Final project evaluation: Iraqi Public Sector modernization phase II

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Iraq
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
11/2019
Completion Date:
10/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
50,000

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Title Final project evaluation: Iraqi Public Sector modernization phase II
Atlas Project Number: 00059925
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Iraq
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2019
Planned End Date: 11/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Governance
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.1 Capacities developed across the whole of government to integrate the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other international agreements in development plans and budgets, and to analyse progress towards the SDGs, using innovative and data-driven solutions
SDG Goal
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
SDG Target
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  • 17.18 By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
Evaluation Budget(US $): 50,000
Source of Funding: Project budjet
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 35,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: IRAQ
Lessons
Findings
1.

IV. ANSWERS TO THE EVALUATION QUESTIONS

4.1 Relevance 

To a significant extent, the programme has responded to the GoI strategic policy priorities, objectives, and challenges defined in the GoI strategic policy documents. The programme has been aligned with and supported the Iraqi Strategic Government Plan (SGP) 2011-14, the National Development Plan (NDP) 2010-2014, the Government Plan 2014-2018, and NDP 2018-2022. As concerns NDP 2011-2014, it envisaged the following objectives; i) Good Governance: Strengthen the role of local governments in developing their provinces and building capacity for coordination and complementarities, using their comparative advantages; ii) Good Governance: Inclusiveness of all groups in the development process; iii) Establish sustainable development that balances economic, social, and environmental considerations. As regards NDP 2018-2022, the programme was relevant for the achievement of the NDP strategic goals, such as i) laying the foundations for good governance, ii) laying the foundation for decentralisation to strengthen spatial development and iii) aligning the general development framework with urban structures based on the foundations of urban planning. Furthermore, the programme was aligned with the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2011-2014 and UNDAF 2015-2019, though the latter strategic document had not yet been adopted at the inception of the programme.2 As concerns UNDAF 2011-2014, the programme directly contributed to the UNDAF Priority Areas under outcome no. 2 the such as; i) Priority Area 1 - Improved Governance - the Iraqi state has more efficient, accountable, and participatory governance at national and sub-national levels; ii) to the UNDAF Priority Area 2 - Inclusive, more equitable and sustainable economic growth; iii) to the UNDAF Priority Area 4 - Increased access to quality essential services. As regards UNDAF 2015- 2019, the programme was also relevant to Priority A – Improving the performance and responsiveness of targeted national and sub-national institutions. The programme was also aligned with and relevant to the Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP) 2011-2014 of UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA. 

Furthermore, the programme was relevant to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly MDG 3 and MDG 8 and for the achievement of subsequent Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as universal agreements to end poverty in all its dimensions and craft an equal, just and secure world. More specifically, the programme was relevant for the accomplishment of SDG 4 – quality education, SDG 5 – gender equality, SDG 6 – clear water and sanitation and SDG 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. In line with the programme design, the programme has been focused on three key sectors – health, education, WATSAN which have had the most direct impact on the achievement of the afore-mentioned SDGs. 

Taking into consideration the socio-economic context in Iraq, it can be concluded that the programme has responded to the real and actual beneficiaries’ needs. Specifically, the programme successfully supported the public sector modernisation and the modernisation of the public administration, supported the development of strategic plans, policies and mid-term strategies to carry on the necessary reforms. The expected outputs and outcomes have been valid and corresponded to the stakeholders’ actual needs as identified in the programme action document. 

It is noteworthy to mention that Phase II has built upon the results, and lessons learned that had been achieved at the national and sub-national levels during Phase I. The GOI problems, challenges and needs in the public sector were appropriately identified in the programme design as well as adequately analysed during the inception phase before the implementation phase. In addition to this, an external programme evaluation was conducted at the end of Phase I in December 2011 in order to identify lessons learned and to provide recommendations for Phase II. The main programme activities were centred around three main pillars; i) institutional performance management, ii) national monitoring and evaluation capacity, and iii) public sector reform with specific emphasis on simplification of work systems, procedures and service delivery models, which all had been identified as relatively week before the programme implementation; therefore, the programme appropriately responded to the identified beneficiaries’ needs. Based on that, the planned programme’s specific immediate objectives were relevant and realistic to the situation and beneficiaries’ needs. 


Tag: Challenges Relevance Public administration reform Capacity Building SDG Integration

2.

4.2 Design

As mentioned, Phase I was the foundation for the analytical assessment and preparatory work enabling GoI to develop a system-wide public administration reform plan, as well as sector-specific modernisation plans for three pilot sectors and three pilot governorates. Based on the lessons learned in Phase I, the programme action document clearly defined the envisaged programme objectives, outputs, and outcomes. However, several subsequent external factors and unpredictable circumstances impacted the programme pace, delivery of activities and outputs. According to the programme action document, the programme was supposed to last two years (24 months); however, Phase II eventually lasted six years, and in total the programme lasted eight years (Phase I and II). Generally speaking, the allocated resources (finances, staff, etc.) of Phase II corresponded to the initially envisaged time schedule and deliverables that were planned to be achieved by the programme. The programme objectives were realistic and attainable within the envisaged time frame and recourses; however, the programme has not been completed in the foreseen period due to the unexpectedly changed operating context. 

Though the operating context has significantly changed since the programme inception due to the worsened security (particularly between summer 2014 and summer 2017) and budgetary constraints on the beneficiary side, the programme action document, its design, objectives and outputs have not been changed since the inception of the programme in January 2013. As indicated by the programme management staff, in 2015 they started using the Iraqi Public Sector Reform Roadmap as the programme log-frame. Nonetheless, according to the programme design, yearly elaborated annual working plans enabled adequate programme flexibility. Namely, the annual working plans were jointly agreed and elaborated by the beneficiaries and the UN agencies before end of every year for the next programming year. This programme modality ensured sufficient flexibility in the planning of the programme activities and adjusting the programme workplan to the operating context. In general, the programme design was logical and coherent in terms of the beneficiaries’ roles and capacities; it was designed to achieve the planned results and corresponded to the stakeholders’ commitment. The programme concept appropriately implemented a cross-cutting approach and addressed issues that were not addressed by other international organisations, development partners, or bilateral donors, at least at the inception of the programme in December 2013. Nonetheless, it shall be mentioned that certain GOI interviewees pointed out that the donor coordination at the GOI level was not introduced and should be improved in the future. 


Tag: Relevance Human and Financial resources Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management Sustainability Theory of Change

3.

4.3 Effectiveness

To a large extent, the programme has been effective as it has attained a number of valuable outputs and outcomes that were planned and envisaged by the programme action document. 

As regards programme Output no. 1, the programme has contributed to the enhanced GOI capacity in undertaking public sector reform at national, regional, and governorate levels. The Public Sector Modernisation Roadmap (PSMR), which was developed by the programme support, has been recognised as one of the most prominent programme outputs which supported the GoI Public Sector Modernisation Steering Committee (PSMSC) to fulfil its mandate and design a national strategy document that provided a strategic framework for the public administrative reform in Iraq. To facilitate the implementation of PSMR and adequately implement its corresponding annual working plans, the programme delivered a number of capacity-building activities, such as study visits, workshops, etc., which facilitated and enabled more efficient and effective implementation of PSMR. In addition to this, the programme also supported the elaboration of the annual working plans for public sector modernisation activities at the sub-national level (e.g., Basra, Al Najaf governorates, etc). The programme also supported the development and introduction of the automated Monitoring and Reporting System which is based on result-based management (RBM) principles and records achievements and progress made against planned results of PSMR.


Tag: Effectiveness Local Governance Public administration reform Monitoring and Evaluation Policies & Procedures Programme Synergy Results-Based Management Country Government Capacity Building

4.

4.3 Effectiveness (continuation)

Under programme Output no. 2, the programme significantly contributed to the improvement of the public administration systems at the national and sub-national levels. The programme enhanced policies and processes. More specifically, the programme supported the e-governance Steering Committee and supported the elaboration of the eGovernance Guidelines for National Architecture and Public Data Policy, assisting in delivering organisational and technological changes needed for instating successful eGovernance architecture systems, public websites, and service transformation at both central and local levels. Furthermore, the programme supported the introduction of an elearning approach to the Academic and Public Sector Institutions in Iraq. More specifically, the e-learning approach was introduced in two public sector and academic institutions in Iraq; NCMDIT within MoP and University of Karbala (Faculties of Sciences and Engineering). The e-learning team at University Karbala has capitalised on the momentum created and went beyond the workshops by including the e-learning technology in the academic courses. As indicated by the interviewees at University of Karbala, before the programme support, the university was using only PowerPoint and PDF files for lecturers, which was considered ‘e-learning’. After the support provided by the programme, the University of Karbala completely changed its approach and introduced a real e-learning system. With the programme support, e-training courses, e-exams, e-newsletters and established e-mail accounts for students and lecturers were introduced. Moreover, with the programme support, Head of Sections from Karbala University and Colleges were trained, which further replicated the received knowledge by additional training courses. In essence, 20,000 students directly benefited from the programme within Karbala University. Furthermore, the programme supported the simplification of work systems, procedures and service delivery models through various other capacity-building activities. Based on the programme support, several government services were simplified (e.g.. easier obtainment of construction permits, academic certifications, housing loans, inheritance and allocation of lands to citizens).


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment e-Governance Public administration reform Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government UN Agencies Capacity Building Technology Coordination Data and Statistics

5.

4.4 Efficiency

The overall programme’s budget was USD 24,045,411. The programme envisaged costsharing between MTF-UNDAF and GoI. In 2013, GoI indeed participated in cost-sharing and provided for the programme activities USD 4.5 million of allocations, which were delivered by GoI to 13 GoI entities for joint activities with UN agencies under the programme. However, in 2014, Iraq was significantly impacted by the war against ISIL, which ended in December 2017. In 2014, the GOI cost-sharing was substantially reduced or for some actions even ceased, given the war and necessity to financially support fight ISIL and provide humanitarian assistance. Notwithstanding that, UNCT kept momentum with GoI on the development issues with the identification of key priority areas for the recovery and resilience for the waraffected population while development programmes were considered for non-war affected zones. Though the war against ISIL, the internal political struggles, such as the relations between the federal level and Kurdistan as well as the low oil prices, have continued to hamper the GoI capacity to provide required allocation funds for the development programmes in the country until 2017, GoI insisted on keeping the programme ongoing only by UN contributions; thus, GoI relied only on the UN available funds for the implementation of key activities to sustain the programme that has been recognised as the cornerstone for the decentralisation and public modernisation. 


Tag: Efficiency Government Cost-sharing Project and Programme management UN Agencies UN Country Team Resilience Coordination

6.

4.4. Efficiency (Continuation)

Certain implementation difficulties, which to a certain extent impacted the programme pace and efficiency, can actually be attributed to both sides, GOI and UN agencies. (e.g., elections that impacted staffing and change of personnel in GOI, change of personnel and restructure in UNDP, problems with the UNDP programme and GOI budget/cost-sharing, etc.). The main GOI critique about the programme efficiency was related to the programme budget limitations, weak UN-agencies adherence to the pre-agreed annual workplans and to the unrealised programme management staff promises on delivery of certain pre-agreed activities (e.g., training courses, workshops, etc.) which eventually did not take place. In addition, according to the beneficiaries, several pre-agreed programme activities were simply cancelled by UNDP or significantly downsized (, of three pre-agreed training sessions only one took place, etc.). Nevertheless, the programme management appropriately selected the national and local beneficiaries and partner institutions, which enabled proper further institutional dissemination of the programme results. The involvement of academia provided an added value to the GOI-led programme and ensured better engagement and cooperation between governmental and non-governmental sector. In addition to this, the programme has had adequate political, technical and administrative support provided by the national and local partners.


Tag: Efficiency Public administration reform Communication Donor relations Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Country Government Capacity Building

7.

4.5 Impact

As evident from the programme progress reports, at the inception phase, the programme suffered from the lack of clear political support for public sector modernisation, at least at the highest levels in government, which was a reason for lack of progress, at least in certain areas. Over time, the political support and ownership of the programme have increased; the programme thus benefited from the GoI engagement and GoI willingness to initiate and proceed with major public administration reforms. The programme strategic approach to engage with the highest GoI political and technical structures (e.g., CoMSEC, Prime Minister’s Office, MOP, etc.) proved to be a very successful and efficient approach, having a successful multiplier effect and significant overall impact by reaching out to other national-level stakeholders. In this context, it is necessary to mention that Iraq is divided into a Central Government, the autonomous region of Kurdistan, eighteen governorates and finally districts at the local level. Within these levels, the programme provided a number of sensitisation workshops, capacity-building training courses, consultation meetings, study tours, delivered ToT, developed manuals, elaborated strategies, studies, and legal acts, etc., which all considerably supported GoI to reform its public sector, implement the national development plans as well as to advance the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. However, the progress made by the programme within the public sector cannot be exclusively attributed to the programme, but also to the efforts and actives performed by GOI and other development partners, but the programme has had an important impact as many interviewees highlighted that this programme in comparison with donor initiatives was the best in the performance delivery and its impact. To this end, it can be concluded that the programme has provided concrete and tangible benefits not only for the public servants and public institutions, but also for the end-users – Iraqi citizens. 


Tag: Impact Anti-corruption Public administration reform Rule of law Knowledge management Results-Based Management Strategic Positioning Country Government Capacity Building Technical Support SDG Integration

8.

4.6 Sustainability

Despite the GoI’s redefinition of the priorities in 2014-2015 and placing its focus on displaced persons and relief to war-affected areas, GoI insisted on keeping the programme ongoing in order to sustain the results that had been recognised by GoI as the cornerstone for the decentralisation and public modernisation. This decision reaffirmed the GoI commitment to the programme as well as indicated the likelihood that many programme results, achievements and benefits will remain after the end of the programme. The programme activities and achievements have been to a considerable extent geared toward attaining sustainable results. The sustainability of results stems from its design and implementation guiding principles, which were based on government-driven processes, which allowed the delivery of reforms that will remain self-sustaining over time. 

The main entry point and one of the most critical elements of the reform was the development of the National Public Sector Modernisation Strategy around which national ownership and leadership have emerged to secure the delivery of programme benefits. As confirmed by the beneficiaries and evident from the programme progress reports, the beneficiaries started using indicators, measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the work performance, result-based monitoring approach, etc. According to the beneficiaries, a number of administrative procedures in the public sector were eased or simplified due to technical knowledge and skills obtained with the programme support. To increase the programme sustainability, the programme applied an appropriate mixture of capacitybuilding activities supplemented by technical equipment in certain occasions, development and provision of hardware, software, websites, IT applications, etc, which ensured better programme buy-in, impact and sustainability of the transferred knowledge and expertise. Furthermore, a number of programme deliverables contributed to improved public services (e.g., installation of web-sites where Iraqi people can access to relevant information, fill-in different applications, provide comments and proposals, etc.). 


Tag: Sustainability Public administration reform Ownership Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management Service delivery Country Government Displaced People Capacity Building

Recommendations
1

6.1 Recommendation 1: Continuation of Donor Support

Recommendation deals with: Further support to public sector modernisation 

Recommendation is directed at: Donor countries and UN 

This recommendation is based on Conclusion 1

Statement of overall recommendation: Due to the immense and continued need for improvement of public sector and its further modernisation, it is recommended to provide follow-up support that would build upon the achieved results and boost the project across Iraq. However, it is recommended to stop or at least downsize further programme support to certain programme areas that have been continuously supported since 2011 (Phases I and II) as the beneficiaries (should) have become self-dependent and capable of performing their tasks (strategic development, planning, monitoring) without a significant external assistance and support. In contrast to this, it is recommended to provide further support in specific sectors or sector institutions to build upon the achieved results in areas where further advancement is likely to succeed, be sustained and where the beneficiary cooperation and co-funding is promising. As capacity-building activities cannot solely address gaps, applying an appropriate mix of capacity-building and technical assistance measures (hard component support) is recommended.

Action to be taken; 1. Provision of further support to the national stakeholders and beneficiaries engaged in public sector modernisation in Iraq

2

6.2 Recommendation 2. Retention of the Existing Cooperation Mechanisms with the Programme Beneficiaries and Stakeholders

Recommendation deals with: Programme design and programme approach

Recommendation is directed at: UN and GOI 

This recommendation is based on Conclusion 2

Statement of overall recommendation: In the case of continuation of programme/project support, it is recommended to maintain the same approach and to retain the existing well-developed cooperation framework with GOI, ministries, governorates, and other stakeholders, as this enabled appropriate buy-in and increased overall programme impact. The UN should use the momentum and avoid a potential programme/project void and continue with supporting the public sector in specific areas.

Action to be taken:

1. Retain cooperation with the Prime Minister’s Office, relevant ministries and governorates.

2. Avoid disconnection between the existing programme and a new programme/project support 

3

6.3 Recommendation 4: Increased Support in Fight and Suppression of Corruption in the Public Sector 

Recommendation deals with: Continuation of aid support 

Recommendation is directed at: UN and GOI

This recommendation is based on Conclusion 4

Statement of overall recommendation: Potential future programme/project support shall, to a much greater extent, include actions and activities aimed at the prevention and suppression of corruption by increasing anti-corruption capacities in the public sector. In line with this, it is recommended to more strongly involve the key institutions in charge of good governance and reconciliation, such as Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs.

Action to be taken:

1. To better suppress widespread corruption in Iraq public sector, it is necessary to introduce and implement additional activities aimed at fighting corruption

4

6.4 Recommendation 5: Continued Cooperation with GIS and county-wide implementation of the Geographical Information System

Recommendation deals with: Further development of Geographical Information System

Recommendation is directed at:UN and GOI

This recommendation is based on Conclusion 5

Statement of overall recommendation: It is recommended that the outstanding results achieved by the Geographical Information System Unit in Karbala be further replicated across Iraq to enable its application in other governorates and districts. Further support can be also provided to development of the new Law on GIS and the establishment of a National GIS Centre

Action to be taken: 1. Provision of further technical and capacity-building support to GIS at central and decentralised level

5

6.5 Recommendation 6: Continued Cooperation with National Center for Management Development and Information Technology

Recommendation deals with: Maintain technical cooperation with NCMDIT

Recommendation is directed at: UN and GOI

This recommendation is based on Conclusion 6

Statement of overall recommendation: In case of further programme/project support, it is recommended to maintain the existing cooperation framework, particularly with MOP and NCMDIT. Furthermore, it is recommended to further support the Centre’s capacities and connect it with similar institutions abroad in order to bring in more international experience that can be further replicated across other ministries, public institutions, and NGOs in Iraq. Furthermore, it is also recommended to provide further support to developing e-learning processes and to expanding e-governance solutions and applications.

Action to be taken: 1. Provision of further support to NCMDIT

6

6.6 Recommendation 7: Improvement of Programme Monitoring and Reporting 

Recommendation deals with: Programme management and monitoring

Recommendation is directed at: UN, UNDP 

This recommendation is based on Conclusion 7

Statement of overall recommendation: It is recommended to improve the result-oriented monitoring system for upcoming programming actions and to improve regular programme reporting by providing information on the programme progress and about the performed activities about the programme visibility . In addition to this, it is recommended to ensure and allocate financial resources for mid-term evaluations, providing an interim independent assessment and provide recommendations for potential adjustment of the programme for remaining period, particularly for such long-lasting programmes.

Action to be taken: 1. Improve programme/project monitoring and reporting mechanisms 

7

6.7 Recommendation 8: Improvement of Programme Visibility 

Recommendation deals with:Programme visibility

Recommendation is directed at:UN, UNDP

This recommendation is based on Conclusion 8

Statement of overall recommendation: Potential further programme/project support shall significantly improve the visibility of a potential new programme/project. It is recommended to develop a visibility strategy, action plan, and to introduce programme activities through various media, including social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. ,as well as to develop a project/programme related web-page.

Action to be taken: 1. Improve programme/project monitoring and reporting mechanisms 

8

LESSONS LEARNED

After eight years of programme implementation, several considerable lessons have been learned that may be useful for future programming and project implementation. 

Public Sector Reform remains a Highly Political Undertaking. Countries in transition remain resistant to radical reforms due to the political sensitivity as public reforms are often associated with the dismissal or redeployment of redundant public servants. For this reason, extensive civil service and administrative reform programme could be both controversial and potentially politically destabilising

Government and Political Will. To reach and advance public sector modernisation, it is necessary to ensure appropriate political will. Without continued, sustained, developing. and practical stakeholder commitment and political will from the government, further advancement of the programme results will be rather limited and mostly narrowed to low level-technical advancement, without necessary institutional changes. The application of new laws or amendment of existing legal frameworks require necessary political will and usually cannot be achieved in a short-term perspective.  Administrative Hindrances and Absorption Capacities. The limited national stakeholders’ absorption capacities, as well as slow and very formal communication between the national stakeholders and the implementing agencies, shall be taken into consideration as a specific circumstance in the planning process. This requires more efforts and patience as well as mutual respect for internal administrative procedures on both sides.

Flexibility in Implementation. Although the programme continues to plan to best address the needs of the stakeholders, it has often been the case that more ‘needs’ arose during the implementation phase, which required changes in the activities or in the adjustment of schedules for specific activities. Catering all such needs within administrative limitations required additional efforts and led to more delays to the overall completion of the programme.

Security. Over the previous two years, the security threat level in Iraq has improved as no major terrorist attacks occurred. Furthermore, all ISIL-held territories in Iraq have been liberated by 2017. However, the internal security remains fragile as Iraqi people have become particularly sensitive to the high level of corruption and poor public service delivery; thus, continuous support is needed to maintain and enhance national, regional, and global security by the provision of better public services and the reduction of corruption. 

1. Recommendation:

6.1 Recommendation 1: Continuation of Donor Support

Recommendation deals with: Further support to public sector modernisation 

Recommendation is directed at: Donor countries and UN 

This recommendation is based on Conclusion 1

Statement of overall recommendation: Due to the immense and continued need for improvement of public sector and its further modernisation, it is recommended to provide follow-up support that would build upon the achieved results and boost the project across Iraq. However, it is recommended to stop or at least downsize further programme support to certain programme areas that have been continuously supported since 2011 (Phases I and II) as the beneficiaries (should) have become self-dependent and capable of performing their tasks (strategic development, planning, monitoring) without a significant external assistance and support. In contrast to this, it is recommended to provide further support in specific sectors or sector institutions to build upon the achieved results in areas where further advancement is likely to succeed, be sustained and where the beneficiary cooperation and co-funding is promising. As capacity-building activities cannot solely address gaps, applying an appropriate mix of capacity-building and technical assistance measures (hard component support) is recommended.

Action to be taken; 1. Provision of further support to the national stakeholders and beneficiaries engaged in public sector modernisation in Iraq

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]

UNDP acknowledges there is a need for continued investments to be made to support systematic and quality changes which enhance public sector performance in Iraq. However, it also recognizes that donor support alone cannot meet the investment requirements, but will require a more diverse partnership base, including increased investments/funding from the Government of Iraq (Federal, Regional and/or Local levels); and also leverage non-financial partnerships.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Initiate the development of project documents on priority sub-topics that relate to “ Public Sector Modernization in Iraq (for example the Excellence center, Smart Kerbala)
[Added: 2020/01/27]
Governance Pillar 2019/02 Completed
1.2 Government and development partner consultation to be conducted on the topic of public sector modernization in Iraq, in order to facilitate the mobilization of resources
[Added: 2020/01/27] [Last Updated: 2021/03/23]
Governance Pillar 2021/03 Completed Several discussions were conducted with the COMSec, following UNDP letter introducing a project on e-governance to assist the Gov of Iraq in their efforts on Digital transformation, in which UNDP has offered a support to conduct Landscape Digital Assessment ,Maturity Digital Assessment on various sectors and final developing a roadmap for digital transformation, furthermore, capacity building of Gov. staff is considered in the assistance that will be provided by UNDP (at the level of the Iraq CO and the RH). Last meeting was held on 16 March 2021 with the head of the e-governance file in Iraq and a member from the consultancy committee of COMSec in participation by the UNDP Regional Hub Office, specific action points have been identified to move forward with the implementation. History
2. Recommendation:

6.2 Recommendation 2. Retention of the Existing Cooperation Mechanisms with the Programme Beneficiaries and Stakeholders

Recommendation deals with: Programme design and programme approach

Recommendation is directed at: UN and GOI 

This recommendation is based on Conclusion 2

Statement of overall recommendation: In the case of continuation of programme/project support, it is recommended to maintain the same approach and to retain the existing well-developed cooperation framework with GOI, ministries, governorates, and other stakeholders, as this enabled appropriate buy-in and increased overall programme impact. The UN should use the momentum and avoid a potential programme/project void and continue with supporting the public sector in specific areas.

Action to be taken:

1. Retain cooperation with the Prime Minister’s Office, relevant ministries and governorates.

2. Avoid disconnection between the existing programme and a new programme/project support 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]

UNDP acknowledges there is a need for continued investments to be made to support systematic and quality changes which enhance public sector performance in specific areas in Iraq. UNDP recognizes that this needs to maintain the same approach and to retain the existing well-developed cooperation framework with GOI, ministries, governorates, and other stakeholders, as this enabled appropriate buy-in and increased overall programme impact.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Roundtable Discussions with the Prime Minister’s Office, relevant ministries and governorates on potential cooperation.
[Added: 2020/01/27] [Last Updated: 2021/03/23]
Governance Pillar 2021/03 Completed Several discussions were conducted with the COMSec, following UNDP letter introducing a project on e-governance to assist the Gov of Iraq in their efforts on Digital transformation, in which UNDP has offered a support to conduct Landscape Digital Assessment ,Maturity Digital Assessment on various sectors and final developing a roadmap for digital transformation, furthermore, capacity building of Gov. staff is considered in the assistance that will be provided by UNDP (at the level of the Iraq CO and the RH). Last meeting was held on 16 March 2021 with the head of the e-governance file in Iraq and a member from the consultancy committee of COMSec in participation by the UNDP Regional Hub Office, specific action points have been identified to move forward with the implementation. History
3. Recommendation:

6.3 Recommendation 4: Increased Support in Fight and Suppression of Corruption in the Public Sector 

Recommendation deals with: Continuation of aid support 

Recommendation is directed at: UN and GOI

This recommendation is based on Conclusion 4

Statement of overall recommendation: Potential future programme/project support shall, to a much greater extent, include actions and activities aimed at the prevention and suppression of corruption by increasing anti-corruption capacities in the public sector. In line with this, it is recommended to more strongly involve the key institutions in charge of good governance and reconciliation, such as Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs.

Action to be taken:

1. To better suppress widespread corruption in Iraq public sector, it is necessary to introduce and implement additional activities aimed at fighting corruption

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]

UNDP Iraq agrees with the recommendation. Having recognized the need to scale up support to fight corruption in Iraq, this area of work is identified as a priority in the new Country Programme, which comes into effect in January 2020. Accordingly, UNDP Iraq aims to develop a comprehensive project framework that will focus on supporting Iraq to fight corruption.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Develop a dedicated Project framework/ document which focuses on supporting Anti-corruption in Iraq, including defining strategic partnerships with UN agencies such as UNODC.
[Added: 2020/01/27] [Last Updated: 2020/09/02]
Governance Pillar 2020/07 Completed We have already Project Initiation Plan (PIP) on Anti-corruption (jointly with the Regional Hub) for 1 year, signed by the RR of UNDP Iraq – Started date is 15 April 2020 History
4. Recommendation:

6.4 Recommendation 5: Continued Cooperation with GIS and county-wide implementation of the Geographical Information System

Recommendation deals with: Further development of Geographical Information System

Recommendation is directed at:UN and GOI

This recommendation is based on Conclusion 5

Statement of overall recommendation: It is recommended that the outstanding results achieved by the Geographical Information System Unit in Karbala be further replicated across Iraq to enable its application in other governorates and districts. Further support can be also provided to development of the new Law on GIS and the establishment of a National GIS Centre

Action to be taken: 1. Provision of further technical and capacity-building support to GIS at central and decentralised level

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]

UNDP Iraq agrees there is a need for continuing to support the use of GIS systems in Iraq. However UNDP is cognizant of the need for technical and financial capacities to be available to do country-wide implementation, and therefore proposes to first pilot an approach/project and based on results look to scale up support, subject to also securing funding for scale up from the Government of Iraq.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Installation and configuration of the data center in Kerbala Governorate.
[Added: 2020/01/27] [Last Updated: 2020/10/25]
Governance Pillar 2020/10 Completed All pending issues have been addressed and key action has completed History
5. Recommendation:

6.5 Recommendation 6: Continued Cooperation with National Center for Management Development and Information Technology

Recommendation deals with: Maintain technical cooperation with NCMDIT

Recommendation is directed at: UN and GOI

This recommendation is based on Conclusion 6

Statement of overall recommendation: In case of further programme/project support, it is recommended to maintain the existing cooperation framework, particularly with MOP and NCMDIT. Furthermore, it is recommended to further support the Centre’s capacities and connect it with similar institutions abroad in order to bring in more international experience that can be further replicated across other ministries, public institutions, and NGOs in Iraq. Furthermore, it is also recommended to provide further support to developing e-learning processes and to expanding e-governance solutions and applications.

Action to be taken: 1. Provision of further support to NCMDIT

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]

UNDP Iraq acknowledges the importance of the mandate, role and function of the National Center for Management Development and Information Technology in furthering the modernization of the public sector in Iraq and thereby the need for continuing the cooperation already established. Regular dialogue and consultation will be continued under the new Country Programme which comes into effect in January 2020

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

6.6 Recommendation 7: Improvement of Programme Monitoring and Reporting 

Recommendation deals with: Programme management and monitoring

Recommendation is directed at: UN, UNDP 

This recommendation is based on Conclusion 7

Statement of overall recommendation: It is recommended to improve the result-oriented monitoring system for upcoming programming actions and to improve regular programme reporting by providing information on the programme progress and about the performed activities about the programme visibility . In addition to this, it is recommended to ensure and allocate financial resources for mid-term evaluations, providing an interim independent assessment and provide recommendations for potential adjustment of the programme for remaining period, particularly for such long-lasting programmes.

Action to be taken: 1. Improve programme/project monitoring and reporting mechanisms 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/27] [Last Updated: 2020/11/23]

UNDP Iraq acknowledges this recommendation and the need to improve programme monitoring and reporting from 2020 onwards.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Dedicated Monitoring and Evaluation expertise to be recruited for the Governance Pillar and/or Project to develop quality M&E frameworks, data collection systems and undertake data analysis
[Added: 2020/01/27] [Last Updated: 2020/09/15]
Governance Pillar 2020/07 Completed A programme management specialist (P3) has joined the SSR programme under governance pillar; he will be providing support to all tasks related to routine programme aspects and scheduling for sharing/ submission of routine RBM data/ information. History
7. Recommendation:

6.7 Recommendation 8: Improvement of Programme Visibility 

Recommendation deals with:Programme visibility

Recommendation is directed at:UN, UNDP

This recommendation is based on Conclusion 8

Statement of overall recommendation: Potential further programme/project support shall significantly improve the visibility of a potential new programme/project. It is recommended to develop a visibility strategy, action plan, and to introduce programme activities through various media, including social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. ,as well as to develop a project/programme related web-page.

Action to be taken: 1. Improve programme/project monitoring and reporting mechanisms 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/23]

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

LESSONS LEARNED

After eight years of programme implementation, several considerable lessons have been learned that may be useful for future programming and project implementation. 

Public Sector Reform remains a Highly Political Undertaking. Countries in transition remain resistant to radical reforms due to the political sensitivity as public reforms are often associated with the dismissal or redeployment of redundant public servants. For this reason, extensive civil service and administrative reform programme could be both controversial and potentially politically destabilising

Government and Political Will. To reach and advance public sector modernisation, it is necessary to ensure appropriate political will. Without continued, sustained, developing. and practical stakeholder commitment and political will from the government, further advancement of the programme results will be rather limited and mostly narrowed to low level-technical advancement, without necessary institutional changes. The application of new laws or amendment of existing legal frameworks require necessary political will and usually cannot be achieved in a short-term perspective.  Administrative Hindrances and Absorption Capacities. The limited national stakeholders’ absorption capacities, as well as slow and very formal communication between the national stakeholders and the implementing agencies, shall be taken into consideration as a specific circumstance in the planning process. This requires more efforts and patience as well as mutual respect for internal administrative procedures on both sides.

Flexibility in Implementation. Although the programme continues to plan to best address the needs of the stakeholders, it has often been the case that more ‘needs’ arose during the implementation phase, which required changes in the activities or in the adjustment of schedules for specific activities. Catering all such needs within administrative limitations required additional efforts and led to more delays to the overall completion of the programme.

Security. Over the previous two years, the security threat level in Iraq has improved as no major terrorist attacks occurred. Furthermore, all ISIL-held territories in Iraq have been liberated by 2017. However, the internal security remains fragile as Iraqi people have become particularly sensitive to the high level of corruption and poor public service delivery; thus, continuous support is needed to maintain and enhance national, regional, and global security by the provision of better public services and the reduction of corruption. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

Key Actions:

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