Iraq Constitution Assistance Project

Iraq Constitution Assistance Project

Program Active: July 2005 – February 2007

The Iraq Constitution Assistance Project was a joint Iraq Foundation – Freedom House initiative aimed at promoting Iraq’s development towards democratization through shared expertise on constitutional development and greater democratic awareness and civic participation in the constitutional process and democratic transformation. To achieve this goal, in 2005 and 2006, the Iraq Foundation and Freedom House convened two workshops for Iraqi civic leaders on methods and tools for monitoring the democratic process in Iraq. Furthermore, IF conducted 24 radio and 8 TV programs, and 13 workshops across Iraq on constitution education and compliance, focusing on articles that address freedoms and rights of Iraqis.

To ensure that Iraqi society participates in and is accepting of a new democratic governing structure, responsible and independent voices for progress require support. Facing vital issues of national importance, Iraq needs to inform, educate, and engage the public in its key decisions and allow space for civil society organizations to provide independent analysis and advice on the country’s important issues of political and economic reform. In most democracies, think tanks and civil society organizations conducting policy analysis and advocacy fill a critical gap between government action, the political arena, and academia. Civil society organizations, writers, and academics focused on policy analysis and political assessments, bridge the gaps between politics, government, and the public, and often serve as incubators for ideas that can lead to great progress.

Iraq suffers from a dearth of democratically-oriented policy analysis and political assessments due to the inability of in-country actors to build capacity and to evaluate and report on government performance. Human rights organizations play an important role in monitoring the day-to-day situation in Iraq, but their work is all too frequently crisis-focused. The capacity of civil society organization to influence decision-making during the constitutional drafting and approval process and later in the implementation and legislative processes can lead to greater respect for democracy by government and within society at large. To help achieve this, IF in partnership with FH, formed Iraq Democracy Watch, a group with a mandate to monitor and report on the progress of democracy in Iraq. The group has published reports and press releases on the democratic process in Iraq, and violations of rights, freedoms, and the constitution. The group’s members have also participated in the Foundation’s TV and Radio programs and served as panelists in several of IF’s constitution education workshops.

Last Update: Thursday, September 15, 2016. 

Iraq Democracy Watch Group

Learn more about the Iraq Democracy Watch Group!