USAID-Tarabot worked with the Ministry of Human Rights to implement administrative reforms through capacity building, institutional changes, service delivery reengineering, and the introduction of public policy processes. Sustainability was foundational to USAID-Tarabot’s training of ministry staff in new tools and procedures for policy development and coordination, standardized procurement systems, and innovative processes for organizational development. To illustrate its ownership of these initiatives and ensure the sustainability of Tarabot’s work, the Government of Iraq allocated $105,000 in cost share funding to support Tarabot’s activities with the Ministry of Human Rights.
USAID-Tarabot assisted executive offices of the Government of Iraq and key service ministries to address public policy issues in a systematic way, and to introduce new tools and procedures for policy coordination in support of public administrative reform and better service delivery. Through the introduction of evidence-based policymaking practices, Tarabot worked to strengthen decision making processes and to promote coordinated and mutually reinforcing policies across government entities.
The Ministry of Human Rightsstrengthened 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 an important 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.
USAID-Tarabot, in partnership with the Ministry of Planning, is working with the Government of Iraq to execute its investment budget through fair and transparent procurement systems, enabling a favorable environment for international and domestic businesses and better services for the Iraqi people.
USAID-Tarabot worked with the Ministry of Human Rights to support the development and adoption of standardized procurement processes, and mechanisms for annual procurement planning in line with international standards. While equipping four ministry members with this knowledge and these tools, Tarabot also supported the ministry in developing procurement plans for 2012 and 2013 to guide their procurement activities.
Center of Excellence
The Iraq Center for Excellence in Government (ICEG), formed under COMSEC, is the culmination of years of effort by USAID-Tarabot and its predecessor, Tatweer, to improve the performance of Iraqi government entities. It is a public entity that encourages leadership and innovation in service delivery by providing frameworks and guidelines for organizational management and institutional capacity development through the application of the Excellence model, which consists of seven criteria in the areas of leadership, people, knowledge, strategy, resources, processes, and results. The Excellence model provides a holistic view of an entity and how these elements relate to one another to affect organizational performance and results achieved.
USAID-Tarabot assessed the capacity development the Ministry of Human Rights in the areas of quality management, organizational development, and process development to support their adoption of the Excellence model. Ongoing technical support was provided in the documentation and review of organizational processes to implement short term, high impact plans in service delivery along Excellence guidelines. USAID-Tarabot recommended two services–the search for missing persons since 2003 in Iraq, and the search for war prisoners from both the first and second Gulf Wars–for process re-engineering to reduce bureaucracies and waiting time, and improve responses to families. Furthermore, to enable ministry staff to identify opportunities and gaps in organizational development and service delivery, Tarabot trained four members on the application of the Excellence model.
In November 2013, the ministry used $50,000 of its cost share funds to send its Institutional Development and Excellence unit to the King Abdullah Excellence Center in Jordan for a ten-day study tour to learn about Center of Excellence processes and mechanisms. With this knowledge, the ministry is better positioned to reengineer its internal work processes for greater efficiency and functionality, and to implement core ICEG components that will facilitate improved service delivery.
Iraq Development Management System
To support the management of the ministry’s projects, USAID-Tarabot assisted the Ministry of Human Rights to operate the Iraq Development Management System (IDMS), an online software package for overseeing and managing the ministry’s capital investment cycle. The system serves as a reliable and credible source of information on the distribution of development projects according to sector, location, and implementing institution. The IDMS feeds information for planning into the decision-making process, and illuminates project implementation performance by ministry, sector, or individual projects. This information allows government officials to make wiser decisions with its capital investment resources, and to better identify and address any weaknesses in implementation. This critical step in modernizing Iraq’s public administration contributes to improved efficiency in the capital investment cycle, and promotes transparency and accountability in the allocation of development funds.
Tarabot provided 13 ministry staff members with training on the system’s initiation and maintenance, including how to update and enter project information into the system, query it for information, and generate reports on projects and their implementation progress.