"This study is based on a research project carried out as part of the Governance and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Programme of the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA). This study attempts to distil lessons learned by a handful of African civil society coalitions on the dynamics of demanding improved governance of governments that are often averse to governance reform. The project admittedly tackles an ambitiously formidable subject, largely due to the dearth of compelling, contemporary African examples of civil society leading noteworthy policy or social change. Governance and policy reform in several African countries continues to be driven by African governments, through initiatives such as the APRM, as SAIIA’s six years of research into the APRM suggests. As such, the following study broaches a subject starved of compelling material. However, it creates an accessible set of lessons from civil society activists, academics, diplomats, representatives of donor agencies and civil society experts that have played leading roles in a few — but notable — episodes of civil society-led policy reform. The authors owe a considerable debt of appreciation for the time and valuable insights lent by these rare civil society practitioners and experts for the purposes of this study."