Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Since decades, many charity services have been delivered by 20 charitable associations operating in Dubai. With more than one thousand employees and volunteers comprised of 40 different nationalities, servicing millions of people from the nine various vulnerable groups inside UAE and in 60 countries over the world, with donations reaching US$230 million yearly. These charitable associations work under the umbrella of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai (IACAD), founded in 1969. The Law authorizes IACAD to determine the overall policy of the charitable works, licensing charitable associations and supervising their administrative, financial, and cultural affairs. The main strategic goals of charitable work sector that IACAD aims to achieve are: •Promote the principles of human rights in charitable works through save the value, dignity and privacy of beneficiaries regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, ethnic origin or any other status. •Ensure optimal investment for the charity within the legitimate objectives and not to be exploited for nefarious purposes or unwanted objectives that are incompatible with the common values of humanity. •Prevent any attempts of administrative and financial corruption intentionally or unintentionally. IACAD faced several challenges to achieve the above goals and guarantee high quality of charity services offered by charitable associations to the targeted groups that include the poor, orphans, widows, divorced, disabled, elderly, prisoner’s families, illiterate and those in debts. These challenges could be summarized as follows: •No performance management system in IACAD to monitor improvement of charitable services delivery offered by charitable associations. •No automated procedures in most of the charitable associations that affect the success factors of charity services delivery such as easy access, service timeliness, accuracy, privacy and security. •No clear policy for documentation and archiving techniques in most of charities causing many difficulties in reporting to management, loss of beneficiaries’ data resulting to waste of a considerable amount of time to search and find the corresponding documents. •No centralized database for beneficiaries that encourages some to take advantage by soliciting and receiving aid from more than one charitable association. •Lack of communications and timely feedback between IACAD and charitable associations lead to weakness in decision-making, transparency and governance mechanisms. •Limitation of shared information and good practices among and between the charitable associations. •Lack of updated information about current situations (death, remarriage, etc.) of targeted beneficiaries that affect social equity in aid distribution. •Peak seasons for charitable works reduce the availability & readiness of charitable associations for the regular administrative & financial auditing required by IACAD, while on off-peak seasons, there is a lot of pressure on IACAD to conduct its auditing for all charitable associations in a very short period time, thereby decreasing the effectiveness of the auditing. •Some larger charitable associations had stand-alone administrative & financial E-Systems, so they are able to dedicate a part of their financial resources for ICT requirements, maintenance and software licensing. •Some charitable associations had administrative and financial irregularities discovered by IACAD that negatively affected the donors’ trust and image of charity services.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The initiative is to have an integrated web-based solution tied to a centralized database (E-Charity). This will create a single point as a hub to connect all stakeholders involved in the charity works with each other to form a virtual unified, interactive and connected entity. This solution was proposed as result of joint ideas of IACAD (Charity Work & IT Divisions), charities and feedback from donors and targeted groups. E-Charity initiative had a comprehensive strategy approach that takes into consideration the goals & objectives, leadership and stakeholders, used resources, important processes within the initiative, key performance and results achieved as follows: 1.Form a representative team from IACAD, charities, donors and beneficiaries to manage the initiative development. Head of charity work division in IACAD was selected as initiative manager. 2.Empower team members to take independent actions, train and utilize their potentials. 3.Collect, identify, classify and analyze the expectations and requirements of the stakeholders involved for example weaknesses in current communications, problems in charitable services, gaps in E-Systems through benchmark with best practices, regular meetings, interviews, surveys, focus groups, results of complaints and suggestions system. 4.Develop, check, realize, impart and adapt goals and objectives based on extensive and relevant information to formulate “SMARTER” objectives of the initiative as follows: •Increase efficiency and effectiveness of charitable services to guarantee high level of quality through streamlined and standardized financial, administrative and charity processes. •Collect, share, update and archive the data with centralized, integrated, timely, secure, and easy access methods anytime and anywhere among charity stakeholders. •Audit online with paperless information availability, regardless of the charity seasons. •Support decision-making mechanism through accurate reporting and detailed statistics. •Reduce the cost, time, paper transactions and storage spaces. 5.Develop the initiative charter, implementation plan, work breakdown structure (WBS), critical path, time management plan, risk management plan, communication management plan, HR management plan, procurement management plan, cost management plan and quality assurance plan based on Project Management Institute (PMI) standards and templates. 6.Set strategic results indicators (KRIs) and operational performance indicators (KPIs) to measure cost, time, quality of the initiative outputs and key strategic results. E-Charity solution solved the concerns and met stakeholders’ requirements and expectations, achieved the goals and objectives through ICT infrastructures and four integrated modules, each module having several functions and components as follows: 1.Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) infrastructure: powerful servers that hosted the centralized database of the total solution including financial data, official documents, images, reports … etc. 2.Enterprise Communication Center (ECC) infrastructure: unified communications hub that facilitated all system transactions and data exchange among the stakeholders’ users. 3.Islamic Affairs Department Data Portal (IADDP) Module: centralized data control units that enabled review of accounting books for all charitable associations and evidences documents, licensing renewal, approval for new employees or volunteers, cultural activities and administrative correspondence through these components: accounting gateway, associations administration, central individuals profiling administration, people search, beneficiaries blacklist manager, messaging, publisher, access control, statistics engine and reporting 4.Associations Accounting Package (AAP) Module: system interface of the charitable associations that had no internal financial or administrative systems through these components: accounting, data export, access control, reporting and users logging. 5.Associations Smart Portal (ASP) Module: smart unit used to integrate E-Charity with compatible financial and administrative systems existing in some charities through these components: financial data feed, document transfer and associations’ information sharing. 6.Donors Communication Portal (DCP) Module: interface unit allow donors to register online, select preferred aid types, check beneficiaries status, donate and generate reports through these components: donation manager, associations’ profile access, beneficiaries search and messaging.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
E-Charity initiative devised creative concepts and innovative approaches as follows: 1.Unique Initiative: applied for the first time in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) – another six emirates in the federal government waited for the successful implementation of the initiative in Dubai to transfer this experience into their local governments. In addition, this initiative was applied for the first time at the level of Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and UAE. 2.Humanitarian Initiative: Initiate of the humanitarian nature that aims to facilitate the charitable services provided to vulnerable and interested groups in society to a high quality level. 3.Green Initiative: preserve the environment through the use of eco-friendly and green technologies; reduce the waste and use of paper and inks to the minimum, save energy and storage space. 4.Knowledge Initiative: collect and analyze the right data in the right way to support the processes of forecasting and decision-making for charitable works. 5.Smart Initiative: Re-engineering and automation of the charity processes, support the strategic transformation in management of the charity work, increase productivity, provides transparency, accuracy, rapidity, availability and cost reduction.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
E-Charity initiative had an implementation plan broken down to four main phases based on the initiative strategy approach, these phases were identified systematically, managed, checked, adapted, optimized and implemented within 45 months through key milestones that can be demonstrated as the following: Phase I: Planning and Data Gathering (Nov. 2010 – Jan. 2011) •Assign initiative manager. •Form a representative team to manage the initiative development. •Empower the team members, train and utilize their potentials. •Develop initiative charter, implementation plan and other supportive plans for the project. •Set performance & results indicators. •Kick-off meeting. •Gathering data and review the results of the previous performance reports and complaints & suggestions system. •Conduct focus groups, interviews, surveys and mystery shopping research to identify stakeholders’ requirements. Phase I: Outputs •Empowered and Trained Team. •Initiative Charter. •Development Plan and Other Supportive Plans for the project. •Stakeholders’ Requirements and Expectations Matrix. Phase II: Business Process Re-engineering (Feb. 2011 – Dec. 2011) •Envisioning of initiative goals and objectives •Formulate the series of added-value based on service-oriented-process. •Defining AS-IS business model through four perspectives: function, organization, data and control based on standards of Architecture of Integrated Information Systems (ARIS) approach. •Analyze various simulations to ensure optimal design whether process re-engineering or improvement. •Simulating TO-BE business model through the identification of changes in financial, administrative and charitable services using standards of MS VISIO tools and Galaxy software. •Determine the fast track and long-term services for automation. Phase II: Outputs •AS-IS model with Charts, Templates and Recommendations. •TO-BE Model with Charts, e-Forms and Implementation Mechanisms. •E-Charity Information Management Architecture. Phase III: Implementation (Jan.2012 – Sep. 2013) •Install Enterprise Data Warehouse and Communication Center infrastructure. •Design system branding, graphics and prototypes. •Build script configuration, control panel components, intranet portal, and internet portal. •Develop payment gateway, Microsoft AX integration, mobile application. •Develop Performance Management System. •Prepare integration and acceptance test scenarios. •Deploy Dynamics AX Installation, setup, configuration, security, master data preparation and upload data for multiple charities. •Pilot testing and user acceptance testing at staging environment. •Microsoft Dynamics AX training for IT professionals, E-Charity awareness workshops for different end users. Phase III: Outputs •Enterprise Data Warehouse Infrastructure. •Communication Center Infrastructure. •IACAD Data Portal. •Associations Smart Portal. •Donors Communication Portal. •Associations Accounting Package. •Central Individuals Profiling System. •Performance Management System. •Smart Messaging System. •People Search Engine. •Blacklists Pool. •Centralized Reporting Engine. •IACAD Publications Service. •Data Import and Export Engine. •Notification Service. Phase IV: GO LIVE (Oct. 2013 – Jun. 2015) •Prepare production environment on the servers. •Deploy Dynamics AX with beginning balances upload and reports customization. •GITEX GO LIVE at Sunday October20, 2013. E-charity launched officially online for public users via (http://www.epc.ae) and smart application in Apple Store named (Emirates Charity). GITEX: is an annual (Gulf Information Technology Exhibition) takes place in Dubai. •Setup helpdesk to monitor the operations of E-Charity solution, updating and maintenance. •Conduct E-Charity marketing plan that involve stakeholders, partners and community. •Reward 62 Persons from 35 different Entities who contributed in Success of Initiative. •Project closure. Phase IV: Outputs •Production Environment. •Customized Reports. •Helpdesk. •Marketing Plan. •Stakeholders Ceremony. •Lessons Learned. •E-Charity System Version no. 1.3. Note: detailed tasks and outputs for implementation plan demonstrated into uploaded MS Project file.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
E-Charity initiative team ensured the systematic identification of stakeholders involved and segmented into groups to manage the relationships and maximize contributions based on communication, HR and procurement plans as follows: 1.Initiative Team Members: Manage all aspects of the initiative throughout duration of development. •Head of Charity Work Division in IACAD - Initiative Manager. •Head of IT Division in IACAD - Initiative Deputy Manager (IACAD PMO). •Representative of Mohamed bin Rashid Charitable Humanitarian Foundation - Partner. •Representative of U.A.E Red Crescent – Dubai - Partner. •Representative of Dubai Foundation for Women & Children - Partner. •Representative of U.A.E Genomic Society - Partner. •Representative of Donors – Citizens. •Representative of Beneficiaries – Citizens. 2.Initiative Sponsors: Supervise, support, motivate and reward the contributions and achievements. •HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed AlMaktoum – E-Charity GOLIVE in GITEX. •Director General of IACAD – Platinum Sponsor. •Social Affairs Minister – Platinum Sponsor. •Director General of Dubai e-Government – Golden Sponsor. •UAE Red Crescent Board Chairman – Golden Sponsor. •Director General of Dubai Health Authority – Silver Sponsor. 3.Initiative Partners: Cooperate in analysis, design, implementation and testing of the initiative. •AlMaktoum Foundation. •Dar AlBer Society. •Dubai Charity Association. •Beit Al-khair Society. •DIB Foundation. •AlBaraka Charitable Society. •Essa Saleh Al-Gurg Foundation Establishment. •Relief Agency. •Sultan Khalifa Alhabtoor Charity. •AlShifa Charity Establishment. •Mohammad Omar Bin Haider Charity Establishment. •Dubai Care. •Noor Dubai. •Emirates Airline Foundation. •Trahim Foundation. 4.Initiative Suppliers: Handle the technical sides during Initiative development. •Management Consulting Firm – BPM Phase - Private Sector. •IT Company - Implementation Phase - Private Sector. 5.Community Contribution: Participate and disseminate ideas and best practices in charitable works. •The First Charities Best Practices Forum 2013 organized by IACAD. •The Second Best Philanthropic Practices Forum 2014 organized by IACAD. •AlDar and Sama Dubai TVs – Media. •Emirates News Agency, AlBayan, Gulf News and Khaleej Times – Journalism.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
E-Charity initiative required various resources that systematically managed the stages spanning years during initiative development based on cost, procurement, human resources and risk management plans. The mobilization of these resources directed towards having healthy working environment to facilitate a smooth workflow and integration. Initiative team met all the financial, technical and human resources requirements in each phase as follows: 1.Financial Resources: •Finance was always the main concern for E-Charity requirement for proper funding. This was to ensure successful implementation and sustainable progress. •IACAD invested initially about US$3.2 million with an annual maintenance of US$300K and annual Microsoft license renewal of US$100K. Considering that all E-Charity services are free from fees. •IACAD fixed a budget yearly for E-Charity, this budget had remained stable for 4 years and as demonstrated by initiative sponsors and team ensured its proper utilization. •Sponsors and relative charitable associations co-operated IACAD to support E-Charity initiative with about US$6.3 million fund provided accordingly. •Employment of good financial practices such as using exact figures and financial parameters to handle the costs of expenditure on implementation and human resource; calculating return on investment; assessing alternatives to ensure that financial risk management is upheld and; reducing consumption of supplied resources and working materials. 2.Technical Resources: •Based on initiative needs, E-Charity solution ensured capability, experience and competency to deliver on a tight timeline, the desired demonstrable results. •Technically, the client-server architecture deployed 8 Blade Servers, 2 for application servers and 4 for database, 1 for testing and 1 for development •Initiative team decided to outsource and develop the back end IT solution using Microsoft environment in a full cycle engagement that included pre-project consulting, on project business process reengineering, implementation and customizations, training and knowledge transfer, data migration and integration of applications, support and maintenance services. •Data availability, data security and data quality was given due consideration. In addition, validity, integrity and protection of information was improved and guaranteed. •The initiative ensured the utilization of good technical practices such as implementation of green technologies; cloud-computing systems; protecting intellectual property of E-Charity solution, and paying special attention to web accessibility for disabled people and non-renewable technical resources. 3.Human Resources: •Human resources had been a critical factor during initiative development. •The technical organizational structure had internal and external teams that met changing needs largely focused on ensuring continuous improvement and achieving a unique and high-performing solution. •IACAD formed an internal technical team dedicated to the E-Charity solution that includes: 2 Database Administrators, 3 Developers, and a team for the Helpdesk services which provide technical support for all end users. •More than 60 end users as external teams in all charities that connected directly with IACAD Helpdesk. These teams demonstrated diligent productive efforts as they cope with any updates provided. •The initiative ensured good practices such as using regular polls; communication organized in all directions; team members authorized to take independent scope of actions; change management, knowledge transfer and continuous learning were supported; team building, and; teams were shown appreciation.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
In huge and non-profit initiative like E-charity, many successful outputs listed and presented in implementation plan. However, the focus here will be on the five concrete outputs as follows: 1.Hard or tangible outputs: •Unified, streamlined and automated processes: rethinking, breaking down and reengineering 137 financial, administrative, and charity processes to become 65 unified, streamlined, automated and more efficient processes in all charities to reduce time, costs, bureaucratic red tape, improve quality, and increase productivity. Furthermore, 22 out of 65 processes launched online as e-services and smart applications through intranet and internet portals. •Centralized database: currently, all charities’ data are stored in one central powerful server. Donors and beneficiaries data can be easily accessed, organized, updated and backed-up without duplication in a timely and secure way by authorized users in various charities around IACAD. This significantly increased integrity, availability of data, efficiency of financial auditing and reporting. For example, if donor or beneficiary status has changed, this change will reflected across whole database and sent notice to all connected charities with new status details. Previously this was changed separately in charities without feedback for others. •Embedded performance management system: in the past, no performance management system existed. Now, a set of structured criteria and key indicators embedded in the financial, administrative, and charity operational activities to evaluate the quality level of charitable services provided to targeted groups, monitor organizational performance and business results of charities to guarantee alignment with IACAD charity strategy and achievement of its objectives. This promotes accountability and effectiveness in charity works. 2.Soft or intangible outputs: •Improved communication mapping: initiative stakeholders spend about 60% of their time engaging in some form of communication. For this reason, several techniques developed to improve architecture of direct and indirect communication mapping horizontally and vertically such as using new and multiple channels; training individuals on active communication skills; undertake a communications audit; timely handling of communication problems. This had a crucial impact resulting to increase donors’ responsiveness, daily coordination between charities-IACAD, and improved participation in decision-making. •Knowledge transfer and shared experience: three practical approaches used in this initiative were: Experts pushing knowledge towards audience through 66 workshops, 9 training courses and 2 forums; Different users pooling their hands-on experience from professionals through team working for about 4 years during initiative development, and; Building relationships across stakeholders to enable information exchange, ideas and experience even after completion of the initiative.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Initiative team planned and designed a monitoring and evaluation system to take place at different points of the initiative including inputs, process, outputs, outcomes and impacts based on the quality assurance plan. This is to provide stakeholders with continuous and timely intervention during the early stages of initiative implementation, track achievements, determine suitability, achievement of objectives, development efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability as follows: 1.Assess the existing readiness and capacity of the initiative’s stakeholders involved in the design, implementation, reporting, monitoring and evaluation. 2.Establish clear initiative scope, timelines, budget, required quality levels and the different audiences. 3.Identify and agree with main stakeholders the outcomes, strategic goals and operational objectives. 4.Select key performance indicators (KPIs) and key results indicators (KRIs) to assess the performance implementation activities, measure the achievements, outcomes and impacts of the initiative. 5.Set baselines and targets framework, and determining the data collection methods. 6.Monitor, communicate, analyze, synthesize and report for the information obtained. 7.Plan and conduct the form and timing of critical reflection and interim evaluations. 8.Interpret the findings, provide feedback, provide recommendations and conduct regular reviews. 9.Communicate the findings and insights to all relevant stakeholders. 10.Facilitate the necessary conditions and capacities to sustain the monitoring and evaluation system. Levels of leading and lagging Indicators used in E-Charity initiative: 1.Input indicators: number of workshops & training courses, number of empowered authorities, number of suggestions, number of benchmarks, surveys, and appreciations. 2.Process indicators: balance in time, cost and quality triangle, number of meetings, number of new communication channels, number of suppliers, working material consumption, and costs of processes. 3.Output indicators: operational objectives achievement, failure rates, response time, number of errors, reengineered processes, automated services, and frequency of complaints. 4.Outcome indicators: strategic goals achievement, Return of Investment (ROI), productivity, service life cycle. 5.Impact indicators: reputation, image impression, stakeholders’ satisfaction, influence on the targeted groups, long-term value. Techniques and tools used to monitor and evaluate the initiative indicators above: 1.Earned value analysis. 2.Most significant change technique. 3.Systematic screening and assessment methods. 4.Experts panel reviews. 5.Formal satisfaction surveys for donors, targeted groups and community. 6.Structured interviews. 7.Focus groups. 8.Stakeholders’ regular meetings. 9.Best practices forums. 10.Mystery shopper research. 11.Direct observations. 12.Written documents and records analysis.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
All expected risks with its preventive and corrective actions were defined through risk management plan. Nevertheless, there were some unpredicted obstacles encountered during the implementation, which were handled professionally by the initiative team as follows: 1.Changing the Culture: initiative was a new concept in charity works, so it is normal for people to resist changes in their traditional work environments. Initiative team reduced this resistance with effective change management plan based on conducting a series of awareness workshops and technical training focused on enhancing the conceptual and technological capabilities for stakeholders involved, communicate the benefits and advantages of the new concept and acquire required skills and knowledge to do work efficiently. 2.Unifying the Processes: multiple processes in different charities with complicated relations among them, which required the proper unification, based on E-Charity strategy and IACAD policies. Initiative team overcame these difficulties by using a clear process re-engineering approach and conducting numerous meetings and workshops with persons in charge in all charities to analyze stakeholders’ requirements, streamline processes and standardize procedure of financial, administrative and charity services. 3.Integration with External E-Systems: initiative team tackled this technical obstacles by developing Associations Smart Portal (ASP) Module as an interface used to integrate E-Charity with the compatible financial and administrative systems existing in some charitable associations. In addition to coherent cooperation, participation, team work and information sharing across concerned charities. 4.Financial Funding: It is costly to implement initiatives like E-Charity and dedicate an annual budget to cover the costs of constant maintenance and software licensing while keeping the e-services free. The Initiative team made sufficient efforts to ensure that initiative sponsors, partners and other government entities funded the initiative in a consistent manner to cover the part of the required costs.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
E-Charity initiative is a success story because it considered a new strategic transformation in philanthropy framework and beneficiary-orientation themes with high influence on stakeholders, so there are many impacts and benefits achieved during the first year after the official GOLIVE as follows: 1.Take up rate has increased steadily, so far, 40,866 donations, 72,951 external portal visits, 121,185 internal portal visits, 298 users in 20 charities and 34 IACAD admins & auditors are using the system to carry out daily transactions. In the next year, expected 25% increase in using the online system. 2.Achieved all strategic goals and operational objectives identified in the initiative charter where the organization scored in the following indicators: failure rate reduction 91%, number of error reduction 96%, frequency of complaints reduction 93%, improving response time 89%, improving productivity 68% and improving service life cycle as a result of the overall of transparency and governance mechanisms though E-Charity. In addition a notable increase in the following indicators: stakeholders’ satisfaction 83%, influence on the targeted groups 76%, reputation 84%, image impression 78% and long-term value 72%. 3.Beneficiary application only takes an average of 4 working days to complete processing instead of 3 weeks previously. Since the implementation, the average approval for each application was reduced from 2 weeks to 2 working days, i.e. about 80% reduction in processing time. Beneficiaries were also very pleased since previously, they had make 3-4 trips to the charitable association to follow-up, but now, this can be done via the phone without dozens of required documents due to the use of the centralized database and automated procedures among 20 charities-IACAD. 4.The number of donors increased by about 18.4% as a result of their confidence in E-Charity system, and now 82% of the current donors have specific plans for the grant, awareness of the disclosure for their donations, accurate information on the actual needs of marginalized groups, most places of concentration and how to reach them. This plays an important role in increasing Tender Index and Generosity Index with 4.7% and 8.1% respectively. 5.Returns on Investment (ROI): about 88.4% increase in beneficiaries applications processed and approved. Charity event permit increased from 259 permits in Sep 2013 to 1285 permits in Sep 2014. Cooperation with overseas charitable association permits increased from 17 permits to 54 permits in Oct 2014. Volunteer permits increased from 77 permits at the end of July 2013 to 368 permits by the end of July 2014. Amount of donations collected increased by 31.4%. 6.Reduction by 72% of the financial resources dedicated to software licensing and maintenance for stand-alone administrative & financial E-Systems in some of the larger charitable associations. Increase the efficiency of the communications among IACAD charities doubled. Moreover, 73 types of accurate reports and 196 detailed statistics can obtained from the system. Consequently, three charitable associations received local and regional awards because of the benefits of shared information and good practices exchanged through E-Charity. 7.E-Charity permanently prevented the practice of some beneficiaries who solicit and receive aid from more than one charitable association using Blacklists Pool in the system. In addition, increased effectively the availability & readiness of charitable associations for the regular auditing to be done anytime throughout the year. This reduced 98% of the administrative and financial irregularities discovered by IACAD. 8.Private sector participation increased by 12.3% in charity through commitment to implement the social responsibility programs that led to enhancing the Economic Development Index for charitable works with 2.9%. E-Charity provides the information through Global Charity Dashboard for all volunteers, researchers, media, and journalists who are interested in philanthropy and estimate the size of the actual contributions in the community and look for ways to organize the process of donating that increased Social Development Index for charitable works by 15.7%. 9.E-Charity initiative facilitated the integration of IACAD, charities, donors and beneficiaries through focus on infrastructure, implementation of dramatic changes in service delivery process of charity, and established online solution, help in effective and efficient aid distribution, and measure the key benefits provided to the communities over the world.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The world today is fast moving and Dubai is moving towards a smart society, it is important to embrace charity works to enhance IACAD-Charities-Beneficiaries day-to-day environment. Therefore, E-Charity reinforces necessary understanding on highest charitable level to implement and maintain sustainable improvements for charity services, respect charities missions and priorities while at the same time help guide them toward success. •Institutional Sustainability: Development the approaches, tools and SLAs needed to better integrate between governmental goals and key charity objectives. This strategy is achieved through business process re-engineering based on the requirements of the charities’ beneficiaries. At the same time, building the capacity and essential skills of IACAD-Charities teams that will lead to the development of the future needs. •Financial Sustainability: Dedicated budget from IACAD and contributions from initiative partners will cover the yearly running cost. Maximization of effective philanthropy across all charities by automating the service processes, aid collection and reducing fiscal expenditures. E-Charity resulted in the enhancement of most charities related services which enhanced the donors’ trust and led to increase in revenues, financial viability and self-sustainability. •Technical Sustainability: E-Charity solution can scale horizontally and vertically based on future needs and requirements of IACAD as well as its charities. This web-based system, deployed at a central location is easily accessible anytime and anywhere. Database is located in a highly secured data center mirrored through disaster recovery site. •Regulatory Sustainability: The outgrowth of IACAD’s engagement with E-Charity and charities support have left an indelible mark on the charity’s virtual landscape: some of these are e-Financial Auditing, Implementation of Anti-Corruption Policies, Information Disclosure Regulations, Rules Governing Beneficiaries Human Rights and Donors Participation. •Cultural Sustainability: Design of E-Charity from not only a technological point of view but also it has multiple approaches to support unification of cultural curriculum across the charities and positive effect on cultural adoption of concepts, events and delivery to the targeted groups. •Social Sustainability: Participation of various stakeholders’ involvement through meetings, feedback and suggestions to improve the charitable services, support the social responsibility and secure their buy-in. This participation enabled IACAD-Charities to build a unified solution with a clear business workflow for all charitable services provided to the targeted groups in a sustained and integrated manner. •Ecological Sustainability: Usage of green technology and eco-friendly tools leading to huge reduction of paperwork and material consumption. •Transferability and Replicability: The concepts, techniques and tools of E-Charity initiative are transferable and can replicated at national level to other UAE emirates, at regional level to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and at international level to any country in the world as long as they have financial, administrative and charity services. New services can easily added into the initiative to adapt to the charitable requirements and expectations. In addition, due to the shared nature of the backend system, all the charities would be able to share knowledge and information through shared services. Hence, improving the charities’ users’, donors’ and beneficiaries’ interactions and experiences.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
From the beginning, Initiative team decided that this initiative would be a success story. Therefore, the team took into consideration the successes and failures at different points in E-Charity initiative lifecycle to serve several purposes as a valuable tool for use in other initiatives within IACAD. Capturing lessons learned was an integral part of every phase in this experience when the final Lessons Learned and Recommendations document was completed during the initiative closeout process as follows: •Communicate with Stakeholders: team members must communicate with initiative stakeholders in constant and consistent manners to ensure that all requirements are appropriately met. This may be tiring but the transparency keeps stakeholders happier when they are informed about the initiative’s progress status, risks identified, circumstances not anticipated, vendor issues, new skills acquired, funding additional budget, enlisting new resources and discussions of every viewpoint to counteract actively and proceed to the next steps. •Distractions are Dangerous: initiative team should be aware of scope, moving strategic goals and operational objectives during initiative development. This could hurt the initiative strategy and implementation. When stakeholders encountered distractions, the implementation would gradually fall behind, because any small change typically involves changes to other parts of E-Charity system, results to greater complexity, and requires more testing. Therefore, team members should be sure that stakeholders understood the implications of requested changes and that their expectations were set. •The Team Cannot Escape Initiative Triangle: team members validated and fixed the triple sides of initiative triangle time, cost and scope. Because of change, one side of the triangle would affect one of the other sides if stakeholders continuously tried adding to the initiative scope throughout the initiative lifecycle. For example, two weeks away from launching E-Charity version 1.0 in GITEX, the team was in the middle of conducting user acceptance testing when the one of the platinum sponsor of the initiative wanted to change applications’ look and feel to include an iPhone-like device so partners could apply to multiple smart services. The team checked this change request and found that it added little business value so the final decision was; it would done in E-Charity version 1.1 to avoid exceeding the expected budget and time. •Methodology is more important than Technology: initiative team believed that best and sophisticated software in the world would not save a poor implementation plan, so the financial, administrative & charity processes re-engineering was done prior to the automation process. This methodology used had solid reasoning behind the initiative success and proved highly effective through reduced change requests and saved a lot of time during the implementation phase. •Monitoring is Essential: team members rallied and stepped up their efforts to monitor the quality control & quality assurance, adherence to initiative milestones, traceability of changes in acceptable standards and addressed both realized and unrealized risks through a set of performance and results indicators because the little things would add up to a number of critical factors that play a role in failure or success of the implementation.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Abdulla Al Dalal
Title:   Director  
Telephone/ Fax:   00971558004144
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   aaldallal@iacad.gov.ae  
Address:   Dubai
Postal Code:   3135
City:   Dubai
State/Province:   Dubai

          Go Back

Print friendly Page