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Iraq Provincial Reconstruction Team Handbook

Handbook 11-03
December 2010

CALL Handbook 11-03: Iraq Provincial Reconstruction Team Handbook

Appendix A - Provincial Reconstruction Team Size, Locations, and Historical Data

Graphic showing map of Provincial reconstruction team (PRT) staffing by location
Figure A-1. Provincial reconstruction team (PRT) staffing by location templates
(excludes bilingual bicultural adviser, translators, major subordinate command, and deputy team leaders)

Large PRT Footprint

Anbar, Baghdad, Basra, Diyala, Erbil, Ninewa, Kirkuk, and Salah Ad Din

  • Team leader.
  • Political reporting officer.
  • Rule of law adviser: Civil lawyer.
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) adviser.
  • Governance:
    • Governance adviser.
    • Budget adviser.
    • Urban planner/Program manager.
  • Economic development:
    • Economic development officer.
    • Business development/Banking/Finance officer.
    • Agricultural development adviser.
  • Infrastructure:
    • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) civilian engineer.
    • Program manager.
  • Public diplomacy officer.

Medium PRT Footprint

Babel, Maysan, Najaf, and Wasit

  • Team leader.
  • Political reporting officer.
  • Rule of law adviser: Civil lawyer.
  • USAID adviser.
  • Governance:
    • Governance adviser.
    • Budget adviser/City manager.
  • Economic development:
    • Economic development/Business development officer.
    • Agricultural development adviser.
  • Infrastructure:
    • USACE engineer (civilian).
    • Program manager.
  • Public diplomacy officer.

Small PRT Footprint

Dhi Qar, Diwaniyah, Karbala, and Muthanna

  • Team leader.
  • Political reporting officer.
  • Rule of law adviser: Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training or 3161 (State Department) civil lawyer.
  • USAID adviser.
  • Governance: Governance adviser.
  • Economic development:
    • Economic development officer.
    • Agricultural development adviser.
  • Infrastructure: USACE engineer (civilian).
  • Public diplomacy officer.

Historical Background on PRTs

PRTs were first established in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban in 2002, and as of 2010, PRTs operate there as well as in Iraq. While the concepts are similar, PRTs in Afghanistan and Iraq have separate compositions. The common purpose of the PRTs is to empower provincial governments to govern their citizens more effectively. In 2004 the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, with his experience in Afghanistan, envisioned PRTs as a way to vastly improve the ineffectual reconstruction programs in Iraq.

The PRT program was inaugurated in Iraq in November 2005 with the establishment of PRTs in the provinces of Ninewa, Kirkuk, and Babil. In the next year more PRTs were established, resulting in a total of 10 PRTs in Iraq. As part of the Iraq war troop surge of 2007, the number of PRTs was expanded to cover every province in the country. Additionally, smaller embedded PRTs were established to work with the sub-provincial levels of government. By 2010 there were 26 PRTs, including 15 embedded PRTs, located throughout Iraq.

PRTs have made major contributions to Iraq. Ten major achievements are listed below.

  • PRTs supported the Iraqi Company for Bank Guarantees (an Iraqi corporation that was created by the USAID Tijara Program). In addition, all of the small business development centers that PRTs worked with were directly established or trained and supported by the Tijara Program.
  • Microfinance lending has been established by USAID programs with PRTs in all 18 provinces. The current loan portfolio consists of nearly 55,000 outstanding loans totaling over $115 million - with a 96 percent payback rate.
  • Nearly 70 veterinary clinics have been established that serve five million animals and 135,000 animal breeders. Over 570,000 sheep have been vaccinated against brucellosis. The Inma Agribusiness contribution to the agriculture sector and coordination with PRTs is generating gross sales of $178 million. PRT activities with Inma have included joint efforts in training, farmer association strengthening, and increased productivity involving two large fish farms, 10 beef and lamb feedlots, five forage sites, two packing sheds, six feed mills, an olive factory, 10 strawberry farms, 20 farmer associations, over 500 greenhouses, and four melon farms. These activities over the course of the last three years have generated more than 30,000 full-time and part-time jobs in the areas where PRTs are operating. Inma has trained more than 5,400 people in improved agricultural production, processing, and marketing and in the business skills needed to sustain their farming livelihoods.
  • The Local Governance Program (LGP) has trained 2,000 council members (15 percent women), 28 governors, 42 deputy governors, 420 directors general, and key staff in 380 Iraqi ministries and departments to increase capacity to manage and execute budgets in a transparent and sustainable manner. USAID/Tatweer focuses on 10 key service ministries and since 2008 and has focused training on provincial-level directors general in all 18 Iraq provinces. Tatweer also works with the president, prime minister, and the Council of Ministers as well as the National Civil Service Commission. Tatweer has enrolled over 90,000 civil servants in training programs. All training is now being led by the government of Iraq. Tatweer engages in seven main training activities:
    • Leadership and communication.
    • Human resources management.
    • Project management.
    • Strategic planning.
    • Information technology.
    • Budget management.
    • Anti-corruption.
  • PRTs have helped establish or rebuild 16 governorate councils, 96 district councils, 195 city or sub-district councils, and 437 neighborhood councils. Elections for governors, mayors, and local councils have been organized. A primary focus of phase III of the LGP is to implement the Provincial Powers Act, defined in detail in the constitutional powers that provincial councils enjoy. These include legislative oversight, budgetary, and other powers associated with representational institutions. This is USAID's flagship political decentralization program in Iraq.
  • The Community Stabilization Program has achieved the following:
    • More than 51,900 long-term jobs created.
    • More than $78.6 million in grants approved for nearly 10,300 businesses.
    • Nearly 41,500 Iraqis graduated from vocational training courses.
    • Awarded 9,930 apprenticeships.
    • Reached 339,000 young people through sports and arts programs.
  • Over 1,400 community associations have been established in all 18 provinces by USAID and PRTs. More than two million days of employment and 33,000 long-term jobs have been created. Additionally, over $276 million has been made available for 5,930 projects, to which Iraqi communities have contributed more than $73 million.
  • Iraq government funds have shifted to provinces. The Ninewa PRT, for example, has assisted the provincial government in executing $241 million of Iraq reconstruction and infrastructure improvement funds.
  • The Baghdad PRT has worked with the governor in this most critical province to improve essential services and, with the Provincial Reconstruction and Development Committee, awarded 42 construction projects valued at $81 million. Embedded PRTs have projected governance and rule of law programs to the district level.
  • The Anbar PRT launched projects worth $450,000 for university and provincial institutions and pioneered the "helicopter engagement" initiative, which is reconnecting Anbar's far-flung cities and towns with the provincial government.

Specific Examples of PRT Activities in Iraq


  • PRTs develop and mine extensive networks of government officials, religious and tribal figures, businessmen, political leaders, and others.
  • PRTs provide timely, front-line reporting on political, economic, security, social, and other issues.

Representing U.S. strategic interests:

  • Provide a constant "out-of-Baghdad" presence in all 18 provinces.
  • Provide a U.S. civilian presence at public gatherings to counter malign influences.
  • Generate dialogue on national issues with local members of national parties and tribes.
  • Carry the U.S. official message to all provinces to reinforce major U.S. initiatives through an extensive array of local and regional media.
  • Provide the embassy with ready, personal access to an extensive and diverse array of political, religious, and tribal leaders throughout Iraq.

Political development initiatives:

  • Promote popular political participation.
  • Monitor and report to ensure fair treatment of political parties and candidates.
  • Support for civil society organizations (CSOs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that promote popular political participation.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with minority parties and officials.

Election support:

  • Support CSOs and NGOs involved in "get out the vote" initiatives.
  • Provide logistical support for election monitors.
  • Provide logistical and training support for the governorate elections office (GEO).
  • Initiate post-election contact with elected officials.
  • Enhance political participation by vulnerable groups (e.g., women and minorities).
  • Operate women's centers throughout Iraq as a venue for political dialogue.
  • Support CSOs that promote political participation.


  • Encourage Iraqi solutions to Iraqi problems.
  • Provide provincial council mentoring and support.
  • Conduct daily engagements with elected officials to provide mentoring in democratic practices and procedures.
  • Assist in the development of capital budgets that address the needs of the population and promote private investment.
  • Develop effective legislative oversight capabilities to reduce government corruption and inefficiency.
  • Encourage timely publications of provincial gazettes to promote transparency in the legislative process.

Governor mentoring and support: Conduct frequent engagements with the provincial governor to maintain relationships, exchange information, and obtain support and guidance for PRT-based initiatives.

Capital budget execution:

  • Provide comprehensive assistance in the execution of the provincial capital budget with emphasis on development of mechanisms of accountability and effective execution, including:
    • Training on computerized budget management and tracking systems.
    • Training for Iraqi project management units: engineers, legal staff, accountants, and managers.
  • Promote use of private engineers and architects in the design and cost estimates.

Public services delivery:

  • Organize and support technical training programs to enhance effective delivery of essential services.
  • Develop effective government and private oversight and reporting mechanisms to encourage effective delivery of services.

Strategic planning:

  • Support Geospatial Information System implementation and training.
  • Facilitate strategic planning initiatives.
  • Assist in the development of professionally developed, detailed, and scientifically-based strategic plans.

Transparency initiatives:

  • Support media access to government meetings.
  • Facilitate training for Commission on Integrity offices.
  • Facilitate effective dialogue between different levels of government (national, provincial, and local).


  • Facilitate establishment of cooperative/sister school relationships between Iraqi and U.S. universities.
  • Provide books, computers, and other educational materials.
  • Refurbish schools and related facilities.


  • Facilitate medical training and mentorship for Iraqi health-care providers.
  • Refurbish medical care facilities.

Reconciliation initiatives:

  • Promote human rights initiatives.
  • Visit Iraqi detention facilities to monitor for signs of prisoner abuse.
  • Respond promptly to allegations of unfair treatment of minorities.
  • Arrange emergency medical care in disasters (bombings).
  • Promote public dialogue on human rights.
  • Monitor and encourage internally displaced person integration.
  • Monitor and encourage Sons of Iraq integration and payment.
  • Monitor detainee integration.

Economic development initiatives: Advise and assist in the planning and development of infrastructure essential to support private investment, including the planning and construction of transportation, communication, water, and sewage networks.

Encourage private sector development:

  • Facilitate trade and business seminars.
  • Facilitate business and government integration/lobbying initiatives through support for trade and business associations, business to government conferences, discussion groups, and seminars.
  • Facilitate provincial visits by international investors.
  • Promote U.S. foreign direct investment.
  • Support local participation in regional and international trade conferences.
  • Support small business development centers.
  • Provide support and training to enable the Provincial Investment Commission to serve as the primary government interface and assistant for all private investors.
  • Assist in developing provincial investment plans.
  • Develop provincial marketing materials.


  • Establish and support bankers associations to promote public use of banks, checking, and electronic funds transfer.
  • Support vocational technical training for youth and women.
  • Provide micro-grants and lending for women and other vulnerable populations.
  • Support agricultural extension offices, directors general of agriculture, and university programs in the development of drought-resistant crops, soil-testing labs, water-efficient irrigation systems, greenhouse farming, herd development, no-till farming, improved harvesting techniques, beekeeping, and fish farms.
  • Assist in the development of and provide financial support for agricultural cooperatives.
  • Support development of cooperative ventures in cold storage, feed lots, silos, and other key components of the value chain.

Rule of law:

  • Enhance the legal profession.
  • Support the development of bar associations.
  • Facilitate the development of law school curricula and standards.
  • Conduct classes in comparative law, constitutional law, and commercial law.
  • Support continuing legal education initiatives.
  • Promote computerized legal services.
  • Improve law enforcement practices and capacities.
  • Facilitate police training in investigative techniques, evidence collection, constitutional law, and forensic evidence.
  • Develop appropriate relationships between the police and investigative judges.
  • Monitor trials and detentions for signs of legal corruption, intimidation, or favoritism.
  • Facilitate the installation and training on computerized case management systems.
  • Fund improvements of courthouses.
  • Fund safety training and improvements for courts and judges.
  • Monitor detention facilities to promote timely processing of the accused.
  • Support training for provincial offices of Commissions on Integrity.
  • Support the development of anti-corruption task forces.
  • Support pro bono legal centers for women and criminal defendants.
  • Maintain a close relationship with judges to monitor problems in the judicial system and to elevate the standing of the judiciary.
  • Conduct public awareness campaigns in support of the rule of law.

Public diplomacy:

  • Support public education through the distribution of books, laboratory equipment, and gym supplies.
  • Facilitate International Visitor Leadership Programs in all provinces.
  • Provide media training in investigative journalism and general operations.
  • Provide local media with a briefing on U.S.-funded projects and programs.
  • Provide local media with access to U.S. officials and statements.
  • Provide youth outreach support for recreation centers, youth leagues, and after-school programs.
  • Sponsor plays, concerts, and other cultural activities.
  • Support historic preservation initiatives.
  • Support public libraries.
  • Support computer training in schools.

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