The Forum and NDI Lead Workshops with Civil Society on "GOVERNANCE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT” in Southern Sudan

Workshop May 18-20, 2011 in Sudan ON “GOVERNANCE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT” in Southern Sudan

The Forum of Federations, in collaboration with the National Democratic Institute and The Sudan Network for Democratic Elections, organized a series of 3-day workshops on Governance and Constitutional Development in the Southern Sudan cities of Juba, Rumbek, and Wau. The main objective was to provide a deeper understanding of comparative decentralized governance aspects of constitutional design and to provide a platform for strategic dialogue on the current constitutional developments in Southern Sudan. The workshops, which took place throughout the month of May, brought together a broad range of civil society, media, government and political party leaders and other stakeholders representing all 10 southern states. In early 2011, a Constitutional Review Committee was formed to revise the current interim constitution into a transitional constitution, which will go into effect following South Sudan’s July 9 independence day. At the same time, the committee will establish a process for the creation of a permanent constitution to take effect in 2015. Towards that end, the workshops were designed to promote public participation in all stages of constitutional development, and to promote greater legitimacy around the process by generating deeper engagement among Southern Sudanese stakeholders on fundamental choices around federal and decentralized governance institutions. Sessions were led by a diverse international team, including Dr. Sandeep Shastri, Pro Vice Chancellor of the Jain University in Bangalore India; David Solomon, a professor of public finance at University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa; Dassa Bulcha, Program Director of the Forum’s Ethiopia office; Solomon Negussie, professor of federalism and public law at the Institute of Federalism and Legal Studies of the Ethiopian Civil Service College (ECSC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Maimuna Mwidau, a Kenyan civil society advocate with direct experience in the recent Kenyan constitutional review process. In addition and by request of the Lakes State Assembly Deputy Speaker, Hon. Nhial Enock– a participant in the Rubmek workshop– the Forum, NDI, and SuNDEE organized a separate 1-day event for the 26 members of the Lakes State Assembly. The event was a part of the Forum’s Canadian Government funded ‘Support to Federal Decentralization Policy and Negotiations in Sudan’ project.

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