Qatar Leadership Centre’s (QLC) Government Leaders were given an extensive, inside look at Singapore’s experience in public policy development during a special, five-day Learning Journey in Singapore the last week of October.The Qatari Government Leaders, all of whom hold managerial and executive positions across a range of government institutions, took advantage of the opportunity to learn from Singapore’s success in developing government best practice to create an efficient and responsive public sector.
The 27 Qatari men and women learned from senior government officials, thought leaders and business executives during the Learning Journey, which was jointly organized by QLC and Civil Service College (CSC) Singapore.CSC is the central learning institution for Singapore’s public service; QLC provides a national platform for leadership excellence, in line with the goals of 2030 and beyond. H.E. Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, Board Member and Managing Director of QLC, noted that this Learning Journey “will bolster the strategic capacity of these Government Leaders to contribute to the achievement of national goals by allowing them to learn from the experience of Singapore’s respected civil service institution, and adapt the lessons to government service in Qatar.”
Qatar’s Ambassador to Singapore H.E. Mohamed bin Ali Sultan Al-Ali Al-Maadid and Singapore’s Special Envoy to the Middle East, H.E. Ambassador Zainul Abidin Rasheed from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, met with the Qatari group in Singapore. H.E. Ambassador Al-Maadid expressed his appreciation for the cooperation of Singapore with QLC, remarking that “we can learn much from the Singapore experience in developing an active international business hub, with a high standard of living. Singapore’s success came as a result of systematic planning, aided by the development of a professional class of government employees.”
In preparation for the Government Leaders’ Learning Journey, the Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore to the State of Qatar, H.E. Wong Kwok Pun, spoke at a Qatar Policy Seminar in Doha in June at QLC, in which he highlighted the Qatar-Singapore bilateral relationship. His perspective served to frame the visit to Singapore as he highlighted significant government initiatives and developments of recent decades.
The Civil Service College Singapore, led by career civil servant Ms. Tina Ng, is positioned in the Prime Minister’s Office. It has played a pivotal role in the advancement of Singapore on the world stage, with its focus on developing highly-qualified government employees with expertise in a wide range of relevant areas. “The knowledge revolution that has enhanced sectors throughout Singapore’s economy is the result of their investment in human resources, which is certainly worthy of study,” said Hamad Al-Asiri, a participant who works for the Amiri Diwan.
The Qatari group considered essential elements for good government, including principles of governance, the formation of strong institutions, and the development of good policy in various arenas, whether for urban infrastructure, national healthcare, or industrial development. Captain Abdulla bin Sultan Al Ghanem, a QLC participant from the Internal Security Force Lekhweya, found the visit useful, noting, “The Learning Journey to Singapore was an opportunity to closely monitor government performance and revisit essential best practices; it promises to yield positive results when our knowledge is applied to the State of Qatar.”
Mohammad Al-Naimi, Director of Technical Department of Aldaayen Municipality, Ministry of Municipality & Urban Planning, reflected on the Learning Journey, saying it “enhanced our ability to work creatively and deliver innovative outcomes, which we are determined to employ in our efforts to achieve Qatar National Vision 2030.”
As part of the visit, QLC Government Leaders visited Singapore’s National University Health System, a premier healthcare institution, and Singapore Polytechnic, a respected technical training university. The group examined these organizations in the context of Singapore’s strategic planning processes while policymakers highlighted similarities and differences between Qatar and Singapore. The International Advisory Group worked with the Government Leaders in adapting relevant learning lessons from the experience.
Qatar Leadership Centre is currently accepting online applications from qualified Qatari professionals for its 2015-2016 national leadership programs on its website at www.qlc.org.qa The Government Leaders Program is one of three offered by QLC. The closing date for applications is December 4, 2014. Participants in Qatar Leadership Centre’s programs serve Qatar by enhancing their personal and professional skills in order to contribute to the country’s future. Applicants undergo a merit-based evaluation, with assessment of their educational qualifications, professional experience, leadership potential and other criteria. QLC’s 2015-2016 programs will begin this spring.