Tunisia Transitional Results Report 2018-2020
- Action Plan: Tunisia Action Plan 2018-2020
- Dates Under Review: 2018-2020
- Report Publication Year: 2021
The Open Government Partnership is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. Action plan commitments may build on existing efforts, identify new steps to complete ongoing reforms, or initiate an entirely new area. OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Civil society and government leaders use the evaluations to reflect on their progress and determine if efforts have impacted people’s lives.
The IRM has partnered with Stephan Anguelov, an independent researcher, to carry out this evaluation. The IRM aims to inform ongoing dialogue around the development and implementation of future commitments. For a full description of the IRM’s methodology, please visit https://www.opengovpartnership.org/about/independent-reporting-mechanism.
This report covers the implementation of Tunisia’s third action plan, covering 2018–2020. In 2021, the IRM will implement a new approach to its research process and the scope of its reporting on action plans, approved by the IRM Refresh. The IRM adjusted its implementation reports for 2018–2020 action plans to fit the transition process to the new IRM products and enable the IRM to adjust its workflow in light of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on OGP country processes.
Action Plan Implementation
The IRM transitional results report assesses the status of the action plan’s commitments and the results from their implementation at the end of the action plan cycle. This report does not revisit assessments for “verifiability,” “relevance,” or “potential impact.” The IRM assesses those three indicators in IRM design reports. For more details on each indicator, please see Annex I in this report.
General highlights and results
Tunisia strengthened access to information and open data (such as transport and water management data) through implementation of its third action plan. Tunisia also made progress in the extractive industries and strengthened youth participation in government. Finally, the cocreation of eight municipal action plans sets in motion manifold open government gains across the country in the near future.
Seven out of the thirteen commitments saw substantial completion. Of these, two commitments were completed in 2021 after the implementation period. This included Commitment 4 on opening land transport data and Commitment 11 on implementing OGP standards at local levels. The remaining six commitments were implemented to a limited extent. During the 2018–2020 implementation period, Tunisia achieved a similar level of completion and early results from the country’s 2016–2018 action plan.
Most commitments with substantial progress focused on creating and publishing open data or establishing legal frameworks. Two important exceptions are Commitments 6 and 11. Commitment 6 (enhancing transparency in the extractive industries) saw significant government-civil society engagement. Tunisia only needs to submit its application to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative for this commitment to be considered complete. Commitment 11 facilitated a more cooperative relationship between civil society and the government through dialogue and the cocreation of municipal OGP action plans. As a result, local activists and officials in eight municipalities have cocreated and adopted open government action plans by 2021.
Commitments that saw more modest progress generally entailed a strong public accountability element and close cooperation between civil society and government. Similar to the previous action plan, stakeholders reported that political instability and government reshuffling hindered the OGP process. COVID-19 also presented an obstacle. Some civil society actors also noted that the multistakeholder forum was not sufficiently inclusive during emails with implementation and did not actively invite new participants on specific OGP topics to raise OGP’s profile. The government stressed that great attention has been taken to involve various components of civil society at national and local levels. The multistakeholder forum meetings were open to anyone who wished to attend and participate, and all information related to forum meetings was published on Tunisia’s OGP website (http://www.ogptunisie.gov.tn) and on the Facebook page.
COVID-19 pandemic impact on implementation
COVID-19 adversely affected civil society operations and many commitments’ implementation, especially those requiring traveling between regions and in-person consultations. These include Commitment 11 on implementing OGP standards at the local level and Commitment 6 on enhancing transparency in the extractives industry. Restrictions on movement between regions in the country were put in place from January 2020 until June 2020, and again in October 2020. The multistakeholder forum assembled only three times in 2020, much less than in 2019 or 2018. Its meetings remained in-person, which caused absences of some participants from civil society and government.
 For more information, see: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/process/accountability/about-the-irm/irm-refresh/.
 Asma Cherifi (founding president of TACID Network), e-mails with IRM researcher, 16 Apr. 2021; Samia Zayani (president of Dynamique Tunisienne autour de l’eau 2017–2021), interview by IRM researcher, 24 Apr. 2021.
 Government of the Republic of Tunisia to the IRM during the prepublication comment period of this report. June 2021.