As the Iraqi army's offensive against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) entered its fourth month in February 2017, NDI conducted 12 focus groups with citizens to gauge support for national institutions and gather expectations about post-liberation governance. Three unexpected findings from participants in the focus groups include:
- Growing popularity of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is credited with successfully fighting ISIS and rebuilding the army;
- Marked improvement in perceptions of the Iraqi Army; and
- Views that decentralization will only make the country weaker and more fractured, with a preference for a more effective central government.
With support from the U.K Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the National Endowment for Democracy, NDI will be be releasing findings from a national poll in May 2017. These findings will also be presented to Iraqi political leaders to inform decisive steps toward post-liberation stabilization and governance.