Since 2011, Tunisia has reformed its legal and policy frameworks to give greater autonomy to local government and promote open and inclusive government at both national and subnational levels. While the reforms give citizens a more active role in policy making, they also require profound changes to Tunisia’s governance culture, policies and practices. In this context, some Tunisian municipalities and citizens have already introduced innovative open government initiatives and created partnerships with civil society.

Taking stock of these experiences, this report analyses the legal and institutional frameworks for open government policies and practices at the local level based on three pilot municipalities, La Marsa, Sayada and Sfax. It assesses their frameworks and practices against best practices in OECD countries and with regard to the Recommendation of the OECD Council on Open Government. The report acknowledges the efforts undertaken by these three municipalities to transform their relationship with citizens and makes recommendations for taking a more comprehensive and structured approach to open government.

In addition, in the light of Tunisia’s ongoing transition and decentralisation process, it offers recommendations to the central government for creating adequate structures, resources and procedures for open government at the local level.

This report was prepared at the request of Tunisia’s central and local government authorities. It seeks to assist Tunisia in implementing Article 139 of the Constitution, which provides for participatory democracy and the principles of open government for local authorities.

The OECD, under its MENA-OECD Governance Programme, has been helping Tunisia develop and implement public policies that promote transparency, stakeholder participation, integrity and accountability since 2012.

It is hoped that the results of this work will inspire not only other Tunisian municipalities, but communities around the world to implement open government initiatives.

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