IPC-IG’s Research Team travels to Iraq to discuss social protection reforms
From 28 March to 5 April 2022, Rafael Osorio, Senior Research Coordinator at the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) and Senior Researcher at the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea), and Joana Costa, Ipea/IPC-IG researcher, travelled to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region to gather information that will be used to produce the studies of the a project titled “Supporting the development of a comprehensive model of child sensitive cash transfer in Iraq”, which is being developed through a partnership between the IPC-IG and the United Nations Children’s Fund - Iraq Country Office (UNICEF Iraq).
The overall objective of the mission was to meet representatives from UNICEF Iraq and from other relevant institutions for the project, especially from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA), both at federal level and in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), to discuss the reform process of the country’s Social Safety Net (SSN) Programme, and to provide technical training sessions on topics relevant to the SSN reform.
During the meetings, cash plus transfers and health related initiatives such as vaccination programmes, nutritional supplementation, breastfeeding incentives, growth monitoring, educational sessions on child development for parents, and the provision of a child health booklet, were discussed.
During the mission, the researchers from the IPC-IG were able to learn more about the SSN functioning on the federal level and to better understand the health and education systems in both federal level and in KRI.
The IPC-IG also presented a first version of the proposal for the cash plus model.The Deputy Minister of Planning (MoP), Head of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, and Minister of Health (MoH) showed interest in the proposals. The next step will develop a more detailed version of the cash plus package proposal for the federal level. It will be discussed in online meetings with members of the MoP, MoH and MoLSA.
Assessment, policy design and technical advice
Under the agreement with UNICEF Iraq, the IPC-IG will develop the following products:
- Assessment of and advice on design and delivery system of the current Social Safety NNet (SSN) programme.
- Design of a scalable cash transfer program for women and children from poor households.
- Ad-hoc technical advice related to the reform (as required by Government).