In the recent years, the practice of crowdsourcing to make public policies has increased. This page gathers some of the efforts taken in this direction and the policies that resulted out of crowdsourcing.
In December 2013, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, called upon the citizens to join the largest national brainstorming session to promote fresh thinking and innovation in generating ideas for developing the health and education sectors.
Through his Twitter account, Sheikh Mohammed said, “We want every man, woman and child to join us in the biggest ever national brainstorming session to find new ideas for health and education. Embodying dynamic, energetic and successful leadership, please submit suggestions at http://www.uaepm.ae, email video comments to email@example.com, and tweet ideas to #uaebrainstorm.”
Sheikh Mohammed received 65,000 suggestions from the public on how to improve the nation’s health and education system. He held a two-day retreat with the Cabinet members to review and discuss the suggestions.
With regard to the nation’s education system, the Cabinet adopted a range of measures including:
Scrapping the preparatory year at university and developing subjects at secondary school level to match university requirements
Making teaching a more attractive option, with career progression and incentives
A licensing system, similar to that in western countries, for those who want to become teachers
A new system for evaluating and ranking universities
Assessment of educational performance at nurseries
Ridding the need for students to choose between science and arts streams early in secondary school.
In addition, the following initiatives were announced and endorsed:
Launch of the teacher career progress and development system, and career advancement measures for teachers in order to make the profession attractive, encourage competition, excellence, and achieve job satisfaction for teachers
Study to abolish the system of branching for the literary and science sections, and shifting to the educational system that combines compulsory and optional subjects for students in order to keep pace with the world's growing knowledge and rapid technological developments
Launch of system to evaluate schools and publish detailed reports on the academic performance to increase competitiveness among the schools and assist the school administrations to specify areas they need improvement periodically
A programme to attract distinguished graduates to teaching to ensure employment of talented cadres given importance of teacher in terms of education feedback
A specialised training programme for teachers to improve their skills and keep pace with the latest teaching methods, as well as teaching subjects on culture, innovative and creative skills, arts, music and sports.
Cancellation of a preparatory year at universities through development of subjects at the secondary school level to match the university requirements
A project to classify and evaluate public and private universities in the UAE as per unified standards. Periodic reports on the evaluation will be published
Creation of subjects to develop the leadership and life skills for students
Endorsement of licensing system for teachers in accordance with the certified standards
Evaluation of educational performance at public and private kindergartens, being the cornerstone of education system
Provision of electronic platform on the curricula in form of video lessons to help in self-education and fight the private tuitions
Setting of full system to detect talented students to develop them
Launch of the academic guide system for students to help them choose future academic specialisation in a way that matches requirements of national economy.
With regard to the nation’s health system, the Cabinet approved the following health initiatives:
Launching an e-healthcare programme to deliver primary health care services to remote regions, especially to elderly people
Launching a system to evaluate hospitals and health clinics and measure customer satisfaction and success of surgeries
Approving a comprehensive regular screening programme for every citizen so as to enhance prevention
Preparing a professional organisational structure for the government health sector and developing career path plans to make the profession more attractive
Standardising benchmarks of accrediting doctors and healthcare professionals across the UAE
Introducing unified national standards for the quality of health services
Launching an early cancer detection programme
Establishing a national data base for medical records to allow easy referral of patients between government and private hospitals
Approving a package of measures to address obesity and promote healthy lifestyles (limiting the size of fizzy drinks, imposing controls on advertisement of unhealthy foods and showing calories of food items etc.)
Setting a strategy for establishing R&D centres in partnership with academic institutions
Establishing a national cancer registry
Launching the UAE Board to become a reference for all medical specialisations
Setting up a world-class technical centre for continuous training of health professionals
Launching a stimulus programme to attract more Emiratis to the nursing profession
Implementing an integrated programme to promote public awareness about healthy lifestyle in order to increase prevention
Introducing and implementing common standards for healthy food in all government and private schools.
Federal National Council
The Federal National Council raises common public concerns during the sessions. In 2016, the members raised the concern of the possession and trade of dangerous and exotic animals. Accordingly, FederalLaw No. 22 of 2016 (PDF) which regulates the possession and trade of predatory, dangerous and semi-dangerous animals was passed. Under this law, only zoos, wildlife parks, circuses, breeding and research centres would be allowed to keep wild or exotic animals. In addition, dog owners would need to buy a licence for their pets and keep them on a leash at all times when in public.
Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Majlis
Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Majlis (MBR Majlis) also used crowdsourcing and found it to be a successful way to obtain collaborative ideas. In one year since its launch in 2015, the MBR Majlis received 35,000 ideas. A team of more than 460 employees working in 41 government and private entities studied the ideas. Three of them are featured on the MBR Majlis website. Ideas that were implemented include painting the walls of the city with a material that absorbs carbon dioxide and providing smart gloves to workers in the electric field. The smart gloves are equipped with smart sensors that will detect electrical currents and alert the workers of any danger. Take a look at the success stories, ideas that were converted into reality by the Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Majlis.
Crowdsourcing for enriching the content of the official portal of the UAE Government
In 2018, the UAE Government launched a campaign to enrich the content of the official portal of the UAE Government. The purpose of the campaign was to:
position U.ae (previously Government.ae) as a main source of information on the UAE government
engage public in building content on the portal
enrich the content on the federal portal
encourage the practice of eParticipation and
encourage other government entities to review their related parts on the portal.
Over the year, thousands responded with suggestions on topics to be added to the portal. The team behind the portal’s content reviewed all the suggestions and added several topics. Contributors of ideas were rewarded with prizes. Read the outcome about enriching the content on the federal portal (PDF 870 KB).
The UAE Government is keen to keep the public informed and consult them on all issues that affect them. Hence, it holds regular consultations. The consultations page lists all past, present and future consultations from various UAE Government entities. Closed consultations share their outcome; how public feedback was used to shape a policy or a programme. The Government looks forward to hearing your views to use them as input for effective decision-making which in turn would enhance people’s satisfaction and happiness. Have your say about the Government’s services and policies and be a part of the decision-making.
Dubai Health Authority
In 2017, Dubai Health Authority (DHA) introduced the smart pharmacy which dispenses medicines by reading the barcode on it. This helped in reducing the waiting time for patients from 20-25 minutes to 5-10 minutes. 80 per cent of the medicines were provided under zero minute waiting. It also reduced errors in dispensing medicines by 97 per cent and increased satisfaction and happiness of patients. DHA launched several such services based on customer feedback. Read about DHA’s successful projects based on suggestions and ideas of the public.
Promoting crowdsourcing - Done by Youth
Federal Youth Authority is promoting the culture of crowdsourcing in the UAE through their initiative ‘Done by Youth’. The UAE believes that among the youth are potential philosophers, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, craftsmen, strategists and many more and that youth are the nation’s human capital. ‘Done by Youth’ is all about focusing on their potential contribution to the social and economic environment and crowdsourcing their skills and talent. Products and services that are 100 per cent designed, provided and created by youth, receive the ‘Done by Youth’ seal. Apply for the ‘Done by Youth’ seal.