AfDB supports voice and accountability in Tunisia

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Tunis, 16 May 2011 - The governance technical committee of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved USD 310,000 to finance an Economic and Sector Work (ESW) Study on voice and accountability. The study is designed to improve social service delivery programs in Tunisia and the Maghreb. A vacuum in voice & accountability mechanisms has been one of the major triggers of the revolution.

The study complements the USD 1.4 billion pledge by the AfDB, World Bank, Agence francaise de développement (AFD), and the European Union (EU) to support Tunisia’s transition towards democracy.

The AfDB and the World Bank pledged USD 500 million each. This large budget support operation will address regional disparities, reduce youth unemployment and promote voice and accountability. In the governance area the program will revise the legal framework on freedom of association; the public procurement code; make socio-economic, financial and fiscal data publicly available and advocate for freedom of information. It will also increase the participation of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in decision-making processes among other things.

The study will contribute to strengthening the participation of civil society in Tunisia post-revolution and promote better governance practices. The 14th January revolution has elicited the quest for citizen participation, transparency and access to information. The study will increase knowledge on existing participative mechanisms and the development of new ones setting the stage for government to pilot new initiatives such as participatory budgeting and citizen report cards.
More specifically the study will:

  • Undertake a mapping of both CSOs and some public organizations related to service delivery with a view to identifying best practices, challenges and lessons learned. It will also assess their strengths and capacity for internal and external networking (nationally and internationally), and ability to establish participatory mechanisms in Tunisia.  
  • Make concrete recommendations on how the AfDB could support Tunisia in the development and engagement of civil society in social service delivery and monitoring of public resources management to increase accountability at the local, regional and national levels.   
  • Document lessons learnt from other Maghreb and north African countries and possible Bank support.