Headway Programme

Status: Ongoing
Duration: 2019 – 2020
Budget: US$11.1 million (€10 million) provided by the EU’s Regional Trust Fund, MADAD.
Coverage: 4 governorates
SDG: SDGs 6, 8 and 10
Focus Area: Resilience building
Programme Manager: Isabela Uribe
Partners: The Governments of Iraq and Kurdistan Region, EU’s MADAD, UN-Habitat
Project Document:
Syrian refugees being trained by the renowned Kurdish celebrity, Helly Luv, to co-manage a beauty salon in Qushtapa camp, near Erbil. Photo: UNDP Iraq/2019


Programme Summary

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) launched the Headway programme in Iraq, in February 2019. Funded by the European Union’s (EU) Regional Trust Fund, MADAD, the programme aims at strengthening the long-term resilience of governorates and populations affected by the crisis of refugees and internally displaced people in Iraq.

Among the programme objectives is enhancing the capacities of subnational authorities to effectively address the needs of target communities. Other objectives include increasing the responsiveness of service delivery to advance social stability and facilitating local economic development that will benefit the provision of safe public services and economic opportunities.

Over the course of two years, approximately 430,000 vulnerable people will benefit directly and indirectly from the Headway programme activities in the governorates of Duhok, Erbil, Sulaimaniyah and Ninewah.


What we are working to achieve

  • Improving and updating knowledge of vulnerabilities, damage and risks, and identifying sectors with potential for employment and local economic development.
  • Supporting target communities through the rehabilitation of housing units and employment, where possible, while recognizing occupancy rights and providing societal evidence of land rights.
  • Improving the access of Syrian refugees, internally displaced people and host communities to basic municipal services and social, public and economic infrastructure through the rehabilitation of small-scale water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure.
  • Increasing the self-reliance of target communities via a grant scheme that finances intensive job-generating projects.

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