This paper examines governing capacity in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq. It focuses on a few key political conditions and reforms that are necessary for this regional government to achieve greater governing capacity in Kurdistan. The first key area is political environment, defined as political leadership that is willing and flexible to conduct any reform that is necessary to improve the KRG’s governing capacities. A second reform is institutionalization of the public sectors in Kurdistan, following the example of Singapore. This refers to establishing agencies with clear agendas and responsibilities to achieve increased performance in its civil service. Two other key elements for capacity development that the KRG needs to adopt are effective promotion and recruitment systems. The paper builds on various literatures that detail the different paths for providing these conditions and conducting reforms for developing better governing capacity. Additional factors found in this study include the lack of clear agendas by its political leadership, poor partnerships between the KRG’s agencies, and a unique type of corruption that the existing literatures have not explained enough. Using the literature and Singapore’s governance successes, this paper suggests ways to improve governing capacity in Kurdistan.
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