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Tunisia End-of-Term Report 2016-2018

The Tunisian Second Action Plan faced implementation challenges due to resource constraints and unclear cross-government coordination in some cases. The creation of Authority of Access to Information (AAI) was a key milestone and a major step in improving government practice to guarantee access to information.

Table 1: At a Glance
  Mid-term End of term
Number of Commitments 15
Level of Completion
Completed 2 3
Substantial 1 3
Limited 8 9
Not Started 4 0
Number of Commitments with…
Clear Relevance to OGP Values 12 12
Transformative Potential Impact 1 1
Substantial or Complete Implementation 3 6
All Three (✪) 0 0
Did It Open Government?
Major 1
Outstanding 0
Moving Forward
Number of Commitments Carried Over to Next Action Plan 2

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a voluntary international initiative that aims to secure commitments from governments to their citizenry to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) carries out a review of the activities of each OGP-participating country. This report summarizes the results of the second year of implementation through August 2018 and includes some relevant developments up to October 2018.

At the time this report was prepared, the E-Government and Open Data Unit under the Prime Minister’s office led the process of public consultations and coordinated the implementation of OGP activities. The multi-stakeholder committee includes representatives of government, civil society, private sector, and academia and oversees development and implementation of the OGP action plan.

It is worth noting that during the span of the action plan implementation there were multiple changes in government. Since the submission of the action plan, the E-Government and Open Data Unit merged under the Prime Ministry. In November 2017 additional government restructuring occurred.[1] Several ministries including Finance, Local Affairs, and Environment that were responsible for carrying out commitments, merged together or their leadership changed.[2]

The multi-stakeholder committee was composed of eight representatives from government, six representatives from civil society, one member from the private sector, one member from academia, and two member-observers of the parliament. All ministries and public agencies were invited to consult on development of the action plan, though the OGP process was mainly driven by executive agencies and several independent agencies. The government completed three commitments from the 2016-2018, two of which were completed during the first year of implementation. Altogether, six commitments were substantially complete at the end of term. The government published its self-assessment report for public review in September 2018 and submitted it the following month to OGP.

The third Tunisian action plan was submitted on 9 November 2018 to the OGP, with two commitments to be carried forward from the 2016-2018 action plan: The first is joining the EITI (Commitment 1 in the 2016-2018 action plan, and Commitment 6 in the 2018-2020 action plan). The second commitment carried forward is Commitment 11 in the 2016-2018 action plan. The third action plan continues work on youth participation under Commitment 10.

Consultation with Civil Society during Implementation

Countries participating in OGP follow a process for consultation during development and implementation of their action plan.

The multi-stakeholder steering committee meets monthly to review progress on OGP commitments. These meetings have taken place since January 2017. The official announcement of the action plan was made in November 2016. The multi-stakeholder steering committee’s meetings were held in person and at the E-Government and Open Data Unit headquarters in Tunis. Most of the CSOs participating in the committee are Tunis-based.

CSOs actively attend the steering committee meetings as witnessed by the IRM researcher. During the meetings, CSOs pose questions to the representatives of the government and other implementers, share findings from their monitoring report, and make recommendations regarding the implementation of the commitments. The CSO monitoring report records the attendance of officials and CSOs to the steering committee. It also summarizes the discussions on commitments.[iii] The report is produced by the CSOs’ representatives on monthly bases. According to Asma Cherifi, an active member of the steering committee, a similar report was developed during the preparation of the action plan.[iv]

The meetings of the steering committee are open to observers. The CSOs’ participation at the meetings remained constant. However, the participation of government officials was not as regular as that of CSOs. Additionally, some government focal points were unable to explain the delays on commitments’ delivery when asked by the CSOs.

Minutes of the meetings are available online on the OGP’s government website in the administrative language[v] and in English since 3 October  2018. No rules enforcing gender or age in the multi-stakeholder meetings were applied, however, the meetings were female dominated. No rules of exclusion or replacement of absentees were in place.

Table 2: Consultation during Implementation

Regular Multistakeholder Forum Midterm End of Term
1. Did a forum exist? Yes Yes
2. Did it meet regularly? Yes Yes

Table 3: Level of Public Influence during Implementation

The IRM has adapted the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) “Spectrum of Participation” to apply to OGP.[1] This spectrum shows the potential level of public influence on the contents of the action plan. In the spirit of OGP, most countries should aspire for “collaborative.”

Level of Public Influence during Implementation of Action Plan Midterm End of Term
Empower The government handed decision-making power to members of the public.    
Collaborate There was iterative dialogue AND the public helped set the agenda.
Involve The government gave feedback on how public inputs were considered.    
Consult The public could give inputs.    
Inform The government provided the public with information on the action plan.    
No Consultation No consultation    

[1]IAP2’s Public Participation Spectrum, http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.iap2.org/resource/resmgr/foundations_course/IAP2_P2_Spectrum_FINAL.pdf

[1] Al Jazeera English, Tunisia’s Youssef Chahed names new cabinet, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/tunisia-youssef-chahed-names-cabinet-170906173802326.html

[2] Ibid.

[3] Interview with Asma Cherifi, member of the Tunisian OGP steering committee, interview by IRM researcher, 14 September 2018 and 2 February 2019.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Official OGP website of the Tunisian Government, http://www.ogptunisie.gov.tn/?cat=91

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