CCD, a hub for knowledge network
February 2009; The Centre for Constitutional Dialogue (CCD) in three weeks time since its opening has already hosted approximately 650 visitors, most of them being the members of Constituent Assembly and civil society. Until now, 92 CA members have signed up for the computer training and 75 have signed up for Basic English training. These classes are expected to start in March 2009.
The topics covered so far in the discussion programme for the Constituent Assembly-Civil Society Forum include; Federalism and Systems of Governance: Options for Nepal to Consider, Using Constitutional and International Human Rights to Advance Women's Social and Economic Rights, Review of Party Manifestoes relating to key constitutional issues, points of convergence and disconnect etc.
In the past week, an orientation programme on the facilities of the Centre was conducted and 25 participants from 16 NGOs attended the session. Three to four more sessions are being organised in the coming weeks. In total, 100-120 people are expected to attend these orientation programmes.
Evening seminars are taking place in March at the Centre on various topics such as; Indigenous peoples' Rights in the Constitution, Women's Rights in the Constitution, Rights of the Disabled in the Constitution , Rights of Sexual Minorities, Youth Rights in the Constitution, Dalits Rights in the Constitution and Making Social Inclusion a Reality.
Inaugurated on 19 Jan 2009, the CCD was established with the assistance of the UNDP/Support to Participatory Constitution Building Project (SPCBN) and a consortium of donors (Denmark, Norway, DFID, Switzerland, USAID/OTI) in close collaboration with the CA Secretariat and the civil society.
The CCD is expected to serve as a resource centre and a neutral space for dialogue between members of the Constituent Assembly, and help promote the widest possible public participation in the constitution drafting process.
The library of the Centre, has over 1300 books and has also developed resource materials related to Constitution building in seven languages: Maithali, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Magar, Newar, Tamang and Nepali. These materials are available in audio formats for those who cannot or do not want to read.
There are in-house experts as well as a roster of experts on subjects related to Constitution building, if the CA members desire for professional expert advice. Half a dozen of telephone booths have been made available for the CA members to connect themselves to their constituencies. The Centre is open for 12 hours a day 8am-8 pm.