Launching the capacity building program on “Government-Wide Institutional Performance Management”

The first in a series of capacity building workshops has been concluded in Erbil, Iraq.

With the ultimate aim of helping Iraq reinforce its accountability and efficiency mechanisms, the workshop’s objective was to improve the Iraq public sector readiness to apply a new model of performance management entitled “Iraqi Government-Wide Institutional Performance Management Model”.

The model was developed by the Council of Ministers Secretariat (CoMSEC), with UNDP technical support, in consultation concerned public sector instititions in Iraq,  and is based on the “European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM)” standards”.

It was endorsed by the government in March, 2017 for piloting in three ministries for validation: Youth & Sports, Electricity and Commerce.  Lessons learnedduring the piloting phase completed in Nov, 2017 were taken into account to further develop the model, which will be scaled up in May, 2018 across public sector institutions.

This series of capacity building workshops target the “Performance Management Teams” at the participating public sector Institutions, who will be entrusted with applying the “Iraqi Government-Wide Institutional Performance Management Model” at the ministries they represent.

The first workshop targeted 31 participants from the Ministries of Agriculture, Water Resources, and Industry and Minerals, and CoMSEC.  Participants discusssed the fundamentals of institutional performancemManagement and went through the “Excellence Journey”.  The workshop implementation strategy was based on the fundamentals of adult learning, where peer and experiential learning combined with high degree of participates’ involvement took place.  The workshop activities were divided between methodological presentations and practical exercises.  The contents built on the insight and experience available in the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM)”.

Addressing the workshop participants, the Head of Control and Audit Directorate at CoMSEC, Mr. Riyad Fadil, emphasised the fact that the government is closely monitoring the development and deployment of the model and looking forward to seeing the results of replication across all public sector institutions at the federal Level.  He also added that, “Our team is ready and willing to provide all the support possible to advance this initiative further”.

The Iraq Public Sector Modernization Program Manager, Mr. Hisham EL Azzouni, highlighted that “This is a nationally-owned and led initiate that is currently supported by UNDP”.  He also added that “The model isn’t an end in itself, but a mean for improving the performance of public sector in Iraq”.  He also assured the participants that IPSM-UNDP will spare no effort to make the model a reality and will provide GoI with the support they need in this regard.

The implementation of this program comes within the framework of IPSM-UNDP support to GoI to have more efficient, accountable and participatory governance at national and sub-national  levels.  The program aims also at improving the administrative systems at federal and sub-natopnal level, coupled with strengthening the sub-national governance and decentralised service delivery systems through enhanced participatory processes.

(Source: UNDP)

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has announced the opening of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program competition for 2019-2021.

This academic exchange program is funded by the U.S.  Department of State and was initiated by U.S. Senator William J. Fulbright in 1946 to increase international educational exchange between Americans and citizens of more than 150 countries worldwide.

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program provides Iraqi students and young professionals the opportunity to pursue graduate-level study in the United States. The award includes funding for tuition and required fees; a book, equipment, and travel allowance; a monthly stipend for room & board; and also a supplemental health and accident coverage plan.

Please note that applicants may apply in most fields of study, including humanities, social science, science, technology, and engineering.  However, master’s programs related to clinical studies, such as medicine and nursing, are not permitted.

In addition to academic training, Fulbright scholarships also provide transformative cultural exchange experiences. As Fulbright participants, Iraqi students will have the unique opportunity to experience life in the United States and also share Iraq’s unique culture and traditions with Americans.

Program participants will be selected through a merit-based, open competition in which leadership potential, academic excellence and ability to adjust to life in the United States are all considered. Prospective students may apply by following the online application instructions at the U.S. Embassy’s website: .

Applications for the 2019-2021 Fulbright Foreign Student Program are being accepted now through May 1, 2018.

Applicants must:

  • Be Iraqi citizens.
  • U.S. citizens or green card holders are not eligible to apply.
  • Reside in country throughout the application, selection and placement process.
  • Have two years of professional work experience.
  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree at the time of the program start date from an accredited institution recognized by the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Baghdad.
  • Possess a strong academic background.
  • Be proficient in English and/or able to attend a Long-Term English (LTE) program prior to the start of the study program.

Preference will be given to students who have little or no previous experience studying or living in the United States. Those with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

(Source: U.S. Embassy in Baghdad)

The United States congratulates the Government of Iraq and the Iraqi Air Force on the reopening of its Air Force Air Academy, which took place at Balad Air Force Base today.

The United States and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS will support the new Academy by providing mentoring to the Academy’s first class of cadets on topics ranging from aviation safety and flight discipline to officer professional development and familiarity with aircraft technical orders.

Following Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi’s announcement in December 2017 on the full liberation of Iraqi territory from ISIS, the Iraqi government took steps to reopen the Academy’s ahead of schedule, establishing an expeditionary training site at Balad Air Force Base until a final main campus is established.

“In coordination with the Iraqi government, the Coalition will help establish standardized upgrade training programs with deliberate development of aviation airmen and maintenance technicians,” said Brig Gen. Andrew Croft, Director of the Coalition Aviation Advisory and Training Team. “Air advisors with the Coalition will also work with these cadets and future students to provide conversational English practice as part of their training.”

The Iraqi Air Force Air Academy will focus on developing maintenance officers as well as fighter, reconnaissance, and mobility pilots. Iraqi aviators will train on the Cessna 172, Cessna 208, T-6, and T-50 aircraft.

The first 40 cadets will begin their coursework in March. Upon graduation from the Academy, pilots will focus on specialized training at various locations in Iraq.

Through this support to the Government of Iraq, the United States and the Coalition are helping to build a sustainable aviation institution for Iraq’s future security and defense needs. The Academy is another step in Iraq rebuilding its military institutions, and will give them a structure that will continue the professionalization of their Air Force.

(Source: US Embassy in Baghdad)

By John Lee.

Spartan Air Academy Iraq LLC., Addison, Texas, has been awarded a $45,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the stand-up of an Air Academy training in support of the Iraq Air Force.

Work will be performed at Balad Air Base, Iraq, and is expected to be complete by Feb. 8, 2019.

This award is the result of a country-directed sole-source acquisition.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

From AFP. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Literary cafes, poetry readings and pavement bookstalls — Mosul’s cultural scene is back in business, months after Iraqi forces ousted the Islamic State group from the city following three years of jihadist rule.

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The Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF) has announced the roster of Honorary Co-Chairs for the May 5, 2018, IN THEIR SHOES 5K to benefit Iraq’s most vulnerable children:

  • His Excellency Fareed Yasseen, Ambassador of Iraq to the United States
  • Ambassador Ryan Crocker (Ret.), Former US Ambassador to Iraq and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Lt. General Jeffrey S. Buchanan, Commander, US Army North (Fifth Army), Served four tours in Iraq
  • Cynthia Ozbat and Elijah Ozbat, Gold Star Mother and brother of Cpt. Jesse Ozbat, served in Iraq, killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan
  • Zainab Salbi, Award winning humanitarian, media host, and author

And ICF welcomes back our 5K stars:  the three “Young Ambassadors” who are true testaments to the strength and resilience of Iraqi children.  Teeba was severely burned in a car bombing in Baghdad as a little girl.  Ala’a was abandoned in Iraq as a little boy with cerebral palsy.  And Humoody was shot in the face by terrorists and blinded.  Who better to represent the children of Iraq at this event?


for children like Noor

Ten-year old Noor lives in poverty with her mother and little brother in a house of mud and sheet metal.   She enjoys going regularly to the Hope Bus for tutoring and a nutritious lunch, but she also works collecting empty cans from landfills to support her family.

Recently, Noor came to the bus, sobbing and saying her mother was about to die. Staff immediately went to check and discovered her mother had suffered a heart attack but didn’t have money to go to a doctor or buy medicine. They took her to a hospital, and Noor and her brother went to stay with a relative.  After several days, the mother was ready to go home and today, Noor is back in class at the Hope Bus!

Incoming ICF Chairman Mohammed Khudairi Khudairi said:

I am pleased and honored to have the opportunity to give back to the children of Iraq as the new Chairman of the Iraqi Children Foundation. As a young man spending summers in Iraq, I interacted with many underprivileged children who lived in dire conditions and those children became some of my best friends. I cherish those relationships to this day. 

“As an American and businessman, this cause is dear to my heart and I call on all our friends in the Iraqi-American community, business community, veterans, and Gold Star families to join us May 5 to run/walk ‘in their shoes’ for these vulnerable children.

(Source: ICF)

With UNICEF’s support, ACTED’s community-led approach to child protection in Qushtapa camp, Erbil, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, is broadening academic and recreational opportunities for displaced children.

Since 2014, ACTED has been providing child protection services to Syrian refugees in Qushtapa camp in Erbil governorate. From within its Child and Youth Community Centres, ACTED provides a range of educational, recreational and awareness raising activities designed to contribute to the sustained resilience of children living both in and out of the camp.

This UNICEF-sponsored project helps foster community ‘buy-in’ through encouraging residents to take part in daily ‘Community Volunteer Hour.’ Forty-eight adult camp residents currently participate through teaching school support classes in archaeology, literacy, Arabic, English, biology to the children and adolescents residing in the camp.

These volunteers also help facilitate a range of sport and arts activities which provide a vital outlet for children, many of whom have experienced hardships through war and displacement.

Prior to commencing in their volunteering roles, ACTED Child Protection Teams deliver trainings for camp residents on Child Friendly Spaces/Youth Friendly Spaces (CFS/YFS) Purposes and Principles, Child Protection in Emergencies, Planning Activities, Facilitation Skills, Classroom Management, Confidentiality, Inclusion of Children with Disabilities, and Psychological First Aid.

Such trainings contribute both to the professional development of volunteers, and also to ensuring children and youth receive quality support.

Adan, one of the forty-eight camp volunteers, said:

“The residents of the camp now understand how the Child Friendly Spaces provide both a safe place for children to spend their time and a great way for us to discover which activities are most appropriate for them. It also helps the members of the camp community to get used to running the CFS. The people quickly understood that despite the challenges, it was our responsibility to take care of the children and focus on their well-being and development.”

ACTED prioritizes self-reliance and decision-making agency among camp residents as a means of both improving camp conditions and ensuring the continuation of relevant, high-impact child protection support services after the management of such camps transitions into the hands of local actors.

(Source: ACTED)

At least one in four children in Iraq impacted by conflict and poverty

At the upcoming Kuwait conference, UNICEF calls for immediate and massive additional investment in education; a key for lasting peace and progress in Iraq

Statement by UNICEF Regional Director, Geert Cappelaere, following his visit to Iraq:

“Iraq today hosts one of UNICEF’s largest operations in the world, responding with humanitarian and development assistance to the needs of the most vulnerable girls and boys across the country.

“More than 4 million children have been impacted by extreme violence in several areas including in Ninewa and al-Anbar. Last year alone, 270 children were killed. Many were robbed of their childhood, forced to fight on the frontlines. Some will bear the physical and psychological scars for life due to exposure to unprecedented brutality. Over 1 million children were forced to leave their homes.

“While the fighting has come to an end in several areas, spikes of violence continue in others. Just this week, three bombings went off in Baghdad. Violence is not only killing and maiming children; it is destroying schools, hospitals, homes and roads. It is tearing apart the diverse social fabric and the culture of tolerance that hold communities together.

“In the northern city of Mosul, a place that witnessed unspeakable destruction, I met children who were hit hard by three years of violence. In one of the schools that UNICEF recently rehabilitated in the western parts of Mosul, I joined 12-year-old Noor in class. She told me how her family stayed in the city even during the peak of the fighting. She spoke of her fear when she was taking shelter. She lost three years of schooling and is now working hard to catch up, learning English with other boys and girls.

“Mankind may have proven once again in Mosul and other parts of Iraq its massive power to destroy and destruct. But another much stronger power left a deeper impression: the determination to rebuild and get on with life. Children were so excited speaking of their aspirations, sharing their happiness of being able to play and study again.

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has just announced the list of major strategic projects to be presented during the Kuwait International Conference for Iraq Reconstruction, to be held in Kuwait from 12th to 14th February.

The 157 large- and medium-sized projects span all sectors of the Iraqi economy, including oil and gas, transport, housing, agriculture and education.

The full 46-page document can be downloaded here.

(Source: NIC)

In November and December this year, a mobile training team led by Slovakia conducted a training course in manual demining for Iraqi Security Forces.

This was held in Iraq in the framework of NATO‘s training and capacity building activities in support of Iraqi security forces and institutions. It was developed and implemented in coordination with the NATO Core Team in Baghdad.

Twenty-one students from the Ministry of Defence attended the course. Upon completion seventeen of them were certified as instructors; four were awarded with certificates of basic demining.”Most of the students were experienced explosive ordnance disposal personel and were really eager to learn new techniques,” the Commander of the Slovak Training Team, 2ndLieutenant Lukáš Cabovsky, said.

Following the liberation of Iraq from Da’esh/ISIS, more clearance of explosives is required. ‎Civilians are often the victims, as Da’esh/ISIS are reported to have planted bombs and other explosive devices in heavily populated areas, as well as in schools and parks.

To deal with this, NATO is helping to build a sustainable Iraqi demining capacity by conducting a series of training activities for future Iraqi instructors. “Our contribution is focused exclusively on carrying out training tasks and on providing advice and assistance in support of the Iraqi forces,” 2nd Lieutenant Cabovsky highlighted.

Other training courses and seminars already conducted in the framework of NATO’s training and capacity building activities in support of Iraqi security forces and institutions have focused on countering improvised explosive devices, maintenance of Soviet-era armoured vehicles, military medicine, civil-military cooperation, reform of security institutions, and civil emergency planning to deal with natural emergencies.

(Source: NATO)