The Operational Peer Review (OPR) took place in May 2015 to coincide with the deployment of a new Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator (HC/RC). Over 5.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the country. There are also large-scale protection concerns, including horrific sexual violence against women and children.

The OPR team included representatives from Caritas, the International Council for Voluntary Agencies, the International Rescue Committee, UNHCR, and UNICEF. They conducted meetings, workshops and interviews with more than 325 people from the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), clusters/sectors, humanitarian actors, donors, and national counter-parts.The team carried out field visits to Dohuk and Sulamayniyah governorates, where they met with front-line humanitarian practitioners and people affected by the crisis.The OPR team recognised that the HC and HCT in Iraq had put in place a good practice approach to prioritise activities in the face of funding and resource constraints. Strong leadership and a collaborative team approach were also evident across the HCT.

With the support of the OPR team, the HCT developed an action plan detailing the actions required to strengthen the response, including:

  • Extending delivery to the whole of Iraq, especially reaching under-served communities.
  • The importance of relocating the humanitarian centre of gravity back to Baghdad in order to enable the HCT to capitalise on the centrality of the Government in the response.
  • Building on the presence of national NGOs in areas where the international community is less present.
  • The need for more effective security management systems to enable better delivery of assistance.
  • Development of a Centrality of Protection strategy and accountability to affected people collective framework.

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