These activities are part of the first phase of the Country Programme, which runs from 2016-18.


City development strategies in nine cities

This initiative supports strategic city planning in eight mainly inland secondary cities: Béja, Gabès, Jendouba, Kairouan, Médenine, M’saken, Sidi Bouzid and Tataouine. It is a Cities Alliance grant led by UNDP, in partnership with GIZ, CILG-VNGi, and MedCities in support of the National Federation of Tunisian Cities.

Each partner is supporting two cities in the process of developing a CDS. A ninth city, La Soukra, used its own funds to join the process and take part in the learning and capacity building.

The partners worked together to create a common methodology based on previous CDS experiences in Sfax and Sousse, using the CDS 2.0 toolkit developed by the Cities Alliance Future Cities Africa initiative as inspiration.

A pool of Tunisian planners has received a “training for trainers” on the CDS methodology in cooperation with GIZ and Tunisia’s Centre for Training and Decentralization Support, which has integrated the training into its regular programme.

Municipal teams are set up in all the cities, and a national expert supports and accompanies the cities through the CDS process. This includes an initial diagnostic phase, strategic planning and an action plan accompanied by an extensive participatory and mobilisation process.

Implementing municipal initiatives in partnership with civil society

This activity supports local governments in implementing follow-up projects emerging from the city development strategies developed through the Country Programme. These small-scale projects will be jointly implemented by the nine municipalities and civil society organisations, with a view to strengthening concrete participatory approaches to city management.

The activity is being undertaken by the Tunisian Association of Urban Planners. It aims to strengthen the National Federation of Tunisian Cities in its key role of representing and supporting local authorities. Components include institutional strengthening as well as support for institutionalising the CDS tool and how it fits in with other planning instruments.


A study on the role of cities in regional development

This study, completed in 2018, focuses primarily on disadvantaged regions, in keeping with the Country Programme’s emphasis on lagging inland cities. It covered the three governorates of Kasserine, Le Kef, and Tataouine. The World Bank worked with the Ministry of Investment, Development and International Cooperation to review what approaches have already been tried to balance out inequalities, and to plan future interventions based on the study’s findings.

The study includes deep-dive analyses to help the government prioritise interventions to improve policies, institutional development, and investments oriented toward improving outcomes in lagging regions.  It also features capacity support for policy dialogue to enhance the capability of government counterparts to advance regional development.

Improving inter-municipal cooperation

This activity studies how neighbouring cities can work together on cross-cutting issues, such as waste management. It includes three pilot initiatives, as well as a study on a legal diagnostic, stock-taking and analysis of existing inter-municipal arrangements in the country. UNDP is leading the activity in partnership with SKL and GIZ in support of the National Federation of Tunisian Cities and the Ministry of Local Affairs and Environment.


Towards a National Urban Policy in Tunisia

A National Urban Policy is crucial to achieving inclusive economic growth and establishing a concerted, shared vision for the future development of Tunisian cities. This activity will contribute by developing an evidence-based Tunisian National Urban Policy that is sustainable, inclusive, and provides a unified urban development framework to manage urban spread effectively and coherently on the national, regional and local levels.

The activity is being undertaken by UN-Habitat in partnership with the Tunisian Association of Urban Planners, in support of the Ministry of Equipment, Housing and Territorial Development and the Ministry of Local Affairs and Environment.


What's next for the Country Programme

For 2019-23, the Tunisia Country Programme will build on the initial activities and focus on institutionalising the strategic urban planning process and its tools, ensuring that this process generates action, scaling up, and long-term sustainability.

The Country Programme will focus on 24 cities in Tunisia, with activities clustered around four areas to effectively deliver inclusive and sustainable urban development:

1.  Activities to strengthen enabling environment for cities in lagging regions will target:

  • National Urban Policy 
  • Land use regulation policies and urban laws
  • Legal, administrative, fiscal and financial framework for coordinating spatial and administrative units across the country
  • Institutionalised consultation among stakeholders and fostered coordination across levels, ensuring inclusive territorial approach
  • Capacity building of key urban stakeholders at national and regional level to implement decentralisation and gender equality
  • Diagnosis and strengthening of local economic development


2.  Activities to strengthen municipal government capacity will target:

  • Empowered municipalities assuming their new functions devolved in the new context of decentralisation
  • Improved municipal finance systems resulting in greater competencies to finance and accountability for expenditures
  • Strengthened and institutionalised inclusive and sustainable urban information system, participatory and integrated planning and project development
  • Strengthened relation between municipal governments and citizens
  • Strengthened municipal accountability through gender-responsive processes to ensure an integrated approach to gender equality


3.  Activities to empower women with improved livelihoods will target:

  • Building skills for productive employment, income generation and enterprise development for the urban women
  • Facilitated access to financial capital
  • Promotion of conditions conducive to private sector growth, job creation and investment


4. Piloting initiatives to improve local urban development and reduce regional disparities and gender inequalities in infrastructure, access to services, capital investments and job opportunities will target:

  • Implementing projects identified and prioritised through the CDS process
  • Supporting small-scale infrastructure, transport, and services improvement projects
  • Well managed urban spaces fostering social diversity and gender equality
  • Improving social and local economic development
  • Mainstreaming gender and migration issues








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