Oman alignment with the SDGs (country level initiative - Oman)

Case Study

Oman alignment with the SDGs (country level initiative - Oman)

“Development is not an end in itself (…). Sustainable development shouldn’t stop at the concept of wealth and building the economy, it should go beyond that to accomplish human progress and to find the citizen who is capable to contribute greatly and consciously in constructing the country” (His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said).

The Sultanate of Oman integrated the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in the country’s Digital Government Strategy. Each initiative is thoroughly aligned with specific SDGs and the Sultanate’s Vision 2020 for Sustainable Development.

Motivated by a series of economic and environmental factors, the country keeps close track of its performance in each domain, encouraging the whole society to engage and take part in the process.

Sources:

http://oman.om/wps/portal/index/sdg

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/memberstates/oman#partnerships

https://www.ita.gov.om/ITAPortal/ITA/strategy.aspx?NID=646&PID=2285&LID=113

Case study country(ies)
Agencie(s) involved in the case
Objectives

Improved e-Governance and citizen services;

Improved Water management;

Improved Energy management;

Improved Intelligent Transport Systems;

Improved Health for Citizens;

Improved Education and Training.

 

Description of the specific objectives:

Oman’s Vision 2020 to achieve Sustainable Development:

1. Developing Human Resources.

2. Creating a stable macroeconomic environment.

3. Encouraging the establishment of an effective private sector.

4. Promoting economic diversification and optimal utilization of the available natural resources and geographical location.

5. Enhancing citizen’s standard of living.

6. Continuing to provide new services while maintaining and developing what has already been achieved.

Actors

Information Technology Authority (central government agency of the Sultanate of Oman); His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

Challenges

- Climate change issues;

- Limited resources;

- Several endangered species of animals;

- Developing economy;

- Need for renewable energies;

- Desertification.

Solutions deployed

Central platform for the SDGs efforts; specific solutions to achieve each SDG.

Activities

Some activities by domain:

Society:

- Sanad Program: support small projects of citizens.

- Social Security Program: assist orphans, widows, divorcees, abandoned women, the elderly, families of prisoners, and the disabled.

- Housing programs: provide adequate housing or housing loans for people with low income.

- Agricultural Development Fund Program: support the activities of agriculture, livestock, and fisheries in rural areas.

- Self-development projects: established in cooperation between the civil society and the government, they aim to improve the conditions of local environments.

 

Economy:

- Energy Conservation Program.

- Renewable Energy Projects (Solar and Wind Energy).

- Development of land transport.

- Maritime transport and expansion of Ports.

- Air Transport.

 

Environment:

- Cultivation of Mangrove trees.

- Oman Botanical Garden and Trees project.

- Centres for the rehabilitation and propagation of wildlife.

- Registering and tracking of wild deer in captivity.

- National coral reef clean-up campaigns.

- Endangered Arab Tiger protection projects.

- Green Turtle tracking and protection projects.

 

Activities by SDG:

SDG 1 – No Poverty:

-            Social Welfare provides a laptop and free internet access for children of poor families. The system also ensures capacity building and capability development for women, giving attention to their issues.

- The    Ministry of Higher Education has a Scholarship for Social Welfare Children.

- The Donations Portal has integrated the latest ICTs to make donations to help the less privileged in an easier and faster way. The portal aims to reduce the financial gap and to promote a culture of volunteerism.

 

SDG 2 – Zero Hunger:

- The license simulator: this service helps investors to get information about licensing processes for each activity. It also allows the investors to select a business activity related to crops and animal production.

- Importing and exporting in the Bayan system: an online single window/one-stop service offering from the Royal Oman Police. It facilitates seamless, convenient and fast clearance of goods (like crops) for trading communities and various stakeholders.

- Public Authority for Store and Food Reserve (PASFR) Warehouse Management System: PASFR was established in 1986 and has managed 5 warehouses spread across Oman. The system effectively handles the warehouse operations to ensure that an adequate quantity of food is available to the citizens at any time.

 

SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being:

- The Ministry of Health (MOH) is responsible for ensuring the availability of free health care to citizens, including free medication and vaccinations.

- The Al Shifa Health System: a comprehensive healthcare information management system. This is a complete solution for the management of any healthcare facility, from electronic medical records to assets, inventory, and HR.

- The Central Birth and Death Registry (CBDR) system: a country-wide central system to record all the births and deaths in a single registry. It is also integrated in the ROP National Civil Registration system. The link established between ROP and MOH helps to automate the uploading of the birth notification to the National Civil Registration system.

 

SDG 4 – Quality Education:

- Central Admission Office: the Higher Admission system provides all services and information for students to register in higher education institutes in the country. The centre ensures fairness and equality to all applicants, regardless of gender and financial situation.

- Educational Portal: it serves as a means of communication between the Ministry of Education’s student databases and the Ministry's public, facilitating the educational process.

 

SDG 5 – Gender Equality:

- Effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership: the number of women holding leadership positions is increasing every year (e.g. in the public-sector women already represent 58% of public workers).

- Empowerment through IT Training: the establishment of Women Community Knowledge Centres ensures that women are not lagging behind in the digital age. In the e.Oman strategy, capacity building programs are strategically planned and implemented through the National IT Training and Awareness (NITTA) initiative. One of the key components of the NITTA is the Community IT Training aiming to provide IT literacy to the entire population. Community training is delivered via the Community Knowledge Centre (CKC) and the Women Community Knowledge Centre initiatives. The centres have modern equipment and provide access to the internet and certain educational programs.

 

SDG 6 – Clear Water and Sanitation:

- PAEW SCADA Water Management Network System: PAEW has implemented a data collection system linked to the existing data control and acquisition system (SCADA), which uses ICT to improve the highly complex and interconnected computerised systems.

- MRMWR Falaj System: the system was implemented to document the properties and data on Aflaj (Omani irrigation systems). The project was aligned with the recommendations of the Symposium on Sustainable Development of the Agricultural Sector and Labour Market.

- MRMWR Dams Monitoring System: this project calculates and updates water balance in various regions of the country. Data records related to rain, floods and dams’ levels are always available for monitoring.

 

SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy:

- Miraah solar thermal project: a project for a 1,021MW solar thermal facility to be located in South Oman. It is expected to be one of the world's biggest solar plants. The project will use Glass Point Solar’s, a concentrating solar power (CSP) technology that uses large, curved mirrors to focus sunlight on a boiler tube containing water. The captured energy than boils the water in the once-through steam generators (OTSG) to produce steam that is fed to multiple steam injector wells within the oilfield.

 

SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth:

- The Omani Labour Law ensures equal rights for citizens of both genders, all ages, disabled people and foreign citizens.

- Manpower registration system: a system for job seekers to search for available opportunities through the ministry website or via the mobile app (Nammal). The candidates’ names will be sent to the company for which they were nominated, along with their contact numbers.

- PASI Social Insurance System: subscription to this system is optional for the insurance branches of old age, disability, and death.

- Digital Society Development Division (DSDD) initiatives: the National IT Training & Awareness Framework (NITTA) initiative, the Specialised IT Training (SITT) project, and the Community IT training program within the scope of the e.Oman Strategy.

- The National Program for Enhancing Economic Diversification (Tanfeedh): responsible for linking the different strategies of the sectors of Manufacturing, Tourism, Transport & Logistics, Mining and Fisheries. The program will define detailed measurable strategies, designate responsibilities, resources, implementation timeframes and KPIs.

 

SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure:

- e.Oman strategy: with several major foundational infrastructure projects, such as the Unified Government Network, the National Data Centre, e-Payment, Cybersecurity, and legal and regulatory policies.

- Oman Broadband Company (OBC): this initiative aims to build a sustainable knowledge-based economy in alignment with the Government’s vision by providing a complete high-speed broadband infrastructure and closing the rural connectivity gap by 2020.

- Smart City Platform: a platform that provides a knowledge-sharing, collaborative, and networking environment between smart city stakeholders with the aim of driving smart city initiatives in Oman and creating awareness on their importance.

 

SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities:

- E-Inclusive Empowerment: accessibility procedures for people with disabilities and elderly people, providing them with fair and equal opportunities through several e-Services. The private sector also has a series of e-accessibility policies in place, which are regularly monitored.

- Central Admission Office: read description above.

- Invest Easy portal: a platform that helps citizens to setup and manage a company by making several efficient e-services available. The main aim is to make the business environment easier, more reliable and transparent, regardless of gender and age.

- Donations Portal: read description above.

 

SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities:

- Madinat Al-Irfan: the largest urban development project in the country. It will create a new downtown area for the Muscat capital district, with the aim of developing an integrated, sustainable, and inclusive community for everyone, regardless of age, income group, or ethnicity.

 

SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production:

- G-cloud: a project to setup a shared infrastructure to meet the country’s government IT infrastructure needs. It provides all three cloud service delivery models (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS).

 

SDG 13 – Climate Action:

- Earthquake Monitoring Centre (EMC): a national research centre established in 2001 to record earthquakes locally, regionally, and internationally. The EMC receives real-time data from remote seismic stations to analyse it, locate the event, and store the parameters in the database.

- Omantel’s submarine cable portfolio: the project includes 20 submarine cable systems around the world. Omantel recently became the first GCC operator to land a submarine cable in Europe following the landing of the AAE-1 cable in the southern French city of Marseille.

 

SDG 14 – Life Below Water:

- Turtle conservation project: supported by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA), the project taggs the green turtles and their movements across the globe using satellites. The aim of the project is to raise awareness, help to identify critical habitats and behaviour patterns, and assess population nesting trends that will drive turtle conservation in the region, especially the green turtle population.

 

SDG 15 – Life on Land:

- Directorate General of Meteorology and Air Navigation (DGMAN): the DGMAN was tasked by the government to develop and establish a National Multi Hazard Early Warning System (NMHEWS) for monitoring the water flows, rain, and wind, providing a more effective early warning system to protect species and fragile land areas.

- Expansion and rehabilitation of air pollution monitoring stations: obtain data to reduce harmful air pollutants resulting from various industrial activities.

- Geospatial technology: used to monitor migratory birds in the country, which includes tracking migration routes, stopovers, staging and breeding locations, timing of spring and fall migration, local movements, and foraging and roosting habits.

 

SDG 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions:

- State Audit Institution of Oman (SAI) E-complaint portal: a platform to improve the citizens’ ability to express their concerns, prevent and combat corruption in the public service.

- Open Data Portal: open and free access governmental databases, for citizens to analyse and use in developing tools and applications to benefit the country.

- Mobile apps created by the National Centre of Statistics and Information (NCSI): several applications created by using the available open data, such as NCSI Oman, NCSI Geo, TOUR OMAN, Banki and Waqudi.

- Donations Portal: read description above.

- Child protection toll free line: the Ministry of Social Development launched the toll free child protection line “1100”, aiming to enhance and protect children’s rights. The system is designed to facilitate the reporting of cases of child abuse by providing telephone communications with the police operation room in case of emergency.

 

SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals:

- Oman’s partnership in finance (World Bank): the country has signed an agreement for annual technical cooperation with the World Bank in 1991. The program includes supporting labour market reform and SME development, education and health expenditure reviews, advisory services to the Capital Market Authority (CMA), and a mid-term assessment of the implementation of Vision 2020.

The Sultanate has adopted the Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) program, which covers the areas of Budget System Modernization - with the assistance of a resident World Bank advisor, preparation of the 2016-2020 9th Development Plan, private sector development, fisheries sector development, and transport sector institutional reorganization.

- Trade (free trade agreement & WTO):Oman joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2000. The sultanate also signed many free trade agreements with other countries and associations, such as the US and the European Free Trade Association as a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Results and Impacts

Oman has a central platform to showcase the Sultanate’s efforts in achieving the SDGs through its Digital Government projects. The platform also compiles relevant statistics for each SDG and cases that represent some of the best practices at government level: http://oman.om/wps/portal/index/sdg.

Furthermore, the country shows its commitment to achieving SDGs through a list of partnership initiatives on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform that comprises official Partnerships for SDGs in which Oman is listed: Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism and IHO Hydrography Capacity Building Programme for Coastal States (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/memberstates/oman#partnerships).

 

Relevant national statistics for each SDG:

SDG 1 – No Poverty:

- Over 81,000 people benefited from social security in 2016.

- 7.5% of citizens have received social benefits.

- 56,123 citizens have received training in the field of literacy.

 

SDG 2 – Zero Hunger:

- The National Centre for Statistical Information of Oman determined that there is no hunger in Oman.

 

SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being:

- 70 hospitals.

- 182 health centres.

- 23 extended health centres.

- The Al Shifa Health System is installed in more than 200 healthcare facilities.

 

SDG 4 – Quality Education:

- More than 1,500 K1-K12 schools.

- 1,077 schools.

- 853 schools offering K12 education.

- 638,000 students were enrolled.

- 47% female students.

- 75% female teachers.

- 56% female students in higher education.

- 55,894 teachers.

- 539,522 students.

 

SDG 5 – Gender Equality:

- 9% of the total of ministers are women.

- Women represent 17% of the State Council.

- The municipal council has 18% female members.

- Total number of women trained in Community Knowledge Centres – 26,092 (and 120,334 men).

 

SDG 6 – Clear Water and Sanitation:

- 80% rise in the production of desalination facilities.

- More than 300 million cubic metres of water produced in 2015.

 

SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy:

- No relevant data found.

 

SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth:

- Job seekers receive RO 150 per month.

- 81,462 trained employees.

- 71,381 of certified employees.

 

SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure:

- High-speed broadband infrastructure reaching 50% of urban premises by 2020 (expected).

- High-speed broadband infrastructure reaching 95% of urban premises by 2030 (expected).

 

SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities:

- 47% female students.

- 75% female teachers.

- 56% female students in higher education.

 

SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities:

- 7.4 square kilometres of land for the Al-Irfan urban development project.

 

SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production:

- 1034 entities in the government network (G-Cloud).

 

SDG 13 – Climate Action:

- 13 international submarine cable systems.

- 20 submarine cable systems around the world.

 

SDG 14 – Life Below Water:

- 6 green turtles tagged in Oman.

- 25 female Hawksbill turtles.

 

SDG 15 – Life on Land:

- 32 Meteorological Stations in the country.

 

SDG 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions:

- 200 auditees by SAI (State Audit Institution of Oman).

 

SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals:

- Size of the RAS (Reimbursable Advisory Services) portfolio in 2015: $2.5 million.