Enhancing the Effectiveness of Political Parties in the SADC Region Through Public Outreach Programmes: Focus on Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Zambia

"The study seeks to examine whether or not political parties have public outreach programmes and how they develop and implement these programmes. It also seeks to assess the impact of such public outreach programmes, where these exist, on sustaining democracy in the selected countries. The collected data in this component was analysed and used to inform an agenda for regional dialogue. A regional conference was convened with representatives of political parties from each of the 4 countries on 20 February 2006 in Johannesburg, South Africa. This research report was organized in 4 main sections. It begins by providing the research methodology, explaining how the study was conducted and who was interviewed. The rationale for selecting the countries in this study as well as selected parties is also provided in this section. This is followed by a section on public outreach programmes, focusing on the four tools outlined in the executive summary. The next section looks at the political parties in each of the four countries studied, namely Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Zambia. A brief overview of the political situation in each country is provided, followed by an analysis of each of the selected political parties in that country. The study explores the extent to which political parties in these countries involve their members in the formulation of their policies and programmes. It also looks at how they conduct their civic and voter education programmes and whether these have any impact on governance. The final section of the research report provides conclusions and recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of political parties in the nurturing and consolidation of democratic governance in the SADC region."