This case study examines the issues of land tenure that Angola has undergone since its colonization period, and the “Terra para Todos” Campaign that advocated to increase and exert the land rights of the pastoral communities in the province of Huila. From October 2000 to December 2003, supported by World Learning for International Development (WLID) and funded by USAID, several grassroots organizations came together to discuss the issues of land tenure, create a coalition, and design and implement a policy advocacy campaign at a moment in Angola’s history when being in disagreement with the government could equal death. Through this campaign, and several other efforts throughout the country, Angola’s civil society was able to pressure its government to modify Land Law 21-C/92 to one that better reflects the needs of both the pastoral communities, and a modernized economy.

The study seeks to answer: How effective was the “Terra para Todos” Campaign in preventing the occupation of communal lands by commercial ranch owners in the province of Huila? And, what general lessons can an INGO draw from this experience in order to most successfully support a policy advocacy campaign in Angola? The study draws on data collected from primary documents such as reports from international organizations, review of Angolan legislation, informal conversations with WLID staff, and secondary reports like history documents and media coverage. The study finds that the coalition was successful throughout its life and achieved a significant level of collaboration, coordination, and communication despite the members’ inexperience in coalition building and the lack of appropriate infrastructure resources. Among the lessons that can be learned are the importance of including all of those impacted by policies, recognizing that the inclusion of grassroots organizations does not mean that the needs of those who are in the worst situations are met, and keeping in mind pre-established power structures that come attached to foreign aid.


Public Policy