Mona Hammami - We Hope to Establish a Public Sector Network

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Sep 22, 2017
by Nicole Bogart and Oscar Tollast
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Mona Hammami - We Hope to Establish a Public Sector Network

Director from the office of strategic affairs at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court discusses future of Public Sector Strategy Round Table Mona Hammani at the sixth meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Round Table

Mona Hammami returned to Salzburg Global Seminar with two objectives in mind. Taking part in the sixth Public Sector Strategy Round Table – In the Spotlight: How Can the Public Sector Excel Under Changing Dynamics? – Hammami sought to establish a network of cross-government entities at the center of governments who had the ability to see different portfolios – and to look for solutions to some of the challenges the government in the United Arab Emirate of Abu Dhabi is facing experiencing.

Hammami, a director from the office of strategic affairs at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, previously came to Schloss Leopoldskron, the venue for the 2017 Round Table and home of Salzburg Global Seminar, in 2015 for Salzburg Global’s June Board Meeting. It was there that Hammami first became aware of the institution’s potential to act as a host and facilitator.

An agreement was later reached where Salzburg Global, for the first time, would act as a politically and geographically neutral host for a meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Round Table, working in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and apolitical, and with the support of Chatham House.

Here, at the sixth meeting of the Round Table, Hammami and her colleagues searched for further answers on how governments could react to changing dynamics – both on the policy side and on the technical side. Hammami said: “We wanted to be able to get different parties without having preconceived opinions. That is exactly where we are right now, and that’s why we wanted to bring the Round Table here.”

In her position at the office of strategic affairs, Hammami is responsible for analyzing social and economic developments, globally and locally, in addition to drafting publications and white papers to influence policymaking. Discussing the role of the office further, she said, “We’re sort of the executive office in a way. The idea behind the office is that it is an internal consultancy for His Highness that also plays the role of a think-tank, and at the same time, we’re the arm that creates functions and incubates them and let them grow on his behalf.”

During this year’s Round Table, participants discussed policymaking and the machinery of government. Hammami said, “That is a core business for us because we as a government entity are struggling to figure out how we become super agile. How do we transform ourselves to deal with many of these issues?” One area Hammami described as “very, very thin” was higher education. She said, “It’s the one area we’re struggling with – and I think every country is struggling with – but also one which has major effects on many other portfolios such as the future of work.”

While education is core to some of the concerns and challenges being faced, governments are also having to come to terms with the rapid pace of technological change. A citizen’s ability to communicate with, engage with, and criticize their government has completely transformed. Social media enables citizens to express themselves and provides opportunities for governments to receive feedback. Hammami said, “That’s one area we’re grappling a lot with – to what extent to allow this sort of expression which could backfire on you as a government if you open up too much. What is the right level of engagement? What’s the right level of feedback? What’s the right level of listening? That’s another area we see as a government but also: how do we allow for collaboration by using those digital platforms?”

Discussing the next steps for the Public Sector Strategy Round Table, Hammami said, “I think where we go next from here is establishing what we would hope to call – rather than a Public Sector Round Table – a Public Sector Network. [This is a network] we hopefully can expand a bit more but also have some form of commitment from the partners of this for the future, both in terms of the path leadership but also in terms of the ability to partner together cross-borders for bigger causes – helping governments figure out things.”


Mona Hammami attended the sixth meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Round Table – “In the Spotlight: How Can the Public Sector Excel Under Changing Dynamics?”. This meeting was convened by Salzburg Global Seminar in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and apolitical, and with the support of Chatham House. More information on the session can be found here.