• Historically, civil society organizations in both Jordan and Tunisia have experienced periods of significant suppression and increased freedoms, causing variant levels of influence within the policy sphere throughout each nation’s history.
  • In Jordan, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) fulfill an essential role in the provision of social protection services, particularly for groups uncovered by national protection mechanisms, such as refugees.
  • Tunisia’s current social dialogue mechanism – the National Council for Social Dialogue – represents a positive step towards the increased role of CSOs in social protection policy formation but is largely dominated by trade unions and thus lacks comprehensive representation of the Tunisian population, particularly informal workers.
  • Tunisia’s civil society has played an important role in generating legislative reforms for social protection, particularly for women in rural areas and agricultural workers.
  • Jordan’s current social dialogue mechanisms are sporadic, generally reactive rather than proactive, and are largely unformalized. Formal platforms for dialogue, such as the Economic and Social Council and the Tripartite Committee, have failed to adequately provide a forum for dialogue. Furthermore, past instances of social dialogue for the creation of social protection policies- such as that of the 2019 National
  • Social Protection Strategy- have been non-comprehensive or superficial.
  • Restrictions on association in Jordan put significant strain on the advocacy capabilities of CSOs to influence social protection policy. Conversely, Tunisian organizations face considerably fewer governmental constraints when conducting operations.
  • The relevant civil society actors working in social protection policy in each country are similar but have variant levels of importance. For example, trade unions dominate Tunisia’s social dialogue sphere, while they are quite weak within Jordan.
  • CSOs face a number of additional challenges in both Jordan and Tunisia, such as poor communication with governmental bodies as well as limited capacities due to financial and technical constraints.

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