Oral history interview with Rafik Halouani, 2015
Rafik Halouani is Mourakiboun's General Coordinator. Mourakiboun is a leading Tunisian NGO that specializes in the observation and monitoring of elections in Tunisia. Mr. Halouani is one of the four winners of the National Democratic Institute's (NDI) Democracy Awards for 2015.
Scope and Contents
Rafik Halouani describes the NGO landscape around the time of the Tunisian Revolution, in 2010 and 2011. He narrates the process of coalition building among civil society organizations after the Revolution. Mourakiboun's largest challenge was mobilizing non-partisan volunteers; in terms of informational technology and data collection, the organization was well-equipped. Halouani then explains that the number of NGOs exploded after the revolution, but they had difficulties working together and funding was scarce in Tunisia's uncertain environment. He then speaks to the trusting relationship between Tunisians and the NGOs that strive to represent their interests. He enumerates Mourakiboun's donors and projects. Halouani says that Mourakiboun uses Internet communications to mobilize individuals in the field, rather than doing e-activism. These efforts brought him farther from Tunis and "into the countryside." Halouani comments that since the revolution, politicians have turned away from the grassroots, and that NGOs should play a role in uplifting those voices. He articulates Mourakiboun's contributions in Tunis versus different regions of the country. Halouani then turns to the national dialogue, describing NGO involvement in writing the new constitution and the role of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet in the transition. He evaluates the Troika and technical governments. Finally, Halouani speaks to Mourakiboun's goals, the tradeoff between security and human rights advocacy, and his own hopes for Tunisia's future.
Copyright by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2015.