Background and objectives:
Following the Urban Sector Project, the MoMPW and other stakeholders expressed the opinion that Iraq’s 251 municipalities would benefit from the establishment of a municipal association and that the 250 planning staff in the Physical Planning and Municipalities Directorates were in urgent need of more detailed technical training so they could carry out urban planning, reconstruction and development control more effectively. This led to the objectives of the project as follows:
- To improve the capabilities of 250 urban, regional and rural development planners in urban planning and reconstruction, development control and local economic development planning.
- To establish a Municipal Association, which will enable municipalities to share information and experiences, voice their concerns and priorities to regional and central governments, play a role in decentralization and local government reform and sponsor conferences and training programmes.
The main activities include:
- Basic training in urban planning and reconstruction, preparation of master plans, development control and local economic development planning for MoMPW planners.
- Advanced training in priority areas such as urban design, community participation, environmental and transportation planning.
- Organize study tours to an international planning and economic development conference and municipal association conference and visits to municipal associations, municipal and ministry of local government offices in other countries.
- Prepare generic terms of reference and a project management manual for use by ministry planners in the preparation of city and town master plans
- Provide project management and technical advice to ministry on city master plans in at least three cities
- Prepare an information and discussion paper on the nature, scope and benefits of a municipal association for review in a series of regional meetings
- Prepare a report recommending a vision, mission and constitution for a municipal association and a work plan, staffing and budget for its first three years of operation
- Organize a founding conference to establish an Iraq Municipal Association
- Assist the newly-formed association with the formulation of a policy paper on decentralization and local government reform.
The results so far have included:
- Training needs assessments completed.
- Draft terms of reference for the training activities completed and approved by the Iraqi counterpart ministries (Initial discussions revealed that the number of ministry planners that needed training was not 260 as originally suggested but 75).
- This led to a decision to broaden the project to include 75 planners and economists that are working for the MOPDC and 15 planners and economists working for the Kurdistan Ministry of Municipalities. Other outputs and outcomes remain unchanged. All three ministries were involved in the design of the draft training courses.