Accepted paper:

Tunisia's digital strategy - paving the way for inclusive socio-economic development?

Authors:

Kerstin Fritzsche (Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies)

Paper short abstract:

Analysis of how and in which way inclusive economic development, regional inequalities, gender equality, data security and privacy issues are addressed in Tunisia's digital development strategy drawing on text analysis and interviews.

Paper long abstract:

The paper explores to which extent and in which way inclusive economic development, regional inequalities, gender equality, data security, and privacy issues are addressed in Tunisia's strategy for digital economy and development. It presents preliminary findings from my PhD project on inclusive socio-economic development in Arab countries in the light of digital transformation processes. Following a concise review of the status quo of research on digitalisation in Tunisia, the paper introduces Tunisia's digital strategy. The analytical part of the paper rests on two pillars: First, an in-depth analysis of core documents outlining Tunisia's digital strategy is conducted. Such documents include in particular relevant official government and policy documents. This part of the analysis draws on methods of discourse analysis. To complement it, the paper will, second, present preliminary findings from interviews with different representatives from political parties, civil society, and the economy (e.g. young entrepreneurs, trade associations). The interviews will be conducted during a field visit in Tunis in April 2018. Aside from informative interviews, used to validate findings from the discourse analysis of key texts, also a number of narrative interviews will be conducted to learn more about interviewees' perceptions regarding potentials and threats of digitalization for inclusive social and economic development in Tunisia. Based on the findings of the analysis, the paper will conclude by discussing their potential implications for inclusive socio-economic development in Tunisia and point to open research questions.

panel D01
Digital inequalities and development (Paper)