Decentralising public administration

Project description

Title: Supporting Decentralisation and Local Governance in Iraq
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ)
Country: Iraq
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Planning Iraq (MoP)
Overall term: 2017 to 2022


The decentralisation of government tasks is enshrined in Iraq’s new constitution, which was adopted in 2005. To date, however, the government has only implemented decentralisation to a limited extent. Although the decentralisation of responsibilities and powers should have been completed by 2015, the first three ministries did not begin this process until 2017. A lack of skills transfer and funding has left the provincial administrations insufficiently equipped to provide public services. The participation of various social groups in decision-making processes has been limited in the past, and their access to services sporadic. There is a lack of the institutional and human resources required to implement citizen-oriented decentralisation reform and to promote local development at ministerial level as well as in regions, cities and municipalities.


The Iraqi administration is given support to implement decentralisation in line with citizens’ needs.


The project supports the Iraqi administration in its decentralisation measures by improving organisational structures and work processes. It organises training courses for public administration staff so that they are able to perform their duties more effectively. Local budget departments are created in the provinces so that the latter can manage their own budgets, thereby reducing their dependence on the national budget.

In some communities, the project supports the development and implementation of local projects that meet citizens’ needs, using local resources to do so. The revenue generated by the projects remains at regional level where it is managed and reinvested based on actual needs.

The project also supports efforts to expand participation mechanisms for civil society. Disadvantaged groups, particularly women, young people and persons with disabilities, discuss their needs with the responsible district leaders in dialogue events. This enables citizens to participate directly in local planning and development.

Last updated: May 2022