The civic tech ecosystem flourished in Tunisia after the fall of dictator Ben Ali. With newfound freedoms such as the right to free expression and the right to access information, technology became the natural partner in helping improve the everyday lives of Tunisians. Digital technologies are in the very DNA of the Tunisian revolution: it is no secret that the use of social media networks and online forums assisted tremendously in the overthrow of the former regime. Labeled by TechCrunch as ÔÇťMENAÔÇÖs next start-up hubÔÇŁ in 2016, today, civic tech enjoys a lot more than the creation of private enterprises. Instead, many initiatives today are focusing on addressing pressing social and economic issues through greater digital citizenship, participation, and accessibility.
Still, challenges persist ÔÇô such as the strict regulatory landscape in Tunisia, and the lack of coordination with government entities. Despite the presence of these acute challenges to budding civic tech initiatives, the work continues; most especially to build on the nascent, emerging democracy that Tunisia represents ÔÇô the only one of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region.
ÔÇťMarsad MajlesÔÇŁ is Al Bawsala's project to monitor Tunisia's National Constituent Assembly (NCA). Intended as a registry of representatives elected to Tunisia's NCA, It includes biographical information of NCA members, proposals, outcomes of votes in the NCA, interventions made by NCA members and attendance records.
To secure the necessary financial and technical resources to publish large quantities of data online in user-friendly formats
ÔÇťMarsad BaladiaÔÇŁ , or the Municipality Observatory, was launched in January 2014, aiming to monitor municipal activity through access to information, and to present it in a clear and updated manner. The project also aims to strengthen the link between the municipality and citizens,
Marsad Budget is a continuation of Al Bawsala's work, which is based on monitoring the various institutions in charge of managing state affairs and the consecration of the principle of transparency and thus making available to the citizen, simplified and accessible information on the state budget
Curated by Wafa┬áBen-Hassine
Wafa┬áBen-Hassine is a New York qualified attorney specializing in international law and technology. She is currently consulting with the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression (OHCHR) and the International Finance Corporation. Most recently she was the Middle East and North Africa Policy Manager for Access Now, a global non-profit organization defending and human rights online.
Ben-Hassine has experience in international human rights law, technology and innovation policy, and transparency in government. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, and a B.A. in Political Science, Public Law from the University of California, San Diego. Ben-Hassine is the Co-Chair of the Global Future Council on Human Rights and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (World Economic Forum), and a Global Shaper with the WEFÔÇÖs leadership program.
In 2015, Ben-Hassine was a former Open Technology Fund (OTF) fellow hosted at the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, where she researched counterterrorism and cybercrime laws in select Arab countries. She was also selected as a Geneva Internet Conference Fellow, a Hivos Fellow, and a United Nations Internet Governance Forum Fellow.
Prior to her OTF fellowship, Ben-Hassine completed a legal internship at the Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague and the U.S. Department of State Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in drafting its annual human rights reports.
Ben-Hassine served as a member of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) Advisory Network, and a board member of the Arab World Internet Institute. She has also advised several organizations such as UNESCO, Association for Progressive Communications, and International Media Support on matters related to open data, transparency, and gender and technology. She works regularly with various UN bodies and Special Procedures in assisting them with reports and consultations on international human rights law and technology.
In 2011, Ben-Hassine served as TunisiaÔÇÖs first-ever legislative aide in assisting a Constituent Assembly member in drafting specific provisions in the Preamble of TunisiaÔÇÖs Constitution. She is a founding member of the OpenGovTN group in Tunisia and was one of the lead assemblers for TunisiaÔÇÖs eventual state membership in the Open Government Partnership.
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