After decades of enduring authoritarian rule, human rights violations, and economic hardship, in 2010, citizens of the Arab world erupted into revolution, fighting to bring down the regimes that had oppressed them for so long. Many Arab countries are still experiencing conflict today with power struggles, civil wars, and authoritarian resurgence in places like Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Yemen.

Unlike many of its neighbors, Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab Spring, began to emerge as a democracy in 2011. The country has continued on a relatively stable path since, holding several rounds of fair and free parliamentary and presidential elections, finalizing a new constitution, and most recently, forming a new, democratically elected government (source). However, as with all transitions, Tunisia has faced challenges, most notably including the increased threat and mitigation of terrorism, and the consequent overuse of the Tunisian civil security and criminal justice system.

Since 2016, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has supported Tunisian efforts for reformation of security and justice institutions to ensure they protect the rights of the Tunisian people and bolster basic capacities through improved training, equipment, and policies.

In 2017, DevTech’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) experts performed an evaluation of INL assistance to Tunisia to determine the effectiveness of INL support. Based upon our rigorous assessment of INL assistance, we found that:

  • The program has been meeting high-level strategic objectives to build the law enforcement sector’s capabilities in various areas.

  • The program has also achieved the public’s trust through innovative ways of inviting the media and civil society representatives to the training activities.

  • Finally, the program has been very effective in achieving sustainability, enhanced by allowing master trainers to help design and contextualize training materials and other resources.

From helping developing countries establish autonomy and accountability to broadening rule of law, our goal is to build stronger democratic societies in which citizens are safe, informed, and free. We have designed, implemented, and managed large-scale evaluations in governance, rule of law, criminal justice, and anti-terrorism programs in an effort to improve governance, community resiliency, and local confidence in government institutions. Thus, when we were faced with the challenge of assessing INL’s civil security and criminal justice work in Tunisia, our use of a robust, three step evaluation system, including actual field work in Tunisia, allowed our experts to execute a precise, comprehensive evaluation. To learn more about this project and DevTech’s capabilities, please visit the page for this project.

Report is available here, on the department of state website.