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Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit Publish its 2021 Annual Report

29th June 2022

Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit published its annual report for the year 2021, which comes as the first annual report after the launch of Oman Vision 2040 at the beginning of the year 2021, as per the royal directives of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, and the launch of the 10th Five-Year Development Plan (2021-2025), which is considered as the first executive plan for Oman Vision 2040. The report includes the preparation phases of Oman Vision 2040, components of Oman Vision 2040 Document, establishment of Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit, working methodologies, follow-up system, indicators of Oman Vision 2040 and efforts taken to achieve the Vision in relation to the national priorities, as well as the most important national programs that emerged from the Vision's pillars and priorities.

Oman Vision 2040 Preparation Phases

Oman Vision 2040 was developed in line with the royal directives of the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said -may Allah have mercy on him- and has been adopted as a guide and reference for planning during the period(2021-2040), taking into account the economic and social reality, objective foresight, and ability to keep pace with local, regional, and global changes. The vision aims to make Oman one of the world’s developed countries in terms of economy, society, and environment, as well as governance and institutional development.

From the earliest stages, Oman Vision 2040 has been characterized by broad participation from all sectors in its preparation, formulation and development, and societal consensus on its foundations, objectives, pillars and priorities, taking into account regional and international changes. The vision was developed through phases, with committees and teams including experts and professionals, to work in line with the best scientific procedures and international practices. They started by defining the vision pillars, then diagnosing the current situation of the country, and setting the national priorities. Also, a future foresight forum was held for the vision to promote integration amongst all roles and sectors, followed by the delivery of a series of workshops aimed at developing scenarios and defining the vision's strategic directions, objectives, and indicators.

At the stage of determining the vision’s national priorities, emphasis was placed on redefining the roles between the public and private sectors and civil society institutions, achieving a developed, diversified and sustainable national economy, Modernizing the education system and supporting scientific research and innovation, Balancing distribution of development capabilities between governorates, Conserving of natural resources and distinctive environmental elements and developing Health-care systems and services. The vision also focused on governance given its significance and influence on national priorities, in terms of engaging control, effective use of national resources, and attaining principles of integrity, transparency, justice, and accountability.

The vision is based on four pillars: People and Society, Economy and Development, Governance and Institutional Performance, and Sustainable Environment, with 12 National Priorities emanating from the pillars including: Education, Learning, Scientific Research and National Capabilities, Health, Citizenship, Identity, National Heritage and Culture, Well-being and Social Protection, Economic Leadership and Management, Economic Diversification and Financial Sustainability, Labor Market and Employment, The Private Sector, Investment and International Cooperation, Governorates Development and Sustainable Cities, Environment and Natural Resources, Legislative, Judicial and Oversight System, Governance of the Administrative Bodies, Resources and Projects. The document of Oman Vision 2040 addresses the pillars and each priority independently, including a detailed explanation of the priority's strategic direction, objectives, and international and national indicators. Each indicator's target performance in 2030 and 2040 was determined, as well as an explanation of the relationship between the vision's strategic directions and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Establishment of the Unit

Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit was created by virtue of Royal Decree no. 100/2020 issued on August 18, 2020. The unit reports to the Council of Ministers and follows up on the work carried out by public and semi-government entities, and observe the roles of sectors related to the vision’s programs, according to their respective capacities and mandates. The unit also provides necessary support and proposes appropriate solutions to existing challenges, while ensuring integration of efforts, ensuring the commitment of these entities to execute according to the approved methodologies, working mechanisms and executive plans.

Once established, and to ensure achieving the objectives of Oman Vision 2040, the unit focused on analyzing the vision priorities and interrelating them using Cause and Effect Diagram, in order to identify the most important priorities that lead the way to achieving the vision. After analyzing the vision priorities, the unit focused on creating a clear system of planning, starting from the strategic level, reaching down to the executive level that includes programs and their detailed plans. In addition, it identified the impact of applying this system through performance indicators for every level of planning.

The Unit approaches working according to a rigorous follow-up system in accordance with a clear performance indicators dashboard, which is one of the most important factors for the success of the monitoring and follow-up system as it links key vision indicators to sector operational indicators and programs’ indicators, so that they are continuously monitored and evaluated at various levels. Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit develops reports to monitor the progress made in achieving the objectives of Oman Vision 2040, the national and international indicators, the challenges that face the implementation, in addition to monitoring the local and international changes.

Vision Offices

To ensure the application of the best international practices in achieving national visions, the establishment of the Vision offices is one of the most important tools for the success of Oman Vision 2040. Vision Offices are responsible for following up and ensuring the implementation of various entities’ roles in achieving Vision 2040 objectives. These offices act as the link between government entities, Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit, and the relevant entities. In order to activate the royal directives to establish offices for Oman Vision 2040 that directly report to the heads of government entities, the unit developed the organizational structure for the Vision Offices and identified their functions and working mechanisms. It also set the framework for knowledge transfer and the mechanisms for creating programs, developing their indicators, and following up on their implementation.

The Vision Offices in the relative entities work on ensuring the quality of Vision related plans, ensuring the quality of the outcomes of development sessions related to the Vision, managing performance and developing reports for the Vision related programs and initiatives, addressing, resolving and escalating challenges facing the Vision initiatives and programs related to the vision, and enhancing awareness of Oman Vision 2040 among the entity's staff. Since its establishment in August 2020, the unit designed and held several workshops with government entities responsible for economic sectors. All these workshops were part of a comprehensive program to transfer knowledge and expertise to these entities, as well as sharing the methodologies, initiative development process, target identification steps, KPI development procedures and the follow-up mechanism. In the first phase, these workshops targeted entities responsible for economic sectors, in order to complete economic diversification initiatives and projects.

Oman Vision 2040 Indicators

Oman Vision 2040 has defined a set of international and national indicators within each priority, and the Sultanate of Oman aims to achieve a certain rank or value in these indicators in 2030 and 2040.

During the process of following up the vision indicators, some challenges emerged, including those related to international indicators, the continuity of which cannot be predicted due to their instability, and some international organizations responsible for calculating these indicators stopped calculating them for many reasons. In addition, these organizations change the methodologies for calculating their indicators every few years, as a mechanism to improve these indicators and ensure that they meet the requirements at each stage, which affects the values and ranks of the countries listed in the indicator. Also, Oman vision 2040 indicators were determined a long time ago, after which the country went through several financial and economic challenges, including the implications of Covid-19 pandemic.

Therefore, and in order to ensure the achievement of the targets of these indicators and to verify their effectiveness in measuring and evaluating the track to achieving the vision, the unit is currently working with the National Centre for Statistics and Information, the Ministry of Economy, and the relevant entities to review the Vision indicators in detail to determine what needs to be modified, developed or added, and aspires to come up with clear targets for every five years (2025, 2030, 2035, 2040).

Regarding Oman’s performance in the main international indicators during 2020 and 2021, there is an improvement in the ranking of the Sultanate of Oman in the Global Innovation Index, reaching 76 in 2021 compared to 84 in 2020. Also, Oman achieved a higher ranking in the Environmental Performance Index in 2020 compared with 2018. On the other hand, it declined in the ranking of Government Effectiveness, World Governance Indicators, going back to 88 in 2020, compared to 81 in 2017. This happened before the restructuring of the government bodies in the second half of 2020, which might have a positive impact on the indicator in the future.

The national indicators witnessed an improvement in general during 2021 as a result of the gradual recovery of economic activities after Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to the rising oil prices, which in turn increased the oil revenues and the economic activities depending on it. Regarding the non-oil sector contribution to GDP, the indicator shows a decline due to the surge in oil activities contribution.

Efforts to Achieve Oman Vision 2040

The government's efforts to achieve Oman Vision 2040 are divided across two major streams: the first one is the general stream, which includes programs, initiatives, and projects in various national priorities. The second one is the national programs stream, which is of an acceleration nature, and designed in accordance with the intensive follow-up methodology, to achieve Oman Vision 2040's national priorities. Tireless efforts are being made to achieve the national priorities of Oman Vision 2040, whether by royal decrees, directives and instructions, or initiatives and projects, or regulations and laws.

National Programs

Since the launch of Oman Vision 2040 in the beginning of 2021, a number of short and medium-term comprehensive National programs were launched. They were developed based on the stage requirements and the objectives of the five-year development plans in order to fulfill Oman Vision 2040’s targets, with clear governance that achieves integration among stakeholders. These programs are regarded as a key driver of Oman Vision 2040's national priorities, as each national program encompasses a set of initiatives and projects that fall within the majority of the pillars of Oman Vision 2040 and serve several priorities. The implementation of the national programs is monitored by the relevant entities in each sector. Given the conditions and challenges that have arisen since the vision's inception, the unit decided that the first phase of the vision's lifespan should be focused on financial and economic sustainability, in line with the targets of the 10th Five-year Development Plan (2021-2025). As a result, the unit submitted to His Majesty -may Allah protect and preserve him- a proposal to implement two national programs: the National Program for Financial Sustainability, and the National Program for Investment and Export Development, both of which His Majesty blessed and praised.

The National Program for Financial Sustainability

Oman Vision 2040 strives to achieve financial sustainability, without affecting the government’s ability to implement the economic and social objectives of the Vision, which requires alignment between financial policies and the requirements of economic growth. It was agreed to continue the work of the National Program for Fiscal Balance “Tawazun” - launched in 2019 – until its objectives are fully achieved, while developing a more comprehensive national program concerned with the development of the financial sector through developing initiatives and projects aimed at promoting and strengthening the role of the banking sector and financing solutions, as well as fostering the role of the Capital Market in financing and investment, to achieve integration among financial, monetary and economic policies. The financial sector is one of the most important enablers required during the economic growth. It is a major requirement for investment and economy, which will enhance the sustainability of public finance and ensure continuity of all development programs.

The National Program for Fiscal Balance “Tawazun”

The economic conditions since mid-2014 have led to the deterioration of the financial situation in the Sultanate of Oman. Despite the government’s attempts to respond to the changes, a national program had to be established for the aim of containing the annual fiscal deficit and public debt against the GDP, and within safe levels. By September 2019, the National Program for Fiscal Balance began its preparatory work, and was able to achieve its objectives of implementing the initiatives and procedures approved in the Medium Term Fiscal Plan (2020-2024), based on the royal directives of His Majesty - may Allah protect and preserve him.

The National Program for Investment and Export Development "Nazdaher”

The National Program for Investment and Export Development is one of the accelerators of the first phase of the executive plan. It is closely associated with the pillar of “Economy and Development” in Oman Vision 2040, and considered as the largest national program in terms of project number, with 135 projects listed in the dashboard.

The program was launched in March 2021 with the goal of enhancing and enabling the private sector's role in driving economic development by creating an inviting investment environment, which is the strategic direction of the “private sector, investment and international cooperation” priority. In November 2021, the Program Management Office was activated in order to enable the program with specialized teams dedicated to leading the investment system by developing investment trends for economic sectors, improving the business environment, addressing challenges, and developing appropriate enhancement mechanisms.

The initiatives and projects of the National Program for Investment and Export Development (Nazdaher) are divided into two streams: Business Environment and Investment Sectors including Energy, Mining, Manufacturing, Transport, Aviation, Tourism, Communication and Information Technology and Food Security.

The National Employment Program “Tashgheel”

The National Employment Program is an independent operational national program responsible for managing the job seekers’ file with the aim of creating sustainable employment solutions and job opportunities for Omanis. The program includes training and qualification initiatives for Omani job seekers and fresh graduates, with a focus on identifying job opportunities in supply chains in various economic sectors, in order to ensure their readiness for immediate employment, in line with the requirements of various sectors of the labor market.

The program was launched in July 2021 as one of the most important national initiatives stemming from Oman Vision 2040. During the early months of the program, the executive management focused on developing internal capabilities and work strategies in order to accurately diagnose the various components of the employment system.

The program was designed to complement the government's efforts (the Ministry of Labor and other government bodies), with the program team developing work mechanisms that focus on diagnosing, improving, and giving direct assistance to these efforts. At the same time, the program aims to detect each component of the employment system and analyze the flaws that require focused solutions to overcome them, whether in relation to the stream of the job seeker's journey from school seats to before entering the labor market and in line with the entrepreneur’s journey, or in relation to the stream of creating a job opportunity and the stages it goes through, as well as diagnosing the mechanisms that connect the two sides (the job seeker and the job) in order to reach sustainable solutions.

The program's initiatives and projects fall under two streams: the economic stream, and the national capacity building stream.

Government Digital Transformation Program

In pursuit of the objectives of Oman Vision 2040 and the strategic direction of creating Flexible, Innovative and Future-Shaping Administrative Bodies - within the priority of Governance of State’s Administrative Bodies, Resources and Projects - the government digital transformation program was developed, including in its implementation plan more than 50 government institutions representing all of the main and supportive sectors of the government sector.

The program aims to improve government entities’ efficiency and discover novel solutions that are efficient, transparent, and innovative, as well as to contribute in improving the work environment through the simplification of business models and developing channels and tools to optimize the benefit of rapid technology changes.

Four practical streams were developed to help achieving the program's vision and national directions by identifying the strategic objectives and appropriate initiatives for each stream. The streams are: Excellence in Digital Services, Competence in Infrastructure and Digital Solutions, Empowering National Capabilities and Change Management, Community Participation and E-services Awareness.

Current Situation

Work is currently in progress to review all indicators of Oman Vision 2040 and verify their effectiveness in measuring and evaluating the track to achieving the vision, in addition to coming up with clear targets for every five years (2025, 2030, 2035, 2040). Moreover, the targets of government entities related to the Vision’s priorities and indicators are being determined.

Regarding the national programs, and in addition to the continuous enhancement of the existing national programs through including new streams and sectors, the National Program for Financial Sustainability is being developed, which focuses on ensuring the sustainability of Tawazun Program outcomes, promoting the role of banking sector and Capital Market in creating flexible financing solutions. In addition, the Economic Diversification Program is being developed, complementing the efforts of the National Program for Enhancing Economic Diversification (Tanfeedh), focusing on strengthening the link between economic sectors and improving the mechanisms of economic planning.

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