On the 3rd of December 2013, the ‘UAE National Brainstorming Session’, a nation-wide technology led citizen engagement initiative, was launched by H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum over the social media platform Twitter. This initiative was unprecedented, both in the manner in which it was conducted through the use of social media and in the scale of the response it generated.
The objectives of this initiative were twofold: to encourage citizens to engage with their government through a new medium – social media, and to gain feedback on how to improve the country’s ducation and healthcare sectors. The brainstorming session generated just over 82 thousand submissions. These submissions were then discussed at a UAE government retreat, where all members of the Cabinet of Ministers congregated to evaluate the outcomes of the session and see how the ideas generated could be put to practical use.
This paper serves two purposes: Firstly, it documents the UAE brainstorming session from the reasons for its inception to the effects it aims to achieve . Secondly, it sets out a series of policy recommendations based on the session that serve as a point of reference for future citizen engagement initiatives of a similar nature