Iraq’s First Bureau for Public Policy Opens in Baghdad

The inauguration of the first office of public policy in Baghdad, Iraq. The event was attended by representatives of the Governm
The inauguration of the first office of public policy in Baghdad, Iraq. The event was attended by representatives of the Government of Iraq and USAID.
USAID is supporting the Government of Iraq to achieve its strategic goal of improving the functions of its public institution to better serve the Iraqi people.The development of public policy is a critical tool for improved governance.

Under the previous regime, the Iraqi people had no voice in their government and no say in the formulation of the policies that directly affected their lives. But the passing of the new Constitution in 2005 changed that, establishing the roles and duties of the various executive offices in policy making. In fact, the Iraqi constitution is the only constitution in the Middle East to mandate its executive offices to engage in a democratic, consultative process of public policy making. 

Another important step was taken in November 2011, with the opening of the country’s first-ever Bureau of Public Policy. It occupies a specially built wing in the presidential offices, demonstrating the importance the Presidency attaches to the critical role of policy in the country’s governance. It also fulfills Presidential Decree No. 129 which called for the establishment of the Bureau in the Presidency Diwan to draft “public policies in various fields in accordance with the vision of the President to build and develop a prosperous Iraq consistent with the Constitution.” 

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony that formally inaugurated the Bureau, the Chairman of the Presidency Diwan, Minister Naseer Al-Ani, thanked USAID for its commitment to developing the skills of Iraqi personnel in the area of public policy, and for establishing and furnishing the facilities with IT equipment and a library of books on international policy development practices. He also thanked USAID for providing technical assistance in achieving these goals.

Through the establishment of the Bureau, the GoI is better equipped to deliver national policies that fulfill its Constitutional mandates, and will help to empower the Iraqi people with a stronger voice in the development of policies that directly affect their lives.

The opening also marks an important transition in USAID’s work assisting the Government of Iraq (GoI) to develop its democratic institutions. It is the culmination of sustained work by USAID’s National Capacity Development program (Tatweer) in building the capacity of Iraqi civil servants. That work is now being carried on by a successor, USAID’s Iraq Administrative Reform Project or Tarabot (‘linkages’). USAID’s Tarabot is working to further build the skills of the civil servants to create sustainable institutions and improve democratic governance.

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Last updated: August 21, 2013

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