Consultant: Constitution-building processes in fragile and conflict-affected settings


One month



Contact Email
Application closing date


International IDEA

Terms of Reference


Programme/Division: Global Programme, Constitution Building Programme


  1. Context

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance – International IDEA – is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. Its objective is to strengthen democratic institutions and processes. International IDEA acts as a catalyst for democracy building by providing knowledge resources, policy proposals and supporting democratic reforms in response to specific national requests. It works together with policy makers, governments, UN organizations and agencies and regional organizations engaged in the field of democracy building.

International IDEA’s key impact areas are: electoral processes; political parties, participation and representation; constitution-building processes; and democracy and development. These four areas are mainstreamed by three cross-cutting topics: gender, diversity, and conflict and security. International IDEA works worldwide. It has headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and has offices in Brussels, The Hague, New York, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

In January 2017, the Constitution Building Programme (CBP) at International IDEA embarked on a new project that aims at reviewing and further elaborating a dataset on constitution-building processes in fragile and conflict-affected settings that had been designed by Professor Jennifer Widner and published online in 2004 as “Constitution Writing and Conflict Resolution Dataset Parts 1 and 2”, accessible at Prof. Widner collected data from 1975 to 2003. What CBP intends to do is expand the reviewed dataset from 2001 until today.

With this aim in mind, CBP has reviewed and updated the existing codebook, and has identified a list of approximately 55 countries that will be subject to analyses. The countries we will be looking at include those that have gone through a constitution-building process after conflict, when the new constitution was adopted after 2001 (including any significant amendments that might have been adopted after that date); and those that have gone through significant constitutional amendments of constitutions that were adopted before 2001 in response to conflict episodes. The different constitution-building processes/episodes will need to be carefully analysed, by using primary and secondary literature, as well as phone/written interviews with country experts when necessary, to respond to the codebook questions. 

2. Consultant roles and responsibilities:

The consultant is expected to:

  • Conduct research for one (1) case study, which will be provided to the consultant/researcher in advance, responding to the questions in the dataset’s codebook (the codebook and a guide will be sent to the consultant). This would include the research as well as the follow-up review of the case study.
  • Engage with the project manager on any issues the consultant may find when attempting to respond to the codebook questions


3. Management and Organization

The consultant’s duties and activities will be coordinated by the Senior Programme Officer of the Constitution Building Programme. The consultant can work remotely, but has to be available for personal/virtual meetings. He/she will have access to relevant materials according to the project’s needs.

4. Timing and Work plan

The consultant will work on a part-time basis for one (1) month starting on 15 August until 15 September 2018. It is expected that the completion of one (1) case study takes one (1) week of full-time work, plus 1-2 days for reviews. The review of the case study may happen outside the one-month timeline, as it is dependent on the Senior Programme Officer reviewing and contrasting of the first draft.

The Senior Programme Manager will review the case after submission of the final draft, and might need the consultant to review part of the respective case study and/or specific questions to be submitted within one (1) week.

5. Basic qualification requirements

Level and type of formal education: Master’s degree in law, political/social sciences, development studies or other relevant discipline.

Research experience: 

  • Minimum two (2) years’ post-graduate research experience, preferably in the areas of constitution and/or peace building.

Language skills:

  • English: Excellent proficiency required
  • Other: Any other widely spoken language in an International IDEA priority region would also be considered an asset.

Computer skills: Knowledge of Microsoft Office, databases, internet and web search tools.

Functional competencies 

  • High analytical capacity;
  • Excellent organisational and efficiency skills;
  • Ability to provide inputs for conceptualising strategies and designing programmes of work;
  • Excellent drafting skills;
  • Working knowledge of qualitative and quantitative analytical tools and methodologies;
  • Ability to build and maintain broad networks of partners;
  • Flexibility, ability to work independently with minimum supervision and in teams;
  • Ability to deliver against tight deadlines; and
  • Sense of humour.