Within the framework of Social Impact Contracting and Ma’an’s Social Impact Bonds

  • The Authority has unveiled plans for new social impact bonds providing solutions to a range of complex social challenges
  • To achieve positive social impact, Ma’an will bring together key stakeholders from the government, private organisations and social sector entities
  • The new programmes will address challenges such as the impact of divorce on families and children, as well as empower people with vital employment skills, among others 
H.E. Salama Al Ameemi, Director General, Ma’an

Abu Dhabi: The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an recently revealed details of its plans to provide support for an array of beneficiaries through the creation of new social contracting initiatives.

Social contracting is an innovative new financial mechanism to fund solutions to highly complex, long-lasting and deeply rooted social challenges that have a measurable financial impact on our society.

Such mechanisms include Social Impact Bonds, which enable the private sector and individuals to invest in and contract for the delivery of public services that provide measurable impacts on these significant and costly social challenges. Return on investment for companies and individuals is directly correlated to pre-defined measurable social and financial outcomes.

The Authority is planning to support a range of citizens and residents across Abu Dhabi through new programmes that will all focus on the social priority of cohesive families and inclusive communities. While it already has some social investors on board, Ma’an will be seeking support from leading Abu Dhabi organisations.

Divorced parents of children up to 8-years-old will benefit from a programme that will be owned by the Early Childhood Authority, offering counselling support to divorced parents and help them cope with the challenges posed by family conflict issues.

Among the programmes that will be rolled out include tackling the challenge of improving the wellbeing of individuals from low-income families.  The program owned by Social Support Authority will aim to empowering individuals with crucial employment skills and transforming members of the community into better all-around skilled people.

Another initiative that will be launched in partnership with Maker Space, this programme, will enable individual’s access to high-quality machines and tools to help them build a wide range of products, and enhance chances of securing a job in the future

Commenting on Ma’an’s role as a leader in the field of social impact contracting as well as its commitment to creating positive social impact, H.E. Faisal Al Hmoudi, Executive Director for Social Incubator and Contracting at Ma’an, said: “At Ma’an, we have been pioneers and innovators in this field, having launched the GCC’s first Social Impact Bond, ‘Atmah’ in 2020. We have witnessed first-hand the real-world impact that such sustainable funding mechanisms provide, which is why we have been working on a series of new social impact bond programmes that will help mitigate the effects of many pressing social challenges across Abu Dhabi society. By bringing together key organisational partners from across the community and working hand-in-hand to deliver measurable outcomes, we are just getting started on our social contracting journey.”

Dr Chih Hoong Sin, Director at Traverse, added: “The way that the social contracting model works, focused on outcomes, has provided a new way of not only supporting wider impact in society, but as platform for furthering government policy goals in Abu Dhabi. As we have seen with Atmah, SIBs don’t just have the potential to do good, but to do good ‘well’.  If we look across the world, many social contracting programmes are being used to tackle some of the toughest issues facing society. To provide real social impact is not easy, it is a long journey consisting of many steps. In Abu Dhabi, Ma’an has recognised, and is leading the way, when it comes to adding value to society through social contracting across a whole array of programmes. These new programmes will change people’s lives for the better, and further cement Ma’an’s leadership position in this important new field.”

Ma’an launched the first Social Impact Bond in the GCC – Atmah – which saw Aldar Properties, Aldar Education and the Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination come together to help young People of Determination to learn key skills that will help them to enter the job market, positively impacting not just them, but their families and the wider community in Abu Dhabi.

About Ma’an:

Ma’an was established in February 2019 under the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi with the aim of bringing together the government, the private sector and civil society to support a culture of social contribution and participation. The authority will deliver solutions for social challenges with five main pillars of work – a Social Investment Fund, a Social Incubator Programme, Community Engagement Programmes and the introduction of a new type of public contracting, Social Impact Bonds, as well as Outreach Management.

Ma’an will support the third sector to flourish in Abu Dhabi, enabling responsible not for profit associations or foundations and social enterprises to contribute to the development of strong, active and connected communities.

Ma’an Authority for Social Contribution is an initiative under the Ghadan 21 accelerator programme, supporting Abu Dhabi to become one of the best places in the world to do business, invest, live, work and visit.