USAID-Tarabot worked with the Ministry of Industry and Minerals to implement administrative reforms through capacity building, institutional changes, 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, project management systems, and project planning methods. Capacity building was followed by hands-on application to deepen skills learned, as demonstrated by the ministry’s application of project management techniques on the construction of a galvanization factory in Baghdad and a bridge in Basrah. The ministry has also developed a policy for an industrial monitoring and evaluation system for Iraq, which is estimated to provide $8.45 million in monetary benefits over five years. To illustrate its ownership of these initiatives and ensure the sustainability of Tarabot’s work, the Government of Iraq allocated $139,000 in cost share funding to support Tarabot’s activities with the Ministry of Industry and Minerals.
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 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’s 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 benefits over five years. Currently, a working group led by the policy unit is setting indicators and deciding data collection methods and reporting arrangements.
USAID-Tarabot, in partnership with COMSEC, strengthened the capacity of the Ministry of Industry and Minerals by training 33 engineers on modern project management techniques using Project Management Institute (PMI) standards. Training was provided to engineers in PMI processes, estimation techniques and Microsoft Project, feasibility studies, and earned value management. With USAID-Tarabot’s assistance, engineers went on to apply their new skills on a project for a galvanization factory for construction materials in Baghdad, budgeted at US$16.3 million. The project was being executed with no controls on scheduling and budgeting, and was experiencing schedule slippage due to inaccurate estimates of work days. USAID-Tarabot intervened to help engineers sequence all activities and develop the project schedule using Microsoft Project techniques and earned value management. Through hands-on application of these tools alongside Tarabot advisors, ministry engineers have begun to translate their knowledge into practice.
USAID-Tarabot also supported the ministry in the reconstruction of a span of the Khalid Al Waleed Bridge in Basrah, a project budgeted at US$14.8 million. The project was experiencing delays due to problems in the original scheduling at the time of USAID-Tarabot’s intervention. Working alongside ministry engineers, USAID-Tarabot helped to reschedule the project to include milestones and deadlines to reduce variations in time estimates and accelerate project execution. Monitoring and controlling mechanisms were also put in place to enable project managers to track the percentage of work completed and to forecast problems and identify solutions.
USAID-Tarabot worked in partnership with the Government of Iraq to improve capital investment planning through capacity building and institutional reform measures. With the assistance of Tarabot, ministries are better equipped to select and plan investment projects that maximize value and impact in service delivery, and ensure that local projects are coordinated with national priorities as outlined in the National Development Plan 2013–2017.
USAID-Tarabot’s efforts with the Ministry of Construction and Housing focused on the development of criteria for the selection of projects based on cost-benefit analyses of economic, social, financial, spatial, and environmental factors with due consideration for development goals, risk levels, and direct and indirect impacts. To this end, a series of capacity building workshops and on-the-job trainings were held for 17 staff members from the Ministry of Industry and Minerals to enable them to use project selection criteria in project planning. The capacity building process consists of three phases: 1) assessing current planning processes, 2) aligning project selection with National Development Plan goals and developing selection criteria, and 3) applying selection criteria in the development of project plans.
To support the management of the ministry’s projects, USAID-Tarabot assisted the Ministry of Industry and Minerals to operate the Iraq Development Management System, an online software package for overseeing the ministry’s capital investment cycle. Tarabot provided 51 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.
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 Industry and Minerals to support the development and adoption of standardized procurement processes and mechanisms for procurement annual planning in line with international standards. While equipping 83 ministry staff 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.
Many countries in transition face the challenge of broadening the enabling environment to reform and stimulate economic growth and create jobs. Outdated and unnecessary laws and regulations impose efficiency costs on economic activity, while promoting corruption and reducing the government’s ability to deliver services. Tarabot worked to review legislation and regulations and made recommendations for their reform or elimination through an inclusive and transparent process built on extensive stakeholder input.
The Ministry of Industry and Minerals reviewed three business-related regulations that affect its sector with the support of USAID-Tarabot’s Iraq Solution for Regulatory and Administrative Refor (ISRAR) initiative. Legislation reviewed included the “Insurance Regulatory Act No. 10 of 2005” and the “Investment Law No. 13 of 2006.” In partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, Tarabot identified outdated laws and regulations that hamper economic and private sector growth, and set forth recommendations for their elimination or reform.
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. To enable ministry staff to identify opportunities and gaps in organizational development and service delivery, Tarabot trained nine members on the application of the Excellence model. Tarabot also helped the ministry to establish an Excellence unit and provided technical assistance to complete steps required to for the adoption of the ICEG model.