Since 2011, GSP/Taqadum project has promoted the use of information technology such as Sub-Legislation Implementation Tracking (SLIT) system and the Essential Service Delivery Oversight (ESDO) database. In 2014, Wasit requested related project technical support, which led to the province’s establishment of a government-based e-Communication system. In response to Wasit’s desire to track the implementation status of various provincial projects, GSP/Taqadum continued cooperative efforts with officials, which resulted in the development and implementation of an online tracking system that monitors projects under construction, as well as the implementation of short- and long-term solutions identified via GSP-Taqadum developed strategic Service Delivery Improvement Plans (SDIPs).
In what used to take weeks and even months, Wasit’s e-Tracking system enables immediate conveyance of information from the government to its citizens and vice versa. It also informs decision makers with detailed information regarding service improvement plans, project (solution) implementation, and reasons behind project delays. Not only can citizens now access information on existing projects such as completion percentages and disbursed expenditures, they can also express related personal views and complaints. All of this fosters public participation and transparency.
Supporting the sustainability, as well as replication of Wasit’s e-Systems throughout Iraq, on January 4-5 in Erbil, GSP/Taqadum hosted a two-day “Application of Electronic Government Systems to Improve Service Delivery” workshop for 25 (1 female, 24 male) representatives from Anbar, Baghdad, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninawa, and Salah ad Din. Participants included Wasit Governor Assistant for Services, Mr. Nabeel Shammah; Kirkuk Governor Assistant for Technical Affairs, Mr. Ali Hummadi Abid; Baghdad First Deputy Governor, Mr. Jassim Mohan Al-Bakhati; and Anbar Governor Technical Assistant, Mr. Jassim Al-Dulaimi.
GSP/Taqadum acting Chief of Party (COP), Mr. Alaa Al-Hakak, kicked off the event by giving a briefing on the project’s cooperative activities to date, with provincial governments, assisting them to become more responsive to citizen needs by 1) focusing on improving the quality and delivery of citizen-centered services; and 2) preparing them to receive functions and authorities from the three targeted ministries of Health; Education; and Municipalities and Public Works (three out of the eight ministries mentioned in Law 21, as amended); and 3) building their strategic planning capacity.
Afterward, GSP/Taqadum highlighted important services the e-Communication systems are providing, as well as challenges faced by the local government during the systems’ implementation that can be avoided as other provinces develop and install similar systems.
Participants were then divided into working groups and GSP/Taqadum staff distributed and reviewed an e-Communication development manual depicting methods to support development of e-Communication projects in the provinces, including technical, administrative and financial details. Sharing experiences, participants developed project implementation timelines and discussed e-Communication advantages.
Explaining how it was almost two years ago when a committee was formed to implement e-Governance applications that would streamline, expedite and facilitate the routine procedures aimed at saving time, cost and effort; Wasit Governor Assistant for Services and Chairman of the Electronic Committee, Mr. Nabeel Shammah, and thanked GSP/ Taqadum and Wasit’s information technology (IT) team, for “their coordinated and outstanding efforts in achieving these goals and implementing Iraq’s first e-Communication and e-Tracking systems.”