Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sharjah Government Communication Award Gears Up to Recognise Excellence in the Field

The jury of the sixth edition of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA) – organised by the International Government Communication Centre - held their first meeting at the Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC) building. The meeting was aimed at exploring new award categories, which would further their objective of promoting and bolstering best practices in government communication by highlighting excellence in more sectors across the region.

This edition’s jury members are HE Ibrahim Al Abed, Advisor to the Chairman of National Media Council; Dr Sulaiman Al Hattlan, CEO of Al Hattlan Media; HE Hassan Yaqoub Al Mansouri, Secretary-General of the Sharjah Media Council; Madi Abdullah Al Khamis, Secretary-General of the Arab Media Forum; Sami Al Reyami, Editor-in-Chief of Emarat Alyoum Newspaper; Ali Jaber, Director General of MBC TV; and Jawaher Al Naqbi, Manager of the International Government Communication Centre (IGCC). 

Building on the results of the past five editions and audience feedback, the jury recommended modifying a few existing categories and adding new ones.

Jawaher Al Naqbi said: “SGCA plays a leading role in recognising excellence in government communication in a range of sectors. This field is constantly trying to keep up with rapid infiltration of digital technologies, increasing influence of social media, and more. This requires us to highlight how public sector professionals are trying to maximise the role of government communication by devising new creative and innovative methods to use it as a valuable strategic tool, not only to collaborate with each other but to deliver authentic and prompt messages to the public. 

“To this end, the jury is putting their heads together to create new award categories and modify existing ones to make SGCA more relevant, inclusive and effective in highlighting best practices, which fulfils one of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF)’s main mandates.”

The jury members also adopted key topics, most notably expanding partnerships to include new organisations and countries. They highlighted the importance of adopting new mechanisms and tools to stimulate the participation, as well as promote the critical role of government communication in ensuring good governance, enhancing relationships with the audience and influencing public opinion.

Jurors emphasised the importance of enthusiastic participation from all government entities, stressing that it is the most effective way to recognise excellence and latest developments in government communication practices and, in the process, heighten the awareness of public departments across the board, citizens and residents.

They have also encouraged entities who participated in the last edition but did not get through the final selections to submit new entries this year.    

SGCA was launched in September 2012 under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. SGCA aims to foster and drive best industry practices across the UAE, GCC and wider Arab world, through highlighting the accomplishments of individuals and institutions in the government communication sector. Since its launch, SGCA received 179 participations, 70 of which from the Emirate of Sharjah, 65 from the UAE and 44 form the GCC region.