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Several Sharjah government entities have launched important community-focused initiatives during the ‘’Government Communication Talk” held on the opening day of the 11th International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2022) at Expo Centre Sharjah yesterday.

At the international forum, running under the theme, 'Challenges and solutions', the government entities have showcased their work experiences and projects in the emirate and highlighted the role of government communication in their plans designed to contribute to the development experience in Sharjah.

At the event, the Sharjah Prevention and Safety Authority (SPSA) unveiled its initiative ‘Sharjah Occupational Safety and Health System (Sharjah OSH system)’, which aims to ensure the safety of workers and improve the concept of occupational safety.

Jointly launched by Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of SPSA, and Salem Yousef Al Qaseer, Chairman of the Labour Standards Development Authority (LSDA), the newly formed Sharjah OSH system aims to determine safety standards to be followed to secure a safe working environment for workers in the emirate, and more importantly, maintain their safety while undertaking various activities in the emirate.

The Sharjah Education Council (SEC) launched the Sharjah Learning Platform ‘From Sharjah to the World’ which covers four services: early childhood services, old people services, student services and ‘our library’.

Speaking about the learning platform, H.E. Dr. Saeed Musabah Al Kaabi, Member of the Sharjah Executive Council and Chairman of the SEC, said: “This platform provides a host of invaluable resources to meet the training and education needs of all target groups. This innovative learning platform is the result of more than three years of hard work and dedication."

H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), highlighted the importance of government communication in the tourism sector by focusing on the authority's experience in this regard.

Expanding on his experiences using the most prominent strategies of government communication,  Al Midfa said: "We focus on government communication based on six primary criteria that include: one government - one vote, the needs of the public, the need to engage and interact, dealing with digital mediums, adopting communication tools based on telling the story, and communication that cares for the environment.”

He underlined the importance of keeping up with best communication practices and standards to achieve the desired results. 

Butti Ahmed bin Darwish Al Falasi, Director of Security Awareness at the General Department of Community Happiness at Dubai Police, shed light on the opportunities of government communication in strengthening partnership with the public, utilisation of modern technology and big data management.

Citing government communication in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, Al Falasi noted that communication is not the only solution to change a particular behaviour or a phenomenon, and that some challenges can be solved through a procedure, law, or initiative and by bringing about a change in the strategic planning process.

Hanadi Saleh Al Yafei, Director of Child Safety Department (CSD), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, discussed CSD’s experience in institutional communication. She underlined the importance of successful partnerships CSD has forged with various entities to implement several vital initiatives, showcasing ‘Kanaf’; the first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary, multi-agency child protection centre in the UAE and the greater region, which provides legal, psychological and social support to child victims of physical and sexual abuse.

She pointed out that Kanaf is one of the department’s most important projects of institutional communication because it provides a secure environment for a child victim of physical or sexual abuse. Al Yafei revealed that the Kanaf project will be launched by the end of 2022 as outlined previously through several CSD campaigns and initiatives such as ‘Their Safety First’ campaign, and the second Child Safety Forum themed ‘Keep their innocence’.

The ‘Government Communication Talk’ platform, which took place at the ‘We’re Seeking’  Hall, constitutes an innovative and interactive discourse platform for the concept of government communication. The initiative also reflects IGCF’s mission to make direct dialogue and interactive communication an important part of day-to-day administrative work.

The platform also hosted the “Job Shadow” programme, which provides training to employees and students under the supervision of a group of qualified experts, with a goal to promote work in media and administrative institutions and provide trainees with valuable knowledge through practice, thereby contributing to building their skills and capability development, to better qualify them for the job market.

Source: National Network Communications – NNC