Safer Cities Programme in Suleimaniyah, KR-I (1/9/2014 – 30/11/2016; USD 329,537)

The Safer Cities model is an integrated and multi-sectoral approach to improve the liveability of cities and quality of life for all urban residents. It is developed on the basis that good urban governance, planning and management can contribute to improving the safety of neighbourhoods and seeks to move its city partners away from a traditional focus on enhancing security through the criminal justice system towards a more preventive approach that tackles root causes of violence and insecurity. The city of Suleimaniyah was selected as pilot model.


Capacity to respond to and prevent violence against women and girls in public spaces enhanced (assessment, capacity enhancement, intervention sites, safety audit, detailed neighbourhood upgrading plan);

Participation of local stakeholders, trainings on public participation, good governance and urban management implemented;

Awareness of the general public to be more responsive to and prevent violence against women and girls in public spaces enhanced (public awareness campaign, focus groups events);

Local infrastructure that incorporates practical measures to address women and girl’s safety improved (community police task force, pilot interventions in markets)

Iraq Public Sector Modernization Programme Phase II (01/01/2013 - 31/12/2017; USD 2,393,946)

The Iraq Public Sector Modernization Programme is a UN joint programme led by the Government of Iraq aiming to support Iraq’s Strategic Government Plan (2011-2014) and National Development Plan (2013-2017). The four key thematic areas are:

(1) developing policy building mechanisms at the center of the government for managing public sector modernization

(2) supporting system-wide reform for development management, gender mainstreaming, e-governance and national statistics

(3) piloting reform in the three key sectors of health, education, and water and sanitation

(4) supporting decentralized service delivery and local governance initiatives.

UN-Habitat has been specifically supporting the areas of urban planning and local governance; housing and land management; and urban services with focus on water and sanitation.

Key outputs to date:

  • With the support of UN-Habitat, the laws and regulations of the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works were reviewed, and proposals on civil service reform that promote decentralization, transparency and accountability were submitted;
  • The Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works received qualification for the system review of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the organizational structure of the Ministry was updated;
  • A task force for reform was established in the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works, and its members were trained on the development of job description manuals; and
  • Comprehensive models for decentralized management of water and sanitation in the two governorates of Najaf and Dohuk were

Safer Cities Programme in Sulaymaniyah (09/09/2014 - 08/12/2016; USD 329,537)

The Safer Cities model is an integrated and multi-sectoral approach promoted globally by UN-Habitat to improve the liveability of cities and quality of life for all urban residents. The city of Sulaymaniyah in the Kurdistan Region was selected as a pilot city to encourage cooperation among various key stakeholders to promote urban safety for women and girls in the city, and thereby foster a safer urban environment for all.

To achieve that objective, the project supported the establishment of platforms for enhanced coordination and dialogue between citizens, civil society organisations, local authorities and security institutions in Sulaymaniyah.

Key outputs to date:

  • ‘Women’s Safety Audit’, where female volunteers actually walked the targeted area in the city of Sulaymaniyah to survey and identify factors that made them feel unsafe, was completed in collaboration with the female volunteers, NGOs and civil society organizations. Based on the analysis of the Women’s Safety Audit’s findings, measures that can be taken to improve safety in the city were proposed; and
  • Public awareness campaign strategies and gender sensitive training programmes were developed in partnership with local media and civil society organizations.

Establishing a Building Control Regime for KRI (05/02/2015 – 31/03/2016; USD 380,000)

Currently in the KRI, architects and engineers adhere to Iraqi construction practices when constructing buildings. These practices include the implementation of engineering standards and methodologies that are taught in schools, as well as from a collection of construction standards and planning guidance prepared in the 1980s. There is no comprehensive set of Building Codes that reflects current international standards on climate change mitigation and environmental protection, or on health and safety in buildings.

The building control process is lengthy, often resulting in high costs. To address these challenges, the project was designed to develop tailor-made Building Codes to promote technically sound planning and ensure safety standards for rapidly growing urban development in the KRI.

Key outputs:

  • The current building practice in the KRI was assessed with a focus on eight key topics:

(1) current practice of building control in KRI

(2) municipal ordinance for buildings in Erbil

(3) municipal ordinance of fire safety in buildings in Erbil

(4) professional associations in KRI Engineers’ Syndicate and Engineers Union of Kurdistan

(5) regulatory directive of engineering bureaus in KRI

(6) central laboratories for buildings and construction materials in KRI

(7) the law of environmental protection and improvement in KRI

(8) health and safety measures at construction sites in KRI. Additionally, 15 Building Codes that were recently adopted by the Government of Iraq Building Codes were reviewed;

  • A model for Building Regulations, which is an overarching legal framework that covers comprehensive aspects of building and construction, was proposed;
  • Building Codes were updated on priority areas of (1) fire safety, (2) energy efficiency, (3) structural safety, (4) safety of electrical and mechanical installations, (5) accessibility, and (6) safety of usage of buildings
  • Existing building permit application procedures were analyzed and a new procedure was proposed
  • Recommendations for operationalizing the new application form for building permits and the updated Building Codes were made.