USAID-Tarabot worked with the Ministry of Migration and Displaced 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 on procurement systems and tools, planning methods to enhance coordination in national development, and public policy to address citizens’ needs. To illustrate ownership of these initiatives and ensure the sustainability of Tarabot’s work, the Government of Iraq allocated $261,000 in cost share funding to support USAID-Tarabot’s activities with the Ministry of Migration and Displaced.
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 Migration and Displaced, 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-Tarabotfinalized the establishment of the public policy unit within the organizational structure of the ministry. The ministry’s public policy advisors identified an important issue facing Iraq and drafted a policy paper on slums in Iraq. The policy paper was finalized and submitted to the minister for approval and implementation. USAID-Tarabot mentored the policy unit through the development of the policy’s implementation plan. Also, with USAID-Tarabot’s assistance, the ministry is developing a coordination mechanism for the implementation of the “Brain Gain” policy. To date, a committee has been established and a proposal outlining the Government’s approach to policy coordination has been drafted and is being reviewed by the ministry’s leadership.
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 Migration and Displaced 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 5 ministry staff members to enable to them to apply project selection criteria in project planning.
To support the management of the ministry’s projects, USAID-Tarabot assisted the Ministry of Migration and Displaced to operate the Iraq Development Management System, an online software package for overseeing the ministry’s capital investment cycle. Tarabot provided 8 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 Migration and Displaced to support the development and adoption of standardized procurement processes, standard bidding documents, and mechanisms for annual procurement planning in line with international standards. While equipping 15 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. Additionally, Tarabot developed a ministry procurement webpage for the issuing of tenders, a tool that will enable the ministry to advertise contracts in a fair, open, and consistent manner.
USAID-Tarabot, in partnership with COMSEC, strengthened the capacity of the Ministry of Migration and Displaced to more efficiently implement its capital investment budget by training 19 engineers on modern project management techniques using Project Management Institute (PMI) standards. Training was provided to engineers in PMI processes, estimation techniques and MS Project, feasibility studies, and earned value management. With Tarabot’s assistance, engineers went on to apply their new skills on a project for the construction of a ministry directorate building in Muthanna, budgeted at $2 million. Tarabot assisted in developing the project’s work schedule, and estimating costs and timelines. Similar techniques were also used on a project for the construction of a directorate building in Kirkuk, budgeted at $5 million. Through hands-on application alongside Tarabot advisors, ministry engineers have begun to translate their knowledge into practice.
The Ministry of Migration and Displaced has embraced the project management systems promoted by Tarabot through the establishment of a Project Management Office, which will oversees capital investment projects and ensure effective implementation through the use of internationally recognized methodologies.
USAID-Tarabot introduced the One-Stop-Shop service center model, in partnership with COMSEC, to streamline public service delivery in Iraq. These service centers are founded on three pillars: 1) appropriate physical infrastructure based on international standards, 2) effective and efficient automated systems through process re-engineering, and 3) public accountability and citizen-oriented services through customer awareness and training. Tarabot assisted the ministry to analyze and map services delivered by the National Center for the Register of Returnees, and provided recommendations for the business process reengineering of 11 services.
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 all capacity development initiatives accomplished with Ministry of Migration and Displaced in the areas of quality management, organizational development, and process development to support their adoption of the Excellence model. Ongoing technical assistance was provided in the documentation and review of organizational processes to implement short term, high impact plans in service delivery along Excellence guidelines. Tarabot recommended two services for process for process reengineering: 1) reducing the steps required to register for benefits, and 2) facilitating contracts for housing for Palestinian refugees. To enable ministry staff to identify opportunities and gaps in organizational development and service delivery, Tarabot trained 33 ministry staff members on the application of the Excellence model. Additionally, two-year institutional development plans were developed with the ministry, which will guide the ministry’s objectives in establishing the Excellence model.
In April 2014, the ministry used $50,000 of its cost share funds to send its 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.