Governance Strengthening Project – Taqadum

Since its inception in 2011, USAID/Iraq’s GSP/Taqadum Project has engaged with provincial leaders to increase accountability and transparency in local governance and improve provincial-level service delivery. The key element throughout the project has been building the capacity of the local government to better provide services to its citizens. We have made advances in building the capacity of provincial governments to plan and deliver services with the participation of their constituents. Designed to transfer knowledge and strategies through innovative standardized systems and effective methodologies, GSP/Taqadum has worked side-by-side with provincial leaders and their staff and developed a unique and wide-ranging set of tools. The transfer of these tools, processes, and methodologies to local governments ensures replication and will sustain Iraq’s provincial government organizational structure far into the future, thus benefiting citizens for generations to come.

Leveraging technical expertise, decades of shared experience, and a deep commitment to support Iraq’s decentralization process in ways that are best for the country and its citizens, our overall goal has been and remains, to prepare plans whereby Article 45 of Law 21, as amended, (also known as the Provincial Powers Act (2008) or “Transfer of Functions” Law), is implemented.

In doing this, GSP/Taqadum has been guided by the following six main steps:

  • Forming and training of provincial task forces and sectoral committees.
  • Identifying and diagnosing the “as is” situations related to the functions, roles, relationships, laws, regulations, and instructions within the local directorates and their relationships with the targeted ministries, the Governors’ Offices (GOs), and provinces.
  • Defining, analyzing, categorizing, and assigning ministerial functions to the appropriate level of governments based on comprehensive criteria and elements.
  • Developing financial, administrative, and legal frameworks for the transfer of functions.
  • Discussing and agreeing on the functions mapped and those to be transferred between central and provincial governments.
  • Building the capacity of the provincial directorates and GOs to receive and perform the functions transferred efficiently and effectively.

Law 21 was amended for the second time in August 2013. Passage of this second amendment mandates that governance will be decentralized by delineating certain powers to provincial levels of government, enabling them to enact provincial legislation, regulations, and procedures; and transferring suitable technical, legal, and administrative powers or ministerial “functions” of eight ministries to provincial governments of provinces not incorporated into a region.

The passage of this amendment presented a unique window of opportunity for the U.S. Government to sustain and deepen its investment in local governance and provincial service delivery. At the same time, it represented an urgent challenge for USAID to maximize provincial capacity building over an admittedly short timeframe and when corruption and gaps in capacity still pervade provincial-level legal, financial, and human resource systems.