The technical paper aims to test that hypothesis by evaluating Tunisia and Egypt’s experiences with neoliberal adjustment against the SDGs.
The UNESCWA expert group meeting Towards Inclusive Development for Conflict Prevention, from 25 to 27 June 2019, acknowledged the need to re-examine the relationship between macroeconomic policies and their socio-economic impacts. This paper contributes to the debate and explores the tension between IFI-led reforms and the SDGs in the Arab region, using a comparative case study of Tunisia and Egypt. It is argued that both nations have faced challenges related to economic growth, job creation and wealth inequality since implementing neoliberal policies. Each country’s public institutions struggled, and continue to struggle, to prevent elite capture of state resources.