The roles and expectations of governments are evolving as their challenges increase in complexity, cutting across multiple economic sectors and international borders. Now more than ever, government authorities, public institutions, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the Middle East have a need for sound governance and innovative public sector solutions.
At Strategy&, we apply proven methodologies and cutting-edge thought leadership in the public sector to enable our clients to keep pace with changing social priorities and economic realities. Our partners advise public sector clients on how to achieve transformations by developing capabilities-driven strategies, defining and implementing public policy, and establishing strong public sector governance. The topics we consult on include social services, education, public health, finance and tax administration, climate change, national security, information and communications technology, and e-government.
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Our thought leadership
Gulf countries can use three potential mechanisms to move the provision of social services beyond reliance on the government alone. They can build an ecosystem of NFPs that can deliver some services, encourage companies to advance from corporate social responsibility, to corporate social innovation and implement performance-based payments by the public sector to reward favorable outcomes.
As Saudi Arabia’s economy continues to diversify and change, workplace needs are changing from traditional office spaces with long-term contract commitments to a more sophisticated and flexible working environment. This presents a significant opportunity for investors to convert some of the available commercial properties into such flexible environments known as co-working space.
GCC governments and defence companies should exploit their abundant capital in sovereign wealth funds. By investing their funds strategically, decision makers can move faster to build up the region’s defence manufacturing capabilities and localise production of defence products and services, while still generating attractive returns.
Most defence contracts in the Middle East and North Africa are simple but are not appropriate for today’s more complex conditions. Instead, they need more advanced contracts that involve closer customer–supplier relationships. The three more advanced contracting models are: performance-based logistics contracts, availability-based contracts, and capability-based contracts.
GCC countries need to replace the prevalent linear economic model of “take, make, use, waste,” which has been to the detriment of the region economically, environmentally, and socially. Instead, GCC countries should adopt in a holistic manner the circular economy model, which optimizes the consumption of finite resources, maximizes product utilization, and recovers by-products and waste.
Armed forces in the Middle East and North Africa need a more realistic approach to defence readiness, putting aside the old system that exaggerates their preparedness. Instead, they need to set predictable readiness cycles that provide feasible and realistic readiness reporting, thereby allowing them to respond appropriately to a wide range of anticipated threats and challenges.
Governments in the Middle East and North Africa should focus on scale-ups, small- and medium-sized enterprises with proven business models that are undergoing a rapid growth phase. Policymakers should improve their scale-ups ecosystems across four growth pillars: business fundamentals, business propellers, demand creators, and country readiness.
GCC countries need to foster their research ecosystems to produce high-quality research that can lead to innovation and that can inform public policy. They must improve research capabilities and the quality of output, create national research frameworks, invest in building their local talent, fund research on a performance basis, encourage research in high-priority socioeconomic sectors through collaboration with enterprises, and establish an effective intellectual property framework.
GCC militaries need to concentrate on human capital development after over a decade of focusing on modernising equipment and doctrine. Governments need to reform military HR models so that they attract the most talented individuals, provide them with proper training, use them more efficiently, and support their post-retirement integration into society.
GCC states can integrate behavioral interventions into their policymaking processes. Behavioral interventions involve tools such as framed communication, peer comparisons, default options, role models, games, and competitions to influence people to change how they think and act. When paired with conventional policy levers and a supporting infrastructure, these tools can help policymakers achieve key social, economic, and environmental objectives more effectively.
GCC militaries must reconsider how they manage information. They should accept that sharing information comes with risk that they can actively manage. GCC militaries can thereby share and safeguard information at the same time, while handling information based on how likely it is to be lost and the effect of its loss.
Middle East governments need a way to keep track of their performance as they begin work on large-scale economic and national development plans. They should adopt outcome-based performance management, whose key aspects include the role and structure of a central performance management entity, key enablers in the areas of human capital, culture change, technology, and measurement; and flexibility in altering the approach as circumstances warrant.
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Al Arabiya interviews Fadi Adra, Partner with Strategy& Middle East, during his participation at the Financial Sector Conference 2019, where he shares his insights on the savings culture in KSA.
Al Arabiya interviews Dr. Yahya Anouti, Principal with Strategy& Middle East, to discuss the firm’s study "Putting GCC cities in the loop: Sustainable growth in a circular economy". To download the study and access related material, please visit the microsite.