The socio-economic transformation program in Irbil Governorate

A socio-economic transformation program of any society is primarily based on integration of efforts and commitment to implementation. Elements of development are perceived as complementary to each other and successive. Further, the above model of socio-economic development is based on strengthening all aspects of institutional capacities in all public institutions, which is a key requirement of to trigger the subsequent phases of the strategic route introduced in the model.

The structure of any socio-economic development model is usually focused on identification of priorities for that society and within a logical framework. Review of the statistical indicators of Irbil Governorate showed that priority areas are focused on increasing all elements of productivity: Human, economic, and investment resources as well as the infrastructure.

This strategic plan comprises a part of the roadmap within the socio-economic transformation route, starting from 2016 throughput 2018. It also comprises a key pillar of the subsequent strategic plans.

In terms of the development principles of strategic plans, the plan was developed according to the following principles:
• Baseline assessment using available data, statistics and estimates
• Engagement of stakeholders from all sectors to formulate a roadmap to develop the Province
• Utilize the available human capital within the Province structure and build their capacities through actual work

The strategic plan was developed according to the following phases:

1- Determination of the parties responsible for the plan development in the Province, the structure that guarantees top management will, and sustainability of the results (WHO?)
The focus in this phase was on the importance of the local ownership of the product and availability of political will for change, in addition to utilizing the available human resources in the Province to insure institutionalized effort and expertise. A steering committee was formed, chaired by the Governor, in addition to a permanent planning committee formed with membership of the Governorate staff, primarily from the Directorate of Planning.

2- Baseline Assessment (where are we now) This phase included several steps, including:
• Collection of data and statistics on the current developmental situation in the Governorate from various sources, analyzing and reviewing them and reparing a developmental baseline paper.
• Analysis of internal and external environment (SWOT and PESTEL) involving different stakeholders and partners.

3- Determination of where we want to be (Future trends of vision and goals) This phase included:
• Utilization of the outcomes of baseline analysis to determine the future development priorities and to formulate strategic goals
• Determination of the future vision based on strengths and opportunities.

4- Identification of the how to reach the desired future (work mechanisms, programs and projects)
In this phase, future trends became clear; accordingly, central committees were formed with membership of specialized and knowledgeable people representing various segments of the society, taking into account the representation of women and different groups. Each committee tackled one of the strategic priorities. A second phase of analysis was implemented, which included identifying the key challenges of each strategic goal, and proposed solutions including projects, policies and work mechanisms. Proposed projects and mechanisms were aggregated to achieve each strategic priority within implementation programs. Then, an estimation of the cost of the proposed programs and prioritizing them was carried out according to specific criteria and methodologies endorsed by the steering committee.