Iraq’s National Human Development Report: Strengthening the Social Contract in Iraq

August 6, 2023

Baghdad, Iraq– Over 120 of the Iraq’s primary stakeholders and thought leaders came together during the country’s 1st consultation session on the development of the National Human Development Report (NHDR). During the event, ways to strengthen the social contract between the country’s leadership and its citizens were addressed in engaging, facilitated discussions. UNDP welcomed participants and encouraged critical dialogue on shaping Iraq's sustainable development path towards a brighter future.  

"The launch of the first consultative session to prepare the independent Human Development Report reflects the Government’s commitment towards sustainability for Iraq. We see this as a vital tool to help us track key indicators like education, health, and income, to see where we are at, and where we need to be, in terms of the conditions of development for the country. The Ministry of Planning will work to coordinate and unify these efforts, and our partnership with the UNDP is crucial, as we work together to prepare this important report." - said Maher Hammad Johan, Technical Undersecretary of the Ministry of Planning. 

A powerful tool for human development advocacy 

The NHDR is a powerful tool for promoting human development concepts that enhance the lives of countries’ respective populations. For Iraq, the report carries a clear focus on national priorities and will represent the collaborative effort of national teams. UNDP will provide support to this important process, ensuring the coordination and facilitation of this flagship report.  

"In this collaborative journey, we envision the NHDR as a catalyst for strengthening partnerships between government, civil society organizations, and the private sector. By leveraging our strengths and resources, we can address critical development challenges and promote sustainable human development, creating the brighter future that Iraq truly deserves”, said Auke Lootsma, UNDP Iraq Resident Representative 

“The Human Development Reports aligns with national priorities, and is an essential tool that supports the broadening of opportunities and choice, as well as fostering innovation in the country. This report will help chart Iraq's path towards sustainable, economic development and diversification, offering comprehensive analysis and recommendations on key areas that need to be strengthened for this vision to be realized. This session marks the initial step towards knowledge exchange and collaborative efforts for Iraq's advancement,” he concludes.  

UNDP and the Ministry of Planning have come together to construct a new social contract in Iraq. With unwavering determination and a heightened sense of awareness, this valued partnership has the power to unlock Iraq's full potential, ushering in a future that is both prosperous and equitable for the Government of Iraq and most of all for the people of Iraq. 

Editor’s note: Those in attendance included advisors to the President and Prime Minister, representatives from the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, national security advisors, ministry general managers, various ministry delegates, UNDP Iraq, civil society representatives, experts, academics, professors, and relevant authorities.  The session covered three discussions: importance, objectives, historical context, and criteria for human development reports. The first, led by the President of Bahr Al-Uloom Foundation, explored these aspects. An economics expert chaired the second, delving into political, economic, and social dimensions in human development reports. The third, on citizenship and the social contract, was led by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Planning for Administrative Affairs.