Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, honoured winners of sixth edition of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA 2019), during a ceremony held on Wednesday at Al Majaz Amphitheatre. The awarding ceremony was organised by the International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), a subsidiary of Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), in conjunction with the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF), which is held under the theme ‘Behavioural Change Towards Human Development’.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council (SMC), stressed that the Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA), which was launched six years ago in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has been keen to align its effort with that of Sharjah towards inclusive development. He commended the high quality of entries that SGCA’s sixth edition attracted, and said it reflects the high level of creativity and expertise possessed by government communication teams in the UAE and the Gulf region.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi said: “SGCA’s sixth edition has seen the active participation of leading government entities from the UAE and the Gulf region. We need to enhance creativity in our communities to keep with the rapid changes in communication and technology, given that communication is no longer just a two-way exchange; it is a multilateral dialogue that engages numerous parties, bringing issues of common interest together on one platform.”
“The youth are the driving force for creative communication, given that engaging with social media platforms is an integral part of their lives, particularly millennials, who are driven by the desire to become agents of positive change. We have to actively reach out to them through online networks of communication they use to express themselves and share ideas, values and opinions,” he added.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi commended SGAC’s innovative efforts to highlight latest achievements and innovations in government communication practices being adopted locally and regionally. He encouraged all nominated entities and winners to adopt stronger and more candid government-citizenry dialogue.
For her part, Muna Abu Sulayman, SGCA jury member, pointed out that since its launch, the award has been successful in establishing professional standards for government communication practices, asserting that in doing so, SGCA has offered role models to the UAE and the region.
She added: “This year’s edition of the SGCA saw a record number of 250 entries, compared to 239 entries last year, including 74 from the Emirate of Sharjah, 118 from other emirates and 58 from other GCC countries, which indicates the remarkable engagement of the target government entities. This edition saw 192 entries from the UAE and this is a remarkable increase that reflects SGCA’s instrumental role in raising awareness of the importance of government communication campaigns, and stimulating individuals and government and semi-government entities to adopt communication campaigns that contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals.”
Sixth Edition Winners
Best Practices in Government Communication – Sharjah
Directorate of Town Planning and Survey (DTPS) in Sharjah shone in this category, owing to their inclusive communication practices and plans, which target every segment of community. The other nominated entity, Sharjah Finance Department (SFD), was also honoured.
Best Government Website – UAE
Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) won this category. ‘Visit Sharjah’ is one of the most successful websites in the region that promotes tourism. Other shortlisted entities were UAE’s Ministry of Community Development (MoCD), and Abu Dhabi Ports (ADP).
Best Practices in Social Responsibility – UAE
UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) came on the top for this category for their ‘With Love from the UAE’ campaign, launched in conjunction with Year of Zayed. The crux of the campaign was a message of love from UAE’s children to their young peers worldwide. Other shortlisted entities for this award were the Ministry of Community Development (MoCD) and Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation.
Best Media Crisis Management – UAE
Abu Dhabi Police (ADP) won this category, winning against UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHP), who were in the running for this category.
Best Government Communication Campaign outside UAE – UAE
The Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) won the ‘Best Government Communication Campaign outside UAE– UAE’. The other entity in the running was Sharjah Institute for Heritage (SIH).
Best Behaviour Change Campaign or Initiative – UAE
Sharjah Municipality (SM), Dubai Municipality (DM) and Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) were the three finalists, and the award was scooped by Sharjah Municipality.
Best Government Application – Gulf
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation in the UAE won this category. Other shortlisted entities included the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi.
Best Youth Initiative in Government Communication – Gulf
Abdulaziz Khaled Al Kassim from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, won this category for the ‘Initiative to Instil Value of Happiness at Work’. Other shortlisted individuals comprised Omaima Abdulhadi Al Matar from the University of Sharjah (UoS), for the ‘Anti-Bullying Campaign’, and Israa Qasim Mustafa from UoS, for the ‘Sustainable Agriculture Initiative.
Best Media Initiative in Government Communication – Gulf
The b4bhcom – Kingdom of Bahrain won this category. The other nominated initiatives were Kuwait Television and the Ministry of Information Kuwait.
Best Government Intercommunication Practice – Gulf
The shortlist comprised Directorate of Public Works (DPW) – Sharjah and Sharjah Finance Department (SFD) and Directorate of Town Planning. Directorate of Public Works (DPW) – Sharjah won the category’s award.
Best Government Communication Strategy – Gulf
The nominees included and the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MoID) in the UAE, and the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme (SZHP) which won this categoty.
Best Government Communication Campaign – Gulf
KSA’s Ministry of Media (MoM) won this category among nominations, including UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCE) and UAE’s Ministry of Education (MoE).
Best Government Social Media Engagement – Gulf
Bahrain’s Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs & Urban Planning won this category. The shortlist for this category included Dubai Police and the Abu Dhabi Police.
Best Influential Personality on Enhancing the Value of Tolerance
In line with the Year of Tolerance in the UAE, the SGCA honoured His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, UAE’s Cabinet Member and Minister of Tolerance, in recognition of his relentless efforts aimed at turning the UAE into a global capital of tolerance and human fraternity.
Best Influential Media Personality on Government Communication – Arab Region
The SGCA honoured Abdullah bin Khusaif, Emirati Journalist and host of ‘Al Raia FM’ on Ajman Radio, in recognition of his efforts that helped thousands of people throughout his radio program.
Best Influential Personality on Social Media in the Service of the Greater Good – Arab Region
The winner in this selected category was HE Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al Rabiah, KSA’s Minister of Health, who engaged more than three million followers on his Twitter account, and became an example of a senior official who harnessed his social media platform to enhance positive change in the community.
Since its inception, the SGCA has attracted 756 entries, with 337 from Sharjah, 255 from other emirates and 164 from other GCC countries.
The Award, the first of its kind in the Arab world, sheds light on outstanding achievements by individuals and organisations in the government communication sector. It seeks to foster best government communication practices in the UAE and the Gulf region.