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Iraq Provincial Reconstruction Team Handbook

Handbook 11-03
December 2010

CALL Handbook 11-03: Iraq Provincial Reconstruction Team Handbook

Appendix G - U.S. Agency for International Development Programs

Local Governance Program

The Local Governance Program (LGP) supports Iraq's efforts to establish local government that is transparent, accountable, and responsive to its constituents. The LGP, which began in April 2003, operates under a contract from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The LGP was expanded in 2005 to include a new phase of support for local governance programs in Iraq.

Under terms of its contract, the LGP:

  • Supports Iraq's efforts to improve the management and administration of local, municipal, and provincial governments.
  • Provides technical assistance and training to local elected officials concerning the roles and functions of local government officials and agencies.
  • Assists in establishing a legal framework for a democratic, representative, and participatory form of decentralized government in Iraq.

Since May 2005, the LGP has been training and mentoring provincial councils elected in January of that year in the roles, responsibilities, and authority of the provincial councils and also providing similar training to Iraq's network of local councils.

The LGP's earlier work in Iraq (June 2003-April 2004) included supporting the establishment of more than 700 local government councils. During that time, an in-country team of nearly 3,000 Iraqis and more than 220 international development specialists worked throughout Iraq's 18 provinces on a wide range of locally selected priorities. These priorities included such varied topics as increasing access to basic utilities and health care and establishing and training local governing councils. The work with Iraqi civil society focused on empowering women, youth, businesses, farmers, and others to organize, advocate, and work for a democratic and tolerant Iraq.

The LGP supports the provincial reconstruction team (PRT) effort in nine provinces across the country by providing technical advisors in areas related to governance, policy reform, and economic development. From its headquarters in Baghdad, the LGP oversees operations of its regional hub offices in Irbil, Hillah, Basra, and Baghdad, serving all 18 Iraqi provinces.

Local Governance Program III (January 2009-June 2011)

The LGP III supports implementation of Iraq's new Law for Governorates Not Incorporated into a Region (also known as the Provincial Powers Act). The project builds the capacity and strengthens the performance of local government institutions to represent citizen priorities and creates a more responsive public administration through planning for public investment in the provinces, executing the provincial budgets, and holding service providers to account.

The specific objectives of the LGP III are to define, strengthen, and facilitate the operation of recognized local government bodies in relation to Iraq's prescribed governance systems by:

  • Enabling aspects of democratic representation in local government bodies.
  • Engaging recognized local government bodies in sub-national planning processes.
  • Promoting the constructive, informed involvement of local government bodies in budget formulation and budget execution processes.
  • Enhancing oversight functions of local government bodies.

The LGP III will focus on standing up the new provincial (governorate) and district (qada) councils and local executives as set forth in the new Provincial Powers Act. Specifically, the project will focus on developing the councils' powers of legislation and regulation as well as their role in planning for the provinces, formulating and executing a budget, and carrying out effective public outreach and their enhanced role in supervising and holding local government to account.

The LGP III interventions will be confined to supporting the provincial councils and the district councils and their corresponding executives. The LGP III will provide technical assistance to provincial governorates to  strengthen their capacity in the planning, design, delivery, and oversight of services such as water, sewage, roads, street lighting, and electrical distribution.

Activities under the LGP III will include the following in the project's eight focus provinces:

  • Further development and implementation of Provincial Development Strategies and Plans.
  • Budget-formulation/execution and strategic planning and management training.
  • Capacity building for newly elected provincial and district councils to represent citizen concerns and provide oversight on the delivery of services by the executive branch.
  • Enhancing financial management and reporting of capital investment by the provinces to improve accountability.
  • Information systems for project management and financial accounting.
  • Planning for public investment in the province through further development and use of:
    • Geospatial Information System applications.
    • Governorate Accounting and Project Tracking System enhancement.
    • Developing public outreach, women's leadership, and reconciliation.
    • Monitoring, supervision, and improvement of service-providers' performance.
    • Supporting professional and membership associations.

The LGP III will engage with USAID representatives and PRT local governance specialists on the PRTs to ensure they benefit from the experience, policy analysis, and training materials produced for the LGP focus provinces: Anbar, Babil, Baghdad, Basrah, Diyala, Dhi Qar, Diwaniyah, Karbala, Kirkuk, Mayasan, Muthana, Najaf, Ninewa, Salah ah Din, and Wasit.

Tatweer Program

Known by its Arabic name Tatweer, which means "development," USAID's National Capacity Development Program for public management works closely with the government of Iraq to strengthen and expand the professional skills, qualifications, and capabilities of public servants. USAID's capacity-building activities center on delivering three results:

  • Improving the skills of public administration managers.
  • Improving functions in 10 key ministries, the Prime Minister's Office, the Deputy Prime Ministers' Offices, the Council of Ministers' Secretariat, and the Presidency Council.
  • Improving and expanding the government of Iraq's training capacity.

To achieve these objectives, Tatweer enlists a cascading "training-of-trainers" approach to build capacity within the government of Iraq. The training concept leads to exponential growth in the number of public servants and government of Iraq staff trained. Teams of advisers embedded in the ministries provide coaching and more direct hands-on training and technical assistance, with a focus on advancing capital budget execution. An additional program component of Tatweer targets anti-corruption institutions in the government of Iraq, while the subject is woven throughout all training courses. In addition, Tatweer sponsored a scholarship program for graduate or advanced studies in public management in exchange for four years of service in the government of Iraq through placement services by the Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation.

Tijara Program

The Tijara (meaning "trade" in Arabic) Program is a private sector development project. It expands and diversifies the non-oil economy. Tijara does micro-finance and small business lending. It operates in all 18 provinces providing micro-loans. To date over 185,000 Iraqis have received loans totaling nearly $425 million with a 99 percent repayment rate. The average loan is $1,400 over one year with 12-18 percent interest rate. This is less interest than what many Iraqi banks are charging, which is upward of 33 percent. The project works with Iraqi institutions, the banking systems, loan guarantee companies, and lending capital businesses at competitive rates. It is also assisting Iraq with World Trade Organization (WTO) accession.

Social Safety Net Program

Launched by the Iraqi Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and USAID, the Social Safety Net Program is aimed at providing benefits to the most vulnerable citizens of Iraq and facilitating their integration into the country's economic development.

Inma Agribusiness Program

Inma (meaning "growth" in Arabic) Agribusiness Program is a $124 million, three-year (2007-2010) effort to promote employment and increased agricultural revenue in Iraq by providing technical assistance, training, improved genetic material, access to markets, and credit. The goal of Inma is to increase the capacity of private agribusiness to create jobs and wealth by concentrating assistance in value chains where high-value markets are favored by Iraqi competitive advantages. Inma focuses on three core value chains:

  • Beef and lamb.
  • Aquaculture and poultry.
  • Horticulture.

Through March 2010, Inma has generated $178 million in gross sales and created 31,950 full-time and part-time jobs in areas where PRTs are working.

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