Jihane Ben Yahia brings particular expertise on governance and rule of law having worked with local, international and public stakeholders in Africa and in the Middle East. Jihane’s current focus is anti-corruption, security sector reform and disarmament affairs.
• Regional Organised Crime Observatory Coordinator for North Africa at the Institute for Security Studies (Feb. 2018 – December 2019)
• Independent Consultant for Stream House, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Danish Institute Against Torture, Heinrich Boll Stiftung and the American University in Cairo (March 2015 – December 2016)
• Policy Analyst for the Tunisian Observatory of Economics and Project Manager at AL Bawsala (Jan. 2014 – July 2015)
Growing up in Tunisia during Ben Ali’s dictatorship Jihane, from a very young age, was sensitive to what the absence of human rights and a rampant corruption may cause in terms of injustice and unequal development. Following a selective two-year intensive course in economics and law in France, she got back to her home country in 2009 to pursue a Bachelor in public law, a first Master degree in public law and political sciences before ending with a second Master degree in International Law in international organisations management at the Sorbonne Law School.
Naturally, her first internship took place at the Corruption and Economic Crimes Branch of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime headquarter in Vienna where she gained her first knowledge of the international anti-corruption legal framework. Right after, she was solicited to join an award-winning Tunisian NGO post-Arab Spring ‘Al Bawsala’ (compass in Arabic) where she developed and managed the first open-data platform on State budget. There, she could develop her advocacy skills amongst the Members of Parliament in favour of open-budget principles as an accountability tool and by ensuring a permanent monitoring of the Finance Commission debates. This first challenging professional experience coupled with her economics and legal background enabled her to develop her research and analysis skills at the Tunisian Observatory of Economics where she researched and published her first policy paper on Finance Laws, Decentralisation Code, Competition and Price Law and Public-Private Partnership Law.
This policy-oriented experience brought her back to the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes as a Legal Consultant where she mainly provided analysis on legal anti-corruption data from various States Parties with regard to the UN Convention Against Corruption and drafted official documents as part of the Implementation Review Mechanism of the Convention. In parallel, she consulted with various stakeholders on a project of judiciary’s capacity building of the treatment of torture cases (Dignity), on the governance of natural resources (Heinrich Boll Stiftung) and on the economic power of data in the MENA region (American University in Cairo) – to name but a few.
In 2018, she joined the South-African based research institute, Institute for Security Studies, (ISS) as the Regional Observatory Coordinator for North Africa of the EU-funded ENACT project « Enhancing Africa’s Response to Transnational Organised Crime » implemented by the ISS and Interpol in collaboration with the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime. There, she conducted evidence-based policy and research on transnational organised crime.
In 2019, she joined the Stream House network to support the implementation of a GIZ capacity building project with the Tunisian anti-corruption body.