64 global thinkers and communications experts lead an extensive agenda at two-day forum
Curtains came down on the ninth edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF), on Thursday, March 5, after 64 global thinkers and communications experts cutting across a spectrum of interests deliberated on the rapidly changing global communication landscape, and outlined a carefully designed way forward to make communication channels between governments and communities more effective and efficient.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the region’s leading forum on government communication turned the spotlight on staying ahead of emerging technology disruptions and promoting stronger engagement amongst all stakeholders.
Organised by International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), a Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) subsidiary, the 2020 edition of IGCF focused on four key pillars: ‘Embedding a culture of engagement in government’, ‘Technology as a community enabler’, ‘Communication through culture’, and 'Holistic well-being'.
With 10 keynote speeches by global leaders, and an extensive agenda of 57 leading events including panel discussions, workshops, forums, and 20 interactive platforms, the high-profile two-day global summit touched upon all aspects of the vital role of innovatively designed communication strategies and highlighted best practices. Speakers at the event also included international media and PR stalwarts, policy experts, social entrepreneurs, and communications and technology experts from 16 nations worldwide.
In the presence of Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council (SMC), heads of various Sharjah government entities, speakers, sponsors and partners of the forum, Jawaher Al Naqbi, Manager of Government Communication Forum at Sharjah Media Centre, announced the list of recommendations that emerged at the end of the two-day forum that would contribute to good governance.
IGCF 2020 recommends greater cross-cultural communication; introduces two new categories in the seventh edition of Sharjah Government Communication Award
To ensure good governance and foster greater cross-cultural understanding, the ninth edition of IGCF has put forth a list of 19 recommendations to improve government communication strategies at the local, regional and international levels; to harness the power of communication for crisis management; and to integrate modern communication technology for effective implementation of policies benefiting its stakeholders.
The 19-point recommendations list lays out the following:
- To disseminate a culture of public opinion as a public service offered to citizens and residents; and to emphasise its significance with enhanced programmes and mechanisms that best serves the interests of the public.
- To introduce a new category to the Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA) to honour creative experts dedicated to public communication.
- To advocate the integration of modern communication systems to advance the global vision of reconciliation and peace.
- To document Sharjah’s government communication process in the cultural sector at the local, regional and international levels.
- To adopt advanced digital education systems and harness them for creativity and innovation.
- To advance cross-cultural communication with teams of experts skilled in effectively targeting local and global audiences with messaging that emphasises successful cultural initiatives.
- To encourage media outlets to host social media influencers to deliver key government messages and offer guidance on effective communication strategies on matters of public interest.
- To foster a purposeful and ethical culture amongst youth and introduce initiatives and programmes that contribute to preserving the national identity.
- To inspire and support youth to organise awareness-raising campaigns on social media platforms aimed at enhancing UAE’s impact in the global public opinion arena by introducing the nation’s rich culture of traditions, ethics, history and heritage.
10. To suggest legislations and policies that support the development of an effective government communication system that can compete with varied information sources both at the local and international levels.
11. To establish an innovative government communication model for effective crisis-management.
12. To call on government and media stalwarts to join hands and unite efforts with the goal of introducing people to different cultures around the world and to focus on the commonalities of these cultural elements.
13. To ensure that each entity or institution develops indicators to measure the impact of its communication process on enhancing positive prospects and elevating the quality of people’s lives.
14. To adopt a corporate governance strategy and develop a code of standards to ensure the effective implementation of government communication programmes.
15. To ensure that all media messages are in line with the accepted ethics, values and principles of the Arab world, and to launch joint media programmes across Arab countries.
16. To introduce a new category to the Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA) honouring the most forward-looking approach in envisaging the future of government communication. This would involve a futuristic vision of the most significant communication tools that would enable government entities in designing best-case scenarios to overcome crises.
17. To underscore the significance of research, and to measure and track its process to ensure that government communication strategies adopt an inclusive, impactful and competitive approach.
18. To call on communities to introduce concerns of refugees and displaced peoples in the government communication programmes and facilitate the participation of refugees at global events and conferences so that their voices and ideas can be heard.
19. To adopt the inspiring stories of refugees and transform them into models of success for facing and overcoming challenges.
Recognition of speakers, sponsors and partners of IGCF 2020
At the closing ceremony of the 2020 edition of IGCF, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi honoured speakers, sponsors and partners whose contributions and active participation have contributed to the success of the forum.