Kairouan Community Foud

  • TunisiaCountry
  • MENA Partnership for Democracy & DevelopmentDonor
  • ENGLanguage
  • Public spacecapacity buildingTopics

The Applicant/ Leader (in English)

Kairouan Community Foundation    

Partners & co-applicants involved

Municipality of Kairouan

Lassad Guedhami – mayor of Kairouan

rue de la Republique, Kairouan 3100



Activities of Municipality cover investments in public infrastructure, revitalisation of districts, solving social problems, cooperation with local NGOs.

Association des journalistes de Kairouan

Adel Nagati – president

1, Rue Nahassine, 3100 Kairouan, +216 98294975



Association created in 2011, takes actions in local information promotion, fighting the journalism ethics breaking, recognition of the right of access to information.

Background Outline & Justification

The presented project proposal, submitted by Kairouan Community Foundation, is addressing the needs of civil society of the governorate of Kairouan, Tunisia, responding to the civil engagement priority set in the program for MENA region.

Civil society in Tunisia is growing in importance after 2011, as well as pro-social obligation and citizenship attitudes, which result in great social need for being part of reformatting the state and participating in the debate on state-level issues. Yet this tendency is misused in public debate, as the majority of society is lacking basic knowledge on functioning of the state and opinion makers likewise: politicians, journalists, NGO activists.

One of the most actual topics in public discourse is local governance and forthcoming local elections scheduled for the turn of the year 2015 and 2016 (the exact date is not yet established - May 2015). Public debates however are of immensely ordinary quality – neither the invited guests are able to introduce the theme plainly and intelligibly, nor the journalists are qualified well enough to pose the appropriate questions. As a matter of fact, society is willing to gain the knowledge, which the opinion-makers - NGO/CSOs, journalists, local officers do not possess or cannot afford to transmit.

The substantive debate on local governance, its role and shape in particular, is exceedingly important due to the changes in the constitution (approved on January 2014). According to this document, local governance is based on decentralization (article 131), local authorities receive legal personality (art. 132) and financial autonomy (art. 137). No further regulations have been implemented by far (May 2015), however, the major decentralization reform is forthcoming and widely discussed. Needless to say how important in this process is substantive participation of local opinion-makers – journalists, NGOs, local officers.

Local governance in Tunisia in its actual shape faces serious problems in efficient functioning: centralized decision-making process, inefficiency of bureaucratic system, dispersal of competences, subsidies and privileges system, corruption, growth of vertical structure of authorities.

Decentralisation, for municipalities and regions, hitherto utterly dependent from Tunis in resource management and decision-making process, indicate a chance to boost the regional development. This process in interior regions is hardly proceeding. One of the main obstacles is absence of coordination of activities between the sectors on local scale, mainly stemming from incomprehension of competences and resources. The knowledge among NGOs on responsibilities of local authorities is appalling. Local NGOs tend to blame municipalities for lack of financial support and malfunctioning, having no idea on the public administration restrictions: shortage of resources, absence of autonomy in decision making and unofficial system of dependence. There is though a strong need for verified in-depth knowledge about responsibilities of local authorities: local structures division, sources of income and public services provision.

The deficient social awareness on socio-economic issues in Tunisia is caused also by the confined access to public information (despite legal guarantee – decree 41, 2011), which stems from decisive and competence chaos, lack of will and data shortage. Credible data and statistics about local governance (budget, land-use plans, real estate cadaster) are not in evidence and the effectiveness in actualization or completion is rather low. The data digitalization process is an undesired necessity, as official documentation about expenses, incomes, services and tenders exist mainly in handwritten form.

The insufficient knowledge transmission in public sphere is also issued from the bottom standard of press materials. The majority of them are unprocessed information of nominal explanatory value. Journalists are frequently lacking the competences on sources of information and access to relevant data.  

Project Start & End Date:

3 months (September-November 2015)

Amount Requested, state the currency

16 500 $ 


Total project budget: 16 500 $

Overhead costs: 2800 $ (total)

Accountancy (700 $); bank/bureau costs (600 $), communication (300 $); coordination (1200 $)

Programme costs: 13700 $ (total)

1.         Kick of meeting 1900 $

Translation costs (200 $), needs assessment elaboration (1500 $); PR & promotion (200 $)

2.         2 workshop sessions 7000 $

Participants transportation costs (1200 $); experts cost of transportation and accommodation (own contribution); experts fees (4000 $); translation costs (700 $); PR & promotion (500 $); catering (600 $)

3.         Creation of data search engine 2300 $

Creation of e-tool (1500 $); IT & technical expert’s support (800 $);

4.         Closing conference 1000 $

Participants transportation costs (600 $), translation costs (200 $), PR & promotion (200 $)

5.         Evaluation (1500 $)

Description of the activities

1.         Kick-off meeting in Kairouan for local CSO/NGOs/local officers/journalists – participatory needs assessment; recruitment for the workshops

2.         2 sessions of workshops for maximum 12 persons chosen from local CSO/NGOs/local officers/journalists; workshops will consist of general part and group work on theme components: role and responsibilities of local authorities; access to information – where to find valuable and trusted data; local information and public information sources – verification and credibility; information processing and popularization; access to public information about the local law; checking the areas with official data shortage and explaining the reasons. The group work of teams of three persons (NGO representative-journalist-local officer) will result in product elaboration: description of 3 areas of priority with in-depth public information (for the governorate of Kairouan area);

3.         Creation of a pilot version of data/public information search engine in data clearing house model; an e-tool with source of information gathered about the competences, responsibilities, activities, budget, expenses and public services provided by local authorities (for the governorate of Kairouan area) – using data gathered during workshops. A final product will be the creation of 3 areas with in-depth information, with open access online for all citizens to solid data on activity and effectiveness of municipalities, available resources and budget realization. Data and statistics will be presented online in the form of schemes, maps and diagrams, for better comprehension and reception. The e-tool will be a pilotage to be transmitted to other municipalities, serving as a source of information on local governance for NGOs, journalists and all interested, especially needed in the light of local elections and the reform forthcoming.

4.         Closing conference – presentation of pilot data/information search engine; possibilities of implementation in other regions

5.         Evaluation: focus, evidence based, outcomes oriented, synthesis, adaptation & dissemination of lessons learnt for other regions 

Overall objective or goal

The project objective is to raise awareness and increase knowledge of civil society and opinion makers – CSO/NGOs, journalists, local officers from the governorate of Kairouan on role and shape of local governance in Tunisia in the light of local elections scheduled for 2015 and decentralization reform. The overall goal is to increase the access to public information by creating a pilot data search engine in data clearing house model for Kairouan governorate area, containing data of competences of local authorities, budget, available resources, public services provision, projects and activities – accessible for all citizens online.