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Why and what do we want from the development plan?

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Why and what do we want from the development plan?

Economic 12/03/2023
Abdul Zahra Muhammad Al-Hindawi
Perhaps some adherents of different economic sects and schools are talking about leaving the idea of central planning, in light of changing development trends, theories, and philosophies, and
the content of this talk is that central planning is no longer suitable for this era, in light of the decline in the role of governments, and the expansion of the arena of the private sector, which has become It dominates the development scene.
This happens in countries with liberal systems,
but in countries that still embrace socialist systems, they adhere to central planning, and the government in them is in charge of everything, planning and implementation.
In order not to stray too far from the idea of the topic that I want to delve into, I will talk here about the five-year plans in Iraq, which are considered medium-term plans.
The past fifteen years have witnessed the launch of three development plans, the first of which was (2010 - 2014), but it soon ended.
It was halted or discontinued due to the exceptional circumstances in the country, and was replaced by the second plan (2013-2017), then came the third plan (2018-2022), and here comes the big question:
What was achieved from those plans, and what was not achieved?
In answering this question, there is certainly something that has been achieved,
but perhaps this achievement does not seem clear, in light of the great deterioration that the development sectors in all its names are suffering from, and
as the popular proverb says (the problem is great and the plot is small).
As for why these plans did not achieve their goals,
This is another story that will be discussed at length,
the most prominent title of which is that the challenges and risks that faced the plans were not taken into account.
They are different and extremely severe.
Sometimes they are security, sometimes political, sometimes health, fourth financial, fifth, sixth...etc.
In general, time has passed, the plans have expired, and we are facing a new phase, with everything security, political, economic, health, and even social, and all of this strongly calls for going towards developing a new five-year plan, which must also be different from its predecessors, and
this difference comes. Through its real response to all challenges, at the internal and external levels, and the higher its response to risks, this enables those concerned to achieve the goals set out in the plan, and according to sectoral priorities, and
the response is also linked to the high ability to anticipate changes that can occur at any moment.
This is called development uncertainty, and
this uncertainty is linked to the instability of oil prices, which may witness a decline at any moment,
and is also linked to global conditions, such as wars, conflicts, epidemics, etc., and the Russia-Ukraine war and the Covid-19 pandemic are far from us.
Also, the plan cannot ignore the frightening climate changes, which now threaten many countries of the world with many risks and repercussions, and Iraq is one of the countries in the world affected by such changes.
According to all of the above, the goals set by the five-year development plan, which the Ministry of Planning announced the start of preparing for the next five years, must be accurate, measurable, acceptable, realistic, and with a specific time frame, according to specific priorities, with the necessity of participating and involving all activities at the state level.
In the preparation process, in order for it to be expressive for everyone, in addition to this participation, it represents an explicit commitment by these activities to implement the plan, and the legislative and executive authorities, as well as the private sector, civil society and the media, are all concerned with this partnership, to ensure reaching the goals that are being adopted.
It is the time for everyone to advance the development sectors and change people’s lives, according to realistic, flexible, and implementable development plans.
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