Lessons in Effective Citizen Activism: The Anti-Third Term Campaign in Zambia

Learn how Zambian civil society mobilised effectively to stop former President Frederick Chiluba changing the Constitution to run for a third term as president. Often, we complain that we lack the time, money and expertise to make any difference about how we are governed. This Occasional Paper examines some of the strategies and tactics that African civil society organisations (CSOs) have used to influence policy decisions around key governance questions. It points to the value of a well-planned, focused advocacy campaign; bringing in multiple constituencies; tapping into the hopes and values of ordinary citizens; simplifying the message; talking to all who will listen; using a mixture of tactics (from protests and petitions to litigation and media exposure); and the dogged determination to continue.