The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has worked in Tunisia since 2011 to support the country’s democratic transition through technical assistance to election stakeholders, including central and regional election commissions, and enhanced civic and voter education efforts. IFES’ electoral assistance has focused on strengthening the efficient, transparent and professional administration of elections by building the professional capacity and electoral knowledge of the election management body and other stakeholders. IFES supported the country’s previous election commission during the implementation of Tunisia’s first free and fair multiparty parliamentary elections in October 2011 and supported the current election commission during the historic 2014 parliamentary and presidential elections and the 2018 municipal elections. IFES has also provided technical support to judges from the Administrative Tribunal and Court of Accounts as well as lawyers to improve electoral dispute resolution processes and campaign finance control in Tunisia.
IFES has employed multi-pronged, nationwide, interactive voter and civic education efforts, primarily targeting rural and traditionally marginalized voters. To encourage citizens to register and to vote, IFES has trained outreach ambassadors to conduct face-to-face interactions with rural, illiterate women and black Tunisians, used cultural events and street theater to provide illiterate citizens with voter awareness messages, created a mobile radio station that traveled to remote parts of the country airing shows about the municipal elections, and implemented digital outreach campaigns that used citizen interviews, web series and smartphone game applications to engage youth. In cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs, IFES has designed pioneering civic education curricula for Tunisian teachers to aid them in explaining civil rights, democracy, and elections to their students, both literate and illiterate adults and children. To enhance youth’s declining civic engagement, IFES launched Hack4Democracy camps, an original initiative that promotes civic engagement through competitive creation of innovative tools using new technologies.