Project: Building A National Network For Social Accountability In Tunisia
Sector/Issues: Health, Education, Public Sector Governance, and Public Finance Management
Executing Agency: Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail – UGTT (Tunisian General Labour Union)
Grant Amount: US$800,000
Closing Date: November, 2018
In the last twelve months, Tunisia has taken remarkable steps to effectively manage the political transition that was launched in the aftermath of the Arab Spring in 2011. A new constitution was approved, elevating transparency and accountability to the top of the political agenda. Presidential and parliamentary polls were orderly held and results respected by all parties. The new government has laid out a governance vision that aims at enhancing transparency and accountability. The window of reform provided by the transition offers a unique opportunity to redefine the social contract between citizens and government and implement more citizen-centered policies.
However, the political transition is not without challenges. Rising public demands combined with poor tax collection have contributed to mounting pressures on the government. Furthermore, many of Tunisia’s CSOs are as young as the revolution and the majority of them is weak and lacks the necessary capacity to engage with public institutions, much less to monitor programs. These weaknesses are mirrored in the capacity of the government to effectively operationalize the constitution and enhance transparency and public participation at the local level. This has affected the health and education sector, resulting in poor outcomes. Access and quality of health services has deteriorated, particularly for poor and vulnerable populations, and education services fail to adequately equip and prepare young people for the labor market.
The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), one of the most prominent and largest trade union in Tunisia, has been awarded a GPSA grant to enhance access and quality of health and education services, and increase citizen engagement in policy-making by developing and putting in place a participatory platform to monitor services delivery in these two sectors. More specifically, the project aims to achieve this by: 1) developing the capacity to implement social accountability mechanisms to gather, systematize, and generate user-friendly information and feedback on service delivery in the health and education sectors; 2) fostering spaces for policy dialogue between citizens and government authorities to close the feedback loop in these two sectors; and 3) collecting and managing knowledge to improve project design and implementation and support CSOs facilitating the process at the local level.
The GPSA grant is expected to help UGTT attain the following results:
A participatory service monitoring is developed and rolled out to at least 30 health and education facilities
A total of 4 cohorts of stakeholder will be trained to use the platform and collect and generate information and citizen feedback
A network of social accountability stakeholders, including citizens, and public and private sector, is established to encourage dialogue and knowledge exchange to advance the project’s objectives
An estimated 90% of user beneficiaries, against initial baseline, are aware of their rights and available social accountability mechanisms to demand improved service delivery, and enjoy access to key service delivery information and feedback mechanisms
An estimated 60% of service providers in targeted facilities have incorporated user feedback mechanisms
The grant is at its early stages and lessons will be added as they become available. However, the design of this grant benefits from the lessons learned by UGTT in cooperating with the government as the largest CSO in Tunisia. In 2012, UGTT signed a “Social Contract” with the Tunisian Government to work to foster an environment for cooperation between citizens and government authorities.