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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Tfanen-Tunisie Créative / Strengthening the cultural sector in Tunisia

British Council, Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs (

    Since Tunisia’s democratic awakening in 2011, the role of culture in societal change and sustainable development has been at the heart of intersectoral debates. In this context, Tfanen-Tunisie Créative, a bilateral EU-funded project, aims to leverage culture for social cohesion and economic prosperity at local, regional and national levels. Tfanen in collaboration with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs targets a wide range of actors including youth and women, artists, cultural NGOs, public sector and cultural CSOs and enterprises.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    Tfanen is a pioneer bilateral cultural project financed by the European union (EU). It is implemented by the British Council on behalf of the EU National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) and in collaboration with the Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs (MAC). The project falls under the Programme to Support Cultural Sector in Tunisia (PACT) of the MAC. Along with a budget of 9,7 M €, a team of 20 European and Tunisian staff were dedicated to provide financial and technical support to local cultural actors through a combination of grant-making, capacity building and policy advice. Since 2016, Tfanen has subsidised 88 projects that enhance local cultural engagement, young artists’ creativity, festivals’ sustainability and preservation of heritage. It has also delivered structural funds to 7 leading cultural organisations allowing them to enhance internal capabilities, enlarge external audiences, professionalise their actions and contribute to the strengthening of the cultural ecosystem. Technical assistance takes place through regional and thematic learning and sharing laboratories (Labs) which engage cultural actors in a participatory and multidisciplinary co-construction of public policies. Tfanen also provides mentorship sessions, workshops, networking events and training programmes to cultural actors. Tfanen follows a holistic and systemic approach in order to measure its achievements. Various monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are in place to allow a learning from the implemented activities and a continuous adaptation to the local context. An online dashboard was designed to communicate its achievements to various audiences. Projects’ case studies and success stories are also shared to inspire cultural actors and build knowledge about the sector.


    SDG4: 10653 children/young people mainly from the poorest households benefited from complimentary cultural/educational workshops SDG5: 74252 women/young girls have participated in cultural events (52% of all participants) and 5870 have benefited from cultural/educational workshops (49% of all participants) allowing them to fulfil their potential and to be awarded in international competitions SDG 8: 640 job opportunities were created for cultural actors. Studies were conducted to generate knowledge about creative industry and build data-led growth strategies SDG 10: 45190 people participated in the cultural events held in remote areas (32% of all participants) and 6886 have benefited from cultural/educational workshops (52% of all beneficiaries) SDG 16: 12 reform projects were conducted to strengthen the operational, organisational and technological capabilities of the MAC and its administrations SDG 17: 414 partnerships were created between civil society and private & public sectors

    Enabling factors and constraints

    Tfanen benefited from a large funding, a multi-stakeholder’s governance and a large network of partners offering advice, technology, premises... The main constraints are: • An unstable democratic transition • A lack of data in culture • A lack of collaborations among cultural actors • A weak resilience to COVID-19 crisis It was addressed by: • Creating innovative spaces for cultural actors to suggest solutions • Investing in analysis studies • Encouraging partnerships and funding reform projects that rely on civil society/public sector commitment and expertise • Designing COVID-19 recovery funds and digital transformation plans

    Sustainability and replicability

    Sustainability will be ensured through: Tfanen grantees will maintain their activities through new funding sources as they used to formulate their own outputs/outcomes to support SDGs implementation. The EU-funded “EU4Youth” programme starting in 2021 will continue to provide opportunities to marginalised youth in the field of culture engaging civil society and public bodies to reach Tfanen-aligned SDGs. Tfanen ensures its legacy via its website, 7 trilingual (EN/AR/FR) publications and an online library sharing knowledge, data and best practices. Digital platforms will be launched to enhance the quality of cultural services Replicability has been pursued through: - An international communication plan to share Tfanen’s experience worldwide - Policy Dialogues to reach European/MENA stakeholders - Targeted advocacy towards EU institutions - Internal BC replicability activities on cultural funding best practices, an M&E interactive dashboard and the Cultural Public Services Engagement Initiative.

    Other sources of information

    Tfanen website: Tfanen Facebook page: Tfanen’s impact and achievements video on Youtube: Tfanen video to celebrate word day for culture: Tfanen dashboard: Tfanen success stories:

    COVID-19 Impact

    COVID-19 has severely impacted the supported projects and induced an implementation delay of ~6 months. Several beneficiaries were compromised by rising costs, delays and tight cash. Activities based on physical interactions were also suspended. However, a reactive mitigation plan was put in place by: • Encouraging beneficiaries to readjust their business plans by leveraging technical advice in terms of crisis’ management, digitisation… • Requesting a 6-month extension from EU • Funding studies to assess the crisis’ impact and identify priorities for the recovery/growth of creative economy • Designing special funds to support the recovery and digital transformation of creative businesses • Implementing a digital cycle of LABs and offering visual tools of learning and capacity building

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    This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
    07 June 2016 (start date)
    30 November 2021 (date of completion)
    Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs
    Other beneficiaries

    Tfanen involves a wide range of beneficiaries in the “Tunisian cultural ecosystem”, including young people and women, independent artists, cultural NGOs, public sector, festivals, and cultural organisations and enterprises. The key stakeholders engaged are the European union, British Council, EUNIC Tunisia cluster and the Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs More than 400 partnerships were developed among cultural actors under this project

    More information
    Contact Information

    Bilel Aboudi, National Coordinator