Following the 14th January 2011 revolution, the first of the Arab Spring, Tunisia embarked on a transitional period to democracy. One of the milestones of this transitional period was the conduct of the first pluralist and democratic elections in the country, on 23 October 2011, to elect the National Constituent Assembly (NCA). The elections were organised by the first independent electoral administration in the country: Instance Superior Independant des Elections (ISIE). The NCA’s main task is the writing of the new constitution in which the framework of an independent and permanent electoral management body will be considered. Elections will play an important role on the establishment of the new Tunisian institutions and the civil society is a crucial stakeholder not only on the constitutional process, but also in future elections, based on the experienced of their involvement in the last electoral process.
Within the support provided to the Tunisian civil society organisations in electoral matters and more broadly in democratic governance, the UNDP project to Support the Electoral Process in Tunisia has organized a BRIDGE Civic education workshop in Hammamet, between 15 and 18 July 2012. This workshop follows two BRIDGE events the UNDP-Tunisia has organised in May 2012: Strategic Planning and Train the Facilitator (TtF) workshops.
Twenty-one participants representing civil society organisations participated in the 4-day training course. They came from different Governorates of Tunisia and represented a wide range of organisations. Eight out of twenty-one participants were women (38%). Participants were at different levels of electoral knowledge and backgrounds. Most of the CSO’s representatives were mainly engaged in public outreach and observation of the 2011 elections. Some has worked as electoral staff in the regional electoral committees-ERIEs.
The overall objective of the BRIDGE program in Tunisia is to assist local election stakeholders and develop their capacity to strengthen their role as key actors in the electoral process. This is a crucial step towards developing the in-house capability of Tunisian stakeholders to act as active agents for the democratic transformation in Tunisia.
The main objective of the Civic Education workshop was to increase awareness related to the importance of civic education programs, and the process of designing an effective civic education program targeting the right audience ahead of upcoming electoral reform in Tunisia.
The facilitation team comprised Four BRIDGE facilitators:
1. Emad Yousef (Jordan)
2. Afef Mbarak (Tunisia)
3. Islem Omrani (Tunisia)
4. Hemdi Kraiem (Tunisia)
The three Tunisian facilitators are semi-accredited facilitators who participated in the May 2012 TtF in Hammamet. The facilitator team took the lead for the design, preparation and implementation of the workshop, and quickly formed strong professional and productive relationships with the participants and these were maintained throughout the workshop.
The excellent work of the semi-accredited facilitators they showed during the preparation and delivery of the workshop granted them the full accreditation as BRIDGE workshop facilitators. Congratulations Afef, Islem and Hemdi!