Supporting regional development

Project description

Title: Supporting regional development / ART II
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Tunisia
Lead executing agency: Ministère de Développement, de l’Investissement et de la Coopération Internationale (MDICI)
Overall term: 2016 to 2018

Context

The Tunisian revolution in 2010/2011 essentially started in the country's inland regions. Since then, the development of the disadvantaged regions in the west and south of the country has been high on the political agenda. The constitution adopted in 2014 proposes decentralisation through the restructuring of regional and municipal entities. The aim is to give local authorities extensive administrative and financial powers and responsibilities so that they can develop autonomously. The corresponding legal and institutional framework is currently being prepared.

One decisive factor for the success of regional development in Tunisia and the implementation of decentralisation is to empower regions to represent their interests and needs by using regional development plans. The actors from the regional authorities, civil society and the private sector in the partner regions are not yet in a position to use regional planning in a participatory manner to achieve autonomous, results-oriented development.

Objective

State, civil society and private sector actors in seven governorates in the Nord-Ouest and Centre-Ouest regions are in a position to develop their regional development strategies in a participatory manner, present them to the relevant ministries and manage their implementation.

Approach

The project is designed to strengthen the regions which under the new constitution are to be set up as local authorities with legal personality. It is pursuing a multilevel approach in the Nord-Ouest and Centre-Ouest regions, which are priority areas of German-Tunisian cooperation:

  • The project is enabling regional development directorates to provide information on regional development issues to other local stakeholders competently and using reliable data, and to involve them in the regional planning process.
  • The project is building the capacity of the supraregional development offices to play a coordinating and advisory role in regional development.
  • The technical department in the Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation is supported in the process of setting up a network of experts who will draft and continuously adjust a national regional development policy.

The project concentrates on four areas of activity:

  1. Establishing coordination processes between regional authority, civil society and private sector actors
  2. Strengthening the monitoring and evaluation systems of the regional development directorates
  3. Enhancing the advisory and coordination capacities of the supraregional development offices
  4. Supporting the drafting of the national regional development policy based on reliable data and knowledge.

The lead executing agency is the Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation (MDICI) with its regional development department. At regional level, the implementation partners are the MDICI directorates for regional development and the two supraregional development offices for the north-west and mid-west (ODNO and ODCO).

The consulting company ECO / DIRASSET is supporting the initiative, in particular with project selection, implementation and monitoring.

Results

The aim of the previous project was to improve the institutional conditions for effective participatory regional development in Tunisia. With GIZ’s support, 18 regional development plans were drawn up nationwide in a participatory manner. This needs-based participatory process was a first for Tunisia, and represented a major departure from the previous central government approach to regional planning.

The present project focuses on the results-oriented and participatory implementation of the plans.