The role of civil society in democracy- building: the case of the transformation resource centre (TRC)
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This study explored the role of civil society in Lesotho’s democracy-building project, using the Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) as a case study. TRC is a local civil society organization with a mandate to promote democracy and good governance practice in Lesotho. The study used qualitative methods of research to establish the efficacy of CSOs in Lesotho in promoting democratic consolidation. With a sample of seven (7) participants drawn from the wide-spectrum of the CSO movement and the academia in Lesotho. Using a purposive sampling method, the study has been able to unearth crucial information on this subject matter. The study applied semi-structured interviews to gather data. The study examined TRC’s role in building a culture of human rights and assessed the CSO’s effectiveness in holding the government accountable. It has determined the CSO’s efficacy in promoting public participation among citizens and assessed good governance practice as a result of TRC’s advocacy and lobbying programmes. Findings point to the fact that, generally, a culture of human rights in Lesotho is at its lowest ebb. One of the key conclusions drawn by the study is that while there are formidable strides taken by CSOs like TRC to inculcate a culture of human rights among citizens, the state remains recalcitrant and views the advocacy initiatives of CSOs in the negative light. It is therefore recommended that for CSOs to make real impact with their advocacy programmes for building a society that appreciates, observes and respects human rights, they must be focused in their selection and implementation of their programmes of action.