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08 November 2022

New book reinforces focus on public sector agility at MBRSG

The book - Agile Government: Emerging Perspectives in Public Management - was launched at the school today at a special event attended by HE Huda Al Hashimi, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs, HE Dr. Ali bin Sebaa Al Marri, Executive President of MBRSG, Dean MBRSG, Prof. Raed Awamleh, and Dr Fadi Salem and Prof. Melodena Stephens.

H.E. Huda Al Hashemi stated that Integrated strategic and proactive planning constitute a fundamental basis in the process of designing the future, which reflects the futuristic approach and vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, in adopting it as a well-established culture in the UAE government work model and implement it in accordance with scientific concepts, which promotes readiness and agility in designing innovative solutions and supporting efforts in creating a better future. 

H.E. added that The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government is a prominent partner in setting national frameworks and strategies based on agility that enhances government work model, capacity, and efficiency for a better future and adopting new concepts that have a tremendous impact in supporting decision-makers.

School Executive President, Dr Ali bin Sebaa Al Marri, said: “This book makes an important contribution to the mission of the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government to accelerate the public sector’s competencies to constantly adapt to the ever-changing contemporary challenges by ensuring agility acts as a catalyst to future-proof development.

“At the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, we have always recognized the importance of agile government, but world events from the pandemic to climate change, have fast-tracked the need to create an even more dynamic public sector that is not limited by traditional processes but is energized by the ability to respond quickly, collaboratively, efficiently and effectively.

“Featuring research by 38 authors from around the globe, this book provides valuable insight into in the topic across different contexts:  Europe, Africa, the US, India and Arab-speaking countries as well as across a range of public sector themes such as human resources, healthcare, education and government digitalization.”

Work on the book, which is edited by Prof. Stephens, Prof. Awamleh and Dr Salem, started after the UAE Public Policy Forum 2020 which took the theme ‘Agile Government: Becoming Future-Proof’.

Previously the concept of agile government had been strongly associated with digital transformation or the reinvention of government movements, say the editors, but it was confined to small teams. As the impact of COVID-19 spread around the world, the need to have an open dialogue about wider adoption of agile government became an imperative.

Prior to the pandemic most experiments in agile government were small and difficult to scale and sustain, but as countries experienced lockdown, seismic public sector transformation took place from online education and digital health care services to new approaches to social systems, economic development and international relations.

The book, agile government provides insight into the importance of the topic through a wide range of lenses  such as academic theory, crisis and technology, systemic lens  and is divided into seven themes: Concepts and Realities, Systems Thinking, Future Proofing, Building Trust, Cross-Border Challenges and Strategic Communication and Innovation.

The authors add: “Through these various perspectives, we offer insights from the theoretical development of the topic of agile government, lessons from government practices around the world and on-going academic and policy research.”
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