Meet the InnovAgroWoMed Consortium - Guest of the week: CAWTAR team,Tunisia


We often talk about what they do in the project, but rarely about who they are, these women and men who are behind the implementation of InnovAgroWoMed.Today, we are going to discover the Center of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR), member of the InnovAgroWoMed consortium in charge of the implementation of project activities in Tunisia and responsible for the "communication" Work Package, with our guest Dr. Soukeina Bouraoui, Executive Director of CAWTAR


1- Can you give us a brief description of your institution:  CAWTAR?
CAWTAR was created in 1993, in response to the desire expressed by a number of Arab stakeholders, including local, regional and international institutions as well as governments, to establish a centre of academic research and field studies relating to women’s conditions.
In addition to collecting data, indicators, and statistics on women’s economic, social and political conditions, CAWTAR significantly contributes to capacity building of stakeholders, enhancing networking, building strategic partnership and strengthening advocacy for women’s rights.
CAWTAR’s mission is to contribute to empowering Arab women economically, socially and politically to fully exercise their human rights, through producing knowledge, capacity-building of regional and national institutions and civil society in advocacy for gender equality, advancement of women and strengthening their presence in decision-making positions.
CAWTAR is one of the few regional research and training institutions dedicated to gender, human rights, and development in the Arab region. 
For years now, we have been expanding our scope beyond the Arab world to, sub-Saharan Africa and belong.

2 - What is the role of the CAWTAR in the InnovAgroWoMed project’s consortium?
CAWTAR is mainly responsible for communication and awareness-raising in the InnovAgroWoMed project and is also involved in research, training, and capitalization. 
Our mission in this project is to design the communication strategy and plan of the project, to manage and monitor the implementation of the communication plan and the various communication activities and actions planned in the project, to consolidate the network of partners and stakeholders, to design and implement the awareness raising campaign programmed in the project, the digital strategy, the capitalization process, to translate all this into tangible data, measurable indicators and consistent outputs in line with the ENI CBC Med objectives. That said, this work is carried out not only at the local level but also in the other three (03) partner countries, namely Spain, Italy and Palestine, thanks to the collaboration of our project partners in each target country.

As for our participation in the research work, we participate in the field work at the local Tunisian level, thanks to the contribution of our local research team.
CAWTAR will also make available to the project and partners its experience and expertise in research and training in the field of social and economic inclusion of rural women in the MENA region as well as its network @nged which can contribute to the dissemination of awareness messages.

3 - Who are the members of your organization involved in the InnovAgroWoMed project? What kind of profiles and functions do they have?
I am the Executive Director of CAWTAR. My mission goes beyond conventional administrative aspects and does not limit me from closely following the progress of the mission through follow-up meetings and from providing my strategic advice and way forward when necessary.

We bring our expertise to the project, notably in strategic orientation and networking with local and regional actors, but above all through our contribution to the research work that I am piloting. 

In the CAWTAR team working for the InnovAgroWoMed project, there is Hedi Bchir, the Project Coordinator. Hedi has a strong experience in cross-border cooperation and regional project coordination; Next to him is Hana Trabelsi, journalist, PhD student in sociology of media, and communication senior expert. She is the Communication Team Leader of the project. For digital communication, we have Nifel Mahjoub, Social Media Manager of the project and e-learning specialist. Nifel background is IT engineer.

This CAWTAR communication team has been reinforced by Marco Buemi, senior expert in networking and raising awareness. His main responsibilities are to monitor the effectiveness of the project’s communication and to prepare awareness raising tools, establish a cross border network and synergies with other ENI CBC MED projects and EU programs, and develop the project’s capitalization and learning opportunities.

The team was then reinforced by two (02) researchers and gender specialists: Serena Romano and Fatma Mselmi. Serena is in charge of managing the InnovAgroWoMed Project at Tunisian level to develop the Training Model and of reporting to the University of Rome Torvergata UTV who manages the project at international level. Serena is an international gender expert, who has extensive experience in European Union projects in the Southern Mediterranean Region, the Eastern Partnership Countries and the Western Balkans. Regarding Fatma Mselmi, she is a gender consultant, expert in innovation, entrepreneurship, regional development, and women's economic development. Owner and CEO of two consulting offices.

As teamwork is one of our core values in CAWTAR, this team dedicated to InnovAgroWoMed can ask for any other assistance from any other collaborator at the Centre at any time.

4- What are your expectations of the project outputs? 
Our organization does not take part in any project without fully believing in its purpose, its strategic mission, and its challenges. We believe in the importance of InnovAgroWoMed and we are aware of the specific stakes and opportunities it offers to women and we will do everything necessary with the consortium to achieve the objectives we set at the very beginning.

The Innovation criterion is of great importance to CAWTAR. The composition of the consortium and its experience also make us confident to succeed in this project, build on its outputs and duplicate its best practices to scale up rural women social and economic inclusion.

It is true that the first steps were not easy given the health context and the particularity of working in cross-border cooperation, but our partners and our teams are still in a constructive and positive approach, and we look forward to seeing the outputs realized by the end of the project.