The goal of this particular research has been to examine the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in policy advocacy as applied by civil society. Taking the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights coalition and their work towards the ratification of the Protocol on Women’s Rights of Women in Africa as a case study, this research has looked at the opportunities and challenges in using Pambazuka News as a way of promoting the Protocol. Evaluated according to the theoretical notions of participatory, political and public spaces, this research has utilised concepts related to civil society and representation, policy advocacy and awareness raising as well as ICTs and their particular characteristics. The findings of this research suggest that at the level of civil society communication and network building, using ICTs in fact strengthens the work. With regards to political lobbying, however, the usage of ICTs as a tool remains underutilized. Lobby work is more affected by the relationships held between civil society members and political structures and individuals. At the level of grassroots awareness raising access to ICTs remains a barrier and thus requires a much broader strategy.

Erasmus University Rotterdam
The Power of Civil Society: Working Paper Series
The Power of Civil Society Working Paper Series
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Kemp, K. (2010). Claims to success: advocacy for the protocol on the rights of women in Africa – solidarity for African women’s rights and the use of information and communication technologies (No. 3). The Power of Civil Society Working Paper Series (Vol. 3). Retrieved from