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Forced displacement is among the most pressing challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean region. In the Middle East and Turkey, the Syrian refugee crisis involves humanitarian challenges coupled with significant spillover effects in neighboring regions. After six years of Syrian conflict and displacement, Syrian refugees are seen as medium-term stayers and urban communities are especially affected by their presence, as refugees mostly reside in towns and cities.

The Government of Tunisia sought to move forward its decentralization agenda in response to citizens’ demands for more accountable, effective, and efficient government. To gain knowledge on how to best operationalize an ambitious agenda for decentralization and local government empowerment, the Government participated in a knowledge exchange with Turkey. It hoped to gain the experience of good practice approaches in shifting from ex ante control to ex post oversight and increasing the efficacy of local government service delivery and management.

The government of Vietnam (GOV) wanted to reform its inadequate and corrupt social security administration in favor of a modern, fair, and transparent system. Although the government had outlined a strategy, it felt that the country did not have the institutional capacity to implement it, and so it looked to the World Bank for help.

To improve solid waste management and reduce harmful emissions and their negative impacts on the environment, the Government of Romania participated in an exchange with Turkey. They gained a broader understanding of the technical components of waste management, innovative methods to convert waste into energy, and the importance of a strong waste management plan to sustainable economic and green growth.


To ensure universal access to affordable telecommunications services, Tunisian and Mauritanian officials engaged in an exchange with Turkey on ways to reform and liberalize their telecom sectors, with an emphasis on broadband. They learned how to open up telecom markets to competition, align regulatory frameworks to EU standards, and balance investment incentives with protecting competition in fiber optic networks.