Tunisia Regional Development Initiative (RDI)

Investing in the stabilization and development of North Africa and the Middle East is among the Federal Republic of Germany's special concerns. In 2014, a separate initiative has been launched to this end by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), to enhance economic and social prospects for people in the region. The focus is on promoting employment, economic stabilization, democratization and stabilization of neighboring countries in crisis situations.

In this context the RDI project centers on the regional development of a series of as yet marginalised regions in the Republic of Tunisia, which have hitherto been particularly cut off from social progress and economic growth: Unlike in the capital and the coastal regions of Tunisia that benefit from tourism, living conditions in the county's hinterland (in the South, central West and North-West) are marked by an e.g. average unemployment of 23%, flanked by lack of basic education, deficient health care and solidified gender unequality.

Here, across the four governorates of Médenine, Kasserine, El Kef und Sidi Bouzid, bilateral cooperation had already stepped in with a prior project and succeeded in establishing an innovative approach of cross-sectoral participatory regional development planning, under close consultation of government, civil society and private sector parties.

As a result, a series of projects were sketched to put into practice visions towards an integrated development that were formulatted in the process. The now launched RDI project (Initiative pour le Développement Régional-IDR) will take over and facilitate the realization of these projects as they are derived from the new development plans. In parallel, and as a closely intertwined thrust of intervention, the newly tested participatory planning approach needs to be anchored in the governorates.

It is expected that to nourish participation and enforce technical capacities of the governorates and other stakeholders in an integrated way will strengthen the confidence of the local population in the state and public administration, help the target regions in their catch-up development and by the same time bring to life facets of the country's constitutionally inscribed mandate for decentralization. 

The implementation of concise and effective development projects is to contribute to stabilizing the economic situation in the four governorates and to improve the living conditions of the population so that on some scale, this will also contribute to reducing the existing potential for conflict.  

  • Regional governance structures and selection committees are supported in the selection, the control and monitoring of projects
  • Promoters of public administration and the private sector and civil society organizations will be accompanied during the project design and support in project implementation.
  • The technical, organisational and managerial capacities for adjusting and implementing the projects are stenghthened. Local stakeholders get involved into the bottom-up decision-making and development process.

Time span
2015 – 2018       

Commissioning body           
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Cooperation partner
Dirasset S.A.R.L.