Haider Al Lawati –
Many citizens and those interested in local issues are still wondering about the National Programme for Enhancing Economic Diversification (Tanfeedh) and what is required of them to participate in this ambitious programme to achieve its targets during the upcoming period.
However, some officials in ministries and government institutions lack knowledge on the content of the programme, considering their responsibilities do not involve offering public services to citizens and expatriates.
Five ministries whose ministers signed the Tanfeedh statement pledged to provide these facilities and services within a specific timeframe, commit to all aspects of this national ambitious programme and provide financial, logistics and administrative support for adopted projects.
There is a need today to follow up on the responsibilities assigned to each government official and audit and supervise accomplishments made in any relevant project, along with holding both the official concerned and the institution accountable in case of failure to implement the project on time.
Otherwise, some projects and commitments will remain on paper and recommendations will remain in files just like the activities, events and meetings held in the past years remained without any change.
No doubt, the media is required to deliver all the ideas, initiatives and theses put forward in the workshops organised by the agencies concerned, especially with the release of the Tanfeedh Book, which includes a lot of information of interest to the programme.
The book’s introduction refers to an important statement made by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos with regard to cooperation between the public and private sectors. His Majesty said: “We would like to reiterate that for our hopes and aspirations to be realised, and our plans and programmes to succeed, cooperation between all citizens, in particular the private sector, and between the various government agencies and departments, to implement future plans and programmes, in a spirit of responsibility and perception and awareness that this cooperation bears fruit and more progress, growth and prosperity.”
From this standpoint, Tanfeedh is an executive programme arising from the Ninth Five-Year Development Plan (2016-2020) and aims to achieve the Sultanate’s vision of economic diversification by identifying challenges and difficulties facing the government, private and civil stakeholders in realising the goals of the Ninth Five-Year Plan.
Tanfeedh mechanisms include defining responsibilities, resources and timelines for implementation, setting clear criteria and indicators to measure performance and producing periodic reports on the implementation of initiatives and projects while ensuring that all segments of society are familiar with various steps of the programme.
The programme also adopts a systematic action plan based on data and information collection and analysis, classification of challenges and obstacles facing the growth of sectors and developing solutions to address them.
It includes identifying those responsible for project management and implementation and monitoring and evaluation of key performance indicators, provided that this phase of the programme includes three economic diversification sectors of the Ninth Five-Year Development Plan (tourism, manufacturing and logistics), in addition to two enabling and supportive sectors (labour and employment market and financial and innovative financing sector).
The previous phase included holding of intensive experiments and workshops with the participation of government agencies and private organisations with economic diversification, in addition to academic institutions, civil society and youth.
The book on the subject contains several important notes, including the previous phase of series and follow-up of Tanfeedh programme focused on the former sectors. It also concentrated on the national programme’s methodology to involve various segments of civil society and stakeholders from government and the private sector in the decision-making process, as had been done during the Ninth Five-Year Plan period, besides benefiting from the Malaysian experience.
This comes from believing in the importance of roles of all parties and to enhance the principles of responsibility and transparency.
Moreover, a mechanism was adopted for a sustained dialogue between relevant parties to discuss challenges in the current global economic conditions and identify the major obstacles that may face the process of implementing and tackling development projects.
The programme is concerned with contributing in strengthening trust between the community and the public sector on one hand, and between the public sector and the private sector on the other hand.
It also seeks to create a healthy work environment and establish a common ground based on the principle of credibility and open dialogue, in addition to activating regulated, joint and sustainable channels among all parties, whether through conventional or social media.