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Report of JFRC April Policy Seminar

This is a recap report on the seminar organized by JFRC on 18 April 2015 about the policies of tripartite partnership between the public sector, the civil society and private sector.

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Report of JFRC April Policy Seminar

  1. 1. 1 JFRC Seminar: Towards an Effective Tripartite Partnership between Public Sector, Private Sector and Civil Society in Constructing Public Policies At a glance In the context of its NED-funded program « Tunisia Policy Shapers », JFRC organized on 18 April 2015 at Ramada Plaza hotel a seminar on the policies related to the tripartite partnership between the public sector, private sector and civil society in constructing public policies. The panel discussing the topic was made of experts, civil society leaders, academia and government official. In the afternoon, the participants of the program got the chance to present their papers in front of a jury of experts, decision-makers and civic actors. Overall, the seminar was an opportunity to bring public policies back at the center of national debate and to stress the role of civil society as a force of proposal to policymakers.
  2. 2. 2 Table of Contents At a glance.....................................................................................................................................................1 Table of Contents..........................................................................................................................................2 Concept Note................................................................................................................................................3 Agenda of the Seminar .................................................................................................................................5 Proceedings and Findings .............................................................................................................................7 Part 1. The Role of the Tripartite Partnership in Shaping Public Policies .................................................7 Part 2. Experiences and Testimonials from Civil Society Organizations.................................................12 Part 3. Two simultaneous sessions for policy papers’ presentation......................................................18 Recap of the Main Recommendations Related to Tripartite Partnership ..................................................21 Short Biographies of the Panelists..............................................................................................................22
  3. 3. 3 Concept Note To address the issues related to the context of transition and reform in Tunisia, participatory governance is becoming more and more a privileged way of creating synergies to better manage the challenges and avoid impasses. The seminar on 18 April 2015, organized by the Jasmine Foundation, is an opportunity to think on how to build and strengthen mechanisms for participatory governance and the possibilities and forms of collaboration between public actors, private sector and civil society. This form of governance has indeed been proven in many countries that have experienced the transition process like the one we live in Tunisia. The new Tunisian Constitution promotes this type of governance, namely when it comes to local governance and the various local services delivered to the population, basic mechanisms for the smooth running of a participatory democracy. It’s noteworthy that civil society has worked towards that goal in many sectors since 2011 but it is now time to capitalize on all these experiences by establishing ongoing communication channels with the various governance bodies in place. Furthermore, several tripartite partnership experiences have been implemented, but the participation of civil society was often rather formal, since there was no real integration policy of civil society in the process of design and management of public policies. There has hitherto been no strategic thinking process on the role of civil society as a partner in this regard. The predominant approach was intuitive and empirical, to the detriment of this not-yet-engaged strategic thinking process. There is a real need to create a space for strategic thinking among these three arenas: civil society, the public sector and the private sector to overcome the prevailing approach that is rather intuitive and empirical, and to find an adequate form of diplomacy to the work of civil society to be really taken into account in the definition of public policies. The main questions from which we would like to initiate this discussion are:
  4. 4. 4 - What is the current state of affairs of the relationship between civil society, the public sector and the private sector? - How can we develop transversal synergies between civil society, the public sector and the private sector in the design and implementation of public policies? - What are the prerequisites for the development of these synergies? Are the private sector and civil society in Tunisia really prepared to act as partners in the design of public policies in the country, or should their role remain limited to the contribution at the execution level? - What is the approach to take in terms of mechanisms for participatory governance in the economic sector? How to create cross synergies between civil society, the public sector and the private sector in the design and implementation of economic policies? - How to create cross synergies between civil society, the public sector and the private sector in the design and implementation of social policies? - What recommendations can we make to better consider such partnerships? A panel representing the three parties will attempt to answer these questions at the first session of the seminar, while the second session will illustrate notable efforts from civil society organizations in that regard with testimonials from three civic leaders.
  5. 5. 5 Agenda of the Seminar : Inscription : Welcome word and concept note, Dr. Tasnim Chirchi, Executive Director of JFRC : Presentation of the TPS Program, Hatem Dammak, Project Coordinator : Panlists: Mr Mondher Khanfir, CEO at Wiki Start Up, Coordinator at CBA Dr. Majdi Hassen, Executive Director at IACE Prof. Jelel Ezzine, University Professor Mr Mohamed Oussema Alioua, Special Adviser to the Minister of Vocational Training and Employment : Coffee break and networking : Ms Rim Guermassi, TPS participant: Achieving the rights of handicapped people requires a tripartite commitment par excellence: her policy paper as an example Ms Bouraouia Agrebi, Secretary General of OTDDPH Association: the campaign #SignezLePacte (sign the pact) Ms Donia Turki, Vice-President of AERE Hammamet: Environmental Initiatives and Collective Commitment Mr Mohamed Otaiel Dhraief, expert in constitutional law and activist: Experiences with NCA (National Constituent Assembly) and ARP (Assembly of Representatives of the People). Part 1. Panel on the Role of the Tripartite Partnership in Shaping Public Policies. Moderator : Hatem Dammak (Jasmine Foundation) Part 2. Experiences and Testimonials from Civil Society Organizations
  6. 6. 6 : Lunch : Workshop 1: Policies Related to Civil Rights; Education. Moderator: Mohamed Otaiel Dhraeif; Rapporteur : Hatem Dammak TPS Participants: Fares Ben Terzi, Hazar Ferchichi, Slim Kacem, Rim Guermassi, Mohamed Abdelkarim Workshop 2: Policies Related to Governance; Environment; Health; Handicraft. Moderator: Anis Ben Smail; Rapporteur : Zohra Hammami TPS Participants: Moataz Fatnassi, Yassine Kalboussi, Salwa Ebdelli, Marwen Abidi, Bilel Mannai, Hadia Himmat : Coffee break : Conclusions and final notes : Distribution of the Certificates to the TPS participants Part 3. Two simultaneous sessions for policy papers’ presentation
  7. 7. 7 Proceedings and Findings Part 1. The Role of the Tripartite Partnership in Shaping Public Policies The first panelist to speak was Mr. Mondher Khanfir, Coordinator at CBA and CEO of Wiki Start Up. Referring to programs such as “Tunisia Policy Shapers”, he said that we must first of all define who policy papers are for. To write one, we must be able to say what our position is. We must be able to help take a decision or to influence decision makers and orient decisions. We are in a world where information is so abundant on one hand, but also disorientating. It is critical to clarify the purpose and role of different parties in the process so that all three sectors can act in the interests of all, to benefit the democratic transition, to achieve their goals and respect each other’s roles. He mentioned that we are in a world where we have several paradoxes. No democracy is perfect but we have to try to get close to achieving the sought-after ideal through a shared vision. We all share justice as a value, all humans are conscious of justice. Law can approximate to justice but cannot completely achieve justice. He also pointed out few important observations:  There is confusion between knowledge and information – knowledge is the product of a process; information must be capitalized on and processed through analysis. The role of a policy writer is to go through the process of decoding and analyzing information to create usable knowledge.  It is critical to respect the right to property when producing knowledge – we must always cite sources properly. We can use knowledge and information but must always respect the right of property of its author.  Who represents or defends the interests of those who made the revolution, who are unemployed graduates and marginalized youth? Until now, they have yet to find their place in the policy making process.
  8. 8. 8 The second panelist to speak was Dr. Majdi Hassen who is the Executive Director of IACE. He introduced the institute which works on participatory governance. It is a private sector think tank which works to identify which subjects are important for its members then work on advocacy for them, through publications and recommendations. To give some specific numbers, IACE has a membership of over 500 companies and is assisted by 40 university experts in preparing its publications. Regarding the tripartite partnership, Dr. Majdi Hassen says: • First, the relationship between the three sectors must be collaborative, but each must be independent. • We worked on a white book on economic reform which sets out the key economic reforms we believe are necessary in Tunisia. The weakness of reforms is identifying the means of implementing them - analyzing administrative capacity, etc. The white book also describes a methodology for introducing reforms. • When we speak of a dialogue, we must be conscious that it does not mean that it will always lead to a consensus. • Governance must be participatory – but also governance within each sector must be good. Each sector must seek to represent its components well and try to reflect a plurality of views. The third panelist was Mohamed Oussema Alioua, Special Advisor at the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Education. He enriched the discussion further with a couple of interesting observations: • It is necessary to have cross-fertilization between the public and private sector, for the public sector to gain from knowledge and experience from the private sector and vice versa. • The role of the state is to set general goals, specific policies and assess results. • A public administration is like a machine – one has to try to direct it based on one’s knowledge and experience, and to encourage it to cooperate with the private sector.
  9. 9. 9 • The latest statistics from the National Institute of Statistics show that we have 580,000 unemployed, of which 240,000 are university graduates. 40% of women are unemployed. Interior regions have more unemployment. Graduates are more likely to be unemployed (32%). Clearly, the government is in no position to meet all those job demands alone, but it can empower the private sector with the necessary legislation and incentives to hire more. The fourth panelist was Prof. Jalel Ezzine who praised JFRC’s efforts and stressed the need for programmes like TPS (Tunisia Policy Shapers). He thinks we cannot advance the development of Tunisia without having people with suitable background to shape policies to address challenges. In that regard, he stated that there was an enormous lack of capacity, know-how, and experience in public policy. There was a revolution because there was a real failure in the governance of this country in a way that meets the needs of citizens in the long term. Thus, a professional training that focuses on policy as a field in needed more than ever. The inquisitive Professor says: “when I try as a citizen to understand policies and decisions by decision makers, it raises very complex questions. Why public policies? What are public policies? Why do we need them? It really requires hard work to find suitable answers. What is a policy brief? It means that you researched, compared with other countries, analyzed the problems, etc. and summarized them in a 2-3 page brief to help decision makers make their decisions”. He also notices that there is a linguistic problem when we talk about policies – in French there is no difference in words between politics and policy. On the cognitive level, it has a very big consequence. In Arabic it is the same – siyasa, and siyasa. There are no descriptive words for policy, which creates problems and does not allow us to think clearly. We have to return to foundations, understand what the words mean. “If I do not understand terminology, how can I try to respond to the needs for which that terminology was constructed?” He added “In English, this linguistic problem does not exist. There is politics and policy. Language is a mechanism, which alters your way of thinking.”
  10. 10. 10 He then explains that through public policies, you actually want to alter the conduct of citizens. When you are behind the wheel and you stop at a red light, this is a policy. It influences your conduct. The button you press at crossings does nothing – it simply gives you the impression you have some control and that you are speeding up the time for crossing, so that you do not cross haphazardly. He explains further: “Just because I am good technically at my field does not mean I am a good policy maker. To influence the behavior of citizens, it does not require only the technical dimension but also requires understanding sociological, cognitive, economic, moral dimensions. Thus, deciding a policy is not merely a technical question, but of general culture. The effects of a policy can be perverse if not properly planned.” Furthermore, those who will be affected by a policy should be involved in its elaboration. The decision maker, if he/she wants the policy to succeed, must involve all the stakeholders. NGOs are very important in this regard – civil society has played a fundamental role in the democratic transition in Tunisia. The private sector ensures the production of goods and gives us the means necessary to live so it must necessarily be involved. The legislator and government are the ones who will execute the policies and must be involved also. Thus, it is implicitly involved in the conception of policies that these stakeholders must all be involved. On another note, he said that the best type of participation for civil society is to become a true “force of proposal” by putting convincing proposals on the table. Organizations like Jasmine
  11. 11. 11 Foundation and programs like TPS and YAANI help civil society play a fundamental role in the transition, to say to the public sector: I am involved, I have ideas, and you cannot take decisions by yourself. I am a stakeholder just like the public sector and the private sector are. He then concluded: “We must not just verbalize our needs; we must put on the table proposals for how to meet them. We have seen ministers on media sell us hot air. We need action, Tunisia cannot wait.” After the four panelists finished their initial keynotes, it was time for the audience to interact, ask questions and enrich the debate. One of the attendees asked: “The civil society in Tunisia is thriving, committed and engaged; we also have a solid half-a-century strong private sector. Why is a tripartite partnership around public policies is still lagging?” To that Mr. Mondher Khanfir answered by noting: “There are 3 I’s when we speak about policies: 1. Interests: we do not have enough debate on what is the public interest. We are not used to defining the public interest – policies require a choice between different interests. 2. Information – must be publicly available and shared. We must also remove the confusion between information and knowledge. There is a difference between opinion and analysis. Everyone is free to have an opinion on everything, but analysis requires expertise. 3. Collective Intelligence – collective intelligence is greater than the sum of individual intelligences. We are very weak in this regard. Scientists have discovered that collective migration of birds is a result of collective intelligence. Different birds within the flock know different routes and terrains. By working together and sharing messages between the pilot and the flock, they share information. We need to construct collective intelligence, and I hope policy papers can help construct this culture of collective intelligence. Integration can be a 4th ‘I’ as it is difficult to separate between the sectors.” He concluded “We are in the midst of creating a new society, a new humanity, in Tunisia. We must be convinced of what we are doing and that the effects will only be felt in ten to twenty years’ time.” Dr. Majdi Hassen added that the strength of civil society and its influence come from two things: 1. Production of knowledge, 2. Mobilization. But to be able to deliver on these two premises, CSOs should work on their governance and capacity building needs. Only then will the other sectors involve and consider its
  12. 12. 12 contribution. He also added that civil society must be efficient and professional. “In 2003, a Masters in Management of NGOs was launched, only to be suspended later in 2006.” He said “Most civil society organizations in Tunisia are now volunteer-run, but we see in advanced countries there are Masters and studies in management of NGOs, on policies. We have yet in Tunisia to embark on Masters for those who will work in civil society.” Voicing the public sector, Mr. Mohamed Oussama Alioua, Special Avisor at the Ministry of Employment, added that we do have some legal basics to public-private partnerships: the concessions law which was in place since before independence. A new PPP draft law was proposed to the National Constituent Assembly, but was not passed. Now there is a trend to try to return to this issue. Also, the Law on Digital Economy of 2008 envisages public private partnerships but needs to be extended to other domains. He finished by adding: “There is a lack on the parts of both public and private sectors. We have to put the legal framework in place and need to communicate clearly about the goals and methods.” Another attendee raised a very important issue which is how to manage conflicts of interests in the process of policy making. To that Prof. Jelel answered by firstly stating that conflicts of interests are normal – if everyone had the same interests, society would be dead. However, we have to manage such conflicts so they do not obstruct our development. We must construct a shared social vision and a shared framework within which we can manage our interests. Our political elite failed to give a convincing social vision for all Tunisians, around which they can all work together. Also, people should be patriotic and responsible enough to put the common interests of the country before their individual interests. Unless we prioritize common interest, we will not advance, and no one’s interests will be served. Dr. Majdi Hassen added that, when it comes to managing conflicts of interest, transparency is key. All the information related to any public project should be available for the public either deliberately or upon request. Part 2. Experiences and Testimonials from Civil Society Organizations The second panel was composed from prominent civil society leaders who shared their experiences in making real-life impact that required engaging the public sector, the private sector, and policymakers.
  13. 13. 13 The first presentation was offered by Ms. Rim Guermassi, one of the TPS program participants. She’s a sign language interpreter and a very active civic actor. Within the TPS program, she wrote a policy paper about “Access of Deaf Persons to Visual Media”. Indeed, current policies regarding the access of the deaf and hard of hearing to visual media are not conducive to achieving this right. Yet there are 18,838 deaf people in Tunisia (around 12% of overall disabled people), but these are only the ones with a disability card. Some who choose not to obtain one or do not know its benefits are not accounted for which means the number could be much higher. These people have no access to visual media content which includes both private and public TV material. Consequently, they are unable to follow events and news, especially after the Revolution as news has become more complex; this also deprives children from leisure and entertainment and contributes to a low educational level, not to mention it causes some sort of barriers to integration. The lack of autonomy is also humiliating as they need someone to translate into sign language. It is ironic that deaf people are paying the public TV license fees as all Tunisians yet they are not being able to access its benefits. This being said, Tunisia –on paper- has always been strongly committed to the rights of disabled people. For example, Tunisia was among the first countries to ratify the Convention on Persons with Disabilities on 3 May 2008. Article 2 defines “communication”, Article 3 sets out eight general principles including ban on discrimination, equality of opportunities, access, and respect for different needs. The Convention on the Rights of the Child also applies to disabled people. These were international agreements; at the national level, the Constitution contains a number of articles that clearly stress the rights of disabled people to access to information and equal opportunities, and it also states that international conventions must be respected. So the legal basis actually exists, we just need to activate it and capitalize on it. As a matter of fact, HAICA (Higher Independent Authority for Audio-visual Communication) is developing a new legal framework for audio-visual communication. HAICA is the first decision- maker regarding audio-visual communication. Ms. Rim Guermassi participated at all the workshops organized by HAICA as it solicited the input of civil society in the new law. All her recommendations were put in the final workshops report issued by HAICA. The new law will be crafted based on this report’s recommendations. Inspired by international experiences, namely
  14. 14. 14 the 2005 law in France on deaf people rights, these are the main recommendations suggested by Ms. Rim:  To make it obligatory for all television channels to have a sign language interpreter in main news broadcast, with two years to implement this fully.  To include within Decree 116 rules on subtitling for the deaf in cinemas  Add subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing gradually on all recorded shows, with five years to implement this fully. By comparison, it took French major TV channels a little over 3 years to make nearly 83% of programmes on television provided with subtitling.  To make it happen, legislator has to offer incentives: tax incentives for private stations that provide the largest % of programmes for deaf people.  Divide monitoring roles between private sector, public sector and civil society. Civil society can provide interpreters and supervise the interpreter as several NGOs have the expertise in sign language, know how to recruit interpreters and assure quality. Ms. Rim then concluded by enumerating the benefits of adopting such measures: not only will it fulfill rights and promote equality and access to opportunity and help better integrate this group within society, but it will also provide jobs, help deaf parents better supervise their children in watching TV and improve their educational and cultural level. Also, it would be very useful for the elderly and hard of hearing. In the same vein, Mrs. Bouraouia Agrebi, Secretary General of the Tunisian Organization to Defend the Right of Handicapped People (OTDDPH), presented her experience within her organization, namely with the National Constituent Assembly to clearly include the rights of handicapped people in the new constitution in a satisfactory manner. But she firstly started by stating the fact that persons with disabilities constitute 13.5% of the population, and these are only the individuals who have a disability card. This means that just about everyone has a family member of a friend who suffers from a disability. She also stressed that the old definition of “disabled” doesn’t stand no more. “We are not sick or ill or socially maladjusted, we have particular needs that need to be met” she said.
  15. 15. 15 She went on to mention that OTDDPH organized seminars and conferences around the country in all regions, the first one being held shortly after the revolution and called: “the New Tunisia Cannot Be Built without Us”. This conference allowed for the first time for a disabled association to enter the National Assembly “We then had our first media interview on television with sign language interpretation, a major achievement” She adds “Our next major undertaking was the Tunisian Covenant for Persons with Disabilities: we had the idea to have a national consultation involving disabled people, political parties and civil society. We held roundtables in all regions across Tunisia on health, education, freedom of opinion, etc. The covenant was written based on the concerns and demands that came out of the discussions. Two most important recommendations included establishing an Office for Persons with Disabilities with a dedicated Secretary of State and a commission in the Assembly on Persons with Disabilities. The major political parties signed the Covenant, now we call for it to be implemented.
  16. 16. 16 After that, Mrs. Donia Turki, Vice-President of the association AERE Hammamet gave a presentation titled “Environmental Initiatives et Collective Commitment” showcasing her own experience. It was about the “Yasmine Project” at Hammamet. The Yasmine space was created in the beginning of the 2000s. It is the only green space on the coast of Hammamet. In a tourist area like Hammamet, there are no green spaces for families or individuals to go and enjoy leisure time. The revolution saved this space – three months later, it was due to be taken over by the former ruling family to become a hotel. It is a unique example of how to integrate green space within local architecture, respecting ecological needs. It is an environmental heritage. Mrs. Donia says: “We aimed to renovate the space, through a partnership between the municipality, local civil society and citizens. All steps were taken in line with consultation with public. Ultimately, we managed to come up with a shared vision and actions plans after a thorough participatory process that consisted of several meetings and consultations. More importantly, we learned many lessons along the way when it comes to participatory work:  You must include people from the very beginning of the process;  Transparency and clarity of the process are a must;  Sharing information in a proactive manner and prompt communication;
  17. 17. 17  Ongoing search for consensus and common ground;  Sharing the reports of all activities with all stakeholders in a timely manner;  Distribution of roles between actors must be clear;  Flexibility;  Fairness and respect. The panel was then concluded by a presentation offered by Mr. Mohamed Otail Dhraief, who is the lead trainer of the TPS program, a civil society expert and a university professor in constitutional law. Mr. Mohamed has long experience in the field of writing policy papers and dealt extensively with policymakers and the Tunisian administration. Some of the policy papers he wrote or co- wrote have been embraced by the National Constituent Assembly and turned into laws that are now adopted and implemented. In this context, he began by introducing the concept of policy papers and its origins before moving to the concept of partnership and nature of the relationship between the policymaker and the civic actor. There are conditions necessary to make this relationship successful which are mainly: transparency; trust; integrity; proactive
  18. 18. 18 communication; mutual respect and understanding; dialogue and collaborative mindset. Failure to secure any of these conditions will greatly hinder the cooperation between the two parties. Also, the outputs of such collaborations must be scientific, direct, clear and concise, understandable, democratic, reasonable and enforceable. At the end, he shared examples of successful partnerships between some research centers (think tanks) and NCA/ARP drawn from his own personal experiences. Part 3. Two simultaneous sessions for policy papers’ presentation After lunch, the evening was totally dedicated to the participants of the TPS program to present their policy papers before experts, civic actors and general audience. The participants were divided into two teams, each at a different exhibition hall:  First team: Mr. Fares bin Terzi, director of programs at a youth association and President of the International Organization for Citizenship and Human Rights, presented his paper on the “Improvement of the legislation related to youth political participation”; then Ms. Hazar Ferchichi, a student at the Faculty of Law and the Secretary General of the same organization, presented her paper entitled “Review of Legislation Related to Rape of Minors”; after that, Mr. Salim Kassim, accredited expert to the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science, presented his paper entitled “Improving the efficacy of the project to integrate ICT in primary education: towards the desired educational
  19. 19. 19 reform”; The final presentation in this group was offered by Mr. Mohammed Abdul Karim, a Doctor of biological and medical engineering, and a Researcher at a French University, where he presented a policy paper titled “within the reform of higher education and scientific research system: review of the recruitment policy of university professors to further improve their performance”. Mr. Mohammad Otail assessed the submitted works and discussed with the participants their presentations along with the attending audience. The participants were able to gather valuable feedback and additional information thanks to this process which will enable them to further develop their papers for a better final product.  Second Team: In the second hall, Ms. Sana Skhiri presented, on behalf of Dr. Hassan Jemai who is a researcher in Economic Sciences, a paper under the title “composting of domestic solid waste: from random landfills to screening at the source”; Mr. Yassin Kalboussi, a student at Faculty of Medicine of Tunis, presented his paper aimed to tackle the issue of scarcity of specialist doctors at inland Tunisia; Mrs. Hadia Himmat,a civic actor with a bachelor degree in international law presented a policy paper also about “the recycling of household waste”; Mr. Moataz Fatnassi, a university professor at the Higher Institute of Science and Technology in Tunis, presented his paper about the promotion of the handicraft industry in Tunisia under the title “Overcoming poor public policy in
  20. 20. 20 supporting the handicraft sector”; Mr. Marwan al-Obeidi, a Master's student in the field or urbanization and civil society activist, presented his paper addressing the participatory budget at the municipal level entitled “Mainstreaming participatory budget for municipalities: a mechanism towards establishing participatory democracy”; Ms. Salwa Abdelli, who has a law degree and currently works as an administrative at the Higher Institute of Theology of the University of Zaytuna, presented a paper titled “Good Governance and Activation of the financial and administrative anti- corruption”; Finally, Mr. Bilal Mannai who a computer science engineer and active at civil society in the field of youth, presented his paper on how to “Ensure a Fair Representation of Youth in the Coming Local Councils”. This session was moderated by Mr. Anis bin Ismail, a UNDP expert in anti-corruption and policy analysis coach, along with Mr. Ridha Ellouh who is an expert in the field of financial management of municipalities. They addressed the various presentations and extended valuable feedback and many useful tips to the participants. After the end of the two simultaneous sessions, the attendees gathered again in the main hall for the closing word from Dr. Tasnim and to applaud the participants of TPS program while receiving their certificates. NB: the full and detailed policy briefs will be available on JFRC website as soon they are finished and corrected.
  21. 21. 21 Recap of the Main Recommendations Related to Tripartite Partnership  In the shaping of a tripartite partnership, we should clarify beforehand the purpose and role of different parties in the process so that all three sectors can act in the interests of all, to benefit the democratic transition, to achieve their goals and respect each other’s roles.  Shared vision: due to their very nature, the 3 sectors inevitably have different working mechanisms and dynamics and different priorities and agendas, but they can all have one shared vision, an ideal we envision for our country. Making that shared vision clear and understood by all parties will help overcome differences.  Any such initiative should involve youth and keep their aspirations in mind because they are the ones who started it all with the revolution yet their situation hasn’t changed a bit.  The relationship between the three sectors must be collaborative, but each must remain independent.  Implementing economic reforms is not only about defining the weakness areas and the needed means; a whole lot of work and thinking should address the methodologies of introducing and achieving these reforms.  For a tripartite partnership to succeed there must be good governance and democratic practices within each sector.  The public sector has a lot to learn from the private sector when it comes to efficiency and cost-effectiveness; cross-fertilization between the two sectors is a must.  The government can’t meet all the job demands, but it can –and should- empower the private sector with the right legislation and incentives to be able to hire more.  The need for capacity building and training about public policies for both government officials and civil society organizations is yet to be met.  Crafting adequate policies and implementing them successfully requires, beyond technical mastery, a deep sociological, cognitive, economic and cultural understanding of the targeted area/population.
  22. 22. 22  To shape a successful policy, there’s no way around involving the very ones who will be affected by it. And since public policies affect all of us (public, civic, private), it implies the three sectors must be involved in its elaboration.  For the civil society to claim its “partner” status, it has to be able to morph into a true “force of proposal” putting convincing alternatives on the table.  There is a dire need to launch Master degrees about NGO management and public policies.  We should be able to define the common interests of the country. Then we should be patriotic and responsible enough to put them before our individual interests.  To build trust between the three sectors, transparency is key. All the information related to any public project should be shared publicly. Additionally, undertaking public projects in partnership with the civil society and/or the private sector requires the following  You must include people from the very beginning of the process;  Transparency and clarity of the process are a must;  Sharing information in a proactive manner plus prompt communication;  Ongoing search for consensus and common ground;  Sharing the reports of all activities with all stakeholders in a timely manner;  Distribution of roles between actors must be clear;  Flexibility;  Fairness and respect. Short Biographies of the Panelists Mr. Mondher Khanfir: CEO at Wiki Start Up and Coordinator at CBA: “Mr. Mondher is a Senior Consultant in Private Equity, Innovation Strategy and Business Development. He is an Impact Entrepreneur and Angel Investor. He co-founded in 2011 Wiki Start Up the first private Business Incubator fully dedicated to Innovation in Tunisia ( Mondher is also Associate Partner at Colombus Consulting
  23. 23. 23, an international Business Consutling Firm specialized in Strategy and Business Transformation. His achievements, in the arena of Business Consulting and Strategy planning and execution, made him a reference in economic development and policies advocacy. Thanks to his international background and economic studies and publications track record, he was appointed by the Tunisian Governement as Foreign Trade Counselor in 2006 and more recently as interim Head of the Cabinet of the Minister of Transport in Tunisia.” Dr. Majdi Hassen: Executive Director at IACE: “Majdi Hassen is the Executive Director of The Arab Institute of Business Leaders (IACE), an independent business association and think tank that represents the private sector in Tunisia. Under his leadership, IACE has widened the scope of its expertise, enhanced its studies and developed a number of innovative approaches to promote business development and market- oriented economic growth : combating corruption, promoting institutional reform including corporate governance, ethics and business integrity for SMEs, building capacities of business associations (in Tunisia, Yemen, Algeria, Libya and Syria), supporting the informal sector, assisting entrepreneurs, and related themes. Hassen is a Senior Private Sector Development Specialist; he has been designing, developing and conducting international projects including research projects to reform the entrepreneurship ecosystems in Egypt and Tunisia, as well as municipal legal and regulatory reforms and administrative procedures in Tunisia. Majdi has experience in working with government and different private sector groups to advocate on behalf of IACE’s over 500 members through economic policy reform. He has also developed national business agenda and national strategies towards Africa and Libya’s markets. Hassen serves on the Advisory Board at Injaz Tunisia and as an international advisor of the Syrian Economic Forum. He is also a certified trainer for The Euro-Arab Management School of Granada, for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and for the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Hassen is an adjunct assistant professor at ESSEC Tunis and The Tunisian Business School.”
  24. 24. 24 Prof. Jelel Ezzine: University of Tunis El Manar: “Jelel Ezzine is presently full Professor of Systems Theory and Control at the University of Tunis El Manar. He has more than thirty years’ experience in Higher Education and Research. He taught and carried research in several countries. He is the Founding and current President of the Tunisian Association for the Advancement of Science, Technology and Innovation (TAASTI) Think Tank. He is the former Director General of International Cooperation, at the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research where he designed, concluded and oversaw several strategic higher education and scientific research cooperation projects with several countries and international institutions. He was the founding Director of Graduate Schools in Tunisia. Prior to that, he was the Director of University Research where he managed, evaluated and financed related programs and activities in the country. Prof. Ezzine is Senior Member of IEEE, Senior Associate at ICTP, Editor/Associate Editor of several academic journals and scientific organizations, Expert/Senior STI Consultant with AAAS, AfDB, BC, World Bank-CIM, DAAD, EUC, IAEA, UNESCO. He is listed in Who's Who in the World, and Who's Who in Science and Engineering. He is a Board Member of The International Network of Resource Information Centers (INRIC), USA, known as the "Balaton Group.” Mr. Mohamed Oussema Alioua: Special Advisor at the Ministry of Employment: Mr. Mohamed is an MBA candidate at London Business School with several years of professional experiences under his belt, namely in business consulting and project management. He joined the Ministry of Employment in February 2015 to manage the definition and the roll- out of the national program to reform the state's employment strategy with a total budget of € 170 m. The program aims to optimize labor market intermediation and to maximize the employability of ~570,000 Tunisian job seekers. He coordinated key initiatives to restructure the organization and the governance of the Ministry. He also prepared the Minister's presentations at major international investment conferences including the Tunisian-American Investment and Entrepreneurship Conference March 5th ( and the European Neighborhood Conference April 28th .
  25. 25. 25 Mrs. Donia Turki, Vice-President of AERE Hammamet (Executive Director at AGI): She had her national diploma in architecture from the National School of Architecture and Urbanism in Sidi Bou Said. She was responsible for inclusive education project “Improving Access to Primary Schools” through the coordination of local actors working for the emergence of inclusive practices in 9 pilot schools at the regions of Siliana, Bizerte and Douz. She has been manager of the project “Baladiti” within AGI ( The Arab Governance Institute) for the past year and has been recently promoted as Executive Director of the Institute. Mrs. Bouraouia Agrebi: Activist in civil society for many years, Bouraouia Agrebi has become an icon of the struggle for the rights of disabled people. Non-sighted since birth, her motivation was originally personal, but Mrs. Bouraouia quickly endorsed the cause of a whole marginalized category unrecognized by the state and by society. She is now Secretary General of the OTDDPH (Organisation Tunisienne de Défense des Droits des Personnes Handicapés), one of the largest organizations working in Tunisia for the rights of people with disabilities. Ms. Rim Guermassi: Rim Guermassi has a bachelor degree in Safety and Industrial Control and currently pursues her studies in the field of private law. She is also finishing her professional master degree in sign language and has been an active interpreter and sign language trainer since 2008. Active in civil society, she has collaborated frequently with leading organizations that work for the rights of disabled persons like “Handicap International”, the “Tunisian Organization for the Defense of Disabled Persons” (OTDDPH) and the association “Give me a sign” (Montpellier, France). She participated in November 2013 at the World Deaf Forum in DOHA, Qatar, and is a member of the “Tunisia Policy Shapers” program initiated by the “Jasmine Foundation” since November 2014.
  26. 26. 26 Mr. Mohamed Otail Dhraief: Mr. Mohamed is a College professor specialized in public law at the faculty of legal, political and social sciences of Tunis since 1997. He is an accredited trainer of trainers in policy papers from the Arab Institute for Parliamentary Training and Legislative Studies ( since 2014. He had a Bachelor degree in law and Master Degree in European law and Euro-Maghreb relations. He is a founding member of Tunisia Center of Constitutional Law for Democracy. He is an expert and trainer in many fields: - Public policies and policy papers writing - Relations between parliament and civil society - Laws and governance of associations - Elections legislation - Funding of parties and elections - Constitution and constitutional concepts - Local governance Jasmine Foundation for Research and Communication ©