The primary objective of this research has been to review the experiences and analyse the role of the mainline churches in advocacy in support of human rights, democracy and poverty alleviation in Africa. It has been set out to identify what is the particular contribution that churches can bring to such advocacy, and what opportunities exist for mutual support from other organisations involved in campaigning for human rights and democratic development. In particular the relationship between church-related NGOs in Europe and the mainline churches in Africa for advocacy work is examined.
The analysis is based on an examination of three issues that are considered to be critical to the effective involvement of churches in advocacy: the external linkages and relationships of the church to other groups in society; the organisational implications of engaging in advocacy; and thirdly the ideological and theological positioning of the church. Case studies were conducted on: the role of the National Council of Churches in Kenya in advocating for human rights and democracy; the role of he churches in Malawi in the transition to a multi-party democracy, and the role of the churches in advocating on economic issues in Zambia.