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On Wednesday July 20 2011, IF held a press conference in Al-Sayd Club in Baghdad to announce the issuing of the first report assessing the Iraqi government’s transparency and accountability as well as its ability to safeguard the full spectrum of civil and political liberties. The 1st report is named (The Democratic Transition in Iraq Report 2009-2010). The press conference discussed all the 3 chapters of the report: the Media, the CoR, and the political parties for the reported period.

The press conference was attended by number of MPs including: MP, Dr. Saleem Al-Jubouri (Head of the Human Rights Committee in the CoR), MP, Dr. Nada Al-Jubouri, former MP, Dr. Amira Al-Baldawi as well as Dr. Hashim Hassan, Dean of the Media Faculty, and Ms. Rend Al-Rahim, Executive Director of the Iraq Foundation.

The press conference was widely covered by the media and journalists, and 6 TV-Satellite Channels: Al-Furat TV, Al-Rasheed-TV, Al-Sumariya, Al-Ahed, Al-Masar Al-Awal TV, and Al-Masar TV. The guests expressed their thanks to IF for this report and expressed some views on it. MPs who attended the press conference indicated their will to ask their colleagues in the CoR to consider the report for discussion and to specify a session or multiple sessions to listen and discuss its contents.

IF produced the first report assessing the Iraqi government’s transparency and accountability as well as its ability to safeguard the full spectrum of civil and political liberties. A diverse group of Iraqi experts and activists pooled their talents to undertake a first-of-its-kind assessment to examine several key spheres of governance. The locally-based group of civic leaders representing the fields of law, human rights, press freedom, women’s rights, and other areas of civic life, identified three fundamental areas to assess: political parties, parliament and press freedom. Through interviews with other experts and policy makers, analysis of current law and the degree of their implementation, and other first-hand inquiry, they undertook an extensive research process to produce the report. Iraq Foundation and Freedom House provided mentoring in research and writing as well as full editorial review of all reports

Democratization in Iraq Report 1

On February 3, IF held a meeting in Baghdad for civil society leaders as part of the Post Election Democracy Project (PEDP).  Ms. Rend Al-Rahim, IF’s Executive Director, chaired the meeting which brought together civil society leaders participating in the project’s government watchdog activities.  During the meeting, participants and project staff review strategies for writing shadow reports as well as national and international advocacy strategies covered during the Watchdog Group Training held in Beirut from December 4-6, 2010.  Participants also discussed draft-reports that the groups have been preparing on media freedom, the Iraqi Council of Representatives (CoR), and political parties.  Project staff provided insight on research methodologies and other reporting standards to assist the civic leaders.

Prior to this meeting, IF has held 6 other meetings on the following dates:

Meeting 1: 6/ 12/ 2010. All CSL meeting.
Meeting 2: 6/ 17/ 2010. Coordinators meeting.
Meeting 3: 7/ 5/ 2010.  Coordinators meeting.
Meeting 4: 8/ 10/ 2010.  Coordinators meeting.
Meeting 5: 9/ 23/ 2010.  Coordinators and rapporteurs meeting.
Meeting 6: 10/ 25/ 2010: Coordinators and rapporteurs meeting.

Selected Photos

IF successfully completed the 2nd PEDP civic leaders workshop in Beirut from December 4-6. The workshop was implemented in collaboration with Freedom House (FH) and discussed the democracy monitoring draft reports that the civic leaders are working on.

The sessions included working groups during which participants commented on their own draft reports on monitoring Iraqi media, parliament, and political parties’ performance and transparency. FH incorporated these comments as well as their own comments on the reports and sent a consolidated version to the participants so that they can revise the first draft accordingly.

The workshop also included a session by a Lebanese organization on advocacy planning and coalition building. Participants also agreed to meet again soon in Baghdad to discuss an advocacy plan, including coalition building strategies to gather support before the report is published. 20 civic leaders participated in the workshop. The discussions were very engaging and the level of energy high.

IF successfully implemented the 1st PEDP project workshop to train civc leaders from June 2-6 in Beirut, Lebanon. The 24 participants included university deans, academics, journalists and other media and civil society representatives. The workshop focused on the methodology for writing reports that assess governance, accountability and transparency to influence policymakers and the government.

Participants were asked to identify their priorities for an assessment of accountability and transparency and came up with three main topics that they agreed to report on: Freedom of the press, parliament performance, and political parties. They also identified preliminary indicators for assessing these 3 main topics. The workshop included open discussion and group exercises. Discussions were lively and points of view reflected the participants’ background and geographical diversity. Many participants voiced their satisfaction with the material covered. Dr Moufid Zanoun, Dean of the Political Science department at Mosul University declared that he was going to encourage including some of the concepts learned in the department’ curricula.

The workshop was covered by Al-Sabah and Arab Metro newspapers.

It was agreed that network members would be divided into 3 groups, each group, working on one of the topic of their expertise. Participants also agreed to form a coordination committee composed of one representative from each group and an IF staff member. A “rapporteur” will be chosen within each group, commissioned to draft the reports and analyze the data. During the next period, civic leaders will work on refining the indicators and start collecting data for the report.

In collaboration with Freedom House, IF will mentor the civic leaders throughout the process and will conduct a follow-up training to further guide them and address any challenges.

Letter Submitted to the General Secretariat for Council of Ministers by the State Ministry for Women Affairs. Arabic and English included. State-Ministry-for-Women-Affairs-Letter-English

State-Ministry-for-Women-Affairs-Arabic-Letter

Signatures of Parliamentarians on WEL Reforms

Social care code 126 established 1980

Personal Status code 188 established 1959

Labor code 71 established 1987

Penal 111 code established 1969

Letters submitted by Parliamentarian Sofia Al-Suhail in support of WEL reforms.

Arabic-Letter-Sofia-Al-Suhail

English-Letter-Sofia-Al-Suhail

English translation of legal reforms submitted to the Cabinet as part of the Women for Equitable Legislation (WEL) Project.

Translation-WEL-Reforms

October – December 2013 Update

The Advocacy Coalition Meeting: On October 29th, the advocacy coalition (AC) reconvened to build up the strategic plan for the 2nd stage of the advocacy campaign. 15 NGOs along with the media expert, Emad Jasim, participated in the meeting. AC members shared lessons learned from the 1st stage advocacy campaign and adopted professional insights from the media expert on how to implement a more effective advocacy campaign.

Conducting the 2nd stage of the advocacy campaign
IF in collaboration with the WEL taskforce successfully conducted the 2nd  stage of the advocacy campaign, which aimed at bringing draft laws and related issues to the attention of local community leaders. The WEL task force included: legislators who supported WEL activities, governmental officials, legal experts and the 15 partner NGOs (13 in each province + 2 in Baghdad).
In the AC, IF in collaboration with the WEL taskforce successfully conducted:

  •  6068 radio spots (5868 free broadcasting) that covered WEL proposed legislations and were aired on 15 local radio stations all over the country
  •  22,702 signatures collected exceeding the 2000 proposed in the extension period
  •  30 30-minute radio call-in shows (2 in each province) on 15 local radio stations all over the country
  •  24 30-second TV ads and 3 45-minute TV programs broadcasted from Al Iraqia (official government channel)
  •  15 panel discussions (one in each province) attended by core members from the provinces including Provincial Council members, Moderate religious and traditional leaders, and local professionals;
  •  5977 surveys been collected all over the country supporting the reforms
  •  1420 supporting emails from all 15 provinces
  •  73 votes on the WEL website

The campaign successfully created greater stakeholder buy-in surrounding the draft laws to be presented to Parliament.

Press Conference: The Press Conference was held in collaboration with Safia Al Souhail Literary and Cultural Salon on December 27th and aimed at capturing the success of the WEL reforms. The press conference was attended by legislators, representatives of the Prime Minister office, the Secretariat Council of Ministers, Provincial Council members, Ministries officials, and CSOs.  The press conference was broadcasted live on Al Jazeera and was well covered by local media.

To view the letter submitted by the State Ministry for Women Affairs to the General Secretariat for Council of Ministers, click here. The English translation is available here.

To view the letter submitted by Parlimentarian, Sofia Al Suhail to the Speaker of the ICOR and the names of the Parliamentarians that signed in support of proposed reforms, click here. The English translation is availablehere.

Selected Photos:

Advocacy Coalition Meeting:

Conducting the 2nd stage of the advocacy campaign


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Press Conference:

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