New tool to help evaluate Dubai govt projects

Filed on June 5, 2017
New tool to help evaluate Dubai govt projects
Dr Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai Office

(Dhes Handumon/Khaleej Times)

The tool will use the data of Gallup World Poll that analyses over 100 critical issues affecting people's lives over 12 years in 160 countries.

A new smart tool will be implemented in government entities to evaluate the impact of their smart projects on people's happiness, it was announced on Monday.

The Smart Happiness Project Assessment Tool, to be introduced in November, will help decision makers in evaluating upcoming smart projects and the extent to which they contribute to people's happiness.

The tool, developed by Smart Dubai Office (SDO) in collaboration with the University of Oxford, will use the data of Gallup World Poll that analyses over 100 critical issues affecting people's lives over 12 years in 160 countries.

Taking Dubai results from the Gallup World Poll and evaluating them in the Smart Dubai Strategy 2021 six dimensions, it showed that majority of 700 residents interviewed reported that smart living and economy-related initiatives affected their lives most.

The tool will automatically evaluate government's smart initiatives based on the poll's results, using the Smart Happiness Index that gives data-based link between happiness and SDO's six dimensions of smart living, smart economy, smart mobility, smart governance, smart environment, and smart people.

Dr Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr, Director General of the SDO, said the tool, in turn, will allow organisations to upgrade, prioritize and improve their projects to make them more effective.

She added the smart project will be used to help develop policies and assess them in the future. While the trial phase will involve about four entities, the next phase will introduce the system to all government departments.

"We have a lot of data to benefit from and using this technology will allow us to use this digital data and implement it to create an innovative environment that will contribute to people's happiness," said bin Bishr.

She noted that the key objective of the tool is to support the decision-making process, allowing entities to adjust projects for maximum longevity and impact, while avoiding a focus on short-term gains in happiness.

"We want a unified tool among government departments to help achieve our Happiness Agenda," noted bin Bishr.

Furthermore, the tool takes a number of other parameters into account such as adaptation, whereby the tool estimates the speed and extent to which people get used to new projects or improvements to existing ones.

Another parameter is the challenges of social comparison, where people's happiness is dependent on comparing themselves with others.

Dr. Ali Azzawi, City Experience Advisor at Smart Dubai, said it is a scientific model built based on people's opinions and will help make smarter decisions in Dubai.

SDO was established by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in order to oversee the transformation of Dubai into a full-fledged smart city.

The office also works to establish Dubai as the "happiest city on earth", using the Happiness Agenda -- launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid in May 2016 -- as a blueprint to achieve that goal.


Sherouk Zakaria

"Born and raised in UAE, Sherouk Zakaria is a Senior Correspondent at Khaleej Times. Joined since May 2016, she covers Dubai Municipality, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), special events and humanitarian issues. Her choice of journalism as a career stems from her passion of telling people's stories and writing to inspire or make a difference. In her free time, she's an occasional theater and film actress. Sherouk received her BA in Mass Communications from the American University in Sharjah in 2013. Before joining Khaleej Times, she was a senior lifestyle/entertainment editor for a magazine in Dubai."

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