His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, signalled the start of the eighth edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2019) in Sharjah on Wednesday, saying that despite the nation’s recent achievements in applying best-in-class technology and processes to deliver policy and communicate with citizens, more efforts need to be exerted in training government employees and role models to emerge from within the leadership ranks.
“Other countries have already deployed state-of-the-art communication systems. When these were brought to our country, we started facing problems in implementation because we didn’t properly qualify our government cadres on how these can be used to streamline activities and achieve better results. This also caused ambiguity in the relation between government and community members. They were in a fix; taking a step forward and another step backward. So, we introduced specialisations in our universities, and today our government communicators are bringing international best practices to their respective departments,” said His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah to the hundreds in attendance, including 70 leading communication experts who are speaking at the two-day Forum.
His Highness added: “In the different government departments in Sharjah, there was some resistance to change initially, but we pushed forward to influence positive change and cadre training, introducing new leadership, processes and structures. Today, we are seeing positive results across departments. In January 2018, for instance, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) began implementing several new communication processes, which initially posed challenges, especially when it came to public acceptance. The community needed to be inducted into these new changes, which SEWA has done very successfully. We hope that, going forward, other departments will also do the same.”