The Department of Community Development (DCD) in Abu Dhabi reviewed the latest developments within the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination 2020-2024 during a Virtual meeting of the strategy’s task force leaders. Each task force leader is responsible for one of the strategy’s six pillars, which are Education, Employment, Social Care, Accessibility, Health and Rehabilitation, and Enablers.
The DCD’s strategy is in line with its commitment to position Abu Dhabi as an inclusive and empowering city for people of determination, as well as to activate their role in the emirate’s sustainable development process in cooperation with all relevant partners from the government, private and third sectors.
The task force leaders’ meeting was held virtually, in the presence of H.E. Eng. Hamad Ali Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of DCD, to shed light on the latest developments in each of the six core pillars of the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination 2020-2024.
During the meeting, officials held extensive discussions on the current operational plans and future activities, specifically on ways to enhance the integration and empowerment of people of determination by tapping on their unique capabilities that can contribute to advancing sustainable development.
H.E. Al Dhaheri noted the importance of the strategy in activating the role of people of determination in Abu Dhabi’s socio-economic growth. He pointed out that the strategy demonstrates the vision and directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to support and fulfil the aspirations of people of determination, who are an integral part of a cohesive UAE society.
Al Dhaheri said: “We have made remarkable progress and achievements of key targets within the six core pillars since the launch of the strategy in 2020 through our fruitful collaboration with our partners from the government, private and third sectors in Abu Dhabi. These positive results drive us to continue our efforts to keep empowering and supporting the people of determination and their families. We continue to journey towards transformation to become an inclusive society that provides them with an enabling environment where they enjoy equal rights and access to services and opportunities as with all community members at all stages of their lives.”
He explained that the strategy seeks to fulfil DCD’s vision to provide a decent life for all segments of society. He urged the work teams and task force leaders to continue their hard work and coordinate with each other to ensure the implementation of all the initiatives outlined in the strategy by 2024 while also maintaining workflow and the highest standards of quality, professionalism and excellence.
The DCD Undersecretary added: “We highly appreciate the efforts of the 28 entities involved in the implementation of the strategy’s various initiatives. We will strengthen the joint cooperation between us to help achieve our mutual aspirations in laying the foundations for a cohesive society that brings happiness, prosperity and wellbeing to all its members.”
Showcasing the achievements made by the team working on the Education pillar of the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination 2020-2024, Manal Al Dossary, Acting Executive Director of Planning and Strategic Affairs Sector, Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), highlighted the future plans of the Abu Dhabi’s ‘Educational Integration Model’ initiative. The model aims to enhance the current education strategy for people of determination and ensure they are provided with an inclusive education system which follows international best practices.
The activities that have been implemented in support of the ‘Educational Integration Model’ such as conducting normative studies were also discussed during the meeting. Other accomplishments included visiting 69 per cent of the private schools in the emirate to learn about their current situation and the challenges facing them; reviewing the local inclusive education policies adopted in Abu Dhabi; and establishing partnerships with relevant training institutions to educate schools about the all-embracing and inclusive education.
Under the Employment pillar, H.E. Hamad Saeed Al Shibli, Director of Policy and Institutional Development, Human Resources Authority – Abu Dhabi (HRA), discussed the pillar’s key objectives, which include the development of a government policy for employment and the empowerment of people of determination in the government and private sectors. It was revealed that 82 per cent of the policy has been accomplished.
The achievements made within the pillar in 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 were also presented. These included conducting a comprehensive study and an in-depth analysis of the legislation and procedures being implemented in Abu Dhabi; studying the rate of employment of people of determination in government entities for 2020; preparing key benchmarks; reviewing existing policies; and identifying the challenges facing the inclusive employment of people of determination in the labour market. It was also revealed that the pillar’s team is currently in the process of launching surveys to determine the conditions of people of determination in the work environment.
As for the ‘Inclusive Employment’ program, which is the second initiative under the Employment pillar, the working group said the objectives of the program include the creation of an integrated ecosystem for people of determination in Abu Dhabi who are looking for employment opportunities and the enforcement of the provisions of the inclusive employment policy. Forty per cent of the required work for that leading program has been completed.
The team further presented the program’s latest developments. Among the accomplishments were launching the ‘Fellows of Determination’ awareness-raising initiative to encourage Abu Dhabi Government employees to support their colleagues of people of determination; making the needed preparations for applying the occupational classification for people of determination; creating a job record for them in the local government; developing an electronic system for job nomination of people of determination; and crafting an employment guide for them in the emirate.
H.E. Abdullah Ismail Al Kamali, Executive Director of People of Determination Sector, Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO) discussed the achievements of the Social Care group, which resulted in the issuance and approval of the ‘Disabilities Classification’ guide in Abu Dhabi. This guide was circulated to all concerned authorities to unify data and statistics related to people of determination at the federal and local levels. The initiative has already achieved 35 per cent accomplishment rate.
The team also developed a detailed work plan for the ‘People of Determination Services Officer’ initiative that aims to appoint officials responsible for the services of people of determination in concerned government and private entities in the emirate.
Furthermore, advanced steps were taken to build a database for people of determination in Abu Dhabi, some of which were the successful completion of an electronic linkage with relevant local authorities, the preparation of a data record mechanism, and the management and indexing of their data in cooperation with the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD). These efforts have resulted in the 37 per cent completion of the database. In 2021, the concerned team will further develop and initiate five key initiatives under the Social Care pillar.
On behalf of the Accessibility work team, H.E. Mohammed Hamad bin Fahd Al Muhairi, Executive Director of Transport Sector, Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), presented the team’s achievements and highlighted the pillar’s six leading initiatives being implemented in partnership with relevant authorities such as the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA), the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), Abu Dhabi Airports, and Abu Dhabi Ports.
Reference was specifically made to the ‘Access to Buildings, Facilities, Transportation and Housing for People of Determination’ initiative, which aims to develop a comprehensive program for the modernization and development of legislations to ensure the ease of access and use of facilities, establishments and services by people of determination. Among the initiative’s positive results were the complete update of the technical provisions for private housing standards and protection from fire risks; the collaboration with concerned entities to establish an environmental preparation assessment system; and the development of a form to compare the UAE Universal Design Code with relevant local standards.
The ‘Access to Inclusive Sports Programs’ initiative was also highlighted during the presentation. The initiative seeks to improve the readiness of sports facilities and the skills of coaches to ensure the participation and inclusion of people of determination in all sporting activities and events, in line with the ‘Sport for All’ principle. The team completed the initial evaluation of 12 sports club facilities in cooperation with ZHO.
Health and Rehabilitation
The Health and Rehabilitation pillar, led by H.E. Dr. Hamed Al Hashemi, Director of Strategic Affairs, Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), aims to provide people of determination and their families with comprehensive and integrated rehabilitative health care systems, covering necessary medical care, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
This year, the pillar’s working team will focus on two main initiatives. The first one is the development of a unified and integrated health assessment framework for people of determination. The second initiative is the launch of the ‘Early Intervention’ program that seeks to establish thorough detection, diagnosis and early intervention systems to help children of determination and those at risk of delayed development. The program will be implemented by the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) in accordance with the international best practices. It also aims to build local capabilities in the field and raise community awareness on the importance of early intervention. ECA constantly collaborates with concerned partners across the health, education and social sectors to create an integrated and sustainable system for early intervention programs in Abu Dhabi and raise the quality of life of people of determination and their families.
As for the Enablers pillar, H.E. Dr. Bushra Al Mulla, Executive Director of Community Development Sector, DCD, discussed the key initiatives under the pillar. One of the initiatives highlighted during the meeting was the establishment of an integrated care system for people of determination and their families in Abu Dhabi to ensure their direct and smooth access to quality and affordable health, rehabilitation, educational and social services. This is part of the ongoing efforts to fulfil their needs and create an inclusive environment for them. It was noted that 70 per cent of the initiative has been accomplished.
Another initiative was the development of a change management plan to accelerate the desired transformation process in the emirate according to the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination 2020-2024. The pillar’s team has completed 25 per cent of the plan. Part of the plan is to establish communication with stakeholders and raise their awareness on the strategy’s role in society. With an accomplishment rate of 20 per cent, an evaluation and follow-up system has been developed to monitor and measure the strategy’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and its impact on improving the conditions of people of determination.
The DCD also took advanced steps to achieve the objectives of the Enablers pillar pursuant to the amendments to the Federal Law No. 29 of 2006 regarding the rights of people of determination. In addition, it monitors the legislative frameworks affecting people of determination in cooperation with concerned authorities. The Enablers pillar’s group will continue its achievements this 2021 by developing and implementing six significant initiatives under the pillar.
The meeting of the task force leaders of the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination stressed the importance of unifying the efforts of various sectors and entities to ensure the speed and ease of the strategic initiatives’ implementation. These initiatives can have a tangible positive impact on the lives of people of determination and their families in Abu Dhabi. All parties affirmed their continued commitment to achieving their common goals and adopting an integrated and cooperative approach to designing and implementing all initiatives. Through their collaborative efforts, they will help support the national agenda on providing people of determination and their families with an environment where they can experience the best quality of life.