Munathara – Debating our Destiny

The project aims to further institutionalize a culture of credible and non-partisan debate in the MENA region on relevant social, economic and political issues in different contexts. It reinforces the inclusion of MENA citizens of youth, women and other social groups including Arab refugees in the discussion to give them a voice to become potential opinion leaders. The poject is implemented by the Munathara Initiative, already a well positioned debate organization in the MENA region with a record of impartiality.

Región/País Tema Período Presupuesto
Países árabes y Europa
Cultura / sensibilización al desarrollo
Medios y libertad de información
Teacher training
Sensibilización al desarrollo
01.06.2020 - 31.12.2022
CHF  1’370’000
Contexto Despite the significant momentum in the MENA around debate as a means to peacefully address political disagreement and the prevention of violence and extremist views, television remains replete with vitriolic political talk programming. Critical viewers are wary of the thinly-veiled partisanship of national media that arguably fuels social divisions more than it resolves them. Young women and men as well as marginalized communities are largely side-lined from joining important public discussions surrounding the future of their countries despite having courageously made their grievances known in the uprisings since 2011. 
Objetivos Contribute to promoting a democratic, constructive, and inclusive political culture in the MENA region by organizing inclusive multi-media driven public debates.
Grupos destinarios

Direct beneficiaries:  Young MENA citizens aged 16 to 30 years old especially in Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Occupied Palestenian Territory (OPT), and MENA diaspora in numerous countries.

Indirect beneficiaries:  At least 45 local associations in the MENA region, traditional media outlets, social media outlets, political officials, researchers and the public in general including non project countries where citizens will follow the live programs.

Efectos a medio plazo

1.    Debate is popularized as a tool for MENA citizens to address major issues of public contention in a solution-oriented, fact-driven, and constructive manner.

2.    Voices of youth, women and marginalized citizens play a greater role in actively shaping political, social, economic, and cultural discourse in the MENA region. 


Resultados previstos:  

1) Munatharat Tounes, Tunisia’s first national television debate program (12 episodes).

2) Al Munathara, regional television debates open to all MENA youth and broadcast regionally (4 episodes).

3) Community outreach workshops for youth in 15 countries.

4)  #DDX (not an acronym), end-of-year televised cultural events, 2 throughout program period, each comprising 2 consecutive live productions.

5) Musabaqat Munathara, online video debate competitions (18 throughout project) to involve youth in debates.

6) Jeel al Jay, a web-TV talk program targeting a younger demographic of 16-24-year-old youth through social media (16 throughout project).

Resultados de las fases anteriores:  

The baseline for the single phase is the success of the  Tunisia Decides project funded by the Human Security Division during the 2019 Tunisia elections.

1) The Tunisia Decides run-off presidential debate of 11 October, 2019 had an independently-verified audience of 6.4 million citizens in Tunisia alone, the country’s largest TV audience on historical record for any single broadcast.

2) A total of 194 national, regional and international media outlets covered Tunisia Decides (goal: 20 media outlets).

3) 34 organizations across all 24 Tunisian governorates hosted workshops in which 928 (goal: 700) citizens were engaged in Tunisia Decides, 46% of whom were female.

Dirección / Officina Federal responsable COSUDE
Crédito Cooperación al desarrollo
Contrapartes del proyecto Contraparte del contrato
ONG internacional o extranjera
  • Other international or foreign NGO North

Otras contrapartes
The Munathara Initiative, a U.S. based NGO with a satellite office in Tunisia will be contracted to administer the funds for the implementation of the program. It has a status as a non-stock corporation registered in Virginia and holds Federal tax-exempt status under section 501(c)3 of the United States Internal Revenue Service. MI’s board is composed of four Directors: Belabbes Benkredda is the organization’s founding director who oversees the organization’s mission, vision, strategy, and communications. Iyad El-Baghdadi is a prominent Palestinian human rights activists based in Oslo, who supports MI with strategy, digital communications advice, and high-level media introductions. Joerg Schaeffer is a Berlin-based entrepreneur who supports MI’s senior leadership with financial planning and compliance. Emma Sky is a Yale professor and book author based in New Haven, United States. She facilitates introductions with internationnal partner organizations, academics, and politicians around the world.
Coordinación con otros proyectos y actores The action is significant and complementary to multiple Swiss Cooperation programs. Apart from scaling up a successful Tunisia-based project previously funded by HSD, it complements the upcoming phase III of Tunisia’s elections program (PSPET) by strengthening youth civic engagement in Tunisia and at the regional level while adopting an inclusive approach to many fragments of society. The cultural component of the project links artistic expression to social change and this echoes some of the objectives of SDC Tunisia’s prevention of violent extremism program (RESPECT) and the North Africa Cultural Program (NACP).
Presupuesto Fase en curso Presupuesto suizo CHF    1’370’000 Presupuesto actual suizo ya emitido CHF    1’000’000 Presupuesto inclusive contrapartes del proyecto CHF    3’910’009