Constitution building

Supporting South Sudan's transition to a peaceful democratic federation

African people wearing traditional garments

Through a capacity-development project in South Sudan, International IDEA inspires and supports constitution makers to apply new knowledge and skills to make more informed choices regarding constitutional design and processes.

South Sudan’s ongoing peace process, encapsulated in the 2018 revitalized peace agreement (R-ARCSS), involves several parallel tracks, including a transitional power scheme, agreement on the parameters and mechanisms for federalization, and consensus on a framework for inclusive and participatory constitution-building. Since 2018, International IDEA has been supporting the Sudanese Government and other political groups on constitution-building and federalization. 

At the request of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and critical continental and international organizations, in 2020 International IDEA’s Africa and West Asia and Constitution-Building units provided technical input to preparations for the constitution-building process. A consultative workshop organized by International IDEA provided crucial inputs that allowed the ministry to present and refine a policy framework to promote wide consultations and interaction on federalism among stakeholders in the country’s constitution-building process. 

International IDEA also supported the establishment of a Constitution-Building Working Group that brings together the UN Mission in South Sudan, the UN Development Programme, UN Women, the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development, African Union Representative to South Sudan and other key international actors. This partnership has allowed International IDEA to support consultative workshops to enhance the capacity of women, youth, civil society organizations and political leaders to prepare for engaging in the constitution-building process and interacting with each other. 

International IDEA and its partners are also working with R-JMEC and the Max Planck Foundation on convening a consultative workshop on constitution-making for the principal political leaders as stipulated in the Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan. The partnership has established a new way of working that allows International IDEA to combine its thematic expertise with our partners’ presence on the ground, to work around the travel restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The recognition of International IDEA’s expertise has also attracted funding, including from the UK Government, to strengthen its support for women leaders in the expected constitution-making process.

Photo: UN/JC McIlwaine.