP will undertake to maximise development impact.
Will be used to support countries to build inclusive, ethical and sustainable digital societies. Digitalisation has been used as an enabler to assist Lesotho’s digitisation of public services for sustainability through the UNDP AccLab, which has led initiatives such as the Nulistic Expo and Hackathon where they invited young innovators to employ digital solutions to address Lesotho’s problems.
Will be used to empower governments and communities to enhance the performance of entire systems, making them adaptive and resilient. The Strategic Planning Unit projects outlined above reflect strategic innovation as they aim to capacitate Lesotho to enhance performance and make her adaptive and resilient.
Will be used to advocate for partnerships with governments and the private sector to align public and private capital flows with the SDGs and mobilise finance at scale.
This includes the mobilisation of 20% of the private sector to build energy centres and mini grids through the SE4ALL Project which will assist in the acceleration of capacity building of the private sector through Development Financing. Invariably, this leads to Lesotho’s economic structural transformation where a private sector led economy can be achieved.
Communications is a central to the implementation and documentation of the country office efforts towards the implementation of the new strategic plan. The role of communications is to tell stories which have never been told, give voices to communities and show off the faces of development - the human beings whose lives have changed for the better because of UNDP development initiatives. Communications taps into all the signature solutions, draws links in between them through development of success stories and delivering through digital platforms. It is imperative that messaging is packaged coherently and in alignment with UNDP’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, while also driving access to information through comprehensible language and captivating imagery. Ultimately, a #FutureSmartUNDP can be showcased to the world.
The Africa Promise aims to have a look at Africa with a different lens
The Africa Promise shows that Resilience can be achieved through structural transformation. To achieve resilience within the Energy and Environment sector, engaging local governance structures to include within their mandate the governance of natural resources is important. Africa can use its natural resources to finance development initiatives within its own continent, only if those resources are well managed. Additionally, this initiative encourages African countries to use their already existing networks through the regional economic organisations already formed and the new AfCFTA to drive the growth of the private sector, Strategic Innovation and explore options for Development Financing. UNDP Lesotho Projects are aligned with the creation of sustainable jobs which are outlined in the Africa Promise. Simply, the Africa Promise invites African solutions to address her own development challenges.
The Strategic Plan Staff Engagement resulted in a deeper understanding of the applicability of the UNDP 2022-2025 Strategic Plan. The Country Office team was capacitated with a deeper and contextual understanding of what is required of them and how they will apply the Plan in their work to better enhance their outputs.
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