Annual Update 2020 VNG International

‘Thanks to the support of the IDEMA program, the rate of citizen participation in the Annual Investment Plan General Assemblies has increased significantly compared to previous years. Our community has achieved assurance of a participation rate of more than 1% of the population which permits us to gain points in the annual tax assessment.

We have also profited from technical assistance trainings, which have developed the capacity of municipal council members and administrative staff.

Ms. Chedlia Adouani,

General Secretary of the

Douar Hiche municipality.



9 December 2019, Tunis, Seminar on Local Economic Development and the installation of local Business Forums into Tunisian municipalities with an example of the Business Forum of Haarlem.


‘I am optimistic as to the launch of the Business Forum and economic unit of El Krib. The Business Forum allows us to invest in the rich and diverse agricultural sector of the region and create more economic opportunities locally. I believe that every municipality in Tunisia is able to do the same, launching their own Business Forum through their economic unit, charged with pushing the launch of investment projects based on the region resources.’

Mr. Makki Al Jbeli,

Secretary General of

the El Krib municipality.



‘This workshop taught me to consider the municipality’s regulatory framework and to understand the principle of a participative approach to the preparation of the 2020 Annual Investment Plan. For instance, I discovered that minutes have to be taken from every meeting with the municipality in order to document various decisions taken and this has to be distributed to everyone concerned. During the workshop I also managed to formulate my next project that aims to develop the role of civil society within the municipality. We have 315 associations in Béja but only 18 of them are in contact with the municipal administration. The objective of my project is to create a platform with a database of existing associations to facilitate contact among them and enlarge the associative network in the Béja municipality.‘

Ms. Seima Youssef,

participant of a technical training

on the implementation of a participatory approach in the Béja municipality.



October 2019, Training on the participatory approach for municipalities of Rawed, Beja, Aïn Drahem, Krib, Bir El Hfay, Ben Guerdane, and Dhehiba – how to account for citizens’ needs and aspirations in municipal planning and the 2020 Annual Investment Plans.


Involving Citizens in Decision Making by strengthening democratic local government

Featured Project

Tunisia, The Initiative for Efficient Decentralization and Attractive Municipalities (IDEMA)


The Initiative for Efficient Decentralization and Attractive Municipalities (IDEMA) program in Tunisia supports two ministries in the process of decentralization, as well as 12 municipalities for improved local economic and social development, and inclusive and democratic local governance through citizen participation. The first year of the program supported both the ministries, but placed more attention on the development of target municipalities through advocating participatory processes for various municipal plans, as well as raising awareness on the creation of municipal economic units and benefits of Business Fora therein for LED.



Results of 2019 and focus in 2020 include:


  • Support to the Ministry of Local Affairs and Environment and to the Department of Urban Planning through expertise led to a proposed solution to the issue of 84 Urban Development Plans’ processing and validation being halted since 2018 due to discrepancy between a new law on municipalities and an old law on land use and urban planning. The solution was both approved by the Government and adopted by the Ministry of Local Affairs, and enabled 77 Urban Development Plans from 2018 to be processed. The decentralization of urban planning, which has been a result of the past year and will also be a focus throughout 2020, will be supported by IDEMA on a central level at the Department of Urban Planning.
  • The activities for local economic development in 2019 led to four waste management plans, three public space management plans, and three local development strategies being created in a more participative manner, involving various stakeholders as well as civil society from municipalities.
  • Last year IDEMA kickstarted the process of creating local economic units and Business Fora for municipalities to engage more stakeholders in the process of economic development, and take charge of the process themselves. During a seminar attended by four municipalities, a Dutch expert also presented the local economic development case of Haarlem to the participants.
  • LED in the target communities will further be boosted through pilot projects in the municipalities in 2020, which will be within topics of waste management, public spaces. The pilot projects in municipalities will be based on the content of the annual municipal investment or development plans.
  • In raising awareness of a participatory approach to Annual Municipal Investment Plan creation, across nine municipalities the total number of participants to the process of preparing the Plan grew by 60,1%, and by 22,8% and 16,3% respectively for young people and women. Furthermore, the number of women partaking in workshops during the preparation of the Annual Investment Plan of 2019 grew by 86% (from 703 to 1309) and that of youth by 96,5% (from 810 to 1592).