Iraqi State Capabilities

This review looks at the current capability of the state of Iraq to deliver public services


A central indicator of governance and state capacity is the ability of the government to ensure access to basic services. This review looks at the current capability of the state of Iraq to deliver public services.

The review draws heavily on a number of recent World Bank Group reports, in particular the recent Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) of Iraq carried out in 2017. Iraqis have witnessed a dramatic deterioration in most basic services: electricity, water and sanitation, health, education, transportation, and especially security. Iraq is ethnically, religiously, and regionally diverse, and conflict has led to more pronounced spatial differences not only in poverty rates but also in the delivery of services. Access to and the quality of services also vary widely across the country. Due to the information/literature available and the short timeframe, this review touches briefly on the national provision of social protection services, electricity supply, transport, water supply and sanitation, health, education and security in Iraq. It then talks in more detail on the regional variations in service delivery for the areas of Iraq where recent information was available.

K4D helpdesk reports provide summaries of current research, evidence and lessons learned. This report was commissioned by the UK Department for International Development


Price, R.A. (2018) Iraqi State Capabilities, K4D Helpdesk Report 345. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies

Iraqi State Capabilities

Published 18 May 2018