Human Rights Commission: Saudi Arabia supports women

Saudi systems offer women the opportunity to represent their government at regional and international levels. (SPA)
Updated 27 February 2018
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Human Rights Commission: Saudi Arabia supports women

JEDDAH: The Human Rights Commission in Saudi Arabia has said in a report that no fair observer can deny the recent empowerment of women in Saudi Arabia.
Women’s rights are stressed in the Basic Law of Governance, which prohibits discrimination against women and many other regulations contain provisions prohibiting all forms of discrimination.
Many criminal laws contain provisions providing for increased punishment when the victim is a woman, such as anti-trafficking laws, and participation in political and public life is a right available to every citizen in the Kingdom. A minimum of 20 percent of the seats in the Shoura Council have been allocated to women and the laws of the Kingdom have no provisions preventing women from holding senior positions.
The commission’s report stated that the labor system includes provisions to equalize rights and duties between men and women. The decision of the Minister of Labor No. (1/2370) dated 28/8/2010 prevent “any discrimination in wages between male and female workers.”
The Kingdom’s regulations guarantee maternity protection, especially in the workplace. The civil service system prohibits dismissal for any reason related to marriage or maternity.
The report added that Saudi systems offer women the opportunity to represent their government at regional and international levels, and there are no rules requesting the presence of a mahram (male guardian) for women to practice their legal, educational and other rights.
The report added that a judicial principle in 2013 gives women the right to divorce their husbands if they can not bear living with them. The Kingdom’s endorsement of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women gives them even more power.
The Commission’s report stressed that the issuance of the system of protection against abuse, which was prepared by a civil society institution, is a guarantee that contributes to stopping all forms of violence against women.
The Kingdoms education system is based on equality between men and women at all stages. The rate of illiteracy in the Kingdom 25 years ago was 60 percent, with women forming the majority of illiterate Saudis. This rate fell to just 5.31 percent in 2015.
The right to health care is one of the rights guaranteed by the Basic Law of Government. Article 27 of the law states that health care should be offered equally to men and women.
Saudi Vision 2030 states that women form an important component of the country's strength, accounting for more than 50 percent of the number of university graduates, and that work continues to develop their talents and enable them to have the opportunities to build their future and contribute to the development of society and the economy.


National Center for Performance Measurement vision aims to track achievements, boost transparency in national projects

Adaa is tasked with monitoring performance of government entities. (Supplied)
Updated 2 min 55 sec ago
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National Center for Performance Measurement vision aims to track achievements, boost transparency in national projects

  • Adaa has worked with world-renowned institutions to educate public entities and increase their awareness and capabilities regarding performance measurement and to spread the culture of performance measurement

RIYADH: One of the major reform projects of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 is Adaa — the National Center for Performance Measurement.
Adaa is tasked with performance measurement and enablement of government entities. The enablement involves providing tools, frameworks and educational support which enables better measurement and development.
The performance-monitoring agency was established in 2016. Husameddin AlMadani is the director general of Adaa, which has the aim of introducing a culture of transparency and performance assessment into Saudi Arabia’s public sector.
Adaa was created prior to the roll-out of Vision 2030 as a recommendation from the Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA).
“His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman saw the necessity of knowing where we stand before embarking on any grand vision in order to assess our progress,” AlMadani said. “In planning how the center can start on a successful note we prepared for two main challenges we had to tackle; the establishment of a performance culture within government entities and improving the quality of data provided. The establishment of a performance culture was the first step we addressed and considered our initial investment that would automatically support addressing our second challenge,” he said.
Adaa has worked with world-renowned institutions to educate public entities and increase their awareness and capabilities regarding performance measurement and to spread the culture of performance measurement. Adaa has performance ambassador teams placed within each of the government entities it works with.
AlMadani said that the past two years had been extremely positive in overcoming challenges.
“We find the language completely changed; entities speak in targets they achieved, gaps they have closed. The focus is on performance numbers and KPIs. They are also focused on the quality of data they produce and are starting to invest in the quality of their data structure. We have great success stories where entities invested heavily in their data structure. One ministry was able to reach 99 percent data validation. Even the process of producing the reports for entities describing their progress and achieving their targets has become purely quantitative.”
Adaa’s mandate directly relates to Vision 2030’s third pillar; To achieve an ambitious nation, one that is effectively governed through transparency by reporting on progress. This is achieved through engaging citizens, residents and beneficiaries of government services in the process of improving services provided, AlMadani said.
“It is on outcome-based key performance indicators: Measuring the progress toward Vision 2030’s approved targets and objectives; execution level data; collecting data on milestone achievements of Vision 2030 realization projects and initiatives; service-level data; and measuring and collecting data on beneficiaries’ satisfaction with government services.
Finding qualified professionals specialized in performance measurement that can meet the scope and scale requirement was a challenge for Adaa. However, Adaa developed their own build, operate and transfer (BOT) model which proved effective where existing employees looked for potential candidates that went through rigorous training, workshops and eventual hands-on job experience under continuous evaluation for transfer. “This proved to be a strong capability building engine we are proud of,” AlMadani said. The result so far: Four quarters of performance reports have been published up to date, Adaa has trained about 5,000 public sector employees, and sent 16 government executives to the Harvard Kennedy School.
“We launched our International Performance Hub IPH at Davos in 2018 and launched Beneficiary Experience tools (BEX) last May, where we started measuring 21 beneficiary journeys in eight different sectors: Housing, health, education, labor, trade, transport, legal, and Hajj and umrah. For example, in the BEX Hajj assessment Adaa assessed 30 services covered by 16 government entities over three main cities: Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah.” Adaa is aiming to set the bar high and fundamentally enhance performance. “Our aim is to be a world-class center for government performance, innovative in embracing the latest technologies and providing intelligent, accurate and timely data. Adaa will drive excellence in performance, comprehensively be capable of capturing relevant data and accurately measuring it. It will be a true enabler in building human capacity to enhance performance and build government leaders who are citizen centered in their approach giving citizens a voice and a stake in the future development of their Kingdom,” AlMadani said.