ACDI/VOCA has won a $35 million award from the U.S. Agency for International Development to support the establishment of effective and responsive local government institutions and to promote diverse and representative citizen participation in northern Iraq. Under the Community Action Program (CAP) III, which builds upon ACDI/VOCA's successful implementation of CAP I and II, ACDI/VOCA will
- enhance the capacity of 51 communities—particularly in Sunni areas—to better articulate their needs and mobilize resources within and outside the community to solve common problems
- systematically train and improve the capacity of up to 25 qada (district) councils and 35 nahiya (subdistrict) councils to better meet community needs
- conduct approximately 225 individual projects and 15 community projects to assist civilian victims through the Marla Ruzicka Innocent Victims of War Fund
ACDI/VOCA’s approach makes it possible for communities to use their own skills and mobilize their own resources to solve priority community needs. Under CAP I and II, ACDI/VOCA supported communities by enhancing their capacity to identify and prioritize community needs, mobilize community and other resources, and monitor project implementation. Under CAP III, as the permissiveness of working in Iraq improves, local government is strengthened through the new provincial powers law and the upcoming subprovincial elections, local government is being added to the equation to contribute to social and governance outcomes, while building infrastructure assets.
ACDI/VOCA will continue to strengthen the advocacy role of civil society while helping to normalize the role of local government to provide services through implementation of a community-driven approach. Under CAP III’s expanded approach, ACDI/VOCA will also work to embed local empowerment initiatives into broader processes of institutional change. ACDI/VOCA, in partnership with ICMA, a US-based nonprofit organization specializing in public sector technical and management assistance, will enhance the capacity of local government to reach out to stakeholders, articulate community needs, develop well-designed project packages, and then advocate for those projects in the national budgets of the line ministries or the capital budgets of the provincial development strategy. ACDI/VOCA will also carry on the work of assisting victims of military operations in Iraq through the Congressionally mandated Marla Ruzicka Iraqi War Victims Fund.
To learn more about ACDI/VOCA’s past and present work in Iraq, click here.