This supplement is an update of Progress or Peril?, using the methodology developed in that report. The methodology involves blending four different source types: media, public (official), polls, and interviews. The PCR Project was not able to conduct interviews in Iraq for this supplement; the findings in this report are based on 279 data points drawn from media, public sources, and polling, covering the period August-October 2004. We collected 115 media points, 134 points from public and official sources, and 30 polling points, which were weighted equally in our overall graphs. The citations used in this report represent a fraction of the information the Project examined for this analysis. The data suggest the following findings: 1. Iraq has still not passed the tipping point, as defined in Progress or Peril, in any of the five sectors of reconstruction reviewed. 2. Iraq’s reconstruction continues to stagnate; it is not yet moving on a sustained positive trajectory toward the tipping point or end-state in any of those sectors. Within the areas of security, governance and participation, economic opportunity, services, and social well-being, there has been little overall positive or negative movement; there has, however, been some regression or progress within particular indicators reviewed, as described below. The health care sector has seen the most dramatic decline over the past few months.
The current study is a follow-up to the 2005 baseline report In the Balance: Measuring Progress in Afghanistan. The report’s conclusions are based on 1,000 structured conversations that took place in half of Afghanistan’s provinces; 13 surveys, polls, and focus groups; 200 expert interviews; and the daily monitoring of 70 media sources and 182 organizations. Three of the report’s main findings are: Afghans are losing trust in their government because of an escalation in violence; Public expectations are neither being met nor managed; Conditions in Afghanistan have deteriorated in all key areas targeted for development, except for the economy and women’s rights.
During a two week research trip to Pakistan in mid-April 2008, the PCR team interviewed more than 200 Pakistanis and several dozen expatriates in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Attock, Quetta and Karachi. The team met with the newly elected leadership, former generals, journalists, economists, nationalist leaders, trade unionists, diplomats, university professors, bloggers, ulema, aid workers, security analysts, leaders of the lawyers’ movement, and students at an elementary school, a madrassa, an Afghan refugee primary school, and a university.
Post-conflict reconstruction theory and practice have advanced considerably over the last few years, yet the U.S. government and the international community still lack forward-leaning, pragmatic, reliable models for measuring progress in post-conflict settings. Efforts to assess progress in Iraq have been lost in the midst of rumors on the one end and overblown lists of achievements on the other. The sources usually relied upon, from media to U.S. governmentgenerated, do not on their own tell a complete story, and often reflect underlying biases or weaknesses. The Iraqi voice has been a key missing ingredient in most discussions and assessments of Iraq’s reconstruction. In this context, we set out to develop a broad-based, data-rich, multidisciplinary model for measuring progress in Iraq that has as its core the Iraqi perspective. This report assesses the readiness of Iraqis to take charge of their country, both in terms of actual progress on the ground in reconstruction efforts and the way Iraqis perceive current events. We blended several popular theories for methodology, diversified our research, and devised a system to evaluate information and progress in a quantifiable way.
This report recommends ten key actions that U.S. policymakers and the United Nations must take before the conflict starts in order to maximize potential for success in the post-conflict phase in Iraq. These recommendations draw on ongoing work by the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project, a collaborative effort between the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Association of the U.S. Army, and reflect lessons learned through first-hand experience with postconflict reconstruction efforts over the past decade.