Iraq Human Development Report 2014 - Youth, Challenges and Opportunities

Project Summary

  An Iraqi youth painting his dreams on the T-Walls © UNDP Iraq/2014

The Iraq National Human Development Report (NHDR) 2014 attempts to assess the development changes in Iraq in the period following the release of the Iraq NHDR in 2008. It asserts that while quantitative assessment shows that Iraq has made some progress in Human Development as demonstrated in the results of the HDI, important development issues remain ostensibly unresolved. It concludes that the transition process that followed the change of administration in 2003 has not achieved its objectives in political and economic transformation, security, migration, displacement, women and vulnerable group’s rights, and education.

The report shows that the only achieved improvement in living standards are limited to higher consumer spending associated with the increase in oil revenues in the past few years. This increase has resulted in expanded services in trade, sales, and transportation. Such activities are incapable, however, of setting the foundation of a sustainable development process that could have been achieved effectively and efficiently by the joint efforts of the public and private sectors.

The theme of the report is “Youth, Challenges and Opportunities” and it demonstrates that the transition has also failed to achieve the favourable structural transformations that create new opportunities for the Iraqi youth, who now realize that they are stuck in an indefinite transition period full of challenges. The report, however, also identifies a few new opportunities for youth. These are the limited positive political and social changes that are providing young people with space for them to play a better role in the transformation process.

Report preparation

The report was prepared entirely through national effort following a participatory and consultative approach. The report contains a section describing the preparation process and lists the contributions made by the various partners that participated in its reparation.

UNDP commissioned a national independent think tank, Bayt al Hikma (House of Wisdom in Arabic), as the responsible partner to prepare the report. Bayt al Hikma mobilized national resources through its network of experts and academics that span the whole country. Bayt al Hikma led the author team that include academics, civil society members, and contributors from the Iraqi governorates.

Bayt al Hikma arranged a Youth Support Team which comprised 16 youths, five of which are female. The Youth Support Team conducted a youth consultation exercise through focused group discussions that covered 11 sessions in the country and a session for Iraqi expatriate youth in Jordan. Youth participation is reflected in the report chapters through the “Voice of the Youth” boxes that intersperses the analysis.

The report was prepared in full consultation with the Iraqi Government institutions that include the Federal Ministry of Planning, the Central Statistics Organization, the Kurdistan Region Statistics Office, and the Ministry of Youth.

UNDP Iraq also facilitated consultations and contributions with the UNCT Agencies, such as UNFPA which was supporting the National Youth Strategy. UN-ESCWA contributed their Regional Advisor to support the author team and provide capacity building throughout the process.

The report relies on extensive data that was collected through surveys and studies conducted in Iraq in the years 2011-2013. A specific “Youth Survey” was conducted to support the analysis and fill in the data gaps. The report includes a Statistical Annex comprised of 21 tables that synthesize the data of the surveys and studies in a form that is relevant to the report.

The authoring and review of the report was conducted in the year 2013 following the preparatory and capacity building activities that spanned the first year of the report preparation in 2012. These activities are recorded in a dedicated blog.

Funding information



Agency Amount in US$
UNDP Core Funding (TRAC)     1,276,164    

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