To support further capacity building in strategic planning, LADP/UNDP developed Guidelines for Strategic Planning for Local Authorities in Iraq. The document provides practical guidance for all local authorities to apply Community Based Strategic Planning for economic and social development; it can also serve other interested actors (e.g. community leaders, consultants, etc.). Above all, the Guidelines are the key Programme output to sustain the CBSP process piloted under LADP and to support continued cooperation between central- and local-level authorities.
The Guidelines are based on two sets of tools used in CBSP training and in the course of developing PDS/PRP – Toolkit for Strategic Planning and Toolkit for Public Consultations. The Guidelines also reflect best EU practices, what was accomplished in LADP demonstration sites, lessons learnt in the course of training central-level officials to work with local-level authorities, and feedback from the Ministry of Planning.
The Guidelines are intended to unify the efforts of Governorates in planning for local socio-economic development, and to streamline the processes of identification of problems and planning of strategic projects – based on integrated approach, public participation and effective cooperation with key stakeholders. Thus, together with the PDS/PRP, the Guidelines provide a solid basis for establishing a planning framework in Iraq, which adequately reflects and supports the increased responsibilities of LAs. The Guidelines can easily be converted into by-law. They should be seen as a framework to which MoP with the Governorates may add tools and elements based on their experience and technical assistance they receive in the years to come.
Effective development interventions require not only multi-sector result-oriented evidence-based planning, but also strong systematic and coordinated monitoring processes to ensure corrective action and continuous improvement. Therefore, the Guidelines include a basic monitoring framework, which can be developed further – including to be supported by a framework of performance indicators linked to the National statistical system.
Finally, in the context of reduced development budgets across the board, the Guidelines pave the way for the systemic prioritisation of investment projects at the local level – which will allow central, regional and local governments to allocate better informed budgets.
The Guidelines document includes: (1) detailed step-by-step guidelines for CBSP for economic development, (2) options for implementation (for institutionalising economic development), (3) Guidance for Monitoring and Updating the Strategic Plan, (4) Strategic Planning Toolbox with 22 Tools, (5) suggested agenda for Steering Committee/Working Group and Monitoring Group meetings.