Strengthening Participatory and Accountable Governance

Project Summary

UNDP IQ- Training of Trainers Good Governance Certificates- 20161018Members of the NGOs Directorate and representatives of civil society organizations receive Master Trainers’ certificates in Baghdad. Photo: Baraa Afif/UNDP Iraq/2016


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is assisting Iraq to implement national reform plans.  This includes support to institutional reform and good governance through modernizing the Council of Representatives’ (CoR) internal procedures, reinforcing its oversight role, and fostering inclusive participation in legislative processes and public policies.

Under Strengthening Participatory and Accountable Governance project (SPAG), UNDP is also extending support to the Parliament of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), and Provincial Councils.

UNDP’s efforts to strengthen participatory and accountable governance in Iraq have thus far focused on the CoR’s legislative and oversight capacity, in addition to the roles of its Presidency, General Secretariat, Committee members, and core staff. 

Of specific focus during 2016 was the NGOs Directorate of the General Secretariat, due to its significant role in promoting participatory governance through engaging civil society. In this context, UNDP continues to provide capacity building support to civil society, minorities, and vulnerable groups, including women and youth, to enable their effective participation in the legislative and democratic processes.

What we have achieved so far

During 2016, UNDP’s SPAG achieved the following results with generous funding from donors and in close collaboration with respective authorities:

• The CoR’s Human Rights and Legal Affairs Committees produced and adopted National Strategic Plans and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), in July and October 2016 respectively.

• The General Secretariat of the CoR developed, adopted, and circulated parliamentary measurement performance guidelines to all Directorates and Committees, with the aim of improving coordination and delivery.

• A concept note on constitutional reform produced and shared with the CoR Speaker’s Office for consideration. 

• Fourty-seven CoR members sensitized on legislation and oversight mechanisms. Amongst those, twenty-three members of committees related to budget and financial analysis, as well as the Financial and Economic Committees of Provincial Councils, were capacitated in Tunisia on management of economic and financial crises and budgeting oversight.

• Twenty-four staff of the Research Directorate trained on methodologies of parliamentary research, library services, legislation impact, measurements of costs of enacting laws, legislation drafting, infographic for research marketing, and preparation of CoR annual reports. 

• The NGOs Directorate replaced the old bureaucratic system for NGO registration with an Electronic System, and transferred all data from hard copies.

• A pool of twenty master trainers of representatives of local CSOs established, in order to support the NGOs Directorate in training local NGOs on a voluntary basis. This was a result of a one-year-long training of trainers supported by UNDP.

• The curriculum for three training courses produced and adopted by the NGOs Directorate, focusing on the role of CSOs in influencing public policies in Iraq.

• 150 CSOs capacitated including on project proposal drafting, fundraising, good governance, leadership, and public policy engagement.

• Awareness on inclusiveness and participatory approaches enhanced amongst policy makers and influential parties, specifically members of the CoR, Parliament of the KR-I, and CSOs, through a number of activities and comparative experiences focused on strengthening minorities’ participation and representation in the drafting of public policies.

• The baseline of awareness on minorities in Iraq identified for the Provincial Councils of Baghdad, Kirkuk, and Erbil.

Funding information

In 2016, UNDP’s SPAG had a total budget of US$1,062,178 funded as follows:



Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)






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