With a grant from the Iraq Trust Fund, the Public Contracts Directorate (PCD) in Iraq’s Ministry of Planning forged strategic partnerships with six public universities located in different regions of Iraq. The idea behind these partnerships is to develop a supply of professionals who enter the civil service properly prepared to apply the principles of economy, efficiency, and competition within the public contracting process.
The program is diverse in its geographic scope and multi-disciplinary approach, reflecting the multi-stakeholder nature of public procurement. The PCD enlisted the help of faculties of law, engineering, public administration and business to establish procurement education programs across academic fields.
The Bank and PCD first needed to make sure, however, that academics in Iraq responsible for teaching the new procurement curriculum had the relevant content for it. Iraq asked the World Bank for help in learning how to develop programs for its procurement workforce. With the Bank’s assistance, the PCD struck up a partnership with Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense in France.
In October 2014, a group of 18 Iraqi professors and administrators from the universities of Baghdad, Salah Aldeen, and the Technical University of Sulaimaniya, Kufa and Basrah, attended an intensive two-week diploma program at Nanterre. “The students of Iraq are the future of our country,” Fareed Yasseen, Iraq’s Ambassador to France, said of the partnership. “We need to develop training models like this to provide our students with the modern skills necessary to succeed in government and beyond."