Constitution-making cannot, these days, be done on the cheap. The process as described below costs a great deal. Many countries that seek to make a new constitution and a new start have come through a long period of conflict, their resources depleted or appropriated by warlords, the economy shattered, facing pressing poverty and an empty exchequer. It is necessary at an early stage of planning the process to pay careful attention to the financial implications and the means of raising sufficient funds. All people are entitled to a fair, participatory, and effective process, but not every country can afford it. It is often possible to get external assistance in the form of money, equipment, and personnel, but that may be achieved at the loss of some national control of both the agenda and the process. Ways must be found to minimize costs whenever possible. Sometimes the ambitious goals of the process must be scaled down. However, if the design of the process is good and efforts are made to avoid wasteful expenditures, the international community is likely to assist. An early estimate of the costs should be made so that the process can be realistically planned and efforts to secure support from external sources can be initiated.
April 6, 2015