Constitution building is becoming an increasingly broad-based process in terms of the scope of stakeholders looking to engage in one form or another. Whereas the negotiating and drafting of constitutions, for the great majority of the past 250 years of written national constitutions has primarily involved small groups of elites in a closed process, modern constitution making looks very different - with large-scale involvement of different societal groups as well as the public at large. Whilst engagement at the level of the individual citizen is increasingly possible through participation in public consultation meetings, submission of comments and proposals and interaction through social and other media, effective public participation for the most part depends on well-organized and informed civil society organizations. Participation of civil society organizations thus represents a crucial channel for democratic constitution building.

International IDEA, in partnership with Democracy Reporting International, Interpeace, United States Institute of Peace, United Nations Department for Political Affairs and the Barcelona International Peace Resource Center, is organizing a five day workshop for civil society organizations who have worked, or are working, in constitution building processes.

The five-day workshop provides an overview of the fundamentals of participatory constitution building, including principles, mechanisms and process options, as well as in-depth exchange on a range of tasks and roles important for civil society during constitutional transitions. These include:

  • Civic education
  • Public participation and debate
  • Monitoring the process
  • Advocacy
  • Interacting with the media

Goal: To build capacity through exchange of ideas and experiences for CSOs engaged in constitution building processes - both during, and in the immediate wake of, a constitutional transition To create a network of individuals with knowledge and experience in engaging in constitution building processes. 
To identify a cadre of civil society leaders capable of delivering similar workshops in the future.
To identify key issues and strategies for engagement of CSOs in constitution building to be developed into a knowledge resource for CSOs in future constitution building processes

Organised by: Barcelona International Peace Resource Center in partnership with International IDEA, Democracy Reporting International, Interpeace, United States Institute of Peace and United Nations Department for Political Affairs