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The Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Reforming the Economy for Shared Prosperity and Protecting the Vulnerable(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-05-30) World Bank GroupThe Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) is a constitutionally recognized semiautonomous region in northern Iraq. Its government, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), based in Erbil, has the right, under the Iraqi constitution of 2005, to exercise legislative, executive, and judicial powers according to the constitution, except in what is listed therein as exclusive powers of the federal authorities. The Iraqi constitution defines the Kurdistan Region as a federal entity of Iraq. KRG has a parliamentary democracy with a regional assembly that consists of 111 seats. KRI has been largely immune to the insecurity and conflict witnessed elsewhere in Iraq, especially following the 2003 Iraq War. KRG is facing a wide range of immediate and medium to longer-term challenges that are intrinsically linked to the overall macroeconomic situation of Iraq as well as the regional and global environment. The immediate challenge consists in coping with (a) the deep fiscal crisis, and (b) the security and social problems brought about by the conflict with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group and the resulting influx of Syrian refugees and Iraqi Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). These challenges are clearly immediate priorities for the KRG, and will bear significant repercussions nationally and internationally if inadequately addressed. The medium to longer-term challenges pertain to moderating dependence on the oil sector and transforming the KRI economy into a diversified one that supports private sector-led economic growth and job creation in a sustainable manner.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-03) World BankSince the Constitution (2005) provided for decentralizing powers and functions for the Governorates, the government of Iraq has enacted several legal, policy, and institutional reform initiatives, the intent of which is to shift political and administrative powers and responsibilities from the Central Government to the Governorates. The legal and policy framework for decentralization is yet to be followed through with efficient implementation. The Government of Iraq and the World Bank will like to assess the current status of decentralization and its implications for improving service delivery at the Governorate level. The objective of the assessment is to take stock of the current state of decentralization in Iraq with a view to identifying factors that contribute to weak service delivery performance at the governorate level. The assessment will also make recommendations for policy and process reforms that are deemed necessary to moving forward the decentralization process, thereby helping to improve service delivery performance by the Governorates. The assessment was carried out through a combination of desk reviews and field level consultations. This assessment provides a snapshot of the current status of the decentralization process. It identifies policy and process reform measures that are necessary to strengthen service delivery by the 15 Governorates of Iraq. Strengthening local accountability should be the key to strengthening the service delivery performance of the Governorates.