The roles and expectations of governments are evolving as their challenges increase in complexity, cutting across multiple economic sectors and international borders. Now more than ever, government authorities, public institutions, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the Middle East have a need for sound governance and innovative public sector solutions.
At Strategy&, we apply proven methodologies and cutting-edge thought leadership in the public sector to enable our clients to keep pace with changing social priorities and economic realities. Our partners advise public sector clients on how to achieve transformations by developing capabilities-driven strategies, defining and implementing public policy, and establishing strong public sector governance. The topics we consult on include social services, education, public health, finance and tax administration, climate change, national security, information and communications technology, and e-government.
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Our thought leadership
GCC countries need to replace the prevalent linear economic model of “take, make, use, waste,” which has been to the detriment of the region economically, environmentally, and socially. Instead, GCC countries should adopt in a holistic manner the circular economy model, which optimizes the consumption of finite resources, maximizes product utilization, and recovers by-products and waste.
Armed forces in the Middle East and North Africa need a more realistic approach to defence readiness, putting aside the old system that exaggerates their preparedness. Instead, they need to set predictable readiness cycles that provide feasible and realistic readiness reporting, thereby allowing them to respond appropriately to a wide range of anticipated threats and challenges.
Governments in the Middle East and North Africa should focus on scale-ups, small- and medium-sized enterprises with proven business models that are undergoing a rapid growth phase. Policymakers should improve their scale-ups ecosystems across four growth pillars: business fundamentals, business propellers, demand creators, and country readiness.
GCC countries need to foster their research ecosystems to produce high-quality research that can lead to innovation and that can inform public policy. They must improve research capabilities and the quality of output, create national research frameworks, invest in building their local talent, fund research on a performance basis, encourage research in high-priority socioeconomic sectors through collaboration with enterprises, and establish an effective intellectual property framework.
GCC militaries need to concentrate on human capital development after over a decade of focusing on modernising equipment and doctrine. Governments need to reform military HR models so that they attract the most talented individuals, provide them with proper training, use them more efficiently, and support their post-retirement integration into society.
GCC states can integrate behavioral interventions into their policymaking processes. Behavioral interventions involve tools such as framed communication, peer comparisons, default options, role models, games, and competitions to influence people to change how they think and act. When paired with conventional policy levers and a supporting infrastructure, these tools can help policymakers achieve key social, economic, and environmental objectives more effectively.
GCC militaries must reconsider how they manage information. They should accept that sharing information comes with risk that they can actively manage. GCC militaries can thereby share and safeguard information at the same time, while handling information based on how likely it is to be lost and the effect of its loss.
Middle East governments need a way to keep track of their performance as they begin work on large-scale economic and national development plans. They should adopt outcome-based performance management, whose key aspects include the role and structure of a central performance management entity, key enablers in the areas of human capital, culture change, technology, and measurement; and flexibility in altering the approach as circumstances warrant.
GCC countries should take a differentiated approach to the sharing economy to balance its rewards and risks, based on each country’s socioeconomic priorities. They need a clear operating, legal, and tax framework for each sharing economy sector. Taking into account its cross-sectoral implications will facilitate the development of local and regional platforms within national digitization plans.
Private equity investors in the GCC need to identify the investment plays best suited to their risk/return profiles, and utilize a tailored set of value creation levers. They have four plays available: growth-focused acquisitions, greenfield ventures, consolidation plays and real estate sale-leasebacks.
GCC governments must spend more thoughtfully on defence to develop a more vibrant manufacturing sector in the region, with more jobs for GCC nationals. In the next decade, demand for local defence products and services could grow to approximately $30 billion annually from a current level that we estimate to be around $6 billion.
GCC family philanthropies could maximize the impact of their charitable giving and create a legacy of philanthropy around their family by adopting a more modern approach like leading global family-owned philanthropic institutions. To do so, they will need to institutionalize their philanthropic involvement, introduce innovative financing tools, and implement impact measurement.
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