Open Government in Tunisia: La Marsa, Sayada and Sfax

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This report analyses legal and institutional frameworks, public policies and open government practices in Tunisia at the local level. It is based on three pilot municipalities - La Marsa, Sayada and Sfax. The report proposes recommendations to help the central government create an enabling environment for open government at the local level. It also provides support for the efforts of these municipalities and those of civil society to establish new mechanisms for participation, transparency and accountability.

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Executive Summary

Tunisia has been undergoing a period of transition and evolution of its political system since 2011, leading to reforms of its legal and policy frameworks. These reforms promote open government practices through increased transparency, participation and accountability. Tunisia’s membership in the Open Government Partnership is proof of this commitment. The 2014 Constitution, which enshrines the principles of a democratic, republican and participatory regime, as well as the principles of self-government (libre administration), participatory democracy and open governance for local authorities, offers an opportunity to implement open government practices at the local level. The ongoing decentralisation process is seen as going hand-in-hand with more open, participatory and accountable governance. Local authorities are therefore called upon to play a stronger role in local development by bringing public policies closer to citizens. This presents a challenge at a moment of transition and uncertainty in terms of legal and institutional frameworks and available resources. Yet, the role and legitimacy of local authorities have already increased since the local elections of 6 May 2018.

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