Coordinated since the beginning by Nuno Vidal and Justino Pinto de Andrade, the project gathered several Universities and myriad civil society organizations over the years, through its three phases:
1st phase 2004-2009 (Angolan University & University of Coimbra);
2nd phase 2010-2014 (Angolan University, University of Coimbra & Wageningen University);
3rd phase 2015-2020 (CEI-ISCTE-IUL, Angolan Catholic University & University Eduardo Mondlane)
The project adopted a participatory research methodology, gathering African and Western academics and researchers in the project's myriad publications and events, including national and international conferences, thematic workshops and seminars, seeking to cross-fertilise and learn from different experiences.
Within its two major research areas – democratization (politics) and development (economy) – the project started in 2004 by exploring the first area – politics -, through two sequential research programs. The 1st ran from 2004 to 2007, focused on the transition to multiparty politics in Angola, discussing the myriad problems and challenges faced by the country after the civil war (ended in 2002). Major output of this program was the book “Transiton to multiparty politics in Angola” (with 3 consecutive editions). The 2nd ran from 2007 to 2009, analyzing the role of civil society in the construction and consolidation of democracy, with a special focus on the relationships between civil society and political parties and governments. Major outputs of this program were the 3 books: “Civil Society and Politics in Angola: regional and international framework. ”; “Southern Africa: Civil Society, Politics and Donor Strategies; Angola, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa” and “What went not without saying…” (a tribute book to one of our researchers deceased in 2010).
In 2009/2010, the project entered its 2nd phase, exploring its second area – development economy. Two research programs were structured at this phase and developed in parallel. The 1st centered on the analysis of economic policies in its relationship with political systems (studied in the first phase of the project), analyzing natural resources management, investment, economic growth and revenue distribution. Major output of this program was the book “Political Economy and Development in Angola”. The 2nd focused on human development, poverty reduction and poverty eradication, socio-economic equity and regional and sectorial balanced development as a way to political and economic stability. Major output of this program was the book “Poverty Eradication in Southern Africa: Mozambique, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola”. This second phase of the project extended up to 2014.
In 2015, the Project initiates its third and current phase, dedicated to the analysis of recent evolution of political systems within the Southern Africa region, with two main programs. The 1st is centered on electoral and constitutional processes in its relationship with political praxis and the international context. The 2nd is dedicated to the relationships between local and central power in its most recent developments, with special attention to local electoral processes.
As can be clearly seen, the application that is hereby presented to the FCT-Aga Khan call, fits within the 3rd phase of our project, touching both programs – electoral processes and political praxis & relationships between local and central power through electoral processes. The project takes two cases for comparison – Angola and Mozambique, through the analysis of general and local elections.