Winners of 9th Sharjah Government Communication Awards honoured

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Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi honouring the winners of the 9th Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA) on the concluding day of the 11th International Government Communication Forum

Sharjah: c(IGCF) on Thursday.

IGCF was organised by the International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), a subsidiary of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), at Expo Centre Sharjah.

“By highlighting the latest innovations and creative thinking across several disciplines in government communication with the announcement of the winners of the 9th edition of SGCA, our ambitions led by the IGCC to advance government communications and its tools regionally and internationally, is renewed year after year,” said Tariq Saeed Allay, Director General of SGMB.

“We celebrate institutions, initiatives and individuals who have made a tangible impact on communities by effectively utilising government communication tools, reiterating its power to change perceptions, build future visions and influence positive change,” Allay added.

Successful communication

Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, director-general of the Emirates News Agency (WAM )and chairperson of the SGCA jurors committee, added: “SGCA is an incubator of successful communication experiences locally, regionally and internationally. Since its inaugural edition, the award has turned the spotlight on fearless communication ideas and strategies that are ahead of the times and that serve societies to the fullest. Each edition of SGCA has promoted modern concepts of government communication, encouraged their uptake and raised its own evaluation bar to ensure nominated projects do well practically in ensuring the well-being and happiness of humankind.”

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Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi honouring the winners of the 9th Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA) on the concluding day of the 11th International Government Communication Forum

Winners list

The winner of the ‘Best Public Communication by a Government Agency – Emirate of Sharjah’ award is Sharjah Digital Office, while the ‘Government Communication Model Employee – United Arab Emirates’ award went to Fatima Al-Sharqi from the Abu Dhabi Pension Fund; and the ‘Best Crisis Response – United Arab Emirates’ award winner is the Emirates Red Crescent Authority.

The ‘Best Government Communication Systems’ award, which comprises four subcategory awards, the ‘Practices’ award went to Sharjah Media City (Shams); the ‘Training and Education’ award was bagged by the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development while Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters was announced the winner of the ‘A System for Persons with Disabilities’ award. The subcategory of ‘A System for the Elderly’ was won by the Sharjah Social Services Department.

The ‘Best Government Communication in Digital Media’ award went to the Abu Dhabi Pension Fund, while the ‘Best Applied Scientific Research in Government Communication – Global’ was won by Alaa Mustafa from Al Azhar University, Egypt.

The award for the ‘Best Environmental Policies and Practices’ went to Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC); and the Department of Municipality and Planning in Ajman.

The ‘Best Youth-targeted Government Communication’ category comprises two subcategory awards. The winner of the ‘Best Youth Initiative in Government Communication’ award is Basil Al Madani, Syria, while the ‘Best Initiative for Influencing Future Generations’ award went to the National Youth Program for Skills Development, Oman.

The ‘Programme with the Greatest Influence on Social Responsibility’ award has been won by the GCC Health Council initiative ‘Ma Yensaket Anha’.

The winner of the ‘Best Photo in Government Communication’ award is Giles Clark, USA.

The ‘Best Innovations in Government Communication – Global’ category has come to the Middle East for the first time in partnership with 01Gov and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is split into two awards. The ‘Best Innovation in Government Communication’, has been scooped by CitizenLab, Belgium, while the jury has offered the ‘Best Challenge for the Future in Government Communication’, title to the Ahlam team for their project ‘Your sleep is important’.

The ‘Best Social Media Influencer’ award winner is Ihssane Benalluch from Morocco.

The Exceptional Employee Prize award comprises two subcategories. The ‘Best university initiative to qualify future employees in government communication’ award comes in collaboration with the UAE University. Its winning initiative in the University Challenge organised during the pre-IGCF 2022 activities was the Smart Visitors System by the UAE University team.

‘The Best Government Communication Initiative that Empowers Women’ award went to the ‘Hama’ initiative, to enhance the readiness of female soldiers for the future, in partnership with the National and Reserve Service Authority, the Government Development and the Future Office (UAE).

The ‘Best Media Content’ award went to ‘Kafu’ programme, Bahrain, while ‘Al Ekteyar’ series, Egypt, was the winner of the ‘Best Dramatic Work – ِArab Word’ award.

During the ceremony, jury members were honoured for their efforts during the 9th edition of the award.

IGCF 2022 recommendations

The 11th International Communication Forum (IGCF) that concluded on Thursday came up with the following 9-point recommendations:

● A call to governments and their departments to develop digital platforms to encourage the participation of individuals, the private sector, influencers and content makers in voting for solutions to challenges and adopt the ones that win majority support.

● The development of a Government Communication Governance Guide in partnership with concerned authorities and communication experts.

● Creation of a specialised linguistic guide for crisis management with the most appropriate words and terminologies for public discourse.

● Activating partnerships between governments and Arab drama production houses to deliver positive messages and create change on a global level; and invest in Arab drama productions that carry cultural values and celebrate the region’s heritage.

● Development of educational curricula and training programmes that contribute to building influential young leaders as well as successive generations of youth capable of finding solutions to societal challenges.

● A call for partnerships between communication teams in economic and academic institutions and study centres specialised in envisioning the economic future and developing preemptive solutions to probable economic problems.

● Preparation of well-studied plans and programmes for all members of society aligned with their value systems and their needs in order to build a culture of adapting to crises and finding solutions by ‘engineering change’.

● Preparations for the future of communication leveraging prospects created by Artificial Intelligence, Metaverse and emerging media technologies.

● Develop government programmes to protect cultural diversity, maintain a balance between cultures, and respect differences and privacy.