The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), an intergovernmental organization whose mission is “to support sustainable democratic change by providing comparative knowledge, and assisting in democratic reform, and influencing policies and politics”, will be hosting an event on the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in the constitution making context.
From the announcement (emphasis mine):
The making of a Constitution is one of the most difficult processes a nation can embark on. As well as critical political hurdles of reaching agreement among disparate groups regarding the basic structure and vision for the country, there are a number of other challenges that must be overcome if the constitution making process is to succeed. These include learning from the vast experience of other countries, ensuring the citizenry are kept informed and involved in the process and allowing opportunity for citizens to participate in the process, such that the constitution results from the voices of the people – their hopes, dreams, fears and concerns.
A number of innovative technology solutions have been developed and used by various constitution making processes around the world, but there is no effort to catalogue these products and practices such that new processes can learn from, and build upon, existing knowledge and experience.
International IDEA, in partnership with the Google Docs and Google Ideas, is organizing a one-day “Constitution Building Tech Fair” for technology entrepreneurs to present services, platforms and products that could help in a constitution making process, and have an exchange with leading constitutional experts and practitioners regarding currently unmet needs and challenges for which existing technologies could be adapted. This event will be hosted by the National Constitutional Center, and curated by ICT4Peace.
Sounds very promising. Applications are now open. Deadline is September 10.
Over on ParticipateDB, we currently list about a handful of entries related to constitution making, including three projects from Egypt, Morocco and Iceland. Hopefully, this event will surface many more.