The youth and Tunisia's political transition

Achref Aouadi studied International Political Economy and is the founder of IWatch, one of the prominent Tunisian NGOs established after the revolution. He took part in the Passion and Politics Lab.

When the whole world was talking about the role of youth in the Arab Spring, Achref Aouadi and Mouheb Ben Garoui wanted to show that young people can go beyond protesting in the streets in order to transform their societies. They founded IWatch, an institutional structure to fight corruption that is led by young people.  

With the help of the change facilitation skills that Achref had gained in the Passion and Politics Lab, they were able to successfully work through the challenges and internal conflicts that IWatch was facing after its first successes: The quickly growing network of volunteers was institutionalised in order to sustainably contribute to Tunisia’s democratisation.  

The 2014 elections were observed by IWatch with thousands of volunteers. After the elections, the free, transparent and smooth running of the election process was acknowledged by international leaders worldwide. International election observation delegations stated that Tunisians can be proud of the election process and of the new standards their country has set for transitioning to democracy.

IWatch is also engaged with conducting political surveys, thereby facilitating dialogue between different stakeholder groups and setting standards for politicians' attention to citizen's needs. The organisation is also successfully working on making political processes more inclusive: Every year since it was founded, it has organised Youth Councils in which young people come together with politicians to discuss their projects, ideas, and concerns.

"This approach was all new to me. It was so different from all the leadership trainings that I had received before. I have developed the ability to put myself into other’s shoes and to handle situations in which people lose time arguing instead of discussing fruitfully."

Achref Aouadi, Founder of IWatch