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Baghdad Provincial Council members review the draft Citizen Participation Law to be submitted to the Council.
Baghdad Provincial Council members review the draft Citizen Participation Law to be submitted to the Council.

In support of the Government of Iraq’s strong commitment to decentralization, USAID designed the Governance Strengthening Project, more commonly known as Taqadum, which is the Arabic word for “moving forward.” Taqadum works with officials in provincial councils and governors’ offices across the country to improve government service delivery to citizens by strengthening provincial institutional capacity and improving governmental oversight through the empowerment of local elected officials. Taqadum works side by side with Iraqi partners and stakeholders to provide innovative technical assistance and training. Provinces working in partnership with Taqadum provide in-kind contributions, such as office space for Taqadum staff, and are responsible for implementing reforms, such as increased inclusion of community groups in decision-making. 

This six-year project is being implemented in all Iraqi provinces outside Kurdistan and has two components:

Component 1: Institutional Strengthening. USAID provides provincial leaders with technical assistance, as well as capacity-building training in planning, budgeting, and resource-monitoring processes. These activities engage Iraqi citizens so that provincial and ministerial development initiatives reflect local priorities. The project builds long-term training capacity among Iraqi institutions by partnering with universities, local government associations, and non-governmental organizations.

Component 2: Executive Oversight. Through technical assistance, skills training, and material support, Taqadum helps provincial and locally elected officials leverage the authority of local governments to hold service providers accountable for improved service delivery. This component also works with local non-governmental organizations and local government associations to encourage citizen engagement in oversight efforts. As such, Taqadum works closely with governmental and non-governmental community groups to introduce such concepts as oversight, participatory planning, gathering citizens’ input, and advocating for constituent priorities.