Tunisian Civil Society getting ready for Decentralisation

Tunisia has been a highly centralised country, where almost everything was decided in the capital. According to the new constitution, powers and responsibilities should be transferred to municipalities and the governorates, bringing government closer to the people. Teaming up with Tunisian civil society organisations (CSO), DRI has kicked off an outreach campaign on decentralisation to make this new idea better known across Tunisia.

In the first step of the campaign, DRI organised a training for trainers and facilitators on decentralisation, held in Hammamet from 5-9 September.

“Decentralisation is not only a technical, but also a political project,” said Mohamed Habibi Mestiri, a civil society activist from Kairouan. “Civil society should be aware of the challenges and assume its role as a watchdog to guarantee that it is really happening.”

During the training, 20 CSO representatives from seven different governorates in Tunisia learned facilitation and training techniques and acquired basic knowledge about the principles of participatory democracy and its challenges in the Tunisian context.

This group of trainers and facilitators will put their acquired skills to use in the following weeks, facilitating DRI’s town hall meetings cross Tunisia, in order to their collect local CSO’s recommendations on the draft law for decentralisation – these will then be consolidated and presented to the Tunisian parliament.

This activity was organised within the framework of the project ‘Support to Constitution Implementation in Tunisia – Phase II’ funded by the German Foreign Office.

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