- Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi: This year, the award went global. Going forward, SGCA will continue to shine light on global creators of strategic, need-based communication mechanisms.
Organised by the International Government Communication Centre (IGCC) on the side-lines of the 9th International Government Communication Forum, which was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the winners of the seventh edition of Sharjah Government Communication Awards (SGCA) were announced at the conclusion of the Forum on Thursday
The winners of the seventh edition of SGCA were honoured by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council (SMC), at a special ceremony at the Sharjah Expo Centre.
At the ceremony, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, underscored that the Award is a key initiative of the International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), which aims to foster an inclusive system of government communication. He remarked that the award recognises effective direct communication, dedication, innovation and originality of ideas, and enables communication professionals across government departments in the UAE, the Arab region and around the world to continue their pursuance of clear and transparent interactions with the public.
“This year, the award went global. New categories were added to not only recognise but encourage the participants to boost their competence, performance and professionalism; to inspire them to contribute to the development of the global communications systems. Going forward, SGCA will continue to shine light on a host of global creators of strategic, need-based communication mechanisms, who would have successfully turned government communication aspirations into stellar achievements,” the SMC Chairman added.
“Through the two-day event, we focused on four key pillars that elucidate the forum’s slogan ‘Beyond Communication’. The award is designed in line with our overall objectives to develop the communication sector and boost its competitiveness by bringing to light local, regional and global best practices. We believe that it will certainly impact the circles of government positively, as envisioned by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, who has offered us a roadmap for the setting of communication objectives based on public interest,” he added.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi commended SGCA’s innovative efforts to highlight the latest achievements and innovations in government communication practices being adopted locally and regionally. He urged all nominated entities and winners to adopt stronger and more candid government-citizenry dialogue.
Representing the jury, Sami Al Reyami, Editor-in-Chief, Emarat Alyoum newspaper said: “Since its inception in 2012, SGCA has expanded the award’s scope by including new categories, especially the global categories that have helped it draw the best of local, regional and global practices in government communications.”
“The record number of 793 entries in this year’s edition is equal to the overall number of entries the previous six editions attracted. The award also saw an unprecedented number of entries from the UAE – 700 -- which highlights its prestigious status. This is the proof that the SGCA has grown into a driver of creative thinking in the government communication sector,” he added.
He noted that the increase in the number of entries from the UAE pointed to the instrumental role the award played in raising awareness about the significance of government communication campaigns in fulfilling the needs of the community.
Seventh Edition Winners
Best Practice in Government Communication - Sharjah
Sharjah World Book Capital won this award for creating a communication campaign with measurable impact based on the initiative’s objectives, including increase in awareness, feedback from citizens, increased tourism or investment, and culture change. The shortlisted nominees included Sharjah Police and Sharjah Urban Planning Council.
Best Government Communication Coordinator - UAE
Captain Ahmed Hamed Al Hammadi from Sharjah Police won this award presented to a person or entity who demonstrated exemplary capabilities in managing a government entity’s communication function.
Best Media Crisis Management - UAE
This award was presented to the Ministry of Finance for dealing successfully with a crisis - either internally or externally - through their government communication teams and communicating efficiently with their audience to manage the situation. The Municipality & Planning Department – Ajman was the only other nominee in this category.
Best Support System for Government Communication Staff - UAE
The Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme was the winner in this category for empowering, qualifying, training and supporting its communication staff to communicate positively with the public and the media. The other nominees were the Securities and Commodities Authority and Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq).
The Voice of the People-UAE
The Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) received this award, winning the maximum number of votes from the public for making the largest impact on its audience. The other four finalists of this new public voting category included Kalba City Municipality, UAE Ministry of Finance, Ajman Municipality and Planning Department and Sharjah Police.
Best Influencer through Social Media - UAE
Awarded to Rashid AlRumaithi for making a positive impact through social media in the service of public interest. Manal Rashid, and Khalid Ahmad Al Harithi were the other nominees.
Best Government Social Media Engagement - The Arab Region
Presented to the Ministry of Justice – KSA for initiating an impactful two-way interaction and engagement with their target audience on social media. The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention was the only other nominee on the shortlist.
Best Youth Initiative in Government Communication – The Arab Region
Yasser Mohammed Ahmed won this award for his campaign ‘Yaser loves University’. The shortlist included Abu Dhabi Police Youth Council and ‘The filter is environment-friendly’ by Duha Madani.
Best Programme that Made a Difference - The Arab Region
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (UAE) won the award for a programme that made a positive social impact through social media/traditional media. The other nominees on the shortlist were Dubai Sports Channel (UAE) and the Communication Agency at the Ministry of Information (Saudi Arabia).
Best Government Communication Campaign – Global
This award was presented to ‘Chat Crecer Camping - Argentina’ for its successful campaign. ‘How to collect waste like a behavioural scientist’ and ‘Seven behavioural insights/ tips from pioneering cities’, were the other campaigns on the shortlist selected by A Political.
Best Use of Data | Best Data Visualisation – Global
‘INDIA WIRS’ won this award for demonstrating the best use of data and data visualisation to convey information. ‘Buenos Aires' open source platform is making public works transparent’ and ‘The City Health Dashboard’ were the other campaigns shortlisted by ‘A Political’
Best Initiative to Manage Fake News - Global
Awarded to ‘No Rumours – Saudi Arabia’ for successfully developing tools to check fake news. Other nominees on the shortlist included ‘Don’t believe – Egypt’, and ‘You have a right to know – Jordan’.
Best Idea to Increase Engagements (influence) on Future Generations - Global
Youth Imprint Initiative won this award for demonstrating an increase in engagement and readership by its audience of millennials, Gen Z and younger generations. Mark Mint was the only other contender.
Best Press Photo on Government Communication - Global
White House Photographer Lawrence Jackson’s photograph of former US President Barack Obama bagged this award for creating a major impact on the public. Sirfaz Ali was the only other nominee on the shortlist.
Best Use of Partnerships - Global
Mohammed Bin Salman Foundation, Misk Foundation won this award for a successful campaign based on an innovative partnership between two parties.
Best use of Video | Best Use of Mobile | Best Use of New Technology - Global
The award was withheld due to the applications not fulfilling the category requirements.