Opportunities to Enhance U.S. Democracy-Building Strategy for Iraq
SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION ARLINGTON VA
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Since 2004, the Department of State DoS and U.S. Agency for International Development USAID have obligated more than 1.9 billion for democracy-building programs in Iraq. Public Law 110-28 requires the Secretary of State to provide the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations a comprehensive, long-term strategy, with goals and expected results, for strengthening and advancing democracy in Iraq. 1 In July 2007, the DoS and USAID issued an overall strategy for democracy and governance in Iraq for 2007 through 2010. The overall goal is for Iraqi citizens, civil society, and democratic institutions to work cooperatively to reduce violence and build a sustainable, accountable, and responsive system of governance. To help achieve this goal, the strategy contains the following strategic objectives 1 institutionalize democratic political and legislative processes that resolve disputes peacefully 2 improve the capacity and accountability at all levels of government and 3 foster the environment for and development of Iraqis civil society and media to operate independently, freely, and effectively to promote democracy, transparency, tolerance, and respect for human rights. SIGIRs review of prior Government Accountability Office GAO reports showed that GAO has identified six characteristics of an effective national strategy that offer policymakers and implementing agencies a management tool to help ensure accountability and more effective results. GAO identified these six desirable characteristics based on their underlying support in legislative or executive guidance and the frequency with which they were cited in other sources.
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