In 2013, following the Arab Spring, the Network of European Foundations brought together a group of European foundations to establish Fikra, the Tunisia Joint Fund, with the aim of contributing to the transition of Tunisian society.
Fikra took the decision to trust in the ideas of local communities in the north-west region of Tunisia and invest in realising those ideas.
With this approach, Fikra projects are building local capacity and supporting entrepreneurship by offering customized training and coaching to potential grantees, as well as funding projects with relatively small grants.
Fikra also works on establishing ‘proof of concept’ for its strongest projects, to encourage other donors to step in. Its experience shows that even small grants can improve the life of families and small villages.
The pilot phase 2013-2015 has demonstrated that Fikra is a real changemaker and its efforts are worth continuing: from the 47 funded projects supported, 33 are sustained at the time of writing.
In 2016, Fikra launched its third call for ideas and in 2017 it will embrace fresh strategic orientations linked to new partnerships with supporters from within Tunisia and abroad. For this new phase, Fikra will contribute to strengthening development effectiveness in the area of sustainable development by endorsing three targets of the SDGs in its strategy.
For more information, email Amina Ben Fadhl, programme manager at Fikra.