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Constitution-Building and the Rule of Law

In-Country Assistance

Workshop with Barbados Constitutional Reform Commission (2023).
International IDEA strongly believes that constitution-building is a sovereign process which must be nationally owned. The most important source of expertise is found within the country – from those who know and live through the effects of the law, politics and societal changes. This is why International IDEA provides assistance in response to direct requests.

In recent years, International IDEA has worked in a wide range of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, European Partnership Countries, North Africa and the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, South-east Asia and the Pacific. 

Forms of assistance include:

  • Facilitation of induction retreats for constitution-making bodies.
  • Ongoing support to constitution-making bodies, including options papers on constitutional design choices and support in designing public participation campaigns.
  • Convening of dialogues between constitution-makers in different countries.
  • Convening of dialogues between political actors during negotiations, including facilitation and mediation.
  • Training and capacity building workshops for constitution-makers, their staff and civil society organizations.
  • Confidential research support and advice in response to requests for information.

Recent countries where International IDEA has responded to requests from state or civil society actors include:

Armenia  Barbados Belize Bolivia
Botswana Burkina Faso Chad Chile
Ecuador The Gambia Libya Mali
Myanmar Nepal Panama The Philippines
Somalia South Sudan Sri Lanka Sudan
Tunisia Tuvalu Ukraine Yemen

Through International IDEA's dedicated Constitution-Building Programme and in-house group of experts, it is uniquely placed to provide multi-year or ad hoc assistance, depending on the needs identified by constitution-making bodies. In some cases, for example Nepal, this involves establishing an in-country office capable of providing daily support to national stakeholders. In other cases, for example the Gambia, it may involve a series of visits when required. In certain cases, for example in Myanmar, International IDEA has also supported democratic leaders in political exile.

Further, International IDEA manages the EU-funded ‘Facility on Justice in Conflict and Transition’ which provides quick-response, short-term missions at the request of EU delegations on issues relating to constitution making or transitional justice. 

The objective of this assistance is not to write constitutions or tell people what to decisions to make. International IDEA seeks to listen, ask questions and provide information based on comparative experience to enable those actors to make informed decisions.

To request assistance, please contact us.

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