Program Donor: The U.S. Department of State
Implementing Partners: Partners for Democratic Change, The Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability
Facts from the TILI National Survey on Informal Workers
Despite having one of the highest per capita GDPs in the region and 5% growth over the past decade, Tunisia still suffers from high unemployment and an informal sector that represents 40% of the country’s workforce. In prolonged periods of unemployment, countries risk increased numbers of informal workers, stagnation, and long-term depression. Without tackling the problems inherent in informality, Tunisia cannot make long-lasting improvements to its economic situation.
Although employment programs through the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment (MFPE) are providing skills training, internships, job placements, help in setting up small businesses, and allowances for voluntary public service, unemployment remains particularly problematic for women and young university graduates. In order to attract the businesses that will provide decent jobs for its skilled workforce and to create market opportunities for its less skilled workers to improve their livelihoods, Tunisia needs to establish a transparent system that expands registration and extends rights and protections to its entire workforce.
The TIL program is rooted in the goals of the US government to help Tunisia increase stability and meet the most pressing social and economic challenges facing the country. By improving informal workers’ access to decent work and government protections, Tunisia can create a more inclusive legal and economic framework. Program objectives are to improve government’s ability to measure Tunisia’s informal sector in order to raise awareness of its contributions and conditions, including informal workers’ needs and incentives; to increase the capacity of informal workers and their representative organizations to advocate for their rights; and to increase government’s capacity to create mechanisms and policies that encourage formalization and improve services to informal workers. To achieve these objectives TIL engages stakeholders, managing delicate social and political environments to build trust and consensus, within a framework of activities and deliverables.
GFI Founder, Karen Tramontano, and Board Chair, Dr. Danilo Turk, meet with Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail President Hassine Abbasi
Country Director, Tunisia