Global Goodness
The Ministry of Social Affairs
Saudi Arabia

The Problem

Lack of a comprehensive database for the non-for-profit organizations of all types and classification in the Kingdom and lack of knowledge by the society members with services offered by the non-for-profit organizations to the poor, the orphans, the handicapped and others, This all leaded to less effectiveness and inefficiency in the society in terms of organizations and individuals alike in taking up social or humane programs directed to such sectors, whether such undertaking was material (monetary and/or actual donations), or moral (i.e., voluntary work with these sectors).
The inefficiency had been noticed in tracking illicit funding, as this occurred essential information to help in locating illicit funds. The most common asset-hiding techniques had to be discussed, as well as how to use analysis to identify unknown sources of income, money laundering and offshore banking in the great Saudi charity sector. Monetary practices embedded in Muslim culture, such as donating to charities and informal money-transfer centers, have compounded the difficulty in tracking down its financial links.
One of the pillars of Islam, Zakat, is the compulsory giving of a set proportion of one's wealth to charity. While most of these charities in the Muslim world exist to help the poor and spread the message of Islam, they have also been used, in few cases to finance other purposes.
There were no strategic or executive plans for the non-for-profit organizations due to individual initiatives and the lack of an organizational structure for the same the non-for-profit organizations.
There was a great need for performance indexes for the national product of the non-profit organizations in the Kingdom due to the lack of a system or mechanism that is interested and concerned with the non-for-profit organizations' efforts, activities, programs, revenues, expenditure, archiving, and then analyzing the same to extract such indexes and statistics in an updated and timely fashion to improve coordination and increasing efficiency.
Weak confidence of some members of the society in the non-for-profit organizations' activities and programs, as well as the lack of knowledge about the spending mechanism. Further, there was a lack of transparency and accountability in such organizations. One of the prime reasons for the lack of individuals' confidence in the organizations was the inability of the donor to trace his donation, know where, when, how it was spent, and what was the positive impact of his donation.
Duplicate efforts and similar projects for the non-for-profit organizations and lack of benefits from previous experiences in the field due to lack of agency to document all such experiences and the resulting wins or losses; both materialistic and mental (money, effort and time).
Lack of achievement speed for projects and the non-for-profit organizations' projects due to traditional pattern of fund-raising. Also, the staff of the non-for-profit organizations was committed to official working hours, that led to delay in executing the projects and lingering them, or in fact, the discontinuity of some of such projects.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
The crimes set forth in Article I of the Regulations of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, ratified by the Saudi Council of Ministers resolution No. (168) dated 11/8/1419 H.
One of the merits of the Global Goodness Initiative that it contains a thorough database for the non-for-profit organizations documenting their performance. The number of these organizations reached (1398) non-for-profit organizations. To coordinate these efforts, the Global Goodness Initiative created to track charities' activities and to report and combat any suspicious activities.
This initiative enables visitors to view and learn about all the services the non-for-profit organizations offer the various sectors of the poor (the percentage of poverty in the Kingdom is 22%), orphans, and people with special needs through the special page on the site that addresses that particular agency, its projects and methods of communicating with it. This would ease the cooperation and coordination with such agency/organization (physically and morally) which leads to speedy processing of applications or claims. Similarly, we have benefited from the available e-Services to reach such organizations such as Google maps, in order to introduce the physical location of the organization to the donor or visitor.
The Global Goodness Initiative further contributed to the establishment of the institutional work by providing a special service to add the action plans and duration for projects as well as the cost or physical materials needed for the projects. Furthermore, the initiative avails the essential information about the basic and general services for all the regions of the Kingdom, since all the non-for-profit organizations in the Kingdom had been covered for all cities, provinces, towns and other locations. The details of these places are over (1537) centers.
The incorporation of the beneficiaries' inputs and feed-back regarding public service delivery satisfaction, leaded to make the initiative aims to enhance the role of social solidarity and contribute to the projects of these agencies and provide the necessary support.
The Global Goodness Initiative was keen to pay special attention to the transparency and gaining the donor’s confidence. It offered the donor the ability to track his donation from the time of reception by the organization by assigning a special folder account for such activity for the donor on the initiative’s portal.
The inventory of projects that reached (2974 projects) are displayed on the portal and other agencies’ awareness of such existing projects will reduce the redundancy and keeps the door wide open for more ideas and new projects and varieties.
The Initiative was based on the modern technical concept that is not restricted to time and space and it is available to all, which would positively affect on the increase financial revenues for these agencies by providing the means of formal electronic donations means through SADAD payment system ( that was introduced by the Saudi Monetary Agency (, as well as credit cards services (Visa and MasterCard) and donation through text messages (SMS) offered by all telecommunications companies.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
The Global Goodness Initiative was set to develop a radical solution to the problem of large number of bank accounts. It made all donations deposited in one account, rather than having a number of bank accounts for the projects of such parties, and that introduces a new approach to solve some of the charity sector's problems with greater participation of citizens, particularly the poor by having their own feed-back and inputs.
The Global Goodness Initiative is proposed by a national company who is specialized in IT (Information Technology). The proposal was submitted to Ministry of Social Affairs who approved it, authorized it, implemented, and put for operation by the same Company. As for other parties, the initiative activated the principle of partnership between the public and private sectors to serve the initiative's objectives and perform partnerships to activate some services therein with the official and private sector companies, e.g., (Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, Public Statistics Agency, Microsoft Co., etc.)

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The initiative employed several strategies to achieve its objectives depending on beneficiaries' inputs and feed-back regarding the charity services. Some of the most prominent of these strategies is the adoption of electronic solutions in electronic payment to charitable and humanitarian agencies. Among other strategies, were to relieve the charitable agencies from finding information technology solutions, or to be tasked with them. Rather, they would be trained on the use of such information technology solution after efficiently testing them and ensuring that they pass the [rigorous] tests. They should concentrate their efforts on increasing their revenues and activating their human resources. Increasing the transparency was one of the effectively sought strategies. Their portal must display donation related information to all parties. A portal visitor and donor must be provided with all information concerning these parties, their projects, programs, and budgets, etc. another strategy was also to build up alliances and partnerships with agencies, public and private institutions at all levels of both information technology, service or equipment, or other (for example, there was a strategic partnership with Saudi Post, the general statistics department, Microsoft, Intel Corporation, and Gulf Education and Training ...) Another strategy, still, was to benefit from the existing database by analyzing it, construct strategic reports that serve the decision-makers in various agencies in promoting their businesses and enhancing their abilities to achieve their objectives. Additionally, one more strategy is to work with various media agencies on delivering the voice of these charitable and humanitarian organizations, especially those who are not well-known to public, and those whose activities and locations are not known either. Another sought strategy was to be impartial or neutral and be fair and just towards the services offered to charitable organizations according to this initiative by building standards and prerequisites that would make these services and benefits available to all according to these standards and conditions. Among the most important conditions is to build a comprehensive database of charitable, social, and developmental works in the Kingdom, in order to achieve the vision, the objectives and mission of the Ministry and the institutions that it supervises. Furthermore, among these strategies, to change the general culture in the use of technology for the service of the poor, the disabled, and the ill people and others in a record time and remote and non-urban places.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
The initiative passed through the specialized parties, after its' idea was introduced, in order to obtain the proper approval to start developing a Global Goodness system based on a number of steps. The first step was to study the existing situation of the Ministry of Social Affairs and the charitable organizations, committees, or else. The working mechanism, the procedures, and the obstacles that face the work of the charitable work, in general, and the charitable organizations, in particular was undertaken in such studies. On the other hand, the technical work environment of the charitable organizations in the Kingdom, along with related systems available for them, their types, and uses. Finally, the final technical analysis for the Global Goodness system was put in place. The second step was the implementation and development of this Initiative in cooperation with all relevant parties, which later became part of the list of partnerships for the initiative, such as the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, through the service of SADAD payment system, the Ministry of Planning, through the Department of Statistics. The third step was the experimental operation and test phase of the system by the technical team of the Global Goodness system, which was executed with the participation of charitable organizations, as they are the prime beneficiary of the system, as well as donors, the agencies and individual recipients who receive charities. The fourth step was the training of all charitable organizations on the Global Goodness system, whereby the training covered all thirteen regions of the Kingdom. All charitable organizations in those 13 areas were invited to join the training program where they were trained on all the services provided by the system and were introduced and became acquainted with most problems the charitable organizations face when dealing with the system and how to solve them. The last step was to market the Initiative to all targeted segments such as, the governmental organizations, the charitable organizations, the donors, the beneficiaries of the charitable organizations, and the companies that are concerned with social responsibility to form strategic partnerships with companies that will contribute to increased interaction with the charitable organizations Initiative, which will be reflected positively on the increase charitable donations and reduction of the costs.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
There were several obstacles and difficulties. Some of the major obstacles were as follows:
The low level of technical education of the charitable organizations and their working staff. Therefore, all staff members have to be trained on the appropriate use of the initiative in 13 regions. A user's guide has to be developed, prepared and distributed to all users. A number of strategic partnerships with some specialized international companies to train the charitable organizations staff on various technical applications. Microsoft partnership was one of the eminent ones in this regards, as a number of training courses, technical educational seminars in various areas were conducted, besides, there was another partnership with Gulf Training Co.
The hard process to track illicit funding in charity works has great help: First, by the kingdom's financial regulatory agency, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), that maintains fairly strong oversight over banks operating in the country, and bank executives. Second, was in late 2007, when Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh released a rather surprising religious edict. In his fatwa, al-Sheikh addressed potential donors to track illicit funding for the first time, urging them "to be careful about where [their money is] spent so it does not damage young Muslims.", this statement proved to be a major step forward.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
The Global Goodness Initiative used human and technical resources provided by the agency who submitted it. As for the human resources, eighteen technically skilled ITs were hired as system analysts, designers, programmers, quality assurance and customer services. With respect to technical equipment, PCs, operation and development systems were provided to the team members in order to analyze, develop, test and market the Initiative. Specialized hosting companies were contracted to host the site of the Initiative on their servers. We worked with local and international partners to activate some of the Initiative's services. For example, Saudi Post was requested to set up a mailing address for each charitable organization. The General Statistic Department was contacted to benefit from the census data for the various regions of the Kingdom. Microsoft offered original applications to the charitable organizations and trained the users as well. The Gulf Training Company trained the working staff of the Initiative in their (82) centers and technical labs. All such partnerships hinged on benefiting from all material, human and technical resources of all charitable organizations whether in the public or private sectors. Moreover, the Ministry of Social Affairs played an eminent role in supervising, follow up, and authenticating the work of the Initiative as per the official rules and regulations of the Kingdom. The Initiative was a part of the various activities of the said Ministry in all the regions of the Kingdom. Another eminent role for the Ministry was to add the bank accounts of the charitable organizations on the Initiative's portal, authorizing donations made to them, and representing them before other official agencies and organization. The Ministry further added or blocked any delinquent charitable organization and set the beneficiaries of the portal services whether on the official, commercial or charitable levels.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
Indeed, the Initiative is sustainable and transferable, especially after the noticeable tremendous success it achieved in the Kingdom. We noticed a sizable increase on donations through the Initiative portal. More than 2000 donation daily transactions are performed through the portal. The number of portal visitors' hits is also on the increase on a daily basis. The Initiative's technical development team continues to develop more tools and services that would positively contribute to the benefit of the beneficiaries. Furthermore, the current administration system relies heavily on the organizational type that ensures survivability and continuity on the long run. For example, on the financial level, this Initiative may develop an endowment, which derivatives would benefit it in many ways. Similarly, on the social level, the society welcomes such initiatives that seek to improve the living standards of the needy individuals and support the social welfare. The Initiative provides an opportunity to all members of the society to participate and contribute to the welfare of the community through the social partnerships and alliances with a number of public and private sectors.
On the economical level, the Initiative will effectively contribute to the improvement of the citizens' economical level. It will further be an effective tool for the shaping and forming a better and beautiful future.
On the educational level, as the Initiative stems from a culture that aims at encouraging the spirit of work, participation, spreading the social, humanitarian, and charitable spirit among people, it will strengthen and further such spirit and help shoulder the social responsibility among people.
The organizational work paves the way for continuity and makes it easy to achieve. The Global Goodness exerted its best efforts to make the Initiative flexible, with full potentiality to develop and duplicate in various other public services that suffer some obstacles and stumbling blocks, which makes it possible to be utilized by others in a way to serve their objectives.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
The key elements that made Global Goodness Initiative success are: Applying the principle of transparency in the charitable work and financial donations, utilize quick opportunities to support the charitable and humanitarian efforts through the use of technology and internet, the presence of all organizations of similar programs and activities in one place would give them equal and better opportunity to succeed in achieving their goals and objectives, specialization is an important principle for success. Alliances and partnerships, however, is another principle for achieving other successes not only as a separated step itself, by also as a step towards transparency accountability and responsiveness in the public service, figures representation of activities and programs is far effective than mere text composition, equal opportunities for competitors in the same field results in respect and appreciation for the individuals who work on the Initiative, the training and qualification of the charitable organizations on how to benefit from the Initiative is not, by any mean, less important than the Initiative itself, benefit from the charitable organizations' statistical data to analyze the past, study the current situation, and look for a brighter future and finally, the availability of charitable organizations' projects makes it easier to transfer their experiences to each other. Consequently, this would reduce the operational cost, increase the effective use of the material and human resources and help achieve the goals and objectives.
It is imperative to make all the members of the society partners for you to achieve the Initiative's objectives through proper activities that are suitable for every targeted sector.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   The Ministry of Social Affairs
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Ahmed AlRajhi
Title:   Eng.  
Telephone/ Fax:   +966 92000 4045 - Fax: +966 1 292 3211
Institution's / Project's Website:
Address:   Riyadh - Wezarat District – King Abdel-Aziz Road
Postal Code:   P.O: 2645 Riyadh 114
City:   Riyadh
State/Province:   Riyadh
Country:   Saudi Arabia

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