Energizing Reform: Engaging citizens in national legislative processes in Iraq

Energizing Reform is a project that ensures citizens voices are taken into account in lawmaking processes in Iraq. Project runtime: 2020 – 2024

In Iraq, a significant disconnect exists between communities at the local level and decision-makers at the highest level. This project – supported by the U.S. State Department – aims to provide a platform to local volunteer groups so as to provide grassroots level perspectives in higher up discussions on policy and legislative deliberation. This project specifically focuses on on involving those who experience most marginalization: Sunni Muslim Iraqis, who are accused most often of ISIS affiliation and suffer disproportionately from collective punishment following the defeat of the terrorist group.

Examples of activities being implemented as part of the project:

  1. Formation of dedicated citizen teams to study legal drafts and constitutional provisions. The teams have been studying different legal texts to identify which laws need amendments. The draft laws being investigated include Law on Protection of Diversity and Prevention of Discrimination (Hamdaniyya team) and Law on Enforced Disappearance (Mosul team).
  2. Capacity strengthening trainings for citizen teams in Mosul and Hamdaniyya, to empower them and to enhance their knowledge about conducting advocacy campaigns, increasing public participation, and legislative processes.
  3. Individual interviews and FGDs with people from all backgrounds including people from legal backgrounds, community members, government employees, disabled people, and in general those who suffer from poor implementation of the targeted bills, to understand existing gaps in the legal framework.

See some videos from the Energizing Reform project:

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Contact information

Vincent Vrijhoef, Programme manager Iraq: vrijhoef@paxforpeace.nl.

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