1. Best practice benchmarking project: A framework to reduce the prevalence of diabetes

    May 3, 2018 by ahmed
    DHA01

    DHA team receiving the trophy from DGEP’s Secretary General

    Diabetes describes a group of metabolic diseases which cause high blood sugar levels. In recent years, diabetes has become one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, around 1.6 million people worldwide died due to diabetes in 2015. In 2017, an estimated 8.8 percent of the adult population worldwide had diabetes.

    Diabetes in the UAE is rising at one of the fastest rates in the world. Rapid economic growth, lifestyles and unhealthy diets have contributed to increasing the risk factors, also, an increasing population and a greater understanding of the condition have also contributed to the increase in patients diagnosed with diabetes. According to a 2017 survey, 15.2% of Dubai’s population are diabetic and 15.8% pre-diabetic (people at risk of becoming diabetic due to their high blood sugar levels) with the UAE as a whole having the 10th highest rates in the world.

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    Diabetes prevalence 2017

    The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is one of the government entities that participated in the 2nd cycle of Dubai We Learn initiative, a one year programme consisting of a range of knowledge sharing and organisational learning activities designed to fast-track organisational improvement and stimulate innovation. A key part of this initiative has been the mentoring of benchmarking projects by DGEP’s partner the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, New Zealand. Project teams used the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology – a rigorous 5-stage approach that involves searching for and implementing leading-edge practices.

    DHA03

    Stages of TRADE Benchmarking Methodology

    Terms of Reference Stage:
    The Terms of Reference (TOR) is the first stage of the TRADE Benchmarking methodology. This is where the team developed a clear aim of what they wanted to achieve, specified the resources required, and what was expected in terms of financial and non-financial benefits.
    The Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) project aim:

    To develop & start implementing a Dubai Diabetes prevention framework based on worldwide best practices within one-year (2017); to reduce the Pre-Diabetic population, (356,460.48) adults by at least 10% by 2021.

    The target of reducing the pre-diabetic population by at least 10% by 2021 was ambitious considering the adverse trends in some of the risk factors such as obesity, unhealthy diet, smoking and lack of exercise.

    Review Stage:
    The main task of the Review stage is to study and understand the current status of the area of focus. The DHA team used several methods and techniques, such as literature review, community needs analysis questionnaire, brainstorming sessions, fishbone diagrams, and SWOT analysis. DHA recognised that it would not be able to have a significant impact on diabetes on its own and therefore needed to work closely with other stakeholders that could influence or play a role in reducing diabetes. For example, during the brainstorming sessions, DHA invited Dubai Municipality (to explore issues such as how public parks are used and the monitoring of the food offered by food outlets)) and the Dubai Sports Council (to understand how government sports clubs and initiatives can help to prevent diabetes).

    A brainstorming session with the stakeholders

    A brainstorming session with the stakeholders

    Some key findings from the Review stage:

    1. The most important factors to prevent diabetes are weight loss through healthy eating, and at least 150 minutes per week of regular physical activity. This can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 58% in individuals at high risk.
    2. An important gap to be bridged is the lack of coordination between the different parties responsible for activities that lead to the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.
    3. A screening and early detection programme for people who are most susceptible to diabetes and determine pre-diabetic cases, will allow reducing complications of diabetes as well as the burden of the disease.

    Acquire Stage:
    After setting the plan for the whole project and studying the current state, it was time to start looking for solutions or best practices to bridge the gap between the current and the desired state. The team set criteria for selecting benchmarking partners which were: organisations who have developed similar strategic initiatives that serves Dubai vision 2021, who have used public health innovations in the area of prevention, who have implemented prevention programs, who have lifestyle modification initiatives, who have achieved high success rates in terms of implementation, and who have the best health outcomes related to non-communicable diseases. DHA identified 17 potential partners which were reduced to 9 partners for site visits and internet conferencing.

    The benchmarking partners were from different fields, which enabled DHA to learn a wide variety of practices. This was besides an extensive desktop research conducted on: Health Promotion & Campaigns, Screening & Early Detection, Innovative Initiatives, Policy, Research, and Applications. In total, DHA were able to record more than 50 improvement ideas for potential implementation. For example, the best practice of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), the winner of the 5th International Best Practice Competition Award was considered for implementation. In BPCL, all employees undergo an annual health check and receive a Wellness Index Score (WIS). The WIS of all employees are then averaged to obtain a company WIS. Initiatives such as Yoga, meditation, counselling by dieticians and health talks are provided to address the most common health challenges faced by employees. As a result, the company’s WIS has improved each year and the number of staff at risk of diabetes has dramatically reduced.

    Deploy Stage:
    In the Deploy stage, the team translated the ideas and best practices found in the Acquire stage into actions. The team developed and refined the actions through holding a number of meetings and brainstorming sessions with its stakeholders.
    By April 2018 the team was able to implement 30 improvement ideas, the three most important were:
    1- Developing a Dubai diabetes prevention framework and gaining acceptance of this within DHA and the wider stakeholder group. Previously, there was no diabetes prevention program for Dubai; there were scattered efforts, which were not systematic or collaborative

    Dubai diabetes prevention framework

    Dubai diabetes prevention framework

    For each sub-element of the Dubai diabetes prevention framework, an action plan outlines what needs to be done in co-operation with each stakeholder, it also assigns the responsibilities for each task and timeframe for implementation until 2021.

    Dubai diabetes prevention action plan

    Dubai diabetes prevention action plan

    2- Implementation of Diabetes Screening: The screening program was developed in primary health care for early detection of diabetes and the risk factors through adapting the National Periodic Assessment and Diabetes Risk Assessment tool (Finnish Diabetic Risk Assessment Score).

    3- Developing and implementing a pilot Happiness Prescription Programme. This programme was adapted from the Social Prescribing Programme from NHS (UK). The pilot phase of the Happiness Prescribing Program involved a total of 43 participants. It consisted of a comprehensive health survey, nutrition and health education and support, and various fitness classes.

    Evaluate Stage:
    The main task of the Evaluate stage is to evaluate if the project aim has been achieved and to measure the financial and non-financial benefits. Although, the main aim of the DHA project was targeted for completion in 2021, there were other objectives to be achieved within the one-year time frame of Dubai We Learn. For example, developing the Dubai diabetes prevention framework and getting all the stakeholders to approve it and be part of it within one year was a huge achievement.

    Other achievements included increasing awareness of diabetes. From 2017 till 2018, DHA held more than 460 awareness campaigns which covered more than 47,000 participants with a satisfaction rate of 98.1%. The campaigns were held in different locations such as public parks, government departments, and private sector companies. Also, to target a wider audience base, the DHA worked with the public media to conduct awareness campaigns using the social media, radio, TV, and newspapers. In total, DHA estimated they reached 560,000 people.

    Another important achievement was the successful pilot phase of the “Happiness Prescribing programme”. The 43 participants achieved good rates of weight loss ranging from 7 to 11 kg in six months. In addition to 13% risk reduction from severe to intermediate risk and 7% risk reduction from intermediate to low risk in the women’s group. For the men’s group, there was 7% risk reduction from high to moderate risk.

    DHA’s project achieves 7 stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
    Each project team of Dubai We Learn initiative gave a 15-minute presentation and submitted a benchmarking report which was assessed by an expert panel. The projects were evaluated based on the TRADE Benchmarking Certification Scheme. Three of the teams achieved 7 Stars, four teams 5-6 Stars, and four teams 3-4 Stars. These were exceptional results as even to achieve 3-4 Stars and reach TRADE Benchmarking Proficiency is challenging within a one-year timeframe. Dubai Health Authority project was evaluated as 7 Stars project, which means the project is considered as a role model in the approach and deployment of the TRADE Benchmarking methodology.

    For more detailed reports about Dubai We Learn projects, join BPIR.com and get access to best practice case studies, report, clips, and much more.

    Do you want to achieve outstanding results in your improvement projects, attend a TRADE Benchmarking workshop or email us at trade@coer.org.nz for more information about arranging an in-house workshop for your organisation. To receive the latest news sign-up to COER’s newsletter here.


  2. 2nd successful year of Dubai We Learn initiative

    April 14, 2018 by ahmed

    DWL2018Teams

    It is one year since the Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP) launched the 2nd wave of “Dubai We Learn” for government entities in Dubai. This ambitious programme consists of a range of knowledge sharing and organisational learning activities designed to fast-track organisational improvement and stimulate innovation. A key part of this initiative has been the mentoring of benchmarking projects by DGEP’s partner the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, New Zealand.

    The second wave of benchmarking projects came to an end on the 4 April 2018 when 11 project teams gave a presentation and submitted a benchmarking report to share their results. To learn more about the 1st wave and its result, refer to the recently published Dubai We Learn book.

    Project teams used the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology – a rigorous step by step approach that involves searching for and implementing leading-edge practices. Each project team gave a 15-minute presentation and submitted a benchmarking report which was assessed by an expert panel. The projects were evaluated based on the TRADE Benchmarking Certification Scheme. Three of the teams achieved 7 Stars, four teams 5-6 Stars, and four teams 3-4 Stars. These were exceptional results as even to achieve 3-4 Stars and reach TRADE Benchmarking Proficiency is challenging within a one-year timeframe. The projects and grades were as follows:

    DWL2018_projects_rating

    Judging panel

    The project deliverables and presentations were assessed by an expert panel consisting of

    • Dr Robin Mann, Founder of TRADE, Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, New Zealand
    • Garvin Chow, First Vice President/ Director Corporate Learning & Development, United Overseas Bank Limited
    • Professor Dotun Adebanjo, University of Greenwich, London

    The achievements of all teams has been impressive. A description of the 7-Star projects is provided below.

    Dubai Police’s project has saved at least $3.8 million (Aug-2017 to Mar-2018) and is projected to save $5.4 million by August 2018 through increasing productivity in the mechanical workshop from 40% to 72% and increasing vehicle availability from 88% to 95%. The team conducted an intensive study of its current workshop practices and visited 8 organisations to learn from best practices. The improvements have largely been as a result of improved data accuracy and analysis of workshop operations which has enabled more informed management decisions such as closure of an inefficient workshop, changes to the shift pattern leading to a shorter turnaround of vehicles, and improved management of spare parts. These improvements have been achieved without investing in new equipment or machinery.

    The Dubai Government Human Resource (DGHR) Department’s project was to produce a blueprint for establishing an HR Think Tank. It was identified there was a need for a Think Tank to shape the future of HR within Dubai’s government and transform DGHR into a more ‘agile’ government entity – well prepared to respond to future challenges due to changes in technology, geopolitical situations and financial realities. To produce the blueprint the project team researched the needs of the Dubai Government and evaluated 102 Think Tanks with 6 international and 3 local benchmarking visits undertaken. The final blueprint was a 73 page document describing in detail the proposed purpose, structure, services and operating model of the Think Tank. The Vision of the Think Tank has been initially set as “Pioneering HR for the world!” and implementation of the blueprint will proceed through four phases and enable the Think Tank to provide three main services; research, smart library and consulting services. The major achievement of this project was having the blueprint signed off by the DGHR’s Director General with a planned launch of the Think Tank for later this year.

    The Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) project aimed to reduce the number of people that are pre-diabetic (people at risk of becoming diabetic due to their high blood sugar levels). According to a 2017 survey, 15.2% of Dubai’s population is diabetic and 15.8% are pre-diabetic with the UAE as a whole having the 10th highest rates in the world. The DHA’s benchmarking project involved extensive desktop research reviewing the approaches of other countries in tackling diabetes and benchmarking visits to 9 organisations. Of key importance was that DHA recognised that it would not be able to have a significant impact on Diabetes on its own and therefore needed to work closely with other stakeholders that could influence or play a role in reducing diabetes. The major contribution of this project was the development of a Dubai Diabetes Prevention Framework consisting of five elements:

    • promoting healthy life style,
    • creative and innovative sustainable interventions,
    • early screening on diabetes mellitus and risk factors,
    • enforcement of non-communicable diseases policy, and
    • supportive health system and partnerships.

    For each element there is a strategy and a range of programs and initiatives of which a number have already been implemented and others are to follow. The project is on track to reduce the pre-diabetic population by at least 10% by 2021, an ambitious target considering the adverse trends in some of the risk factors such as obesity, unhealthy diet, smoking and lack of exercise.

    To promote learning and sharing of experience the recording of the presentations from all teams will be uploaded to BPIR.com. As part of this initiative, Centre of Organisational Excellence Research (COER) will publish a series of articles about the initiative. To receive the latest news sign-up to COER’s newsletter here.


  3. Dubai Health Authority reveals results of Happiness Prescribing Program’s pilot phase

    March 15, 2018 by ahmed

    Nad-Alhamar-Health-Centre

    One of the ambitious projects of Dubai We Learn initiative is Dubai Health Authority project “Prevention better than Cure”. The aim of the project is to develop & start implementing a Dubai Diabetes prevention framework based on worldwide best practices within one year; to reduce the Pre-Diabetic population from 356,460 adults in 2017 by at least 10% by 2021. The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) revealed the results of the trial phase for the Happiness Prescribing Program during its participation in the UAE Innovation Month 2018.

    The Happiness Prescribing Program was launched by the authority with the aim of identifying and implementing prevention programs among pre-diabetics and persons with high risk factors by not only prescribing medication, but also prescribing nutritional and physical programs.

    Dr Hanan Obaid, Consultant Family Physician and Head of Acute and Chronic Diseases said this program is a pioneering model of community health care for the prevention of diabetes in the Emirate of Dubai. She said that adopting a new approach that does not depend on prescriptions, but goes beyond that to be an integrated behavioral, social and psychological treatment in line with the vision of the UAE and the Dubai plan 2021 and the Dubai Health Authority strategy on Prevention & Healthy lifestyles, and participation in the Dubai Government Excellence Program “Dubai We Learn”.

    The six-month trail phase, which was implemented at Al Barsha and Nad Alhamar Health Centers with the participation of Dubai Ladies Club, Bel Remaitha Club for Men and Sharjah University was conducted on 43 participants of women 25 and men 18.

    Dr Obaid said the specialist doctor offered them a comprehensive health survey and conducted the necessary tests then followed by the nutrition and health education, in addition to the various sports classes and sessions, which were provided for the participants by Dubai Ladies Club, Bel Remaitha Club. Moreover, The University of Sharjah has reviewed and approved this new methodology for the prevention of diabetes.

    “The results found that participants achieved good rates of weight loss ranging from 7 to 11 kg during the past six months, in addition to the risk reduction of diabetes during the next 10 year as follow: 13% risk reduction from severe to intermediate risk & 7% risk reduction from intermediate to low risk in women group. It also has 7% risk reduction from high to moderate risk in men group adding that participants expressed their happiness and satisfaction with this program as diabetes has a negative impact on individuals and society as well as the health sector due to the increase in expenditure for treatment of the disease and its complications,” she said.

    The World International Diabetes Federation (IDF) found that the average expenditure on diabetics in the UAE is estimated at 9.8 billion dirhams annually, and the percentage of diabetic patients in UAE about 17.3% in 2017, which is considered a high percentage compared to other countries. In the Emirate of Dubai, the percentage of people with diabetes was about 15.2% and the percentage of people at risk was 15.8% according to the results of the 2017 Dubai Diabetes Household Survey.

    “The goal of this program is to reduce the incidence of new cases of diabetes in the society of Dubai among the high risk groups who have risk factors such as: overweight and obesity, lack of physical activity, unhealthy food, and family history of diabetes, stress and smoking,” she said.

    The happiness-prescribing program is now electronically connected with the DHA Hayati Application, which will include the evaluation of diabetes at risk and determine the possibility of exposure to diabetes during the next ten years. It will then link it to a new services called Lifestyle clinics, which will be an Innovative solution to prevent diabetes by having a network of a multidisciplinary team (including a doctor, dietitian, health education specialist, and sports clubs).


  4. Increasing the uptake of benchmarking in the public sector

    January 6, 2018 by ahmed

    3rd progress sharing day 1

    The 3rd Progress Sharing Day of the 2nd cycle of Dubai We Learn Excellence Makers projects was held on 17 December 2017. This was an opportunity for 11 Dubai government entities to share progress on the benchmarking projects that they started in April 2017.The 11 benchmarking projects are:

    Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA):
    To raise awareness of the importance of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) registration to aviation safety and security with the purpose of increasing RPAS registrations from approximate 1100 in November 2017 to 4000 by December 2018 and to 8000 (by 30 April 2019).

    Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS):
    To develop and implement a world-class performance management system for ambulance services.

    Dubai Customs:
    To identify best practice in the Client Accreditation process, improve the Client Accreditation Program and set with 2 pilot entities from the Dubai Government the standards and benefits for the Dubai Accredited Client Program by March 2018.

    Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA):
    To identify and implement best practices in idea generation to improve employee engagement rate with the AKFARI Idea Management System from 20% in 2017 to a minimum of 40% by April 2018. Improving the Quality of the Ideas & Implementation Rate by 50%.

    Dubai Government Human Resource (DGHR):
    Launching Dubai Government HR Think Tank for future shaping, research-driven decision making and pioneering HR’s role for Dubai government.

    Dubai Health Authority (DHA):
    Within one year to develop & start implementing Dubai Diabetes prevention framework based on worldwide best practices to reduce the % of Pre-Diabetics adults from 15.8% (2017) to 12.5% (by 2021).

    Dubai Municipality:
    Identify and implement best practices in managing, sharing, and utilizing knowledge across the organization through an effective Knowledge & Innovation Hub that is able to create a robust base for innovation and increase the utilization rate of knowledge sources.

    Dubai Police:
    To find and implement best practices in vehicle fleet maintenance in order to improve productivity of Dubai Police Mechanical Works department to world class target or levels.

    General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Dubai (GDRFA):
    To identify and implement best practices in enriching a “Positive Energy Culture” at General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs-Dubai.

    Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA):
    To identify and implement best practices in transforming a traditional management system to a self-managed system by 2021, that engages, empowers, and enlightens employees leading to elevated levels of employee happiness, innovation and productivity. Inspired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum “we are building a new reality for our people, a new future for our children, and a new model of development.

    Public Prosecution:
    Our aim is to increase to the applications submitted electronically by cases parties from 75% to 85% with a focus on increasing App usage and to improve the electronic services provided to the applicant by March 2018.

    All project team have been using the TRADE benchmarking methodology to find and implement best practices. Currently, most teams are at the Acquire stage of TRADE searching for best practices within Dubai, UAE, and internationally. The TRADE methodology consists of five stages;

    1. Terms of Reference – plan the project: This stage involves selecting the aim of the project, forming a project team and developing the Terms of Reference (TOR). The Terms of Reference provides the foundation for a successful project.
    2. Research current state: The second stage involves researching the extent of the current problem/issue and identifying and understanding the current practices.
    3. Acquire best practices: This stage involves identifying which organisations are likely to have superior practices and finding out what they do differently. Various methods can be used for learning from other organisations such as internet research, surveys and site visits.
    4. Deploy – communicate and implement best practices: This stage involves communicating best practice findings from the Acquire Stage to the relevant stakeholders, deciding what should be changed with the current practice/process and implementing the changes.
    5. Evaluate – evaluate the benchmarking process and outcomes: This stage is designed to make sure the project has delivered the expected benefits that were outlined in the Terms of Reference. It involves undertaking a cost and benefits analysis and a review on how well each stage of the benchmarking project was undertaken so that this learning can be applied to future projects.

    One advantage from having multiple benchmarking projects in Dubai We Learn is that the teams can help each other. For instance, there have been a number of benchmarking visits conducted between the teams and sharing of knowledge on how to conduct benchmarking projects. For example, Dubai Health Authority are leveraging off General Directorate Residence and Foreign Affairs project on positive energy as a means to assist their own project on diabetes prevention. They are evaluating how “positive energy” activities could be used to change the eating and well-being behaviour of pre-diabetics.

    3rd progress sharing day 2Dr Robin Mann addressing the 11 project teams

    In the next 3 months, the project teams will be finishing the remaining stages of their projects and submitting a benchmarking report for evaluation.

    Dubai We Learn is a Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP) initiative that is run in partnership with the Centre of Organisational Excellence Research (COER), New Zealand. For more information about this initiative refer to the recently published Dubai We Learn book.

    If you work for a Dubai government entity and would like to put forward a project for the 3rd cycle of Dubai We Learn to start in September 2018 please contact Ahmed Abbas ahmed@bpir.com, for an application form.


  5. Dubai We Learn book launch – 13 benchmarking success stories

    December 26, 2017 by ahmed

    DWL Book

    On Sunday 17 December 2017, the Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP) and the Centre for Organisational Research (COER) celebrated the publication of their book titled “Achieving performance excellence through benchmarking and organisational learning”. The book describes Dubai We Learn’s Excellence Makers Program and showcases 13 successful benchmarking projects undertaken by Dubai government entities from 2015 to 2016. The benchmarking projects focussed on a broad range of issues including innovation, employee happiness, smart government, purchasing, knowledge management and building employee competencies and skills.
    The book summarises how the projects were undertaken, results achieved, lessons learnt and key success factors. Dr Robin Mann, Founder of COER, explained at the launch that, “The purpose of the book is to show how benchmarking can be used to instigate change and produce major breakthroughs in performance. It aims to encourage more Dubai government entities to start their own benchmarking projects and conduct them in a structured way utilising the TRADE best practice benchmarking methodology. In addition, the book shares some fantastic best practices that can immediately be learnt from“.

    DWL1Book

    All projects used the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking methodology to manage their projects and identify and implement best practices. On average projects identified between 30 to 99 potential actions to implement with savings and benefits for the Dubai government and citizens in the millions of dollars. Four of the projects achieved 7 star status for their role model application of the TRADE methodology.

    TRADE stages

    Dr. Ahmed Nuseirat, General Coordinator of DGEP, closed the book launch by saying, “The benchmarking projects are helping Dubai government entities to become world-leaders in public service. Due to the success of the Dubai We Learn initiative we are already looking forward to a 2nd volume of the book in 2018“.

    The book can be downloaded from here.

    Presentation video clips from each benchmarking project are available in the www.bpir.com’s Award winner reports section. Join BPIR to access the reports and many other features.

    Sign-up up to COER’s newsletter to receive future updates on COER’s work.