Thursday 5 August 2021

Abu Dhabi's Ma’an reveals social impact vision

ABU DHABI, April 22, 2019

Supporting the growth of the community, developing innovative solutions for social challenges and encouraging collaboration are at the heart of the new strategic vision for the Ma’an Authority for Social Contribution, revealed today.
Meaning ‘togetherness’ in Arabic, Ma’an will bring together the government, private sector and civil society to support start-up social enterprises, fund community-based establishments and provide volunteering opportunities in the UAE capital.
Speaking at an event held at Ma’an’s new headquarters, Salama Al Ameemi, director feneral of Ma’an,  outlined the authority’s mission to grow the “third sector” - the term used to describe voluntary, charitable or non-profit associations or foundations including social enterprises.
The first government authority of its kind in the region focused on growing the social sector, Ma’an was established under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. 
Al Ameemi, said: “Ma’an is mandated to deliver a social impact in Abu Dhabi, introducing new programs and partnerships that will channel our community’s philanthropic efforts towards shared goals that support the common good.
“We want to build on the UAE’s strong culture of giving that was encouraged by our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and we will introduce a modern approach to creating collaborative communities that is inspired by the history and heritage of our country.”
Ma’an will have four key pillars of work involving:
• A Social Investment Fund which will raise funds from public and private partners to channel towards community-based establishments and social initiatives. 
• The introduction of Social Impact Bonds, a new financial model for contracting public services, which aim to advance the delivery of public services using measurable social outcomes.
• A Social Incubator Program that will seed and grow start-up community-based establishments, resulting in more Non for profits associations or foundations and social enterprises in Abu Dhabi.
• A Community Engagement Program which will optimise the city’s volunteering programs and create new opportunities for people to give their time for a good cause.
Ma’an will build on the spirit of philanthropy that is already strong in the UAE, which saw the country ranked 12th in the world for its generosity in the World Giving Index 2018.
The creation of Ma’an also follows the findings from the first ever social survey of Abu Dhabi carried out in 2018 by the Department of Community Development. The survey found overall life satisfaction among residents to be significantly higher than the OECD average as well as the importance of developing initiatives in fields such as social support, senior citizens, people with disabilities, public benefit organizations, voluntary activities and community participation.
The authority’s development is part of the Abu Dhabi Government’s ‘Ghadan 21’ programme that is working to accelerate Abu Dhabi’s economy.  It launches in the Year of Tolerance in the UAE. - TradeArabia News Service


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