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Com­mu­ni­ties would ben­e­fit from greater col­lab­o­ra­tion on so­cial in­vest­ment and more vol­un­tary work, ac­cord­ing to the rec­om­men­da­tions tabled at the lat­est PDO Ma­jlis stake­holder en­gage­ment ses­sion. There were also calls for other sec­tors to play a greater role in back­ing com­mu­nity projects and for trans­par­ent bench­marks to ef­fec­tively track im­ple­men­ta­tion.

The event, at the Hilton Ho­tel in

Salalah was held un­der the aus­pices of HE Dr Yahya Badr Al Ma’awali, Un­der­sec­re­tary of the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment, and more than 100 peo­ple in­clud­ing key pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor de­ci­sion mak­ers, oil and gas in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als, econ­o­mists, en­trepreneurs and com­mu­nity lead­ers at­tended.

An in­ter­ac­tive panel dis­cus­sion and ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion cov­ered ar­eas such as the im­por­tance of the cor­po­rate sec­tor pro­mot­ing so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, and cited rel­e­vant ex­am­ples and best prac­tices. Di­a­logue also fo­cused on the con­tri­bu­tions of the oil and gas and bank­ing in­dus­tries, strate­gies to op­ti­mise help to com­mu­ni­ties, po­ten­tial so­cial in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and as­so­ci­ated im­ple­men­ta­tion chal­lenges.

Dr Yahya Badr Al Ma’awali em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of the role played by PDO and other com­pa­nies in sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, as well as the need for clar­ity and trans­parency in dis­cus­sions re­lat­ing to so­cial in­vest­ment projects. He called for more col­lab­o­ra­tion and high­lighted the point that his Min­istry was fully ready to pro­vide sup­port and fa­cil­i­tate projects when­ever re­quired. Guest speak­ers at the event in­cluded PDO Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs and Value Creation Di­rec­tor, Ab­dul-Amir Ab­dul-Hus­sein AlAjmi, BankDho­far CEO Ab­dul-Ha­keem Al Ojaili, Salalah Methanol Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs Di­rec­tor Ahmed Kashoob and

Dr. Dhafir Al Shan­fari, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer for the Omani Author­ity for Part­ner­ship for De­vel­op­ment. The fo­rum was mod­er­ated by Dr Ahmed Kashoob, TV pre­sen­ter and eco­nomic ex­pert.

Among the rec­om­men­da­tions pro­posed were the need to:

• De­velop na­tional guide­lines for cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity

• Use the So­cial Ser­vice Strat­egy is­sued by the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment as a frame­work for ac­tion

• High­light the prin­ci­ples of in­te­gra­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion to achieve sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment

• De­vise key per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors (KPIs) to mea­sure the im­pact of so­cial in­vest­ment

• Or­gan­ise aware­ness cam­paigns on the im­por­tance of vol­un­tary work

• And show­case the role of promis­ing projects in the Sul­tanate’s sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment jour­ney. Al Ajmi said, “The sec­ond PDO Ma­jlis pro­vided an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss how to best tar­get so­cial in­vest­ment so last­ing and tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits can be de­liv­ered to as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble.

“PDO firmly be­lieves that we only suc­ceed if the com­mu­ni­ties in which we op­er­ate suc­ceed and we have in­vested many mil­lions of Omani ri­als over the years in key ar­eas such as train­ing for em­ploy­ment, learn­ing and re­search, health and in­fra­struc­ture by work­ing closely with stake­hold­ers to iden­tify real needs.

The Ma­jlis ses­sions pro­vide a great plat­form for our key part­ners and stake­hold­ers to come to­gether with us, share best prac­tices and knowl­edge and dis­cuss chal­lenges, op­por­tu­ni­ties and so­lu­tions in pri­or­ity ar­eas so that we all serve Oman to the very best of our abil­ity.”

The in­au­gu­ral PDO Ma­jlis assem­bly in April cov­ered the sub­ject of en­ergy man­age­ment. Other top­ics to be fea­tured in forth­com­ing PDO Ma­jlis events across the Sul­tanate in­clude In-Coun­try Value and re­search and de­vel­op­ment (R& D).

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