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In order to ensure a constant follow-up to the face-to-face trainings and knowledge activities provided within the Community of Practice on Employment and Social Safety Nets, virtual workshops are organized regularly, thus creating a space for practitioners from the region to share their operational experience, knowledge, and best practices on issues related to the design and implementation of employment and social safety nets programs.
The following virtual workshop was the 10th in the series and focused on a successful participatory service delivery project implemented in Tunisia for the reintegration of the least privileged and the low skilled. It was coordinated by the Center for Mediterranean Integration, as part of its Mediterranean knowledge platform.
Most of Tunisia’s public employment programs, including active labor market programs and job counseling, target university graduates, yet 70 percent of all unemployed in Tunisia do not have a university degree. The sign is a constant reminder that migration in search of job opportunities, and the risks it entails, is about the only choice they have.
The World Bank teamed up with local government, civil society and the private sector to tackle this “choice challenge”. They launched the Participatory Service Delivery for Reintegration (SPF) that asked a simple question: what happens when local communities and the private sector are given greater choice in designing pathways to sustainable livelihoods? How do these pathways compare to traditional public employment and safety net programs that lack such choice? The project combined social safety nets (cash transfers targeted to low-income, low-skilled unemployed) with paid, on-the-job training designed and delivered by local private employers and civil society groups.
Scope of the Activity
During this workshop the guest speakers shared the success of the Participatory Service Delivery for Reintegration (SPF), led by the Tunisian Union for Social Solidarity (TUSS) supported by the World Bank.
The project contributes to: (i) fostering social cohesion and stabilization among disadvantaged populations following the January 2011 revolution; and (ii) mitigating the socioeconomic risks faced by Tunisian returnees fleeing Libyan civil strife and by Tunisian communities near the border with Libya affected by depressed cross-border trade and commerce. The target number of beneficiaries (4000) has been exceeded, reaching approximately 4,200 beneficiaries as of December 1, 2013; therefore, the project objectives continue to be achievable.
Discussions with participants from Morocco, Lebanon and Tunisia followed.
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