Sharjah Government Communication Award Unveils New Categories in Response to Global Crises

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The International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), an initiative of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), has announced the launch of three new categories of the prestigious Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA) and key changes to four existing categories in its efforts to keep pace with global trends and spread the culture of excellence in government communication across the world.

The Sharjah Government Communication Award will start accepting applications for participation in all its categories from Monday, March 1, 2021, on its website

Categories Dedicated to Sharjah, UAE

The SGCA categories for direct submission include the Best Public Communication Initiative that targets the Emirate of Sharjah and is granted to a government service agency that responded to the public needs and feedback, contributed to strengthening public communication practices and made a qualitative change in the work mechanism, ensuring prompt delivery of government services.

The SGCA has also created a new Ideal Employee for Government Communication category, which targets the United Arab Emirates and is dedicated to employees who work in government institutions and entities and who have provided winning ideas that have contributed to enhancing government communication practices in the country.

The list of new award categories in response to the prevailing global situation also includes a global category, namely Best Practices for Dealing with the Coronavirus Crisis, and it is given to institutions that served as the first line of defence in successfully dealing with the Coronavirus crisis, such as the health sector, the security sector and other sectors in appreciation of their response and dealing with the variables and challenges of the unprecedented global crisis.

The award is granted to three entities who have presented a successful model at the local level in the United Arab Emirates, the Arab world and internationally.

Developmental focus

The Sharjah award has made amendments to the category of the Best Initiative with a Societal Impact - the United Arab Emirates.  While the award was previously based on 100 per cent public voting, now the evaluation process is based on 50 per cent of votes by the jury and 50 per cent on public voting.

The category of the Best Social Media Influencer - Arab world has also been amended to select three winners from various social media platforms - YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok and Livestreaming etc.

Amendments have also been made to the Best Practices in Government Communication category.  While the category was earlier only open to government institutions in the Emirate of Sharjah, it is now open to all parts of the country.

The Best Photo/Video in Government Communication category has been amended dividing it into two sub-categories: Best Picture in Government Communication, and Best Video in Government Communication.

Announcing the changes, HE Tariq Saeed Allay, Director of the SGMB, emphasised the keenness of the Award organisers to keep pace with global developments and trends in government communication and develop the Award categories in order to achieve its mission based on the direction of the Emirate of Sharjah and vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

Youth for government communication sector 

Allay underscored the SGCA’s mission to build awareness about the importance of government communication and encourage youth to engage in this important sector, as it places among its priorities the support for their distinguished work in this field.  He noted that the strategic directions of the award is based on what has been accomplished since its launch, achieving its vision and setting goals for the future.

 The other categories of the SGCA include the Best Crisis Response - the United Arab Emirates, which is granted to one of the government or quasi-governmental agencies that successfully dealt with a crisis and achieved effective communication with the public during and after the crisis, through a comprehensive experience of all stages of dealing with the crisis starting from the idea down to tangible results.

The Best System Supporting Government Communication - the United Arab Emirates category is granted to a government agency that has contributed, through training or awareness-raising activities, to achieving an improvement in the competence of its employees at the level of government communication and supporting the concepts of effective communication with the public and media.

The Arab world

The SGCA includes several categories dedicated to the Arab world, including the Best Idea for Engaging Future Generations category, which is given away to government or private entities that have effectively contributed through initiatives or activities in engaging future generations or educating them about vital issues.

Another category that targets the Arab world is the Best Media Programme broadcast on television, radio, website, YouTube, or smart applications for government or private media institutions to create a positive impact contributing to increased societal awareness of vital issues.

Another category dedicated to the Arab world is the Best Government Communication through New Media that is granted to government agencies that have achieved successful interaction and communication with their audience through social media platforms and smart applications.

The Best Applied Scientific Research in Government Communication category is dedicated to scientific research that dealt with a topic related to government communication, and arrived at findings that would contribute to developing the work system in the sector at all administrative and communication levels. The category is open to both individuals and research organisations/centres.

The Best Youth Initiative in Government Communication category is dedicated to an individual, group or institutional initiative implemented by people of 18 to 40 years of age that has effectively served the government communication sector.

Global Categories

The global categories of the SGCA include the Best Practices for Dealing with Fake News, which is given to government or semi-government agencies that have worked, through a clear vision, to check rumours and fake news and have contributed to correcting or improving their nation's image.

SGMB Director Allay stressed the SGCA’s mission and keenness to spread the culture of excellence in government communication worldwide, through its goals that support best government communication practices, seek to identify global leaders in government communication and media practices who build sustainable societal value and recognise and reward pioneers in the government communication sector at the local and international levels.

Registration open

The SGCA has opened registration for the eighth session 2021, starting from March 1, and has been conducting virtual workshops to introduce the new categories, the new strategy of the award, the key changes in some of its categories and the mechanism of participation in the award.

The Sharjah Government Communication Award was launched in September 2012, under the directives of HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and works to consolidate and document the best professional practices in the government communication sector in the UAE, the Arab world, and the world at large by highlighting the achievements of individuals and institutions in this area.


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