Guidelines for Developing a Constitution

Last Edited 4 January 2024 14:57 CET
A midwife explains a document to her patient in a midwifery clinic.

The process of writing a constitution serves to clarify the purpose, delineate the basic structure and provide the cornerstone for building an effective association. It must be credible and respected by the people it governs and their stakeholders. A constitution is not like a plan, and should not change regularly.

It should be clear and simple so that members understand their rights and responsibilities; leaders understand their mandate and how to be accountable; members of the public understand why the organisation exists and how it operates.

Constitution development is a process which takes time and understanding of what the organisation is about and what it wants to achieve. The process must be done by a team of members and stakeholders who will produce an initial draft. At some stage all members should be given an opportunity to contribute to the process followed by a meeting where representatives of all stakeholders look at the final draft sentence by sentence and agree with the contents of the whole document. After that, the document can be dubbed the constitution of the association.