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Enhancing Public Access to Government Information in Tunisia – Success Story

Onshor Tunisia One-Pager – May 2019


In 2015, with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative
(MEPI), FSVC and its local partner ATCP launched “Onshor” (“disclose” in Arabic), a program focused
on helping the Government of Tunisia disclose data to the public to increase transparency and

The success and impact of the program have been staggering, with results far exceeding initial
expectations. Highlights include FSVC’s launch of three portals to host data from the Ministries of
Agriculture, Transport and Municipal sectors in Open Data formats (i.e., machine-readable formats
that are re-usable). The portals now host more than 720 datasets, which alone greatly exceeds the
number of datasets made available by other countries in the Middle East and Africa.

FSVC is also making it easy for Tunisians to request data from their government. To do so, FSVC
recently launched, an easy- to-use right-to-information platform on which citizens
can directly request information from government institutions in Arabic or
French. More than 425 requests have been submitted so far, with a 35% response rate from the
Government, which is an exceptionally strong result for this type of platform.

The Minister of Public Service, Modernization of Administration and Public Policy, Mr. Kamel
Morjane (third from left), honoring Onshor for its exceptional contribution to enhancing public
access to government information.

Other significant achievements include: 1) the launch of, a website that enables
citizens to monitor progress in the execution of public infrastructure projects; 2) the publication
of an Index of Governance of Stated-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), which was recently used by the IMF to
“obtain accurate financial and governance-related information on SOEs it could not even obtain
during meetings with top- level government officials”; and 3) the organization of a hackathon
(coding competition) with business incubators to encourage start-ups to use this newly-available
public data to create products and services.

So what? The opportunities presented by government data are endless. So far, FSVC has seen civil
society organizations use Onshor-facilitated data to advocate for their various causes. The
Municipality of Bouarada was able to collect $28,000 after disclosing a list of businesses that had
not paid their municipal taxes. As noted above, FSVC has also helped start-ups identify creative
ways to re-use the data to create new products. Above all, open government policies help make
governments more transparent, accountable and inclusive, all critical elements in a young democracy
such as Tunisia.