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Tunisia

Youth Participation (TN0045)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Tunisia Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs

Support Institution(s): Ministry of Local affairs and Environment CSOs, private sector, multilaterals, working groups - Tunisian Institute for Democracy and Development

Policy Areas

Democratizing Decision-Making, Inclusion, Local Commitments, Public Participation, Social Accountability, Youth

IRM Review

IRM Report: Tunisia Transitional Results Report 2018-2020, Tunisia Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: No

Early Results: No IRM Data

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation , Public Accountability , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Developing new mechanisms to promote interaction with the youth and enable them to pursue dialogue about public policies
Beginning of October 2018 – End of August 2020
Lead implementing agency/actor
Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs
Commitment description
In order to further activate youth participation in public affairs, and given the existence of several issues that threaten this category, such as illegal immigration, terrorism, addiction and other social deviances and threats, this commitment aims to create frameworks for dialogue. These frameworks aim to enable young people to express their opinions, concerns, and ideas freely and transparently as well as to influence decision-makers to carry out reforms intended to solve these problems. Therefore, the purpose is to complete the commitment drafted in the 2nd OGP action plan by implementing the following actions :
- Co-creation (Government/CSO) of local councils for youth which must include representatives of civil society and public authorities with a significant presence for the young people;
Developing an e-platform allowing youth to provide feedback on the delivery of selected public services and that requires the responsible public structures to respond and address the issues raised.
Problem/Background
- Limited frameworks provided for dialogue and listening to youth concerns;
- Reluctance of young people to participate in public affairs and decline of trust in State institutions, especially in terms of ability to respond to youth aspirations and to take into consideration their proposals and ideas within the framework of addressing issues of concern to youth.
Identification of commitment objectives/expected results
• This commitment will enable the establishment of frameworks to include young people across the regions of Tunisia and allow them to express their opinions, concerns and submit their vision on issues that concern them, as well as providing guarantees to take into account their proposals and ideas in decision-making processes and the drafting of public policies.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?
- Promoting youth capacities to monitor public affairs and contribute to change and to positively influence decision makers in order to harmonize their decisions with youth needs;
- Establishing a relationship based on trust and responsibility between young people and authorities, as well as transforming anger that can negatively affect the youth to a positive energy that could be employed to achieve useful projects that benefit these young people and their regions.
Relevance with OGP values
Participation: these mechanisms including the local councils and e-plat- form for youth participation will enable youths to present new ideas and proposals about several topics and issues that may concern them or their regions;
Accountability: Monitor concerned authorities, namely at the local level and hold them accountable regarding the drafting and implementation of public policies.Source of funding/
Relation with other programs and policies
Source of funding: Budget of the Ministry/World Bank/UNESCO
Steps and execution agenda
Beginning of October 2018
End of October 2018
Contact Information
Name of the responsible person from implementing agency
1. Mr. Kamel El Arbi
2. Mrs. Imen Bel Hadi
Title and Department
1. Director General of Youth at the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs
2. Director General of the National Youth Observatory
E-mail address
1. kamelarbi64@gmail.com
2. belhadimen@gmail.com

Other Actors involved
State actors involved
- Ministry of Local affairs and Environment
CSOs, private sector, multilaterals, working groups
- Tunisian Institute for Democracy and Development

IRM Midterm Status Summary

10. Developing new mechanism to promote interaction with the youth and enable them to pursue dialogue about public policies

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

"In order to further activate youth participation in public affairs and given the existence of several issues that threaten this category, such as illegal immigration, terrorism, addiction and other social deviances and threats, this commitment aims to create frameworks for dialogue. These frameworks aim to enable young people to express their opinions, concerns, and ideas freely and transparently as well as to influence decision-makers to carry out reforms intended to solve these problems. Therefore, the purpose is to complete the commitment drafted in the 2nd OGP action plan by implementing the following actions:"

Milestone:

  • Co-creation (Government/CSO) of local councils which must include representatives of civil society and public authorities with a significant presence for the young people.
  • Developing an e-platform allowing youth to provide feedback on the delivery of selected public services and that requires the responsible public structures to respond and address the issues raised.

Responsible institution: Ministry of youth and Sports Affairs

Supporting institution(s): Ministry of Local affairs and Environment, Tunisian Institute for Democracy and Development, CSOs, private sector, multilaterals

Start date: October 2018                               End date: October 2020

Editorial Note: This is a partial version of the commitment text. For the full commitment text from the Tunisia national action plan, see here.

Commitment Overview

Verifiability

OGP Value Relevance (as written)

Potential Impact

Completion

Did It Open Government?

Not specific enough to be verifiable

Specific enough to be verifiable

Access to Information

Civic Participation

Public Accountability

Technology & Innovation for Transparency & Accountability

None

Minor

Moderate

Transformative

Not Started

Limited

Substantial

Completed

Worsened

Did Not Change

Marginal

Major

Outstanding

Assessed at the end of action plan cycle.

Assessed at the end of action plan cycle.

                                       

Context and Objectives

This commitment aims to motivate youth participation in the democratic process. It was carried forward from commitment 11 of the previous action plan, which had limited implementation. Under the previous action plan, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, and  the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) created a pilot for this project by selecting five houses of youth in Ettadhamen, Testour, Douar Hicher, Kalaat Senan, and Hazoua. [45] By the end of term, besides the selection of the targeted localities and draft of terms of references for the online platform, the implementation of the actual youth councils and the development of the website were not completed. [46]

Under the current action plan, this commitment includes two milestones. The first aims to establish local councils through a co-creation approach, although it does not specify the number of councils. The second milestone proposes development of an online platform that will allow youth to provide feedback on delivery of selected public services. Overall, this commitment is not specific enough to be verifiable.     

This commitment is relevant to the OGP value of civic participation because it seeks to involve youth in the government decision-making process, although the extent of this involvement remains unclear. Development of the online platform makes this commitment relevant to the OGP values of technology and innovation, as well as public accountability. While details are not provided on enforcement mechanisms, the commitments aim to provide citizens with responses from authorities on the issues they report through the online platform.

This commitment could represent a positive step in activating youth participation in public affairs. Although the commitment could offer opportunities for youth participation, it represents a replication of previous efforts to engage youth, which have not succeeded in the past. Additionally, the commitment does not include necessary measures to ensure the creation of councils and the online platform would lead to change of practice by the government, as there are no details on how their contributions and complaints will be taken into consideration.

Next steps

In the design of future commitments seeking to enhance civic participation, commitments should offer explicit details on aspects such as the number of councils to be established during implementation, the response and redress mechanisms to follow up on complaints and the methodology to ensure all contributions are considered in policy development.

In addition, communications campaigns could be included as milestones in such commitments, implemented to reach different youth segments in the country beyond those involved in organizations that work in youth issues.

[45] Ibrahim El Ghandour and Mootaz Chaouachi, World Bank Tunisia, interview by IRM Researcher,10 March 2019.
[46] Salma Ben Khalifa Negra, UNESCO, interview by IRM Researcher, 10 May 2018.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

10. Developing new mechanism to promote interaction with the youth and enable them to pursue dialogue about public policies

Substantial:

The Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs developed terms of reference for development of a youth e-platform, [78] and launched a call for tenders to choose the consultant that will draft the project, stages, and schedule for implementing the e-platform. The government also organized elections and established five pilot youth councils in the municipalities of Ibn Khaldoun, Testour, Ben Guerdane, Kasserine, and the Kef. [79] According to Fedia Gasmi of the Tunisian Institute for Democracy and Development, the councils were chosen to represent five different regions with different problems. [80] Young people showed enthusiasm and interest for the youth councils and many voted in their elections; 800 votes were cast in Ben Guerdane alone. [81] The elected youth councils had the same number of members as the local municipal councils. [82] They independently developed their internal rules. The Youth Council of Kef organized itself as a shadow council of the Kef municipality; [83] the others are independent consultative bodies. [84] All the councils had high ambitions and started working with the municipalities on common policies. However, after the end of the action plan cycle, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs stopped actively supporting the youth councils, some of which also interrupted their activities. [85] Only the youth councils of Kef and Testour are still functioning.

[78] Fedia Gasmi (Tunisian Institute for Democracy and Development) email to IRM researcher, 19 Apr. 2021.
[79] Government of the Republic of Tunisia, “Commitment 10: Enhance youth participation in public life” (OGP Tunisia, accessed 8 Jul. 2021), http://www.ogptunisie.gov.tn/en/?p=1332.
[80] Fedia Gasmi (Tunisian Institute for Democracy and Development), interview by IRM researcher, 13 Apr. 2021.
[81]Id.
[82]Id.
[83]Id.
[84]Id.
[85]Id.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership