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11 January 2018

MBRSG holds press conference, announces 4 studies to be released at UAE Public Policy Forum 2018

The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) has published abstracts of four in-depth studies set to be released at the upcoming 2nd UAE Public Policy Forum (UAE PPF 2018), to be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre on January 15-16, 2018, under the theme “Shaping the Future of Public-Private Partnerships”.

The reports were launched during a press conference on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at MBRSG’s headquarters, attended by MBRSG Chairman His Excellency Humaid Al Qatami, Dr Ali Sebaa Al Marri, Executive President at MBRSG; Prof Raed Awalmeh, Dean; and Dr Racquel Warner, Acting Director of Academic Affairs; along with media representatives. Furthermore, the School launched the detailed agenda of the two-day Public Policy Forum.

In his opening remarks, H.E. Humaid Al Qatami said: “The partnership between the public and private sectors in developed societies has become a developmental requirement and a catalyst for economic advancement. The UAE Public Policy Forum will address, for the second time, the prospects of these public-private partnerships and their potential to cement and amplify the UAE’s success.”

“The Forum offers a great opportunity to exchange views, experiences and ideas among participants, to develop and implement international best practices that are rooted in studies exploring the economic viability of PPPs, as well as their contribution to sustainable development and decision-making in the UAE and the region,” H.E. Al Qatami added.

For his part, Dr Ali Sebaa Al Marri explained: “Inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, public-private partnerships have become a hot topic in the UAE. Government entities across the board have begun developing strategies to outsource a wide range of their services to the private sector. The global PPP experience proves their effectiveness and their positive impact in the short and long terms.”

“With that in mind, we look forward to this second instalment of the UAE Public Policy Forum to identify the key issues surrounding public-private partnerships, which provide great insight into the future of government work and government services,” Dr Al Marri continued. “A host of experts, academics and government and private-sector representatives took part in the Forum, where 90 speakers split into six panel discussion, six scientific debates, and four policy councils.”

The studies – titled “Creative Clusters in Dubai’s Education Sector: A Public-Private Partnership Towards Development,” “Public Private Partnership in Education,” “The State of UAE Healthcare: Public Perceptions on the Health Services,” and “Thinking about Healthcare and policy with PPPs,” look into the role of public-private partnerships (PPPs) on the future of the education and healthcare sectors. The complete findings of the surveys are set to be released at the 2018 Forum.

Authored by MBRSG’s Dr Racquel Warner, the paper titled ‘Public Private Partnership in Education’ points out that globally, the main rationale for developing public private partnerships (PPPs) in education is to maximize the potential for expanding equitable access to schooling and for improving education outcomes, especially for marginalised groups. In Dubai because of the unique demographic distribution, public private partnerships in education primarily provides schooling for the large expatriate population, who make up the majority of the labour force.

The study states that while many sectors in the UAE such as transportation, health, sustainable development, technology, real estate and education, have experienced successful Public Private Partnerships. Given the stark difference in purpose for PPP in education locally and globally, the report aims to gauge the perceptions of residents in the UAE about the role of PPPs and the changes they have influenced in the education sector. 

A quantitative research design underpins the methodology of the report and both descriptive and statistical findings will be reported. Empirical evidence from the research is expected to help policy makers to respond appropriately to using PPPs in education and to develop a strategic framework for future partnerships in this sector.

Dr Mona Mostafa El-Sholkamy co-authored the study titled “The State of UAE Healthcare: Public Perceptions on the Health Services”, along with Dr Immanuel Azaad Moonesar, R.D., Assistant Professor at MBRSG, and Dr Hameeda Sayani, Assistant Professor at MBRSG. The study investigates public perceptions of healthcare delivery in the UAE based on opinions from 6,000 respondents.

The research revealed statistically significant differences between various groups, considering gender, age, nationality, employment status, emirate of residence, number of household members, education level, monthly household income, insurance plans, regular GP, recent medical visits, and going back to home countries for treatment/check-ups. Healthcare services in the UAE were perceived to be superior in terms of quality (70%) and access and approachability (73%) of care, the study shows, adding that these services were, however, perceived less favourably in terms of affordability (44%) and responsiveness (36%) – i.e. the amount of time doctors can spend on medical consultations. This is despite the fact that 78% of respondents had a monthly household income of AED25,000 or less and still enjoyed access to a health insurance plan.

The second UAE Public Policy Forum is set to focus on six main pillars: Identifying and evaluating opportunities for public-private partnerships; creating an enabling environment for PPPs; discussing visions and strategies to improve partnerships and increase effectiveness; performance evaluation; using smart technologies and innovation to the benefit of PPPs; and developing policies to govern public-private partnerships in the future.
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