About Us

IOM’s Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) is an innovative livelihoods approach to contribute to economic recovery and private sector revitalization in Iraq through tailored support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Information Management System

The EDF Information Management System (IMS) allows IOM to systematically and efficiently collect and verify information about businesses. IOM stores data on the more than 70,000 businesses that have submitted expressions of interest to the EDF, with more detailed information stored on the winners of the EDF.

Profiles for all EDF businesses are maintained, this allows IOM to systematically tracks the status of applications, perform milestone verifications, and generate reports for individual businesses. The IMS eliminates manual work and reduces human error, improving the efficiency and accuracy of the EDF programme.

The MIS is also used to identify targeting criteria for potential SMEs. Information on SMEs related to their application data has been used to construct a predictive model that has identified key characteristics of firms likely to succeed in winning an EDF grant. Priority is given to the businesses that employ the highest number of individuals within a community, which have been identified as having high growth potential, and which have the greatest potential to have an additive impact on the labour market.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The EDF Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system is an established practice of internal oversights that provide IOM with indications of progress and identifies challenges against targets and objectives. The system comprises of systematic and periodic data collection and analysis.

Standardised EDF monitoring collects in three different stages – forming the baseline, midline, and endline – each six months apart. The data is analysed regularly, and the findings are presented to the programme staff and decision-makers through online dashboards and presentations. 100% of the EDF businesses are monitored, across all of the EDF stages.

Monitoring data also provides an evidence-base about how the EDF allows SMEs to meet key objectives: to expand their business expansion and create jobs.

Please open this link to access some of the findings of the EDF monitoring process


IOM conducts a variety of assessments, policy papers, and evaluations, this informs new programme design and adaptations to existing programmes so that IOM can ensure the most economically relevant programmes are provided in communities. Through research IOM has piloted and scaled effective adaptations of the EDF, in Iraq and globally.

Labor Market Assessments provide practical recommendations for delivery IOM individual livelihoods assistance. Please see more information here.

EDF Market Assessments provide information on the sectors to target for the EDF, including on the extent of damage suffered by businesses, market failures that can be addressed through grants, and the potential for market distortion due to the introduction of cash. IOM also conducts thematic market assessments to improve targeting of specific groups such as women, or sectors such as culture. Please see more information here.

Value Chain Analysis allows IOM to make informed choices about how to provide the most effective programme and policy support to agricultural value chains in Iraq. VCAs identify which value chains lack private or public investment, do not exist, or most urgently need cash injections to complete the value chain or become competitive. Please see more information here.

A broad range of other assessments complement regular analysis. For example, IOM completed a feasibility study for how the EDF can support enhancements to water efficiency on farms and along agricultural value chains. Please see more information here.

Using IOM researchers produce regular Policy Briefs which can help to inform what works to improve economic outcomes in both policy and practice. For example, IOM assessed the impact of world price hikes on imported commodities for potentially vulnerable Iraqi producers and defined recommendations to address negative coping mechanisms. Please see more information here.

Counterfactual-based evaluations further inform programming, including a Regression Discontinuity Design evaluation of the impact of the EDF, conducted by MIT researchers, in 2020 and a Panel Model Difference in Difference evaluation, comparing the outcomes and coping strategies between EDF supported firms and firms that did not receive EDF, over the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq. Please see more information here.


The EDF partners with key stakeholders and establishes linkages with government-financed programmes, financial institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Community Resource Centres (CRCs), and job centres. The EDF also has economic linkages with IOM’s individual livelihoods support interventions through training and referral mechanisms, as they exert a demand stimulus in the local economy as well as provide skilled labourers sought by SMEs in the private sector, especially those selected and participating in the EDF programme.

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