Since the beginning of 2023, Circul'R has been implementing a circular economy training program for Tunisian communes, on behalf of GIZ, the German government's cooperation agency, and its Tunisian partners, including the Centre de formation et d'appui à la décentralisation and the Agence nationale de gestion des déchets.
Why work with partners on the other side of the Mediterranean?
Circul'R's mission is to put our expertise at the service of the transition to a circular economy. This transition takes place at several levels: from small and medium-sized businesses to major corporations, in order to influence every link in the production chain, and, in the case of public policies, from their practical application at the inter-municipal level to their design and planning at regional and national levels. Guided by the notion of impact, we also wish to serve the transition to a circular economy on an international scale, when we feel that it makes sense and that our intervention meets the criteria of additionality.
These conditions are met in the following cases:
- Our implementation partner is an organization that can act as a catalyst for the circular economy in the geography in which we work. This is clearly the position of a cooperation agency like GIZ, which mobilizes emerging expertise in Europe to serve the public policies of a third country, and has the financial and technical clout to take significant action on a large scale (support for a national circular economy development strategy, for example).
- In a geographical context where circular economy skills are scarce and poorly structured, the tools we mobilize are aimed above all at leverage and knowledge transfer, so as to ensure that our local partners have the capacity to independently carry out the corresponding circular economy development strategy once our intervention is over. This is the case in the example of this project in Tunisia, which aims to strengthen human capital in the field of the circular economy for Tunisian municipalities.
- As French and European pioneers of the circular economy, we have an interest in working together with our partner: this shared interest, in the case of the project with GIZ in Tunisia, is the Mediterranean Sea, a common good that we must take care of and that we can protect thanks to the multiple benefits of the circular economy.
The support we provided to Tunisian local authorities was divided into 3 stages:
- As a first step, we trained a group of 16 Tunisian circular economy trainers, with a two-fold aim: to be able to count on their support - technical, linguistic, cultural, etc. - during training sessions organized with commune staff, and to be able to draw on this group's knowledge to continue developing knowledge of the circular economy in Tunisia in the medium to long term. - The aim was twofold: to be able to count on their support - technical, linguistic, cultural, etc. - during training sessions organized with municipal staff, and to be able to draw on the knowledge of this group to continue developing knowledge of the circular economy in Tunisia in the medium-to-long term;
- Then, the training module, co-constructed with the group of Tunisian trainers and adapted to the local context, was deployed, face-to-face in 4 regions of Tunisia, to nearly 80 municipal managers;
- Finally, an e-learning module is currently being developed to complete the pedagogical approach with a synthetic and agile support that can be deployed to a larger number of learners.
What are the first lessons we can draw from this program about the situation in Tunisia?