Within the framework of a partnership with the Danish organization NIRAS, Fondation Hirondelle is implementing the media component of the PACT program: Active Participation of Tunisian Citizens. This three-year pilot project initiated and financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) will end in March 2023. Its objective is to contribute to the Tunisian democratic transition through increased accountability of local public actors, the improvement of citizen participation in the development of local public policies, and the strengthening of human rights. Seven communities, spread from the shores of the Mediterranean to the Sahara, have committed themselves. Fondation Hirondelle supports their local and regional media in order to strengthen professional capacities and improve the population’s access to reliable and independent information on local governance.
50 329 CHF
Sources of Funding
• NIRAS Switzerland (SDC mandate)
MEDIA COMMITTED ON AN INCLUSIVE APPROACH TO DECENTRALIZATION
After conducting an assessment of the media environment in the five governorates covered by the PACT program (Kairouan, Sidi Bouzid, Siliana, Le Kef and Kasserine), Fondation Hirondelle noted the need to improve access to quality information outside the capital. In regions facing structural challenges, the population has hardly felt the effects of the democratic transition for the moment. Women and young people have so far hardly been able to make use of their political and civic rights. Efficient and citizen-friendly municipalities and constructive, trusting relations between the administration and citizens are therefore of crucial importance. The media have a role to play in this as a sounding board, to explain and to demand accountability.
To help them in this mission, Fondation Hirondelle selected 13 media partners – from the local associative web radio to the regional offices of the Tunis Afrique Presse agency – to train 17 journalists (60% of whom are women) on local governance coverage. In addition to the initial training, using local references and creating a space for exchange between professionals, Fondation Hirondelle has favoured a mentoring approach, providing these media actors with constant support through an experienced Tunisian journalist. This is to produce and disseminate local information, improve interaction and participation of citizens in municipal work and monitoring of local public policies for more dialogue, accountability and mutual trust. In 2022, training will be conducted in different production formats, with a ramp-up of dissemination via an online platform, and media training sessions for elected officials.