Stepping towards sustainable development, in Sept 2013, the Ministry of Planning of the Kurdistan Regional Government launched “Kurdistan Region of Iraq 2020, a Vision for the Future. The Vision 2020 document formulated a road map towards the aspired future for the region, where we placed targets and strategic directions aiming to improve the wellbeing of Kurdistan Region’s people.
In order to follow an inclusive and participatory approach in strategic planning, the Ministry of Planning in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme – UNDP, sought to formulate Provincial Development Strategies for Kurdistan Region’s governorates (Erbil, Sulaimaniya and Duhok) that can demonstrate a bottom-up approach in building strategies and action plans towards achieving the goals of Kurdistan Region’s Vision, based on an approach that is closer to citizens needs and aspirations. Ministry of Planning launched this initiative with UNDP in April 2013 after signing a cost sharing agreement where the ministry made a direct financial contribution to the project. At the time of signing the agreement of this project, our dear newest province of Halabcha was not established yet, so it will be included in our future cooperation with UNDP, to secure needed technical assistance and capacity building for establishing its own Strategy towards sustainable development.
We are proud that the three Provincial Development Strategies were developed in accordance with International standards and adopted a dynamic need-based participatory approach, with the ownership of Governors and related provincial committees, with the joint effort of local staff and local expertise in each Province. We are also delighted that the Provincial Development Strategies used KRI Vision 2020 as a guiding road map, and at the same time, highlighted the beautiful uniqueness of each province as well as commonalities and the mosaic integration between them.
The Provincial Development Strategies of the three provinces showed common needs to be addressed at the regional level such as legislative enhancements needed and intra-governorates strategic level projects. A great deal of these common needs are in total alignment with proposed responses to challenges presented in the KRG-Iraq Vision 2020, and some of these common needs, were an eye opener. This has been said; the level of alignment between the KRG-Iraq Vision 2020 and the Provincial Development Strategies, either it was in challenges or in aspirations, proves the unity of voice amongst the provinces of Kurdistan Region of Iraq when it comes to development priorities and peoples’ needs.
The formulation of these provincial strategies is the first step towards progressive systematic development, but it needs to be manifested into projects and actions on the ground. The measurement and evaluation of progress while moving would be the remaining challenging-yet- interesting ride. The KRG Ministry of Planning will provide all support and collaboration to the provinces of KRG in their efforts to deploy the Provincial Development Strategies with our hopes and prayers always to peaceful accelerated progress of Kurdistan Region.
Dr. Ali Sindi
Minister of Planning
Kurdistan Regional Government - November 2015