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15 December 2019
MBRSG Holds 3rd Station of Its ‘Future Trip 3’ Programme in London

The Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) has organised the third station of the third edition of its ‘Future Trip’ programme in the form of field trip to London, bringing together leaders of the first and second tiers from the federal and local governments, as well as the private sector.

Held on November 11-15, 2019, the five-day visit sought to facilitate the exchange of expertise and showcase the latest international trends in government. It aimed to explore international experiences, especially with London being among the world’s leading political, economic, and cultural hubs, supported by a pioneering international government framework. These elements have enabled the British capital to achieve world-renowned levels of government performance, from decision-making and handling various economic and service projects, to embracing science and innovation and implementing them in a forward-thinking vision and practical steps based on science and innovation.

The London trip is yet another important milestone on MBRSG’s Future Trip programme; it seeks to support the leaders of the government of the future, introduce them to the latest developments in technology and government administration, and highlight the evolving government smart-city and open-data initiatives. This, in turn, paves the way for launching innovation-driven government policies and achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to drive government excellence.

MBRSG’s Executive President Dr Ali Sebaa Al Marri said: “The London trip reflects MBRSG’s openness to exploring the best government experiences and practices; it is a platform for us to relay our own knowledge and expertise, showcase innovative government systems, and find solutions to relevant challenges by collaborating with our partners.”

“We, at MBRSG, strive to arm our leaders across the government and private sectors with the knowledge and skills they need to make sound decisions that take into consideration the challenges and opportunities brought about by sweeping technological advancements transforming every sector,” Dr Al Marri added. “We hope this visit serves as a catalyst for further success in government administration and policy-making. Our objective is to enhance government performance in the UAE and support the government’s efforts to become a leader in all fields.”

The third station drew 23 participants from various entities, namely: the Ministry of Defence; Ministry of Health and Prevention; Ministry of Climate Change and Environment; Dubai Civil Defence; National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority; Dubai Health Authority; Roads and Transport Authority; Dubai Government Human Resources Department; Community Development Authority; Emirates International Accreditation Centre; General Authority of Ports, Borders, and Free Zones Security; Dubai Courts; General Sport Authority; Dubai Media Inc.; Dubai Culture; Al Khaleej Newspaper; and Al Kaitoob Advocates law firm.

The third station’s five-day agenda kicked off its activities with an introduction of the UK’s government and civil service operations. The first segment of the session examined the UK’s government structure, civil service numbers, and ministerial and civil jobs, while the second offered insights into constitutional changes, civil service reforms, current position and strategy in the UK. 

Next, the participants visited the UK’s central government ministries, exploring the practices of the UK’s executive authorities, the organisational structures of each department, and relevant operational policies, where most major departments are headed by a secretary of state, who resides in the cabinet, and is typically supported by a team of junior ministers.

Day two comprised a field visit to the Government Shared Services Unit at the Cabinet Office. Participants studied the Unit’s operations, which works across departments to transform shared services in line with the UK’s government Shared Services strategy. The visit also shed light on the government’s procedures for processing internal transactions like expenses, leave, payslips, and financial approvals. Sharing these services across the government renders department administration more effective, enabling civil servants and others in the public sector to focus on government priorities and public services.

This was followed by a field visit to the Institute for Government, the UK’s leading think tank spearheading rigorous research and analysis to make the government more effective. It also offers a space for discussion and brainstorming to help senior politicians and civil servants think differently and bring about change. 

On day three, the UAE delegation attended a session on citizen-centric service delivery, in which the trainer delved into the use of co-production tools in public services. In addition, the session featured plenary discussions and a group exercise, as well as a Q&A segment.

The third day then featured a Policy Lab, which allowed participants to study the Lab’s activities up-close, and learn about its role in formulating policies and the design, data, and digital tools it uses, as well as its teams, projects, and accomplishments.

The fourth day consisted of a session on Digital Leadership, where the trainer helped demystify the digital revolution and its impact on government operations, offering detailed explanations on digital trends and emerging technologies, as well as experiments and forms of digital transformation in government. The second part discussed the elements of a digital culture, the adoption of new ways of working and learning, the formation of collaborative working and virtual teams, and sponsoring and enabling a digital culture.

The delegation then visited the Government Digital Service, which is part of the Cabinet Office and a centre of excellence in digital technology and data. The unit works with various departments to help them manage their own transformation, and build platforms, standards, and digital services.

On the fifth and final day, the delegation conducted a field visit to the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) office, a company with a social purpose, jointly owned by the UK Government, Nesta (the innovation charity), and BIT’s own employees. BIT is the world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural sciences.

At the conclusion of the programme, His Excellency Mansoor Abulhoul, UAE Ambassador to the UK, honoured participants in the Future Trip Programme in the presence of Professor Raed Awamleh, Dean of MBRSG, and Sonny Leong CBE, CEO of Civil Service College.
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