civic education
In post-authoritarian states, there is no tradition of political participation, and citizens often lack the necessary skills to demand participation, and to put it into practice. The excessive culture of protest in the Arab spring countries is a typical example of how political participation is explored and practiced after the removal of an oppressive regime. One of the prerequisites for this process is the availability of verifiable information.

For this reason, MICT has offered an orientation tool to voters in countries such as Iraq, Sudan and Tunisia, a tool known as Stemwijzer in the Netherlands, Wahl-O-Mat in Germany, or VoteMatch in the UK. All of these tools allow voters to compare their opinions on political topics with the positions of the parties participating in the elections. The party which has the highest number of matches with the users' opinions is recommended to the user. This playful engagement with political positions is contextualised with background information about central discourses during the electoral campaign, and about the parties themselves.

Creating the database for VoteMatch is a complex process, which has a number of advantages for both established and new parties, and for the voters themselves. It allows parties to engage with questions that may not play a major role during the electoral campaign, but are relevant for the future. Thus, parties can enhance their profile, and develop their positions on questions that otherwise may not have been addressed.

The second instrument for civic education implemented by MICT is an internet platform, which has become known as “Parliament Watch” in Germany. Parliament Watch is jointly administered by MICT and Parliament Watch International, an organisation based in Hamburg. In cooperation with the Tunisian NGO Bawsala, Parliament Watch has been established in Tunisia, where it was offered to the public on the website Citizens can use the website to contact their elected representatives, and follow their choices in parliamentary votes. The interactive part of the website is complemented by biographical and political background information about the members of parliament. The project supports bilateral communication between politicians and citizens and aims at increasing the level of transparency in politics, as well as increasing the options for participation for citizens.