LADP has supported Governorates to progress toward participatory evidence-based result-oriented planning – (1) to increase their capacity to address complex multi-dimensional development problems in the context of decentralisation, economic crisis and fiscal constraints, as well as (2) to reinforce the impact of local development efforts on achieving long-term national goals and the SDGs. To ensure the coordination of local-level plans and national-level policies and priorities, all multi-sector strategies and sectoral plans have incorporated systematic consideration of cross-cutting issues (poverty reduction, gender equality, environment, etc.), and they were all developed in coordination with all relevant Departments at local level – including Planning Directorates of the Ministry of Planning (MoP) – and external stakeholders.

In result, a converse process was triggered whereby priorities defined at the local level under various LADP planning activities were embraced as new national priorities. For the first time in Iraq, the National Development Plan 2018-2022 has been developed through bottom-up approach. The framework for NDP 2018-2022 has included the Constitution, the GoI operating programme, national strategies (NDP 2013-2017, Iraq Vision 2030, etc.), the SDGs, and prominently so, the PDS/PRP developed under LADP. This should be considered as a success story in terms of coordination between local and national authorities in the process of identification of national and local priorities for development.

Organised jointly by the Ministry of Planning and LADP, the First Conference for Preparation of NDP 2018-2022 (29 April–01 May 2017, Erbil) gathered all respective and relevant actors participating in planning processes in Iraq – including over 300 participants from the Council of Ministers, Ministries, Governorates, the private sector, trade unions, civil society and academia, in addition to members of the diplomatic corps and international organisations. The participants discussed a draft framework for NDP, challenges, planning and results-based management, distribution of roles among involved actors, and specific themes such as migration reforms, displacement, reconstruction of liberated areas, gender, and strategies for poverty alleviation. The LADP CBSP methodology was presented to a wide range of stakeholders – including by champions from among the beneficiary Governorates; this triggered high interest toward CBSP and discussions on the need for common planning guidelines in Iraq. The LADP team also presented on the benefits of engaging in SEAP preparation; good governance in planning and possible scenarios for NDP 2018-2022 stakeholder engagement; and the NDP as a basis for donor coordination.  The event triggered numerous reports across media channels, including it was broadcast live on national TV.

The resultant NDP 2018-2022  (endorsed 09 May 2018)  represents a new stage in national development planning and it constitutes the first chapter of strategic approach to economic and social progress. Its development model is based on the integration of decision-making and implementation across the different levels of administration. It aims to direct investments in accordance with comparative sectoral and spatial advantages, while optimising the use of oil revenues as a base for economic diversification. Its top strategic objectives are good governance, economic reform, and the recovery of communities affected by displacement and loss of human security. Its long-term vision for the future of Iraq is to build a diversified and prosperous economy with industry, energy, agriculture and tourism as the main drivers of development, where the public and private sector and civil society are partners in development, and where centralised and decentralised roles complement each other in managing development.

Notably, the endorsed NDP 2018-2022 includes as Annex the complete final report on GUS, and it identifies the Plan for Ramadi as one of the eight ‘Executive Projects’ to be implemented by 2020.