Political Economy Analysis of the Tunisian Water Sector

Case | Policy Advisory

Situation

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a US Government agency that provides countries with large-scale grants to fund country-led solutions for reducing poverty through sustainable economic growth.

Tunisia, like other countries in the North Africa region, suffers from high water scarcity and impact of climate change will further exacerbate the situation. Agriculture is using around 80% of available water resources, so increasing the efficiency of water usage and improving water governance in agriculture is important to ensure long-term water and food security, and sustainability of the agricultural sector.

Therefore, MCC is currently developing a five-year compact in collaboration with the Tunisian Government, aimed at improving the general business climate and the management of water resources in agriculture in the country.

Voluntas Impact

MCC asked Voluntas Policy Advisory to conduct an in-depth institutional review and political economy analysis of the water sector in Tunisia with the aim of assessing the potential scope and viability of policy and institutional reforms.

In doing so, Voluntas Policy Advisory contributed to a better understanding of the context in which the proposed MCC-supported water program will operate and identified entry points for and possible coalitions to advance change and address key risks. Voluntas Policy Advisory was commissioned to:

  • provide an analysis of the political economy of decision-making in water-management
  • assess and provide recommendations about how MCC’s investments might support the nascent decentralization of water management
  • provide an assessment of the viability of a pricing reform of water for agriculture.

Voluntas Policy Advisory conducted an in-depth review of relevant literature, case studies, the legal and institutional framework and relevant sector strategies. The analysis was further informed through more than 20 Key Informant Interviews at national, regional and local level with representatives of the government, civil society, academia, water sector experts and relevant donors active in the sector.

Voluntas Policy Advisory will now provide additional support to MCC on specific insights identified during the initial analysis.

The foregoing information should not be construed as an express or implied endorsement of Voluntas by Millennium Challenge Corporation or the United States Government.

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