In spring 2022, the City Diplomacy Lab partnered with Columbia Global Centers | Tunis and the International Association of Francophone Mayors to test and refine its capacity-building methodology.
Within this framework, two weekly courses were held at the Tunis center:
- Course 1: Mixed migration and city diplomacy in Africa: key issues, concepts, and tools for action – week of May 9, 2022.
- Course 2: Driving the digital transition in your city: how African local authorities are appropriating the smart city concept – week of June 6, 2022.
The courses were attended by 16 municipal officials, each in charge of the subject matter at a different municipality in Francophone Africa.
The teaching methodology employed presents a threefold nature:
- Highly participatory training on the latest theoretical and practical developments in the subject and on the added value of city diplomacy.
- Meetings with key players in the subject, including the international organization, NGOs, and distinguished academics, as well as a meeting with the mayor of Tunis at the city hall to learn more about good practices in the field.
- Group and individual work aimed at creating a draft action or strategy by each participating official.
Each course also included moments of conviviality and discovery of the host city’s tangible and intangible heritage.
These include a guided tour of the Medina by the Association of the Preservation of the Medina and dinners in restaurants located in historic buildings.
The anonymous evaluation conducted following each training made it possible to measure participants’ high degree of approval.
100% of the participants were satisfied with the pedagogical component of the training. Moreover:
- 85% of them attributed the highest grade to the usefulness of the content learned in reference to their daily tasks.
- 75% attributed the highest grade regarding the exchange of best practices with participants and peer learning.
This methodology is the model for the global city capacity-building program currently being developed by the UN (UN-Habitat, UNECE, and UNESCWA), the City Diplomacy Lab, and Columbia Global Centers in Paris, Amman, Nairobi, and Tunis.