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Project Case Study

Providing emergency support to key government institutions in Iraq

Rebuilding and strengthening key Iraqi ministries

After the initial surge of military activity in Iraq ended in 2004 and the government of Saddam Hussein was toppled, donor governments, along with the US, worked hard to establish the Iraqi Transitional Government as a stable, well-structured and effective leadership in Iraq. Establishing such a government was instrumental in the efforts to regain control of the insurgency, prevent civilian deaths and rebuild the country.

In 2004, the Department for International Development (DFID) invited us to provide emergency technical support to rebuild and strengthen key institutions within the Iraqi public administration, including the Ministries of Finance, Planning and Municipalities, Public Works and the Centre of Government. The work, largely delivered by a range of senior advisers from the Civil Services of the UK, Canada and Australia has several components.

Project info

Emergency public administration reform programme



  • Department for International Development (DFID)

Our public finance work focused on strengthening the budget preparation and approval processes of each ministry, and supporting the government in its negotiations with the IMF and other international agencies and creditors to successfully secure much-needed foreign aid. The team managed to persuade the IMF to write off over 80% of the country’s $40bn of foreign debt, which the government could not afford to repay. To that end, we provided technical guidance in the preparation of budgets and staffing of central government institutions including the Presidency, the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Council of Ministers Secretariat, and supported the preparation and execution of the national budget.

A number of Adam Smith International advisers were also involved in the design and delivery of a range of emergency reconstruction/rehabilitation works in Baghdad and Fallujah. Adam Smith International designed and established a government communications service and provided training to its officers at the centre of government and in line ministries.

We also assisted the Ministry of Finance secure a major debt write off and in meeting the IMF’s conditions attached to the European Petrochemicals Association agreement for Iraq, giving it access to industrial expertise across the world, and paving the way for international investment in the country.

“I consider that this is the only DFID project in Iraq that has and is successfully building capacity in the Iraqi government. Her Majesty's Government takes some pride in this project and you should all be very proud of your contribution to it.”
Mirza Jahani, Senior Governance Adviser to DFID

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