Local Area Development Programme

Title: Supporting recovery and stability through local development in Iraq
Status: Ongoing
Duration: 2019 – 2022
Budget: US$54.1 million (€47.5 million) provided by the European Union
Coverage: 9 governorates (Anbar, Basra, Dohuk, Erbil, Missan, Ninewa, Salah al-Din, Sulaymaniyah and Thi Qar)
SDG: SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities
Partners: The Governments of Iraq and Kurdistan Region, UN-Habitat
Factsheet: Fact Sheet 2019


Project Summary

Building on the success and momentum previously established through the Local Area Development Programme (LADP II) 2015-2018, which focused on building the institutional capacity for community-based strategic and sectorial planning in 12 Governorates across Iraq; this project will take the next step toward bridging the gap between local government, civil society and local communities Using a unique bottom-up approach to ensure local ownership, UNDP will build the capacity of the Government of Iraq to facilitate the scaling-up of local pilot projects at the national level, sustainably. 

The overall goal of the project is to contribute to the stability and socio-economic development of Iraq through the implementation of local priority actions that address key governance, economic and social challenges. The project aims to ensure: 

  1. Effective local government systems that can provide efficient and transparent public services at local level;
  2. Increased job opportunities, with a focus on the emergence of green and high growth sectors, and the inclusion of youth and women; and 
  3. Improved living conditions in conflict-affected areas that enable people to return to their areas of origin.


Green projects involving youth and women are at the core of the activities implemented under the programme Supporting Recovery and Stability in Iraq through Local Development. This photo is for student winners in the Basra Innovation Olympics 2019. Photo: UNDP Iraq/2019


What have we achieved so far

UNDP and UN-Habitat signed an Agency-to-Agency agreement in 2019, to facilitate the implementation of urban recovery projects across Anbar, Ninewa and Salah al-Din. 3 local priority projects will be implemented over the four-year duration of the project, with the aim of rehabilitating and restoring essential services to vulnerable communities. Projects include rehabilitation of housing in low-income residential neighborhoods, renovation of school and parks and extension of water works to ensure safe access to water for underserviced communities. Additionally, local residents, particularly unemployed youth, will be hired and trained on-the-job for this vital urban reconstruction work.  

In tandem a socio-economic assessment, consisting of nearly 1,800 households and Focus Group Discussions involving 200 men and women of all ages across all urban-recovery Governorates, will inform the creation of a ‘Neighbourhood Profile and Urban Recovery Plan’.

  1. Peer-to-Peer Cooperation: Decentralization of Powers

    The Governorates of Anbar, Basra, Dohuk, Erbil, Missan, Nineveh, Salah ah-din, Sulaymaniyah and Thi Qar have been matched with 9 respective European peers and are in the process of having their first exchanges with one another to develop joint projects. Joint projects will focus on the decentralization of public services from central to local level and in areas of vital importance to the respective local communities.

  2. Local development projects:

    In each of the 9 governorates in this project, at least 3 concepts were developed to address the main priorities outlined in the Provincial Development Plans and Sustainable Energy Action Plans (developed under LADP II). The below projects were selected by a high-level committee, and will begin implementation in 2020:

    Dohuk: The ‘Sustainable Electricity Supply Based on Solar Energy’ project will see a pilot solar park built within the grounds of the University of Dohuk. Electricity produced in the park will supply the city grid to help meet the increased demand from IDPs and Syrian refugees. It will also serve as educational tool for the students and raise community awareness led by local youth, students and professors.

    Erbil: The ‘Renewable Solar Energy in Rural Areas’ project will involve setting up solar water pumping stations in remote agricultural areas to supply irrigation and drinking water  for low-income farmers . It will also promote the use of solar panels and renewable energy in every day life.

    Sulaymaniyah: The ‘Modernisation and Transformation of Public Lighting’ project will support the updating of public lighting systems, transforming it into an energy-efficient LED system that will improve security for urban populations and advocate for the use of cheaper and environmentally-friendly energy systems.

    Basra: The 'Job Creation through Green Urban Beautification and Revitalisation of Basra' project aims to generate employment through the rehabilitation and beautification of public spaces while reviving the historical features and cultural traditions of old Basra. 

    Missan: The ‘Job Creation through Green Community Rehabilitation, Cultural Restoration and Urban Beautification of Missan’ project aims to generate employment through the rehabilitation and beautification of public spaces while reviving the historical features and cultural traditions of old Missan.

    Thi Qar: The ‘Job Creation through the Development of Eco-tourism, Conservation and Cultural Restoration of the Mesopotamian Marshes and the City Ur in Thi Qar’ project focuses on job creation through the restoration of two sites essential to the history of the region and recognized as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The preservation of the cultural heritage of the archaeological site of Ur and the Mesopotamian Marshlands will lead to promotion of eco and cultural heritage tourism and economic opportunities.

  3. Urban recovery projects implemented in partnership with UN Habitat: