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.
USAID-Tarabot also signed a memorandum of understanding with Prime Minister’s Office to establish an office of policy development and helped establish public policy units in line ministries. Ministry and executive body officials learned how to conduct stakeholder analysis and how to engage in consultation with NGOs and non-governmental entities their inputs in the policy formulation. USAID-Tarabot assisted the ministries in developing strategic plans and the Standards Operating Procedures for each public policy unit, in addition to posting their policy activities online as a key step for the sustainability of policy activities. USAID-Tarabot also taught the ministries how to do economic impact assessments, with the current batch of policies producing US$64 billion in monetary benefits. Ministry policy advisors were also invited by USAID-Tarabotto a three day conference on public policy making organized by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Lebanon in March, 2014.
Central Executive Reform
USAID-Tarabot assisted the central government of Iraq in its policy development agenda by working with line ministries to develop policies that align with the central government’s priorities. These include the Ministries of Trade and Electricity developed public policies assigned to them by COMSEC, as priorities from the Government's Program 2011-2014, with USAID-Tarabot’s assistance. The policies are being implemented. The Ministry of Industry and Minerals also translated the Industrial Strategy of Iraq into actionable policy program. Currently, the Ministry of Industry and Minerals’ policy unit is working to submit the first list of industrial pilot initiatives to accompany launch the Industrial Strategy of Iraq. The Ministry of Environment developed a policy on “Pollution of the Tigris River” that is derived from the National Environmental Strategy and Action Plan for Iraq (2013-2017). The Ministry of Environment’s policy on “Depletion of Ozone Layer Gases” is a response to the international commitments of Iraq, such as the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
USAID-Tarabot engaged 32 non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations in public policy roundtables with the Government of Iraq, which were facilitated by nine of Iraq’s universities. The NGOs and universities were also trained on the role of the private sector, universities, NGOs and the media in public policy and USAID-Tarabot recommended their involvement during the assessment phase of public policy development to all of its government partners, to ensure open, equitable and informed public policies.
Prime Minister’s Advisory Council
In the course of 2012–2014, policy experts supported by Tarabot developed 13 policy proposals of which 11 were accepted regarding the Iraq postal service, youth unemployment, faculty rankings and promotions, university admissions, ground water, desertification, cybercrimes, curtailing invasive species, procedures to implement investment budgets, revitalization of scientific research, and the economics of the poultry industry in Iraq. Policies were produced in broad consultation with stakeholders, and two policies–the Iraqi postal system and cybercrimes–were publicly debated with the participation of government officials and Iraqi and international experts.
Ministry of Industry and Minerals
The Ministry of Industry and Minerals established the Industrial Policy and Reform Unit with the assistance of USAID-Tarabot. USAID-Tarabot provided training for four of the Ministry’s staff, assisted in producing the unit’s strategic plan and introducing standard operating procedures. The Ministry with USAID-Tarabot technical assistance finalized the Iraqi Industrial Strategy and designed a policy program for its implementation. The ministry’s policy unit also developed a policy for institutionalization on industrial monitoring and evaluation system of Iraq, which was estimated to provide $8.45 million in monetary benefits over four years. Currently, a working group led by the policy unit is setting indicators and deciding data collection methods and reporting arrangements.
Ministry of Electricity
The Ministry of Electricity assisted by USAID-Tarabot established a policy unit in the Planning and Studies Office, trained its members and Directors General on policy process management and analytical methods, and produced the unit’s strategic plan. Together the Ministry and USAID-Tarabot also introduced standard operating procedures for the policy unit. With USAID-Tarabot technical assistance the unit developed a public policy for introducing energy efficiency in the electricity sector of Iraq, which was estimated to produce US$63.48 billion in monetary benefits. The policy unit held policy consultations with the Ministry of Electricity’s senior officials. Currently, the Ministry is working on the implementation of policy recommendations, namely on establishing the electricity sector regulatory authority.
Ministry of Trade
The Ministry of Trade with the help of USAID-Tarabot established a policy unit in the Foreign Economic Relations Directorate. Together the Ministry and USAID-Tarabot trained the unit’s members on policy process management and analytical methods, produced the unit’s strategic plan, and introduced standard operating procedures for policy production. The unit with USAID-Tarabot technical assistance developed a public policy for streamlining the trade agreements of Iraq, which was estimated at providing US$431.3 million in monetary benefits over five years. The policy unit held policy consultations with the Ministry of Trade’s senior officials. Currently, the ministry is implementing the policy through establishing an integrated trade management information system and producing a new procedure for managing trade agreements.
Ministry of Agriculture
The Ministry of Agriculture assisted by USAID-Tarabot strengthened its institutional capacity for public policy making. Members of the Policy and Strategy Support Unit were trained on policy process management and analytical methods, and produced a strategic plan and standard operating procedures. Senior agricultural experts from the policy unit along with USAID-Tarabot produced a proposal for setting a governance framework for the Iraqi agricultural policy implementation that includes enabling frameworks, institutional arrangements, coordination mechanisms and four thematic clusters. The proposal was submitted to Minister of Agriculture for consideration in the spring of 2014.
Ministry of Environment
The Ministry of Environment established a public policy unit as a separate department within the Ministry with the assistance of USAID-Tarabot. Sixteen policy advisors completed a training course in public policy making process in Iraq, delivered by USAID-Tarabot. The Ministry with the help of USAID-Tarabot developed a strategic plan and the Standards Operating Procedures for the Ministry’s public policy unit. The Ministry of Environment identified two environmental issues and drafted policy papers called “Reducing the Use of Gases that Deplete the Ozone Layer”, and “Tigris River Pollution Caused from Sewage within the City of Baghdad” together with USAID-Tarabot. The two policies were finalized and submitted to Minister for approval and implementation in the spring of 2014.
Ministry of Migration and Displacement
The Ministry of Migration and Displacement along with USAID-Tarabot developed the strategic plan and Standards Operating Procedures for the Ministry’s public policy unit, in addition to posting the Ministry’s policy activities online. Together, the Ministry and USAID-Tarabot finalized the establishment of the public policy unit within the organizational structures of the ministry. The Ministry’s public policy advisors identified one issue facing Iraq and drafted a policy paper on “Slums in Iraq.” The policy paper was finalized and submitted to the Deputy Minister for approval and implementation in early 2014.
Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs together with USAID-Tarabot strengthened the institutional capacity for public policy making of the Ministry by training 10 policy advisors. The Ministry and USAID-Tarabot developed the strategic plan and Standards Operating Procedures for the Ministry’s public policy unit. The Ministry’s advisors identified two issues to be addressed by policy papers with the titles of “Policy for Handicaps in Public and Private Work Places,” and “Iraqi Homeless Orphans.”The policy paper on “Iraqi Homeless Orphans” wasfinalized and submitted to Minister for approval and implementation in June, 2014.
Ministry of Human Rights
The Ministry of Human Rights strengthened its institutional capacity for public policy making when USAID-Tarabot trained eight policy advisors in the public policy making process. The Ministry and USAID-Tarabot also developed the strategic plan and Standards Operating Procedures for the Ministry’s public policy unit, in addition to posting all of the ministry’s policy activities online. Ministry advisors identified one issue to be resolved and drafted a “Violence Against Women in Iraq” policy paper. The policy paper was finalized and submitted to the Minister for approval and implementation in April 2014.
USAID-Tarabot strengthened the institutional capacity for public policy making in the Presidency Diwan by establishing a public policy unit known as the Office of Policy Development and trained 10 officials. The Presidency Diwan and USAID-Tarabot developed jointly a strategic plan and drafted standard operating procedures for the Office of Policy Development. USAID-Tarabot assisted the Presidency Diwan in developed their “Brain Gain” and “Homeless Orphans in Iraq” policies. Both policies were adopted by the Presidency Diwan in the spring of 2014.