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We are very pleased to announce the formation of a new collaborative working group. Constitution Lab is an open, online working group for the research, understanding, and innovation of citizen participation in constitution-building. The Lab brings together expertise from academia, civil society and technology to gather knowledge necessary to produce meaningful improvements in the process of constitution-building. We are working at the intersection of law, international development, political science and technology, but we welcome perspectives from other areas such as sociology, anthropology, media and communications.

Constitution Lab will address key areas for improvement on what we believe can be a more meaningful participatory approach to constitution-making. For example, participation reach and participation depth are currently two areas that need improvements. Improving participation reach will look at how to overcome barriers such as functional, digital, or legal illiteracy. Participation depth will address issues such as understanding legal texts within their context as well as keeping people interested and engaged in constitution-making discussions.

To us, the quality and relevance of the discussions matter as much as the quantity of contributions. Constitution Lab will look at the issues raised by online participation: moderation (and the role of experts vs. non-experts), aggregation, analytics, and impact.

The working group is currently composed of a team of researchers from different organizations, centers and institutes. For 2016, we will be scheduling four online webinars with more events and activities to be announced, as needed. Membership is voluntary and free, and all output of the working group will be free and open-source.

Founding Members: