Context and Theory of Change
Key elements of context
The GTF programme in Iraq took place in the northern Kurdish region, in the Sulaymaniyah and Erbil governorates. The Kurdish North has an autonomous parliament and is self-governing. It has been central to conflict and instability for decades, including attempted ethnic cleansing under Saddam Hussein’s regime, and fighting remains an on‐going threat along its Iranian and Turkish borders.
The 88 targeted communities within those governorates are particularly remote and marginalised, being situated 80km+ from the main cities. Kurdish rural livelihoods are unstable and poverty stricken, particularly as the area is experiencing its 15th successive year of drought. 75% of the rural poor live on less than $2 a day. Agriculture accounts for 10% of the economy in Iraq and employs 22% of the labour force, but receives just 1.1% government spending.
Prior to the GTF, few platforms existed for dialogue between citizens and their authorities, particularly in remote communities. Decision making regarding resources and service delivery lacked transparency and accountability. Most people would go to their tribal leaders rather than political representatives to resolve disputes, make claims or seek help. Government institutions have been built on strong patronage networks, further undermining their accountability to citizens. Civil society was weak in the region, and historic focus has been on aid, rather than empowerment and locally led rights‐based approaches.