As part of the periodic follow-up of the progress of the Abu Dhabi strategy for People of Determination (POD), the Department of Community Development (DCD) hosted the third quarter meeting for 2021 for the POD strategy taskforces’ leads, which concurred with the first-year anniversary of the strategy launch by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The discussion focused on the initial draft of the Inclusive Employment Policy, which is an initiative led by the Human Resources Authority (HRA) as part of the employment pillar in the strategy. The meeting, held via video call, witnessed executive representations from the six taskforces Health & Rehabilitation, education, employment, social care, universal access, and enablers.
In the beginning, His Excellency Engineer Hamad Ali Al Dhaheri, The Undersecretary of the Department of Community Development (DCD), commended the efforts exerted by the entities participating in implementing the strategy, who had a key and tangible role in implementing various initiatives that achieved positive impact in driving the strategy forward. H.E. discussed the strategy's accomplishments following the first year. These accomplishments reflected the vision of creating an inclusive and empowering society for people of determination, and an environment that ensures equity for them.
H.E. Al Dhaheri reiterated that the strategy is in line with DCD's vision to provide a dignified life for all in Abu Dhabi. He called on the taskforces and their leaders to continue moving forward and coordinating towards implementing all the initiatives planned within the strategy's framework by 2024. He also stressed on the importance of maintaining pace and complying to the highest quality, professionalism, and excellence standards, in line with Abu Dhabi's ambitions to lead the world in empowering people of determination within the next 4 years.
For his part, H.E. Abdullah Abdul Ali Al Humaidan, Secretary-General of the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO) thanked the strategy’s taskforces for their continuous efforts, and the achievements completed only a year after the strategy was launched, which played a key role in promoting and achieving the aspirations of people of determination. He emphasized that ZHO will continue supporting all taskforces and the strategy towards achieving its vision and strategic objectives. H.E. Al Humaidan, said: “We are proud of all the efforts exerted, and together we look forward to achieving the strategic aims and objectives set to have an inclusive and enabling society for people of determination in Abu Dhabi.”
H.E. Dr. Bushra Al Mulla, Executive Director of the Community Development Sector at DCD welcomed the attending executive directors, that represent the six taskforces’ leads and the initiatives' owners. She lauded their role in achieving various initiatives that positively impacted people of determination's aspirations, who constitute an integral part of Emirati society fabric. She stressed that the achievements concluded in the first year have become tangible across the 6 taskforces. This is primarily due to concerted joint efforts, which motivates us to go on with our endeavours to empower people of determination and their families and to transition towards an inclusive society.
During the meeting, the initial draft of the inclusive employment policy for people of determination was presented by the Human Resources Authority’s team, which is the authority that leads the employment pillar in the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination. H.E. Hamad Saeed Al Shibli, Director of Policy and Institutional Development, HRA – Abu Dhabi, and leader of the employment pillar, commended the efforts of the team in preparing the draft policy and noted that the policy aims to promote meaningful and sustainable empowerment for people of determination in the labor market and provide them with appropriate job opportunities that are compatible with their capabilities.
The team pointed out that the development of the policy was based on the Abu Dhabi Public Policy Framework issued by the Abu Dhabi Executive Office. The policy includes strategic directions and evidence-based tools in accordance with international best practices, in order to achieve the desired goals when employing and empowering people of determination. It also includes the tools and programs to build skills, enhance the readiness of people of determination to move to work, ensure their access to equal opportunities in the labor market, protect them from work discrimination on the basis of disability, promote their economic empowerment, enable them to live independently, and ensure their integration into the labor market in the public and private sectors.
The team also presented the results of assessing the current situation and analysing the gaps, including the assessment and analysis of the level of employment of people of determination in government entities and the extent to which these entities adhered to employing people of determination according to the percentage that was determined, which is not less than 2% of the total approved jobs for each entity. It was found that 34% of the government entities were not committed to this percentage. The labor force statistics for 44 government entities in Abu Dhabi showed that the majority of employment of people of determination in government entities is concentrated in administrative jobs, while the overall employment of people of determination was focused on people with physical disabilities followed by people with sensory disabilities. This requires a review of the adopted tools and mechanisms and the introduction of necessary interventions to enhance the employment of people of determination across their functional needs. These statistics also reflect the importance of supporting employers through targeted interventions while dealing with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities and making the necessary arrangements for their employment. The team then presented the proposed options and solutions that will address the identified issues and that will represent the initiatives as part of the inclusive employment policy pack.
The meeting was attended by H.E. Eng. Hamad Ali Al Dhaheri, The Undersecretary of DCD, H.E. Abdullah Abdul Ali Al Humaidan, Secretary-General of ZHO, H.E. Dr. Bushra Al Mulla, Executive Director of the Community Development Sector at DCD, H.E. Abdullah Ismail Al Kamali, Executive Director of People of Determination Sector at ZHO, H.E. Hamad Saeed Al Shibli, Director of Policy and Institutional Development, HRA – Abu Dhabi, H.E. Hind Al Zaabi, Acting Director of International Patients Care Center at the Department of Health, H.E. Thamer Al Qasimi Acting Executive Director Special Projects and Outreach at The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, H.E. Mohammed Hamad bin Fahad Al Muhairi, Acting Executive Director of the Transport Sector at the Department of Municipalities and Transport-Abu Dhabi, Manal Al Dossary, Acting Executive Director of Planning and Strategic Affairs Sector, Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), H.E. Mansour Al Marzouqi, Executive Director of the Strategy and Planning Sector at the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, H.E. Ahmed Al Hosani, Executive Director of the Strategic Planning Sector and Corporate Excellence at the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Dr. Mona Al Mansouri, Acting Executive Director of Policy Development and Strategic Planning Sector in the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority, Zamzam Al Hammadi, Director General of the Gulf Center for Aviation Studies at Abu Dhabi Airports, in addition to representatives of the technical teams of the pillars.
At the end of the meeting, participants reiterated their continuous commitment to achieve the shared vision of the Abu Dhabi strategy for POD which is “an inclusive society enabling and empowering People of Determination” with a keen focus on unifying and integrating all efforts.