Mihan: Iraq's first governmental platform dedicated to employment in the private sector

14 months ago, iMMAP started its “Information Management Capacity-Building Support for the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs” project in Iraq. The goal? To assist MoLSA in managing data from the millions of jobseekers that approach them. The solution? Mihan!

Mihan is a fully customizable information management system that will support the ministry in managing the data of registered jobseekers and facilitate their access to ministry services.  

To come up with this solution, iMMAP conducted an initial technical assessment for the ministry. This revealed that the main need was for a digital platform that could customize registration forms, automate job matchings, and activate an efficient points system for jobseekers and students of the vocational training centers. All of this is possible with the many features of Mihan. Thanks to the platform, the ministry will access updated, evidence-based, digitalized information on the state of the labor market in Iraq. It will then be able to collect, verify, and analyze data to foster adaptive policymaking and strategy design.  

Mihan is now in its demo-phase. Stakeholders, ministry staff, representants of the private sector and of the training centers, and jobseekers now have the opportunity to explore the digital platform. Their feedback will be used by iMMAP to continue adapting Mihan, so it meets their needs and requirements as accurately as possible.  

iMMAP provides the ministry staff with comprehensive capacity-building training in information management, monitoring and evaluation, SQL data cleaning, and IT training to ensure they can manage the system by the end of the project. Throughout the development work of the platform, IMMAP team supported the MoLSA staff in cleaning the existing data record of approximately 4 million registered jobseekers. Having a centralized, clean, and easy-to-manage database was critical for the work of the staff in all related departments at the ministry before uploading the data to the new system. The data cleaning was conducted by the staff of the ministry after a series of capacity-building training in SQL and under the supervision and support of the iMMAP team.  

This project is implemented in partnership with the Private Sector Development and Employment Promotion (PSD) project, implemented by GIZ and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union.  

Why was this platform needed?

Iraq's economic crisis has been deepened by years of political, economic, and social fragility. At the same time, the state's inability to mobilize financial resources to boost recovery and maintain social assistance has increased the vulnerability of its population. As a result, many Iraqis see working in the public sector as the safest income-generating opportunity for them. However, with the increased pressure on the state to meet labor demands, strengthening the private sector to accommodate jobseekers has become one of the state's priorities.  

While the private sector has the potential to drive growth in Iraq, it faces hurdles such as lack of investment capital, limited financial and institutional support, and political instability. One major barrier to integration is the information gap on the labor market and a disconnect between employers and job seekers, particularly for young people entering the workforce. 

Millions of citizens are seeking support from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA), but without proper data on the labor market, the ministry is struggling to provide effective vocational training and employment support. The public sector also lacks the ability to manage job seeker-private sector relationships and conduct comprehensive labor market analysis.