Nos Racines – Our Roots

Nos Racines – Our Roots

Niklas Kabel Pedersen

nkp@voluntas.com

Voluntās launches “Nos Racines – Our Roots”: Preventing violent extremism in Tunisia, with a special focus on youth and women.

Supporting the Tunisian population and its institutions in their fight against violent extremism and radicalisation in Tunisia.

In recent years, Tunisia has undergone profound political and social changes and currently faces a severe economic crisis The unemployment rate reached 18.4% in 2021, with 40% of under 25s and 24.8% of women out of work. There are growing disparities in living standards between regions and political participation has declined.

Within this context, radicalisation, and exposure to violent extremism –in part linked to the phenomenon of the return of jihadist fighters (foreign fighters) – is a major challenge in Tunisia, particularly among marginalized youth. This risk is aggravated by the lack of detection mechanisms throughout the country and the absence of continuous dialogue between young people and public authorities, particularly the security sector.

An integrated approach through actions at local, national, and institutional levels targeting a range of actors with complementary roles and responsibilities.

Based on best practices drawn from the final evaluation of the EU-funded IcSP actions carried out by Voluntas between February and June 2021, “Nos Racines” has been designed under a cascading grants funding format. This approach will be implemented through partners, ICCG and FACE Tunisia, with local non-state actors (civil society organisations) operating on different sub-themes. This will ensure the territorial anchorage of the implemented actions, while responding to different local needs in a mosaic approach, thus allowing for a better adaptability of the project toolbox, and a refinement of both territorial and beneficiary targeting.

Some key figures

  • The project was launched on 8 March 2022 for an implementation period of 18 months.
  • EU funding for a total amount of 3 million Euros.

The project is implemented by Voluntas as Lead Partner, and ICCG and FACE as co-partners. The project will also include partnerships with institutional and local actors

Project activities implemented with non-state actors and institutional partners in nine governorates across Tunisia.

Ifrikya Center for Common Ground (ICCG) will empower its local civil society partners to conduct a process of multi-stakeholder community dialogues, thus building trust between key stakeholders (youth, local authorities, security forces, etc.) targeted by the project. ICCG will also build women’s capacity and empowerment to identify and prevent early signs of vulnerability among young people, with the support and collaboration of local women’s organisations and institutions in the target localities (Mothers’ Brigade).

Foundation FACE Tunisia aims to have an impact within communities as part of a local approach, by strengthening the resilience of those most at risk from violent extremism, but also by playing a key role in preventing violence itself. The action will promote the social and professional (re)integration of young Tunisians in vulnerable situations, with a particular focus on women and youth ex detainees.

Voluntās, while leading the overall project, will implement capacity building sessions for 100 preachers and imams selected by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The aim is to provide technical support in modern mediation and communication skills, in order to bring imams/preachers closer to their respective communities, especially youth. This will help limit the exposure of the most vulnerable populations to potentially extremist religious discourse.

Voluntas will also support the institutional and technical development of the National Commission for the Fight against Terrorism (CNLCT), in order to contribute to the strengthening of its capacity as a key actor of preventing violent extremism in Tunisia.

European Union Delegation in Tunisia

The 2011 Revolution marked a turning point in the EU-Tunisia partnership. Since then, the EU has been a key partner supporting Tunisia’s transition towards a modern democracy. Through all its instruments, the EU is supporting democratic and socioeconomic reforms, accompanying electoral processes, promoting human rights, strengthening civil society actors, enhancing economic and trade integration, and improving security. Since 2011, EU assistance to Tunisia has amounted to almost €3 billion with over €2 billion in grants and €1.1 billion in macro-financial assistance (concessional loans).

Creating Meaningful Societies with IBTCI in Tunisia and Libya

Creating Meaningful Societies with IBTCI in Tunisia and Libya

Creating Meaningful Societies with IBTCI in Tunisia and Libya

Rebecca John

rjo@voluntas.com
Meet Lisa Gilliam, Chief of Party at International Business & Technical Consultants Inc. (IBTCI), USAID – US Agency for International Development Monitoring and Evaluation in Tunisia and Libya.
 
Voluntās has worked with IBTCI in Tunisia and Libya for several years and is one of our most valued clients in the region. We have collaborated together on several projects, including donor mapping, context monitoring in Libya, and a series of policy papers in Tunisia.

Situation

Lisa Gilliam, the Chief of Party at International Business & Technical Consultants Inc. (IBTCI), oversees USAID’s Monitoring and Evaluation projects in Tunisia and Libya. IBTCI has been deeply involved in efforts to enhance governance and policy frameworks in these regions, which are crucial for stabilizing and rebuilding societies undergoing significant political transitions.

Challenge

In both Tunisia and Libya, the political landscapes are complex and volatile, making effective monitoring and evaluation challenging. The need for accurate donor mapping and context monitoring is critical to ensure that international aid is directed and utilized effectively. In Tunisia, there was also a need to develop comprehensive policy papers that could guide sustainable development and governance reforms.

Solution

Voluntās partnered with IBTCI to address these challenges through a multi-faceted approach. In Libya, they conducted thorough context monitoring to provide real-time insights into the evolving political and social landscape, aiding stakeholders in making informed decisions. In Tunisia, Voluntās collaborated with IBTCI to produce a series of policy papers. These documents provided well-researched, actionable strategies for governance and economic development, tailored to the unique needs and challenges of the region.

This collaboration leveraged Voluntās’s expertise in creating meaningful societal change through strategic advisory services, enhancing the effectiveness of USAID’s initiatives and contributing to the broader goal of building resilient, democratic societies in Tunisia and Libya.

Meaningful Climate Action

Meaningful Climate Action

Meaningful Climate Action

Save the Children Regional Office in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe – in partnership with the Regional Youth Committee and Voluntas research consultancy – collaborated with children and youth across the MENA region to produce this participatory research study, aiming to map child and youth inclusion in the climate policy landscape in the region, and to identify concrete entry points to make young people’s participation in climate action more meaningful.

Niklas Kabel Pedersen

nkp@voluntas.com

Elisabeth Jones

ejo@voluntas.com

Aya Barouni

aba@voluntas.com

Situation

Climate change poses a significant threat to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, affecting its environmental, economic, and social structures. Recognizing the urgency to address these challenges, there was a critical need to engage and empower the youth, who are pivotal in driving long-term climate action and sustainability.

Challenge

The main challenge was to effectively mobilize young people in the MENA region, a demographic that has historically been underrepresented in policymaking and environmental activism. The goal was to enable them to have a meaningful impact on climate policies and practices within their communities. There was also a need to bridge the gap between young activists and decision-makers, ensuring that the voices of the youth are heard and integrated into tangible climate actions.

Solution

In response, a collaborative project was launched to develop and implement strategies that empower young people as changemakers in the field of climate action. This initiative involved creating platforms for dialogue, capacity building, and advocacy, where young people could learn, share ideas, and influence policy. The project facilitated workshops and forums that brought together youth, policymakers, and environmental experts to co-create sustainable solutions for the region’s pressing climate issues.

The collaboration focused on providing the tools and knowledge necessary for young people to lead impactful climate initiatives, ensuring their active participation in shaping a resilient future for the MENA region. By equipping them with the skills to advocate for environmental justice and sustainability, the project aimed to foster a new generation of environmental leaders.

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