Supporting Job Creation for Young Tunisians from Marginalized Communities

Funding Agency:
Department of State


The Department of State’s Bureau of Near East Affairs Office of Assistance Coordination (NEA/AC), announces a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for a new project designed to increase access to employment opportunities for young Tunisians in marginalized governorates through job training, job placement, and training programs for entrepreneurs.  

Unemployment continues to be a significant problem throughout Tunisia. In the six years since the Jasmine Revolution that ousted the Ben Ali regime, the country's democratic progress and stability have been threatened by economic stagnation and unemployment. A World Bank assessment from fall 2016 indicated that the main risks to the economic outlook in Tunisia remain the high level of youth unemployment. While numerous efforts are ongoing to address this issue, both from the international community and the government of Tunisia, unemployment among the youth remains above 35% and is particularly concentrated in interior regions, resulting in continued demand for initiatives to provide additional training and support This ongoing issue was one of the main triggers of the social upheaval in 2011 and is a key source of frustration that makes some youth more prone to recruitment by extremist groups. The Tunisian government has tried to contain unemployment by initiating vast recruitment campaigns in the public sector. However, the use of public sector recruitment failed to adequately address the problem and has created a self-perpetuating cycle wherein unemployment continues to rise and the public sector has to continually expand to contain it, creating budgetary pressures. 

Youth unemployment in Tunisia is based on a few key factors. On the supply side, these include rapid demographic growth, increased female participation in labor markets, and inadequate and outdated education and vocational training systems, which result in skills mismatches between available job seekers and private sector employers. On the demand side, factors include non-conducive business environments and a lack of entrepreneurship culture.

Successful applicants must demonstrate knowledge of Tunisia’s job market constraints and opportunities, and propose project activities that will result in increased employment for young Tunisians. The applicant must work collaboratively with the Government of Tunisia and with private sector organizations. The successful applicant will utilize and expand local capacity and technical expertise to bridge the gap between education and job market needs and link entrepreneurship and job placement activities, removing supply side expertise barriers to employment. 

Applicants may submit only one application to this NOFO and each application may include activities in no more than four governorates. 

  • Duke Internal Deadline: June 26, 2017
  • Sponsor Deadline: July 10, 2017

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants include U.S. or foreign non-profit organizations; for-profit organizations; private institutions of higher education, public or state institutions of higher education; public international organizations; and small businesses with function and regional experience in the areas of Tunisia’s economic landscape and economic governance, jobtraining and skills development, entrepreneurship, and job placement. NEA/AC strongly encourages applications from civil society organizations headquartered in the Middle East and North Africa region. International non-governmental organizations with principal bases of operations outside the Middle East and North Africa are also encouraged to apply. 



Amount Description

Estimated Award Ceiling: $1,000,000

Estimated Award Floor: $750,000 

Funding Type





International Opportunities
Social Sciences

Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor's restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke, anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF.

* A letter of support from dean or chair - 1 to 1.5 pages
* Project summary - 2 to 4 pages
* CV or Biosketch of project leader

Please submit internal materials through My Research Proposal.(Code ILN)

Instructions for setting up your account and uploading internal applications can be found here: Instructions_FINAL.pdf

Internal Deadline

June 26, 2017

External Deadline

July 10, 2017