Critics have condemned human rights advocacy as being a deeply problematic solution to the sub-subsistence poverty that plagues the post-colonial Global South. This Essay discusses the efforts of four economic and social rights advocates working in Africa. Each succeeded by working within, but unconfined by, the approaches of the traditional human rights advocacy framework. The innovative strategies the advocates deployed may promote progressive institutional innovation in the provision of social welfare benefits. Still, single instances of innovation may not have an enduring impact on either extreme poverty or global inequality, the problems facing the Global South.

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