Democracy and Civic Engagement Archives
April 10, 2005
StoryTech I: A City Mayor in Tunisia
It is the year 2015 and I am living in Tunisia and working as a city mayor.
A public policy issue affecting development in Tunisia of importance to me is: the government decided to invest big money in public transportation and "soft modes" rather than roads.
There have been tremendous development advances in this area in the last ten years. Please describe the situation as though you were in the year 2015 looking backward to 2005. What happened? In 2005, they stopped building big interchanges right downtown and began thinking about sustainability of mobility.
Innovative uses of technology have made a significant contribution to success in this area. As you look back over the past 10 years, from 2015 to 1005, what were the innovative uses of technology that helped to achieve this success?
1. Implementation of intelligent systems helped improve the productivity and attractiveness of public transortation.
2. Innovation in mind thinking often is more important than "technology."
Describe the barriers that had to be overcome regarding the implementation of these technologies. What were the key practical barriers, such as: infrastructure, policy, capacity to obtain financing, the knowledge base, installation, training, and maintaining the technologies?
* Barriers are more political than technical.
*To prevent being driven in vicious circles.
* The economy should be robust which means with the capacity of creating wealth. Then it can overcome problems.
How did you overcome these barriers? We invested in marketing.
April 8, 2005
Democracy and Civic Engagement Group Summary
Download the Democracy and Civic Engagement Group Summary here.
Democracy and Civil Engagement Group
1. What types of technology were employed?
Information systems and training
e-government (law, licences, taxes)
Information systems of libraries
Liberalisation, more access to internet
2. What fields were represented?
Government services (civil service, judiciary, etc.)
Private sector, Non-profits
3. What barriers to implementation were encountered?
Bribery or Gift-giving? Nepotism, cover-ups
Fear of technology, especially by the older generation
Red tape – lack of clear procedures
Older generation vs. younger generation (gen. gap)
Imposed lack of education (lack of access)
Lack of access to financial resources
4. How were the barriers overcome?
Strict enforcement of rules and laws regarding conflict of interest
Public awareness through media – effective media
Determination of the new generation – willingness to make changes
Protection of whistle-blowers
Training of auditors, accountants to spot corruption
Leadership committed to fighting corruption
Thanks to Christine Swanson for facilitating the group and to Shehryar Sarwar for transcribing group notes.