Earlier this summer, at the end of July, the Secretary General of ALDA – Antonella Valmorbida – delivered the second module of training on “participative deliberative democracy” in Sousse for participants from the cities of Kairouan and Mahdia in Tunisia. Following a prior module delivered in October 2021, this latest training saw the participation of elected officials of the municipal councils of Kairouan and Mahdia, the technical staff of both municipalities, and local civil society actors.
Conceived within the project AUTREMENT, which aims at supporting on capacity building by providing municipalities of Tunisian cities with training in local governance; the program focused on delivering tools for organizing citizen events taking as case studies both the Strasbourg’s “Marché de Noel” and Vicenza’s “Festival Biblico”.
Fostering citizen engagement through participative deliberative democracy
Furthermore, Ms. Valmorbida illustrated different options on how to foster a safe environment for dialogue and exchange between local civil society actors and elected officials. Through exercises on “participative deliberative democracy”, Q&A sessions, and debates, local civil society actors raised a series of proposals and challenges they normally face in their activism while collaborating with local authorities. Similarly, elected officials managed to answer queries and provide more insights into the procedures which regulate their actions.
Hence, based on concrete and local example, the training ended with a road map on the steps which should be taken in the future to develop events such as the “The Mouled Festival”. The latter normally takes place during the holidays, and it is dedicated to the celebration of the Prophet of Islam, Mohamed. Thus, this festival in Kairouan is an opportunity for small entrepreneurs and creatives to showcase the city’s cultural heritage and promote the region’s economic development.
Overall, the module tackled many pending issues related to “The Mouled Festival” while stressing the positive impact of project AUTREMENT so far. Hence, as illustrated during the training on “participative deliberative democracy”, key and crucial actors should boost moments of sharing, and exchange for the best of local communities in Tunisia.
The AUTREMENT project addresses the challenges of sustainable urban mobility and planning in the Tunisian cities of Kairouan and Mahdia. To do so, the project also focuses on promoting the two towns by building the capacities of municipalities and civil society actors in terms of event organization and dialogue with citizens.