USAID-Tarabot worked in partnership with the Government of Iraq to improve capital investment planning through a range of capacity building and institutional reform measures. With the assistance of USAID-Tarabot, ministerial and provincial partners are better equipped to select and plan investment projects that maximize value and impact in service delivery, and ensure local projects are coordinated and in line with national priorities.
USAID-Tarabot, in partnership with the Ministry of Planning, is working with the Government of Iraq to make use of its investment budget through fair and transparent procurement systems, ultimately leading to a more favorable environment for international businesses, and better services for the Iraqi people.
The implementation of major works projects in Iraq has historically suffered from deficiencies in scheduling, budgeting, and monitoring and controlling. As such, service delivery is negatively affected as projects are delayed, run over budget, or sometimes canceled altogether. With the support of USAID-Tarabot and the Council of Ministers’ Secretariat (COMSEC), many government entities have worked to address these shortcomings by embracing modern project management tools.
Long lines and complicated procedures are pervasive obstacles to public service delivery in Iraq. To address this, USAID-Tarabot introduced the One-Stop-Shop service center model to make a rapid and tangible impact on the Government of Iraq’s ability to deliver services. Tarabot’s service center design offers modern physical infrastructure and efficient automated systems to improve services, while promoting public accountability and citizen satisfaction.
In 2007, the Socio Economic Survey, carried out by the Ministry of Planning, revealed that about one-fourth of Iraqis lived under the poverty line. In response, the Government of Iraqi took corrective measures, including the overhaul of the cash distribution system through Social Safety Net programs to combat poverty and ensure access to sufficient financial aid and benefits for the unemployed and disabled from the Iraqi government.
The Iraq Center for Excellence in Government (ICEG) is the culmination of years of effort by USAID-Tarabot and its predecessor, Tatweer, to improve the institutional development and performance of Iraqi government entities. The ICEG was formally adopted by the Council of Ministers’ Secretariat (COMSEC) in June 2014, illustrating the commitment of the Iraqi government to furthering initiatives in sustainable and transformational institutional development.
Most countries, especially those in transition or development, face the challenge of speeding up and broadening the “enabling environment” to reform and stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and raise living standards. Outdated and unnecessary laws and regulations impose massive efficiency costs on economic activity, while promoting corruption and reducing government performance in providing services, protecting people, and the environment.
USAID-Tarabot assisted the Government of Iraq in strengthening institutional capacity for public policy making in eight ministries to enable a more cohesive utilization of the ministries’ resources, structures, tools, mechanisms, and purview while ensuring greater compliance with the national policy agenda and accountable to stakeholders. To this end, USAID-Tarabot provided workshops on the process of public policy making focusing on policy development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Decentralization has long been a topic of discussion in Iraq. Under USAID-Tarabot, those discussions have graduated to practical steps–hundreds of them. Ministries have begun to devolve authorities to the provinces, and governors’ offices are assembling compelling overtures for more control. USAID-Tarabot’s decentralization initiative has played an essential role in this complex process of legislative reform.
To improve the management and public administrative capacity of the Ministry of Education, USAID-Tarabot trained a critical mass of Ministry of Education staff in the development of core area skills in project management, fiscal management and budgeting, information technology, procurement, and leadership and communications.