Tunisia one year after the Revolution: which priorities should the World Bank support?
Tunisia demonstrated one year ago that citizens' voice matters. Accountability is a must. Government legitimacy is key. Starting from Tunisia, a wave of revolutions now commonly referred to as the "Arab Spring" spread to the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Citizens demanded voice, accountability and opportunity for all, not only for a selected few and mostly privileged. The World Bank has taken significant steps to support this rapid and positive change.
The World Bank is keen on ensuring that its engagement responds to the concerns expressed during and following the Arab Spring and that it can be adapted to the pressing needs of Tunisian citizens as they make headway in better defining their priority and needs. However, challenges remain, due to economic and social constraints that, among other things, translate into a lack of sufficient jobs, which has the potential to absorb the increasing number of job-seeking youth.
This document (French - pdf) outlines the World Bank's upcoming Strategy for Tunisia for 2012-2013. For your reference, this presentation (French - pdf) provides an explanation as to what the World Bank does and the purpose and content of an Interim Strategy Note. The World Bank Group hopes to continue to support the change taking place in Tunisia during these exciting yet challenging times.
Social media and online tools have been important media outreach mechanism for the Arab Spring particularly in reaching out to the youth in the region. We plan to utilize this medium to our advantage. In this discussion, we propose four questions to frame the discussion and seek your feedback:
1. How do you think the World Bank could best assist Tunisia during this transition period?
2. Do you think that the World Bank Interim Strategy adequately addresses the most pressing issues that Tunisians face today?
3. What risks do you think Tunisians face today?
4. What opportunities have been made available since the revolution?
Update May 2012: Thank you to everyone who made comments, it has enriched the consultations process as well as informed the drafting of the document. The Strategy will be available online shortly.