Cover: Building the Future

Building the Future

Summary of Four Studies to Develop the Private Sector, Education, Health Care, and Data for Decisionmaking for the Kurdistan Region — Iraq

Published Mar 17, 2016

by C. Ross Anthony, Michael L. Hansen, Krishna B. Kumar, Howard J. Shatz, Georges Vernez


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Research Question

  1. What steps can the Kurdistan Regional Government take to improve the economic and social development of the Kurdistan Region-Iraq?

In 2010, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) asked the RAND Corporation to undertake four studies aimed at improving the economic and social development of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. RAND's work was intended to help the KRG expand access to high-quality education and health care, increase private-sector development and employment for the expanding labor force, and design a data-collection system to support high-priority policies. The studies were carried out over the year beginning February 2010. The RAND teams worked closely with the Ministries of Planning, Education, and Health to develop targeted solutions to the critical issues faced by the KRG. This document summarizes the four studies, the detailed findings of which have been published in four separate reports. It is intended to provide a high-level overview of the approaches followed by the studies and their key findings and major recommendations.

Key Findings

  • Recommendations for the four areas of interest—private-sector employment, access and quality of health care and education, and transparent data system development—include short- and long-term strategies, rather than single approaches.
  • Strategies for buttressing private-sector employment include facilitating business starts and expansion, supporting growth of business sectors well-suited to the private sector, and privatizing some current government operations.
  • Expanding educational capacity, improving instructional quality, strengthening performance monitoring of the education system, and motivating educational leaders and parents to help improve student performance would help facilitate access to quality education.
  • Improving primary care, sustaining a properly trained and managed workforce, and implementing health information systems would help develop an integrated health care system with high-quality care.
  • Working within and across ministries to systematize and coordinate data-collection efforts would help give policymakers access to the relevant data they need.

Research conducted by

The research summarized in this volume was sponsored by the Kurdistan Regional Government and conducted by the RAND Corporation.

This report is part of the RAND monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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