Performance monitor aims to boost transparency in Saudi national projects

Adaa is tasked with monitoring performance of government entities. (Supplied)
Updated 23 September 2018
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Performance monitor aims to boost transparency in Saudi 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.


Saudi crown prince signs raft of cooperation agreements with China

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signs an agreement between the Kingdom and China in Beijing on Friday. (SPA)
Updated 23 February 2019
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Saudi crown prince signs raft of cooperation agreements with China

  • the crown prince headed the Saudi delegation at the third session of the China-Saudi Arabia High-Level Joint Committee

BEIJING: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday met with Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng to discuss ways of further developing relations between the Kingdom and China.

The meeting took place in the grand surroundings of the Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital Beijing. After their talks, the crown prince headed the Saudi delegation at the third session of the China-Saudi Arabia High-Level Joint Committee which he co-chaired with Zheng.

Delegates at the meeting discussed moves to strengthen cooperation between the two countries on trade, investment, energy, culture and technology, as well as the coordination of political and security matters. The committee also reviewed plans for greater integration between China’s Belt and Road development strategy and the Saudi Vision 2030 reform program.

After agreeing on the minutes of the meeting, the Saudi royal and Zheng took part in the signing of a range of agreements, memorandums of understanding (MoU), investment projects and bilateral cooperation accords between the Kingdom and China:

The cooperation agreement in maritime transport between the Chinese and Saudi governments, signed by Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi and Chinese Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng.

MoU between the Kingdom’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources and the National Development and Reform Commission in China, signed by Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih and Ning Jizhe, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission.

MoU between the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment to form a working group to facilitate trade, signed by Abdul Rahman Al-Harbi, the Kingdom’s deputy minister of commerce and investment, and Qian Keming, Chinese vice minister of commerce.

Loan agreement between the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and the Chinese Ministry of Finance to build and equip three hospitals in Yanbian city in Jilin Province, signed by Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir and the Chinese deputy finance minister.

Rehabilitation

Loan agreement between the SFD and Chinese Ministry of Finance to reconstruct and rehabilitate areas affected by earthquakes in Sichuan Province, signed by Al-Jubeir and the Chinese deputy finance minister.

Agreement between the Saudi Ministry of Interior and the Chinese Ministry of Public Security to cooperate in fighting cybercrime, signed Nasser Al-Dawood, undersecretary of the Saudi Ministry of Interior, and China’s deputy minister for public security.

MoU between the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia and China’s National Committee for energy to invest in renewable energy, signed by PIF head Yasir Al-Rumayyan, and the committee’s vice chairman.

Minutes of the meeting about cooperating in combating terrorism between the Saudi Presidency of State Security and Chinese Ministry of Public Security, signed by Lt. Gen. Abdullah Al-Qarni, deputy director-general of General Investigation for the Kingdom, and the Chinese minister.

MoU between the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property and the Chinese National Committee for Intellectual Property Rights, signed by Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Swailem, the authority’s executive chairman, and committee chairman Xin Xiangyu.

MoU to participate in investing in renewable energy projects, signed by the chairman of ACWA Power, Mohammed Abunayyan, and president of the Silk Road Fund, Wang Yanzhi.

Cooperation agreement for Saudi Aramco to acquire 9 percent of Chinese project Zhejiang Petrochemical, signed by Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser and Xung Wi, mayor of Zhushan.

Agreement between Saudi Aramco with NORINCO Group and Panjin Sincen to develop a fully integrated refining and petrochemical complex, located in the city of Panjin in China’s Liaoning province, signed by Nasser and Tang Yijun, governor of Liaoning province and chairman of NORINCO.