The project is the initial phase of sub-programme No. 5: "Shelter Policy Formulation", which is part of UN-HABITAT’s Urban and Housing Rehabilitation Programme (UHRP) for Iraq. The UHRP was formulated on the basis of recommendations and critical reviews from the UN-HABITAT High-level Advisory Panel for the Reconstruction of Iraq, a multi-disciplinary panel of Iraqi personalities that also includes three ministers and high-level representatives of ministries. The key objectives of the project are to:
- Build the capacities of the Ministry of Housing and Construction, the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works and regional and local authorities to manage the housing sector in order to meet the immediate and long-term housing needs of Iraqis;
- Strengthen the role of civil society in the housing sector by enhancing the capacity of NGOs, women’s groups and community organizations in managing housing delivery, self-help housing programmes and housing finance systems;
- Complete preparatory activities for the establishment of a housing fund for vulnerable families;
- Lay the groundwork for the revision of the policy and institutional framework for the housing sector.
- Approximately 350 person-weeks of training for about 120 key staff of the Ministry of Housing and Construction and the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works, focusing on best international practices in the management of the housing sector;
- 36 person-months of resident advisory services in housing sector management to the two Ministries;
- Training for about 54 community organizations, women’s groups and NGOs in housing delivery, housing finance and self-help housing schemes to facilitate a stronger role for civil society in the housing sector;
- Approximately US$ 1.7 million in equipment, software and related training as part of the programme to enhance the capacity of the Ministries, community organizations and women’s groups;
- A database for the Ministry of Housing and Construction on housing needs by region and socio-economic groups, including the specific housing needs of vulnerable groups in five priority areas (through a pilot housing survey);
- A database of community organizations, NGOs, and women’s groups involved in, or interested in, becoming involved in housing delivery or housing finance programmes;
- A strategic plan for a housing finance system, including a formulated project to launch a housing fund for vulnerable groups;
- A set of recommendations for a revised policy and institutional framework for the housing sector.
As the project started in August 2004, it is too early to report on results and impact at this stage.