The UK Conflict Stability and Security Fund in Iraq is funding the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to conduct independent public opinion research across Iraq. The three-year project aims to help the Government of Iraq, civil society and the international community to monitor and understand conditions in Iraq, and to better understand and respond to the needs of citizens as they evolve over the longer term. NDI’s first survey was finalized in April, as Iraqis prepared for parliamentary elections. The second of six surveys has been released today.
Results show that optimism shown in the last poll has reduced. Significant improvements in security have not been matched by economic recovery and demonstrable improvements in people’s lives. Citizens report worsening divisions, but not along traditional ethno-sectarian lines. Instead, citizens are turning their frustration toward a government that is viewed as not having delivered on jobs and public services. Lack of trust in governing institutions was reflected in low voter turnout in the May 2018 election, and is a potential driver of further unrest that could again be capitalized on by Daesh or other extremist groups. The role of women in Iraq is also at a pivotal moment. While women’s rights are seen as worsening, there is strong (77 percent) support for equal rights in principle.