On June 16, 2011, the Government of Iraq launched the Iraq Development Management System (IDMS) at a high-level ceremony in Baghdad. The event was sponsored by the Iraqi Prime Minister Mr. Nouri Al-Maliki and attended by ministers, governors, and deputy ministers, as well as over ten ambassadors.
The IDMS is a comprehensive bilingual (Arabic/English) web-based application that manages the whole cycle of government and donor-funded development projects in Iraq. It allows ministries to plan, manage, and monitor the full lifecycle of capital investment projects from start to finish in an online environment. It is designed to help monitor the implementation of Iraq’s National Development Plan (NDP) 2010-2014, which envisages about 3000 development projects with a total value of $100 billion over five years.
At a deeper level, this innovative government tool marks a break with paper-based forms of capital investment planning and monitoring used to date, which tended to be burdensome and vulnerable to misuse of public funds. By contrast, the IDMS is an electronic tool that allows real-time collection, analysis, and reporting of development data. Also, by being publicly accessible on the Internet, it can advance government transparency and accountability by showing how public resources are being spent and what development results are being achieved.
According to Christine McNab, the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, “the IDMS is a major reform of part of the public sector and an ambitious e-governance application,” and it would not have been possible without “the technical prowess of Synergy International Systems.” It was designed and developed by Synergy for the Ministry of Planning in 2010, with assistance and funding from USAID/Tatweer, UNDP, UNOPS, the EU, and the Government of Spain.
The IDMS builds upon the highly successful Development Assistance Database (DAD), which Synergy developed in 2005 for the Ministry of Planning to manage external assistance for Iraq’s post-conflict reconstruction. Following the successful federal-regional arrangement adopted for the DAD, IDMS will be accompanied by a regional application for the Kurdistan Regional Government, and the two applications will be fully synchronized.
Synergy will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Planning to ensure that all Ministries, Governorates, and donor organizations use the system effectively so as to perform their functions and meet their information needs.