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Building Peace in Failaq, Kirkuk PRA Findings Report 1
Building Peace in Failaq, Kirkuk
Participatory Rapid Appraisal Findings Report
November 2009 - February 2010
Building Peace in Failaq, Kirkuk PRA Findings Report 2
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the Federal Republic of Germany and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of INSAN Iraqi society and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the Federal Republic of Germany or UNOPS. Building Peace in Failaq, Kirkuk PRA Findings Report 3
II. PROJECT BACKGROUND: ‘BUILDING PEACE IN FAILAQ’
A. KIRKUK AND FAILAQ B. PROJECT DESCRIPTION C. THE PARTICIPATORY RAPID APPRAISAL PROCESS
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III. PARTICIPATORY RAPID APPRAISAL FINDINGS
GENERAL INFORMATION ON FAILAQ GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ACTORS OF THE LOCATION HISTORICAL BACKGROUND CHARACTERISTICS OF FINDINGS SOCIAL CONDITIONS WOMEN ISSUES ECONOMIC ISSUES EDUCATIONAL ISSUES HEALTH ISSUES ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES SOLUTIONS RECOMMENDED BY THE COMMUNITY SOCIAL CONDITIONS WOMEN ISSUES ECONOMIC ISSUES EDUCATIONAL ISSUES HEALTH ISSUES ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
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A. 1. 2. 3. B. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. C. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
IV. LESSONS LEARNT
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This report presents the findings of the Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) process conducted in Failaq from November 2009 to January 2010. The PRA was conducted by INSAN Iraqi Society in the frame of the project â€˜Building Peace in Failaqâ€™ implemented by UNOPS and funded by the Federal Republic of Germany. The PRA process is being conducted in three phases: - Interviews of community members living in Failaq by volunteers through households visits to understand problems and needs of the areas - Community meetings gathering influential members of the community to discuss outcomes of interviews and conduct brainstorming to present recommendations to enhance living conditions - Design of a community development plan by leaders of the community during a strategic planning workshop The PRA process is the main tool of a participatory approach adopted by INSAN to enhance decision making and good governance in the community of Failaq in an attempt to build cohesion among the diverse communities populating the area. As community members are gathered at diverse occasions to identify shared needs and actions necessary to meet them, it can contribute to build a sense of community ownership and develop trust among community members. The participatory approach provides an opportunity for all groups to have a voice and to feel included in the decisions affecting the community as a whole. This report provides an overview of the project and methods used to organize the PRA process, and further develop the findings of the PRA and outlines the recommendations made by the community.
As 20 volunteers were trained on PRA tools and skills in October 2009, they further spent 12 working days from November 1st to November 12th 2009 visiting a total of 485 houses in Failaq to conduct interviews of community members. During the PRA, a series of tools and exercises were conducted with interviewees including mapping and scoring of needs. This report gathers the findings of the interviews conducted with community members. As successive phases of the PRA process will be completed, another complete report will be issued by INSAN in order to present an inty egral analysis of findings and recommendations made by the community.
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Project Background: ‘Building Peace in Failaq’
A. Kirkuk and Failaq The oil-rich governorate of Kirkuk is located in Northern Iraq, 295 km far from Baghdad. The city of Kirkuk is a historically and ethnically mixed city populated by Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Turkmen and Armenians traditionally living together in peace. Characterized by a mixed community population and along its strategic location, Kirkuk has been the scene of ongoing displacement and rising ethnic tensions and conflicts in the last 3 years. Despite the fact that Kurds claim that Kirkuk is part of the Kurdistan Region, in 1975 it was delineated as being outside of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region. Since 2003, following to the fall of the Former Regime, the Kurds have pressed for change in Kirkuk and other mixed population areas in the North, which they claim as part of the Kurdish Region and most of which are rich in oil. The Transitional Administration Law adopted in 2004 and the Constitution ratified in 2005 both prescribe a reversal of the ‘Arabization’ process conducted in the 1980’s during which tens of thousands of Kurds and other non-Arabs were forced out of the oil rich city and nearby villages, replaced with pro-government Arabs from the impoverished South. They also provided a process which will give the opportunity to inhabitants of Kirkuk and other disputed territories to vote for the definition of the status of these areas. These prescribed solutions have favoured the emergence of tensions and instability in Kirkuk city, in a background of generalized conflict in Iraq, as each community seems to have its own political and social agenda and interests. Since April 2003, many Kurdish and other non-Arab families, encouraged by the favouring political process, began returning to Kirkuk city to reclaim their property as they were forcefully evicted from their houses and lands. The return of these families led in turn to the displacement of hundreds of other families. Along the movement of populations caused by the political process, Kirkuk witnessed the influx of thousands of IDPs escaping military operations and hot zones after 2003, similarly as other governorates in Iraq. IDPs in Kirkuk Governorate represent numerous ethnicities: Arabs, Kurds, Chaldeans, Turkmen, Assyrians. Back in 1924, Failaq was a village inhabited by Kurdish families who were displaced by force to the south of Iraq by the totalitarian regime who then turned the area in a military base. Houses and shelters were destroyed and military compounds were built. In 1962, the base named Brigade 1 was one of the point from which Anfal campaigns were launched. In 2003, many families came to settle in the area of Failaq occupying rooms of the military compounds and building shelters out of bricks, mud and oil cans. Returnee Kurdish families came to settle in the area while displaced families from Baghdad, Diyala, Ninewah also flowed in Failaq. Today, more than 6000 families are living in Failaq, 65% are from Kurdish origin, 30% are from Arab origin while the remaining 10% are from Turkmen and Assyrian origin.
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Failaq was initially chosen as a location to live in due to services available in the military compound with the disposal of electricity and water. However, soon the capacities of available resources were overdrawn. Along the mix of communities, the limited availability of resources and services to the community leads to diverse types and natures of tensions experiences by the population living in Failaq. The major problem experience by the population is the lack of adequate water and sanitation services with only a mere 40% of the district covered by pipes. 5 water wells were dug by the Kurdish Regional Government in 2004 but due to poor community administration, the wells are currently out of order. The dirty water lead to the appearance of diseases and spread of bugs and several cases of cholera and malaria were detected in the area recently. Schools are poorly equipped as well as primary health care centers, material and experienced staff are lacking to provide adequate services. Failaq is characterized by the extreme vulnerability of individuals settled in the area. Unemployment rate is high and affect living conditions of all groups. These negative economic and social factors put additional pressure on relationships between communities and as tensions are increasing, it is necessary to improve community relationships and cohesion before tensions break into violence. In order to reverse the trend of deteriorating relationships, a double action has to be undertaken: - Alleviate the suffering of community members through enhancing their living conditions - Build community cohesion through introducing conflict management and peace building concepts and community development planning methods
B. Project Description The project â€˜Building Peace in Failaqâ€™ was implemented from September 2009 to February 2010 by UNOPS through INSAN Iraqi Society and the project was funded by the Federal Republic of Germany. The project was part of a program conducted in Kirkuk and Diyala Governorates to mitigate conflict and build community cohesion between the diverse communities living in the targeted areas. INSAN selected the community of Failaq in Kirkuk Governorate after having identified the high potential of conflict erupting in this area.
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Projectâ€™s objectives: 1. To develop a cadre of conflict management / peace building resource persons able to initiate change in the larger relational pattern within their community 2. To create an environment propitious to long term peace building by supporting quick impact initiatives directed to youth and women 3. To increase cohesion between groups around a common vision for the development of their neighbourhood through participatory needs assessment and planning methods
The project was designed along two main axes: A. Conducting a Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) in Failaq to define problems and needs of the community leading to the design of a long term community development plan. This step aims to strengthen cohesion between community members through building a common vision. B. Conducting Quick Impact Activities aiming at relieving immediate sufferings of the population and building a propitious environment to peace building (Income generation rehabilitation, social activities).
Quick Impact Activities Vocational activities TV Satellite maintenance for 30 youth Computer maintenance for 30 youth
Rehabilitation Football field Social activities Football match between 8 youth teams
Community Committee: 10 community leaders supervising activities previously trained on conflict management
Throughout the project, INSAN aimed at building the capacity of community leaders and community members on conflict management, participatory appraisal and community development through diverse training workshops and dialogue sessions. Inclusion of local authorities in the program was also a main focus, as opportunities will be provided to the community of Failaq to directly address difficulties to local authorities and demand adequate solutions to be put in place.
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Mobile phone training and stadium rehabilitation
The outcome of the project was a community development plan designed and ratified by the community living in Failaq. The community as a whole, as well as INSAN, will have the responsibility in taking this community plan forward through taking approriate steps and searching for adequate sources of funding by approaching local authorities, national stakeholders and international organizations in order to foresee concrete implementation of the plan. All activities undertaken in the frame of the project were implemented in a community centre set up by INSAN in the main street of Failaq. Named Kirkuk Al Salam Centre 2 (Kirkuk Peace Centre 2), the venue quickly became a popular gathering location for community members and provided an alternative venue for men, women and youth to take part to activities, opening new communication channels between groups and communities. INSAN is currently working on a follow up to this project in order to sustain initiatives launched in Failaq to support the long term process of peace building. Along additional quick impact activities alleviating the suffering of communities, appropriate community mechanisms will be put in place to ensure follow up on implementation of community development plan and strengthen peaceful co-existence between communities.
C. The Participatory Rapid Appraisal process In the frame of the project â€˜Building peace in Failaqâ€™, a Participatory Rapid Appraisal process was put in place to define problems and needs of the communities and to identify adequate possible solutions to be implemented in an aim to improve living conditions and enhance coexistence of communities. The PRA intended to conduct wide community consultation and lead to the design of a long term community development plan. The PRA process was seen as a step to strengthen cohesion between community members through developing a common vision to the development of the neighbourhood.
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Participatory Rapid Appraisal Process & Community Plan
Selection of 3 Lead Facilitators (LF) from the community
Training of LFs on Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) on 2 weeks
Selection of 20 volunteers from the community
LFs train volunteers on PRA on 3 days Volunteers conduct PRA on 12 days
Selection of 200 influential community members
4 community meetings to discuss PRA outcomes and discuss development plan
Selection of 10 community leaders
Strategic workshop to design community development plan Community conference
PRA study report
Draft Community plan
Final Community plan ratified by community
Three Lead Facilitators (LFs) were selected among the community of Failaq to closely work with INSAN to lead the Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) process. The LFs were individuals chosen for their wellâ€”acceptance in the community as well as their skills for leadership and facilitation. In preparation of the PRA process, the LFs along with INSAN members were trained on techniques of Participatory Rapid Appraisal. In a two weeks training supported by UNOPS, they were trained by AID-ME (Academy for International Development - Middle East), an Egyptian organization, on community needs assessment, methods and tools of participatory rapid appraisal, conducting and managing a research, conducting presentation sessions and conflict management.
Training of Lead Facilitators in Erbil
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The PRA was then conducted in Failaq by the 3 LFs supported by 20 volunteers who were previously trained by the LFs themselves during a 3 days session. The LFs transferred their skills, presented tools selected to be used for the research and logistically organized with the volunteers the conduction of the PRA.
Training of volunteers in Failaq
The PRA process was launched in Failaq in November 2009. During 11 days, the 3 LFs and 20 volunteers visited several directorates and 485 houses with which they conducted discussions with household members to raises issues and concerns of community members over living conditions, available services, lack of resources and opportunities, community relationships, etc. The households visited represented diverse communities and diverse socio-economic layers of the society in order to fairly represent the community living in Failaq. The interviews aimed to collect data and information on the following specific fields: economic situation, social situation, health, education, women related issues, environment, public services.
Conduction of household interviews by volunteers
The household interviews were a success: the population in Failaq opened their doors and trustfully shared their opinions and points of views with the PRA teams. They positively welcomed the PRA process, understanding that raising problems and issues witnessed in the community could help in enhancing community relationships and improving living conditions. They agreed to take part to the diverse exercises proposed by the volunteers such as drawing their own maps of the area and ranking the needs according to their priorities on flipcharts papers.
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As findings of the household interviews were compiled by the PRA teams, they were then confronted with a larger panel of the population gathered in a series of meetings. Four community meetings were conducted in December 2009 and January 2010, bringing together an average 40 community members in each meeting. Local leaders and particular influential community members were identified to participate to the meetings. Findings were discussed and further completed, taking benefit of the brainstorming sessions conducting during the meetings. One community meeting gathered exclusively women in order to allow them to have their say and to raise issues particularly dear to women. The community meetings were a first step to put down concrete suggestions and ideas of activities which could be part of a community development plan. This report is outlining the findings emanating from the household interviews and community meetings.
Building on the findings of the PRA process, a strategic workshop further gathered community leaders and other influential community members to work on designing a community development plan. In February 2009, the community development plan was presented to a larger panel of community members who ratified the plan for which the community of Failaq as a whole will be expected to work on implementing.
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III. Participatory Rapid Appraisal Findings A. General Information on Failaq
1. Geographical information Failaq is an area located in the the North-West part of the city of Kirkuk, the capital of Kirkuk Governorate. According to figures provided by the IDP and Returnee Committee of Kirkuk, 6930 families live in Failaq and represent three ethnicities: 4270 families are Kurdish, 2402 families are Arab, 242 families are Turkmen and 16 families are Chaldeo-Assyrian.
Failaq area is featured in the black rectangle.
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The community centre opened in Failaq by INSAN is yellow pinned.
2. Actors of the location Failaq has traditionally be populated, like the rest of Kirkuk, by a mix of communities and ethnicities. Kurds, Turkmen, Arabs, along a small minority of Assyrians are living in the area. Kurds, Turkmen, and Assyrians have lived in Kirkuk for a long time while most of Arabs settled in Failaq during the Arabization campaign conducted by the Former Regime in the 1980â€™s. Some are also Internally Displaced Persons who flew military operations and violence since 2003 from Baghdad and Diyala governorates. Many Kurdish families have also returned to the area since 2003 after having been evicted by force during the Arabization campaign. No official data is available regarding the number of returned families. Although Kirkuk is officially under the authority of the government of Iraq and not included in the Kurdistan Regional Government, the influence of Kurdish political parties is great. Offices of the PUK, PDK and Kurdish Communist parties are widely settled in Kirkuk and are very active in the area of Failaq. The political life in Failaq is therefore intrinsically linked with the three Kurdish parties which are in turn closely supported by the Kurdish Regional Government. The Asiash forces (â€˜special forcesâ€™) station is established in the area to monitor the security of the city and is run by the PDK party. An IDP and Returnee committee has been set up in Failaq, alike in other areas in Kirkuk, to deal with needs of these communities. It is an entity establishing the link between the political parties and community leaders and community members. The committee has registered all IDP and Returnee individuals settled in Failaq and is facilitating the provision of assistance provided by the partie. The assistance takes mostly the form of food and non food items. It also has been in charge of providing lands for returning families originally living in Kirkuk. The Iraqi government has very little weight in the political structure of the area of Failaq. It is only represented through a police station which is located to Failaq in Aaraffa district, and a branch of the Ministry of Displacement and Migration settled with the IDP & Returnee committee. A number of non governmental organizations and associations are working in Failaq. Atyaf NGO is a woman organization and organizes diverse awareness sessions targeting women. In the past, they have distributed hygienic kits and provided sewing training to women. Youth freedom is an organization supported by the PUK which provides sport training to the youth of the area such as kickboxing and tennis. Civil Development Organization was distributing food items each 3 months to women such as eggs, chickens and canned food. The organization has closed their office in the last month and moved out of the area. INSAN Iraqi Society has launched concrete activities in Failaq since 2006 through providing food and non food items and income generating opportunities.
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Reach is currently conducting the rehabilitation of unstructured houses where Returnee families are settled in the district with the support of UNHCR. Actors of Failaq Iraqi Government
Kurdish Regional Government
NGOS IDP & Returnee Committee Asayish Center
INSAN Atyaf Reach Youth Freedom
Community leaders Sheikhs Community members
3. Historical Background In 1924, Failaq district was a village call Aliyawa, located on the outskirts of the city of Kirkuk. In 1963, the government of Iraq started displacing the population by force from the village in order to settle a military base. The 85 families living there were moved out of their lands and village and were offered a financial compensation if they were accepting to settle in the centre or South of Iraq. Those deciding to settle in Kurdistan were not provided with any compensation. In 1964, the Iraqi government established the military base brigade 1. Since that date, brigade 1 was one of the military sites from which Anfal operations were launched, which targeted Kurdish families seen as supporting the Kurdish revolt. After the 10th of April 2003 and the fall of the former Regime, the families who had been displaced years ago came back to the district. Other Kurdish families from Baghdad, Diyala, Sulaymaniah, Erbil or Mosul, originating from Kirkuk, saw the chance of settling again in the city. After 2O06, other families of diverse ethnicities were displaced from the central governorates and settled in Failaq fleeing the violence. Failaq was an area of choice for IDPs and Returnees because it was provided with good services during the former regime due to the presence of the military base. Water and electricity services were good and military buildings offered halls and cabinets in which families could find a shelter. The settlement of Returning families is being regulated by the City Council of Kirkuk following to the request of President Jalal Talabani. In collaboration with the coalition forces, lands were divided and offered to Returnees after approval of the City Council. However, the services existing in Failaq since the Former Regime were suited for a living population of an average of 500 families of soldiers. Today, as the area is hosting nearly 7.000 families, services are over-loaded and the limited resources are not able to answer to needs of inhabitants.
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Traces of Anfal operations have been found in the area such as skulls and clothes of victims which led to the creation of psychological problems especially among women and children living in Failaq. The lack of hygiene in the area leads to the presence of scorpions, snakes, spiders and other insects which can be mortal to the population.
Village and Farming lands
Building Military base
Arrival of IDPs and Returnees
B. Characteristics of findings The first phase of the PRA was conducted according to the following study plan which details the targeted sources of data and tools used to collect the data.
PRA Study tools
The Governmental Directorates
Type of services available in area
Limits of services available
Semi structured interviews
Mapping draw Total
The data collection process was conducted over two weeks. 485 families were visited to provide information and data in regards to needs and problems of the area.
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Official directorates, political parties which are active in the area and the Asaish station were also visited to obtain information. The most important element which contributed to the success of the process was the selection of diverse strata of the community, households visits were of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and of diverse ethnicities. The 20 volunteers who conducted the process were divided in 6 teams. Each team gathered volunteers from a diverse ethnicity and included one woman in order to facilitate communication with female members of households visited. In spite of difficulties in the beginning, the people in Failaq were cooperative and welcoming which helped the teams to evaluate the community needs. The results of the interviews conducted in the frame of the Participatory Rapid Appraisal have been classified according to main issues of concern: Social issues. women issues, economic issues, educational issues, health issues and environmental issues.
1. Social conditions
Good relationships between community members exist in Failaq as relationships are based on respect; although, the fact that many communities cohabit together brings tensions from time to time. The political life in Failaq is ruled by the Kurdish Parties. Other communities feel misrepresented as their leaders have poor weight in the political process. However, services are available to all on an equal basis as they are made available without distinction on community belonging. a) Within the family:
Most of these families have good social relationships with each other through mutual respect between the head of the family and housewife with children, respect for others and exchange ideas pertaining to the same family in the event of exposure to social problems. The society being based on patriarchal values, the male head of the family plays an extensive role within the household. He holds the greatest responsibility to provide for the needs of the family. In some cases, housewives and children are consulted and opinions are heard. The responsibility of the housewife is to tidy up and clean the household, while children are expected to study. In the case of poor families, the role of children goes further than studying, and their responsibility is to bring out money from their work or business. They can be seen working as daily workers in constructing work, shops such as cars mechanical or carpenters, mobile cart workers for selling ice cream or/and chickpeas. Youth are having more difficulty to engage in marriage because of difficult economic conditions. The lack of employment opportunities are putting an obstacle and postponing the regular age of marriage.
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Some families are exposed to social problems among the family members because of tribal customs and traditions that lead to arranged marriages between tribes. Conflicts arise between tribes when disputes are occurring between the couples which may lead to divorce. A large number of divorced women is present in the area. The difference in age and educational background between husband and wife is seen as causes leading couples to divorce. There is a high percentage of widows in the area because of the circumstances experienced throughout wars and terrorist attacks. Female headed households seem to suffer from more desperate economic situations than other households as they lack of a regular income. There is a lack of kindergartens in Failaq. The only kindergarten is small and can accept a very limited number of children and provides expensive services.
b) Outside the family:
Social problems exist among the population and the major concern cited was the spread of small arms with young men carrying weapons causing great concern in regards to the security of women and children. Another major problem in the area is the housing crisis. It is common to see up to five families living in the same house due to the high price of rent which rocketed as displacement was occurring in 2006. Families are renting rooms of their own house to other families and the closeness of living leads to conflict between families. There is a lack of means of entertainment in the area. No sports clubs, amusement parks or green areas are available for youth and children to relax. Some empty lands are used by the youth to play football but they do not provide adequate environment. Another great concern is the lack of social welfare as few families seem to receive support from the government and rely on neighbours and other members of the extended family to survive.
Suggestions: 1.The family is the most important unit of the society and everything should be done to safeguard this value. Educational programs should be deployed in regards to family issues. 2. Particular attention should be given to children and extra-scholar activities for children should be existing to develop their physical and psychological well-being. Education sessions could be made on how to better deal with children in these difficult circumstances. 3. More opportunities should be provided to women taking into account their role as mother and housewife. Jobs should be offered in the directorates and they should benefit from vocational trainings in handicraft such as sewing and hairdressing. 4. Adequate support should be provided to young people to develop a future and make a proper living so that they can gather necessary resources to get married.
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5. Entertaining activities must be provided for young boys through a social club and sport club to provide them with an alternative place to meet rather than the street and showing off their weapons.
2. Women issues As in the rest of Iraq, the society is based on a patriarchal system. Responsibilities of the family rely on the shoulders of the men of the house, usually the father and the sons. The women have a less important role within the family and are expected to take care of the house and the children. Women in Failaq do not take part to activities outside of their role for the following reasons: - There are no active women organizations specialized in women issues in the district - The habits and customs in the district are based on traditional and religious beliefs that prevent women to be part of the public sphere. The high number of uneducated men in the district is further preventing the participation of women. But in case of the absence of the man or losing the father of the family, women have the role and the right to take the decisions inside her family and must support her children. The weight of the traditions in Failaq is still encouraging arranged and early marriages of girls. Women are considered as gifts exchanged between families. This has lead to the failure of marriages and the number of divorces has increased due to the difference in age and educational level of spouses. A high number of secret marriages were also reported. A large number of windows are living in Failaq. Husbands were victims of the wars and terrorism. Left with very little support from the government, female headed households are the few where women have to take decisions and have the role of bringing an income for the family.
Women have no activities outside of the house because of social and religious traditions. No opportunities for social gatherings exist and households have highlighted the need of providing entertaining activities for young girls. Illiteracy course and vocational trainings such as sewing and hairdressing are interests showed by women. These needs are not addressed due to the lack of women organizations in the district. Two women attempted to open a woman organization to empower women in Failaq however they met difficulties to open and legally register the organization and the idea was not followed upon. Young girls are in need of social and artistic activities in a dedicated place where they can safely meet their peers. They express interest in music, drawing, languages and computer. Women have expressed the existing close relationships between women regardless of their community background. Neighboursâ€™ visits, friendly chats in front of their house are some of the occasions during which women create links with each other.
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1. Educational, vocational training and employment opportunities for women must be enlarged through literacy, sewing, weaving, and hairdressing activities. 2. Entertaining activities must be provided for girls in particular: music, drawing, language, computer along an amusement park.
3. Economic issues Families in Failaq all have a very limited income and come from low socio-economic backgrounds. Although a large number of graduates is present in the area, they donâ€™t have the opportunity to be hired by the government. Failaq is suffering from high unemployment and no factories or large companies offer employment to community members. Most of heads of households work in simple often daily jobs which is not suiting family expenses. Daily jobs are available for manual workers but they bring irregular income and are seasonable as they are offered mostly in summer rather than in the winter season. Social support is nonexistent and retirement salaries are very low. Few shops and businesses are available in Failaq. Failaq is providing small services which include: plumber, blacksmith, glasses shop, carpenter, car mechanical, car tires shop, electronic shop, supermarkets, grocery shops, butcher, mobile phone shop, bakery, barber shop, hairdresser, shoe repair shop and many mobile carts selling women items, vegetables and food. Prices in the area are seen increasing day by day: the cost of petrol, fuel, kerosene and gas rocketed which greatly impacted other goods especially in winter the prices of kerosene raised up a lot. Prices are not controlled by the Ministry of Trade and it creates a difficult situation for families in Failaq and in Iraq in general. Individuals have the only option to settle private initiatives although no banks are available to support these individual projects. Parents are also obliged to send their younger children to work although they have not reached the official age to do so. Suggestions: 1. Income generation projects and/or small businesses should be supported and launched in Failaq creating employment and economic life 2. The cost of living and cost of housing crisis needs to be tackled either by decreasing rents, by the government or other organizations providing loans supporting the families to raise their economic level. 3. Large projects must be launched in the area to create employment. It can be either construction of infrastructure projects, or settlement of companies and factories. 4. Individuals must be educated on how to manage their own income and savings. As money is available, it is generally spent immediately on needs. There is poor thinking and planning for the future. Income is usually very badly handled by uneducated persons.
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5. The government should launch housing projects. The infrastructure projects would provide employment and would at the same time control housing prices, facilitating living conditions of families.
4. Educational issues There are seven schools in Failaq district: 6 of them are primary schools and 2 are secondary schools, one for girls and one for boys. While all schools in Failaq offer education through 2 shifts per day, Zagros school was offering 3 educational shifts per day. Timetable was as follows: Shift 1 8am â€“ 10:30am
Shift 2 11pm-1:30pm
Shift 3 2pm-5pm
This year it has been changed and became 2 shifts of hours only, but two shifts are organized simultaneously in the afternoon time. Shift 1 8am â€“ 12am
Shift 2 12pm - 4pm
Families have to pay for the school uniform and sets of stationery for the child to go to school. Some families of very low economic are not able to afford the necessary material and children are therefore not sent to school. Large costs are also witnessed for students in universities and colleges which is obstacle for students to continue their education. In general, each class hosts an average number of 50 to 60 children. Classrooms are not large enough to allow children to be correctly seated and the level of education and understanding is very low. Most of teachers lack experience and do not have adequate skills to teach. English and mathematics teachers are severely lacking. There is also a lack of schools teaching in Arabic language in the area. Schools lack of material as indicated by headmasters and parents: desks, stationary. Heating is also not available and most windows of the schools are broken which provides unbearable conditions especially during the winter. Toilets in many schools are not functioning. Girl students in particular have to wait until they go back home and this very often leads to kidneys diseases. Clean and drinkable water is also not available in most schools. No cleaners are working in the schools and this task is on the shoulders of the teachers and students. Transportation to schools is not available through governmental buses. And because of the lack of secondary schools in the area, many families have to pay for transportation for their children who attend secondary education. It is one cause that leads families to oblige girls to quit schools and stay at home. A second cause is the traditional habits which do not highlight the necessity of secondary education of girls. Illiteracy is widely spreading among girls. No special schools are providing illiteracy classes for adults and educational courses for students during the summer were requested.
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Kirkuk Educational directorate (KED) is not showing any concern to educational institutions in Failaq. It is not in communication with the schools of Failaq or their administrations. Generally, the school administrations are not satisfied with the performance of the KED as they claim it is making discrimination. The Directorate is led by the Turkmen Party and is said to not be supporting schools teaching in Kurdish language. Although several appeals were made by school directors and teachers to obtain necessary material and equipment to enhance education conditions to the directorate of Education, no answers to requests were received
Suggestions: 1. Awareness campaigns should be organized to inform families about the importance of education of their children and girls in particular. They should send them to school instead of sending them to work or leaving them at home. The schools should show more responsibility towards verifying the attendance of children and taking contact with families when regular absence is noticed. 2. The schools should be able to help with uniforms, school bags and stationary for poor and vulnerable families. 3. The requirement stationeries must be available in schools, material and equipment should be distributed to schools to enhance educational conditions including desks, chairs, boards, stationary, heaters and air coolers. Rehabilitation of schools should be undertaken to repair classrooms, build more classrooms and repair water sanitation networks. 4. Teachers should receive training in general to provide better teaching in their classroom. 5. Illiteracy courses should be set up to raise educational level within the community. 6. English language courses should be set up.
5. Health issues No active PHC or hospital is available in Failaq. A PHC was opened lately in Failaq but it is out of staff and medicines and is not visited by community members. There is a prevalence of chronic diseases in abundance in the region such as diabetes mellitus, pressure, cancer. Special treatments for these chronic diseases are available for community members in the markets at very high prices and canâ€™t be afforded most of the time. Treatments are often expired doing more harm than good. There are custom and traditional health practices exercised by some families themselves instead of using medicines which are also seen as very harmful. Families resort to external private clinics, which are available to very high costs. Health is also not monitored at school or kindergartens. No first aid kits are available and they do not have basic medicines to treat the children. No regular visits of medical personal are organized within the schools.
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Health surveillance is not operated in markets and shops. Food is sometimes sold expired and leads to spreading sicknesses within the community.
Suggestions: 1. Building a health centre to provide health services in the region and to provide an ambulance for the purpose of emergency situations. 2. Provide a special wing for maternity care. 3. Provide medicines and treatments for chronic diseases with information leaflets to facilitate access to these treatments. 4. Provide health awareness by health institutions, associations or non-use of tribal remedies, especially in emergency situations. 5. Provide awareness classes not to burn garbage in the streets and alleys, they harm patients who suffer from chronic diseases.
6. Environmental issues
Water quality available in Failaq is of very bad quality. Some analyses were made by a resident and discovered a huge amount of bacteria and viruses in the water. Drinking this water creates many kidney diseases and malfunction. Families complain of the laying of garbage and trash in the area in the streets, squares and near the houses. This issue leads to the creation of disputes and conflicts between the people due to the accumulation of garbage. Along with animal shelters, garbage creates a haven for insects such as mosquitoes, flies and leads to the spread of many serious diseases such as malaria and cholera. There is a lack of containers to collect waste and waste bags arenâ€™t distributed anymore by municipalities to citizens. The community of Failaq is burning garbage in the streets which causes environmental degradation. Most streets are not paved and are covered by dust and dirt. The dust is blowing especially in summer and causes many health problems such as asthma and other allergies. During winter season, mud is spreading on the streets and affects the drive of vehicles and the children walking to school. Large vehicles such as ambulances or utility trucks are unable to reach all areas of Failaq. No sanitation network exists in Failaq: rain water and waste water from houses is poured on the street. The stagnant water forms ponds in the streets and alleys, and fosters the abundance of insects.
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The electricity is execrable in Failaq. Electric wires are old and the electric grid is not balanced. Blackouts are frequent. Illegal electric connections made by citizens add a burden and are not regulated by the local authorities. Young people are lacking the availability of hobby activities and leads to a high level of delinquency. Youth centres should be opened offering sport and leisure activities. No green areas are available. There is no fire station in Failaq.
Suggestions: 1. Provide containers in the streets to collect waste and distribute garbage bags to families. 2. Paving streets and constructing sidewalks. 3. Create parks and green areas in the available suitable areas of Failaq, plant trees on the streets. 4. Establish a sewage network and water drainage. 5. Raising awareness through campaigns to maintain the cleanliness of the area and the environment. 6. Develop appropriate solutions to the electricity network in the region. 7. Building a youth center providing sport activities. 8. Building kindergartens and amusement park.
C. Solutions recommended by the community Findings of the Participatory Rapid Appraisal collected during visits and interviews of households were gathered and presented to selected groups of the community for further discussion. During four community meetings gathering community leaders, tribe leaders; imams and sheikhs, political parties representatives and other influential community members, possible solutions to the problems identified were put on the table and discussed. A set of concrete recommendations was agreed upon and were seen as necessary steps to enhance community living conditions and develop the community as a whole.
The recommendations made during community meetings are outlined below according to main areas of concern.
1. Social Conditions
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1. Raise awareness of Imams to promote good relationships among neighbours and community members 2. Build a hall for ceremonies in the district 3. Raise awareness on social roles and peace building mechanisms in the society
2. Women Issues 1. Enrol men in women’s rights workshop to promote gender awareness 2. Promote gender equality in the society through workshops and awareness actions 3. Raise awareness of Imams to promote women’s rights in the society 4. Open a women social centre 5. Open a kindergarten in the district to allow women to take actively part to the social life of the district
3. Economic Issues 1. Establish factories in the area to provide new job opportunities 2. Provide vocational trainings opportunities to build the skills of the youth and disabled persons 3. Provide income generation opportunities to vulnerable families to support the creation of a regular income
4. Educational Issues 1. Build 3 new high schools 2. Open a new school which provides education in Arabic language 3. Increase the capacity of existing classrooms through providing adequate furniture 4. Build the capacity of teachers in teaching their subjects 5. Hire cleaning staff to take care of the schools 6. Ensure that each school has adequate sanitary services (bathrooms and water) 7. Ensure access to disabled students to schools 8. Promote the importance of education of children to ensure children go to school instead of working 9. Build awareness of teachers on children’s rights and good educational methods 10. Establish a library or cultural centre in the district
5. Health Issues 1. Enlarge the existing PHC Building Peace in Failaq, Kirkuk PRA Findings Report 25
2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Provide specialized doctors in the PHC Provide an ambulance to the PHC Supply the PHC with adequate medicines Arrange mobile medical teams to visit disabled and sick families Conduct health awareness through the support of media
6. Environmental Issues 1. Provide garbage containers to collect garbage in the district 2. Enhance garbage collection in the area organized by the municipality by ensuring that trucks regularly collect waste 3. Provide garbage plastic bags to families
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The PRA conducted in Failaq is the second experience of INSAN, supported by UNOPS, in conducting participatory processes within a specific community. (See document of PRA findings in Rapareen, Kirkuk November 2008 â€“ January 2009 under a project funded by the European Union through the UNDG Iraq Trust Fund). It is important to reflect on mechanisms that worked and failed throughout the conduction of the PRA in order to be able to improve the performance of the organization and effectiveness of the process.
1. Inclusion of local community members to conduct the PRA The PRA was conducted by INSAN but community members of Failaq were hired by the organization to assist in conducting the process. Two lead facilitators selected within the community were trained by UNOPs along INSAN staff on tools of PRA . They led the PRA process and were further involved in the implementation of other activities all along the project beside INSAN staff. Twenty volunteers identified within the community were as well trained and conducted the household interviews over a period of two weeks. The use of community members allowed to rapidly acquire a local knowledge of the targeted community allowing to identify key stakeholders and other influential members of the community. Trust between INSAN and the community were rapidly established facilitating the process.
2. Importance of a gender balance among the members conducting the PRA 1 lead facilitator out of 3 and 6 volunteers out of 20 were female. Although gender equality was not reached, the presence of female members among the teams working to conduct the PRA facilitated the approach of households. As 6 teams of 3 volunteers were formed, it was ensured that each team was composed of one female. It allowed the visit of female headed households which would not have been possible in the case teams were composed of males only. The women of visited households were witnessed to be particularly active during interviews, sharing their opinion and engaging in mapping and ranking exercises.
3. Local governmental institutions, a place to acquire statistical and quantitative data Statistical and quantitative data on population, employment, economic situation, etc are make an important part of the information needed to reflect the problems and needs of the area. They usually can be collected at local governmental institutions. Although these institutions were visited during the PRA, no such data appears in the findings report of the PRA. It would be important to obtain statistics regarding the number of female headed households, the percentage of unemployment, the number of disabled persons, etc
4. The PRA should be an opportunity to identify problems linked to the social fabric within the targeted community The PRA being conducted as part of a peace building program, it should have investigated not only the problems linked to basic services but as well the problems linked to the relationship between the diverse communities cohabitating in the community. It would have been a first
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step dialogue among community members to reflect on difficulties related to the links between the communities.
5. Community meetings should foresee the participation of a wider group of community members Attendance of community meetings in Failaq has been disappointing as the number of participants never exceeded 40 individuals while it was initially planned to receive an average of 50 participants to each meeting. Community consultation should be designed on a wider basis. Local media and posters could be used to distribute the information and invite community members to attend the meetings.
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As the Participatory Rapid Appraisal process was completed with the collection of suggestions of community members to improve living conditions in Failaq, a long term community development plan was developed. Community leaders and other influential members of the community worked together to specify the list of suggestions, detail them and build a concrete action plan around them. The community development plan presents a list of details activities accompanied by identified actors and timeframe to foresee its effective and rapid conduction and implementation. As INSAN conducted this process over the last 4 months, it is now time for the community and community leaders to take the leadership over this community plan and take appropriate actions to work on its implementation. INSAN worked closely with leaders to prepare them for their tasks but along the way, has identified major obstacles which need to be taken into account and could come across the smooth conduction of the process.
1- The poor understanding of political participation and democratic processes: In the evaluation of the community meetings, an astonishing 81% of participants believed that the government and local authorities are the main responsible actors to be able to make a positive change in Failaq. Very few have mentioned the power of community members to have an impact. There is a great reliance on the government and political parties and poor understanding on the weight of citizens to impact local policies. It is important that community members acquire a sound understanding of democratic processes and recognize that their voice should drive the actions taken by the local authorities. As they verify their power, community leaders can start to be effectively organized to launch lobbying and advocacy actions and present demands and requests to local authorities. It is equally important for local authorities to understand the democratic power of community members. Listening to voices of community members should be a drive to define their plan of action. Local authorities should be aware of participatory approaches and dedicate time to dialogue with their constituency. Recommendations: a. Conduct awareness on political participation and democratic processes to community members b. Build the capacity of community leaders in the field of lobbying and advocacy c. Build the capacity of local authorities in participatory democracy
2- The poor sense of community participation As basic needs of the population are not met, the Iraqi society has become highly individualistic where families are concerned about satisfying their own needs first and take little interest to society and community issues. The Participatory Rapid Appraisal was used as a peace building tool, looking at gathering diverse communities around a central common issue aiming at the development of the
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location. Building a common vision facilitated reconciliation and sense of unity of the communities. As seen above, the community is still highly depending on the government to provide facilities and have a great passive attitude towards the situation. Community members need to recognize the benefits of their involvement and voluntarism actions should be promoted. Steps towards systematic community mobilisation should be put in place both from the local authoritiesâ€™ side and from other civil society organizations working in Failaq. Recommendations: a. Build the capacity of local authorities and political parties in enhancing community participation b. Civil Society organizations should design programs as to ensure systematic community participation
3- The provision of a long term external support to sustain the work on implementing the community development plan INSAN has now been working for 5 months, developing a participatory community approach to foresee the development of the community of Failaq. Along the way, capacities of key stakeholders have been built to conduct the participatory rapid appraisal process and to design a community development plan. Due to obstacles described above, it is still very early to ensure that the community is now ready to work on their own to take the community development plan forward and carry on its implementation. Essential skills and capacities are still lacking and motivation of key individuals needs to be sustained. Long term assistance to the community of Failaq must be provided. Recommendations: a. Provide funding to ensure long term assistance and technical support to sustain the processes launched b. Continue building the capacities of key stakeholders in Failaq to allow them to take independent leadership of the processes launched
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Published on Apr 11, 2013