Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), has emphasised that Sharjah’s strategy of social development that are a measure of the progress and prosperity of the emirate stem from the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
The establishment of a host of entities to meet the aspirations of Sharjah’s residents in all fields, and the coordinated actions of these organisations over the past 40 years have led to a positive impact on all aspects of life of all community members across the emirate, Her Highness pointed out.
Her Highness’s remarks came during the virtual ‘Our’ Forum, which brought together all entities operating under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi. Moderated by HE Saleha Ghabesh, Director General of the Cultural and Media Office at SCFA, the forum was organised by the Executive office of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi (HHEO) in cooperation with ‘Reyada Centre’, the educational arm of entities that operates under the leadership of Her Highness.
‘Our’ Forum brought together the workforce of 33 entities in four community sectors that work towards developing the talents and capabilities of children and youth, elevating the community, offering family counselling and creating a secure environment that supports women, in addition to enhancing charitable endeavours.
The forum saw the participation of a panel of experts and specialists who shed light on how to innovate and improve development tools to create an efficient corporate culture, and outlined a roadmap for entities to efficiently apply this method to improve their strategies and plans as well as work culture.
“Sharjah realised early on the significance of laying a strong foundation for supporting women and girls and paving the way for their partnership and participation in the emirate’s development and prosperity. This was marked by the establishment of the Al Montazah Club under the directives of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah. The Club set out a comprehensive cultural and recreational programme, in addition to sports, and saw an impressive footfall of women and girls of all age groups. This set the right base for the establishment of the Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC) which has since reinforced women’s outstanding presence in Sharjah’s development landscape,” said Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi.
Inclusive development process
Highlighting the diverse nature of specialised organisations across Sharjah, Her Highness pointed out that a society’s advancement calls for entities that engage and empower all segments of the community across all age groups, particularly children. Her Highness remarked that by offering them access to sources of knowledge and quality learning outside the academic institutions and developing their capacities from an early age, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah has ensured their continued engagement in decision-making to sustain their role in social development as they embark on fulfilling careers in the future.
Her Highness expressed the hope of seeing more youth achieve all-round excellence and occupy leading intellectual and scientific positions at the local and regional levels. Her Highness called on every citizen and resident to contribute to the progress and advancement of Sharjah by directing their consumption practices in support of local products, entrepreneurs, start-ups, shops, and shopping centres across Sharjah.
“Every citizen and resident wishes to see Sharjah achieve greater development and progress. Nevertheless, results are not achieved through wishes, but through the collective actions of every individual, and the keen passion of every community member in Sharjah to contribute to its development process. It is this integration of the efforts of public and private entities that will lead us towards a better future,” Her Highness added.
Tools and approaches to enhance corporate action
The virtual ‘Our’ Forum, organised by HHEO, focused on 4 key pillars: ‘Our Principles’, which discussed the concept of compassionate leadership; ‘Our Objectives’, which tackled social return on investment (SROI); ‘Our Data’ which highlighted the importance of data and statistics in planning and impact assessment; and ‘Our Tools’ which explored how organisations can use information technology (IT) and data in planning and programme development.
The sessions were introduced by Hanan Al Mahmoud, CEO of Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC), who emphasised that entities which have a direct relationship with the public should be more proactive in adopting social development methodologies and tools to bring about qualitative changes in society, and enable its members to fulfil their ambitions and aspirations. The noble values that these entities seek to achieve should harness the best and most effective methods to elevate actions, principles, values and results simultaneously, she added.
The “Our” forum sessions commenced with a video featuring the achievements and initiatives launched by the entities led by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi. The video highlighted the distinctive roles of each entity, as well as the tools and mechanisms it incorporates to serve Sharjah’s social and professional environment.
The first session, themed ‘Our Principles: Compassionate Leadership’, hosted HE Jassem Al Baloushi, Board of Trustees Member of Rubu' Qarn Foundation for Creating Leaders and Innovators, and EVP Head of Organisational Excellence at Sharjah Islamic Bank. He stressed that compassion is a leadership capability that is worth developing as it leads to tangible results at all levels of relationships be it that of parent-children, leader-people, or coach-team. This leadership style is based on communication and engagement with people and aims to inspire and empower them. He noted that the most influential and efficient leader is the one who is compassionate with his team.
In the second session, Farzaneh Majed, ROI Institute Partner, Balanced Scorecard Institute Strategic Partner and Advisory Board Member, CEO of Transform Alliance, shed light on the ‘Our Objectives’ pillar held under the theme, ‘Our Objectives: Social Return on Investment (SRoI)’. She spoke about the various ways to bridge the gap between concerted action and its targeted impact on society and highlighted the indexes to measure this impact.
The third session, titled ‘Our Data: The significance of data and statistics in planning and impact assessment’, was presented by Amin Al Zarouni, CEO of Sahab Smart Solutions. Al Zarouni discussed the transformations that are possible in the business as well as social sectors through efficient utilisation of data and gave an insight into how to make the most of those transformations to achieve meaningful results. The UAE is one of the leading countries globally and the first in the region to have invested in big data, he added.
Speaking at the forum, Fatima Ali Al Marzooqi, Head of Quality & Business Excellence at HHEO, highlighted the 2021 roadmap that outlines the approaches adopted by the various institutions to achieve the vision of Her Highness, reflected under the theme ‘Awareness helps families; solidarity helps communities’. She laid emphasis on the plans and goals aimed at consolidating the values and principles of institutional work and on intensifying the social impact of their work to encompass all members of society.
At the end of forum, institutions that demonstrated exemplary efficiency in institutional partnership and integration in line with the directives of Her Highness were announced. These included FUNN, the Sharjah-based organisation dedicated to promoting and supporting media arts learning among children and youth; Sharjah Youth; and Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah. The winners cooperated to organise the FUNNtastic spring camp. The evaluation of the winners was based on several criteria, chief of which were rationalisation of expenses, avoiding repetition and duplication between entities, and ease of procedures, in addition to customer satisfaction and creativity in programmes and plans.
To mark the conclusion of ‘Our’ Forum, a separate session will be presented by Ahmed Ghanem, Director of Digital Transformation at Sahab Smart Solutions, targeting IT professionals working in institutions that operate under the leadership of Her Highness. Titled ‘Our Tools: Information Technology’, the session will shed light on the use of modern technologies, digital communication platforms, and data analysis tools in institutions.