The Department of Community Development (DCD) in Abu Dhabi has launched Wyakom, an online platform, that will empower members of the community to address pressing social challenges.
The first phase of this pilot, in partnership with Al Tawajud Al Baladi, will focus on the Khalifa City community. The platform will invite Khalifa City residents to identify solutions to specific social challenges according to set of criteria.
Besides the opportunity to see their ideas come to fruition, the top three winners will receive a monetary reward.
Dr. Layla Alhyas, Executive Director of the Social Monitoring & Innovation Sector at DCD, commented on the initiative saying: “The platform will serve as DCD’s primary channel to identify social challenges and design proactive interventions by following an Assets Based Community Development (ABCD) approach, where communities can drive the development process themselves.”
She highlighted that leveraging digital technology for such collaborative efforts would play a pivotal role in progressing the social sector. She added: “The Wyakom initiative is one of many digital projects we have launched to step up our efforts to better identify social challenges and develop innovative solutions through research and interventions. Wyakom will support DCD in achieving its core mission of ensuring a dignified life for all community members by optimizing our efforts.”
The key themes for ideas include work-life balance, health, social and cultural values, personal safety and security, social connection, civic engagement and governance, social and community services, and subjective wellbeing. Community members can propose solutions related to these various themes, which will be assessed by a screening committee of experts from the social sector. “We recognise community participation to be key to effectively addressing many social issues,” Dr. Layla noted.
To encourage members of the community to get involved in the initiative, DCD has announced monetary rewards for the top three ideas. Participants whose ideas are selected for implementation will also get recognition on social media and news channels and certification from DCD.
Stressing that community engagement is key to DCD’s initiatives, Dr. Layla Alhyas said: "The aim of the Wyakom platform is to effectively engage the community in solving social challenges, not to mention that it will act as a bridge between the community and social sector. This, in turn, will enable decisionmakers to not just get a better understanding of priority issues, but it will also help them find creative and effective solutions to them. The more the ideas, the brighter the better the outcome. This is the rationale behind Wyakom.”
His Excellency Eng. Khalfan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Executive Director of the Sub-Municipal Operations Sector in Abu Dhabi City Municipality, expressed happiness over strengthening of partnership with DCD through the initiative that will have a significant positive impact on the community. It will also support the methodology of communication, help engage community in efforts to overcome challenges, achieve societal aspirations, and consolidate standards and foundations to build a happier community.
H.E. Eng. Al Nuaimi pointed out that the Municipal Community Centre (Al Tawajud Al Baladi) at Khalifa City has set a precedent in building bridges through communication and those unified efforts of specialised entities, as well as the launch of qualitative initiatives such as Wyakom, will ensure that all societal aspirations are fulfilled. Starting with Khalifa City, the drive will progressively include all regions and cities.
Al Nuaimi also explained that the municipal centre’s experience in strengthening its relations with society through such channels as Freegna, and direct meetings and forums have helped it unify ideas, create solutions and build initiatives that supported the development of the Khalifa City community. “Al Tawajud Al Baladi centre is confident that Wyakom will help strengthen and widen communication and cooperation with the community to achieve the vision of our leadership to improve the quality of life and fulfil all aspirations of individuals,” he clarified.
He added that such pioneering initiatives speak a volume about the relevance of Al Tawajud Al Baladi centre, and that projects such as Wyakom help widen the scope of welfare initiatives. “Wyakom will represent a strategic community platform that will strengthen social bonds on the one hand, and bolster cooperation among government entities, decisionmakers and various components of society on the other,” he said.
“As we wish the Wyakom initiative success, we reaffirm our keenness at Al Tawajud Al Baladi centre to promote the values of close cooperation and social integration that would result in a happier society and better quality of life,” he said.
Wyakom is a good instance of ways in which the Abu Dhabi social sector stays on the pulse of the Abu Dhabi community. Have your ideas heard at: https://wyakom.addcd.gov.ae.