Stock Abu Dhabi skyline
The aim of the Wyakom platform is to effectively engage the community in solving social challenges. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi: The Department of Community Development (DCD) in Abu Dhabi has launched Wyakom, an online platform that will empower members of the community to address pressing social challenges.

The first phase of this pilot project, in partnership with Al Tawajud Al Baladi, a centre run by the Abu Dhabi City Municipality, will focus on the Khalifa City community. The platform will invite Khalifa City residents to identify solutions to specific social challenges according to set of criteria.

Besides the opportunity to see their ideas come to fruition, the top three winners will receive a monetary reward.

“The platform will serve as DCD’s primary channel to identify social challenges and design proactive interventions by following an Assets Based Community Development (ABCD) approach, where communities can drive the development process themselves,” said Dr Layla Alhyas, executive director of the Social Monitoring and Innovation Sector at the DCD.

“The Wyakom initiative is one of many digital projects we have launched to step up our efforts to better identify social challenges and develop innovative solutions through research and interventions. Wyakom will support DCD in achieving its core mission of ensuring a dignified life for all community members by optimizing our efforts,” she added.

The key themes for ideas include work-life balance, health, social and cultural values, personal safety and security, social connection, civic engagement and governance, social and community services, and subjective wellbeing. Community members can propose solutions related to these various themes, which will be assessed by a screening committee of experts from the social sector.

“We recognise community participation to be key to effectively addressing many social issues,” Dr Layla noted.

To encourage members of the community to get involved in the initiative, DCD has announced monetary rewards for the top three ideas. Participants whose ideas are selected for implementation will also get recognition on social media and news channels and certification from DCD.

“The aim of the Wyakom platform is to effectively engage the community in solving social challenges, not to mention that it will act as a bridge between the community and social sector. This, in turn, will enable decision-makers to not just get a better understanding of priority issues, but it will also help them find creative and effective solutions to them. The more the ideas, the brighter and better the outcome. This is the rationale behind Wyakom,” Dr Alhyas said.

Other areas will also soon be included on the Wyakom platform, authorities said.