The first Social Impact Bond programme, created and launched by the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an
PIONEERING “ATMAH” PROGRAMME REACHES SUCCESSFUL HALFWAY MARK
- ATMAH is the first Social Impact Bond in the GCC, tasked with the mandate to adopt vocational training program and a collaborative model to support POD into employment and independence
- The programme has already cultivated a successful mobilisation and fast-adoption to a distance learning provision following the current societal challenges
- The programme has confirmed strong attendance from the 25 students and buy-in from their families
- The programme boasts a successful external evaluation from ASDAN with positive feedback
Abu Dhabi, 30 September 2020: Next month sees the halfway mark of GCC’s first Social Impact Bond, ATMAH. The trailblazing programme conducted with an agreement between Department of Community Development, the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, Aldar Properties, Aldar Education and Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination seeks to support the employment of people of determination and has already yielded positive results.
ATMAH is the first initiative of its kind in the region, working with 25 selected students with cognitive impairments learn life and vocational skills before moving into work placements and eventually permanent employment.
Having launched back in April, ATMAH quickly adapted to current societal challenges, altering its programme to follow a distance learning provision, which has received high attendance from the 25 students taking part.
The programme has received high praise from the external of examination from the ASDAN charity, who has described the initiative as: “this has been a most impressive first submission especially considering the constraints of distance learning”. ASDAN is an awarding organisation whose curriculum programmes and qualifications help young people develop knowledge and skills for learning, work and life.
The first six months of the 15-month curriculum were spent teaching the students skills to assist towards independence, beginning with learning communication and numeracy skills and moving on to my vocational skills, such as work awareness and personal safety, in-between enrichment modules such as gardening, arts and crafts, animal care and photography.
The next six months will consist of a practical internship titled “Workright”, featuring the tools to learn health and safety at work, responsibilities and working with others. The students will then graduate towards employability, learning teamwork, how to overcome barriers and customer service, amongst other elements.
Basma Bashar El Ghassin, student within the ATMAH programme and a Special Olympic Gold Medalist in Horse Jumping, said: “‘I really like ATMAH program because we practice English and learn how to use different programs on the iPad. It is helping me become more confident and independent and will help me to work in interior design.”
Zayed Ahmed Al Ameri, student within the ATMAH programme and fellow Special Olympic Gold Medalist in Kayaking, also commented: ‘I like the classes with ATMAH, they are really excellent. I enjoy both class work and homework, which is helping me as I would like to work in Engineering in an office.”
Her Excellency Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, said: “We are elated that our first Social Impact Bond has already proven advantageous. Ma’an’s commitment to identifying developing solutions for people of determination has been an important priority for us and we’re honoured to be working alongside such dedicated partners such as the Department of Community Development, Aldar Properties, Aldar Education and Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination to make it possible.”
Social Impact Bonds are an internationally established and successful way to finance the delivery of public services, first introduced in the UK. They involve the government, a social service provider and a social investor – using multi-party partnerships to bring together the right organizations to solve social challenges.
The contract operates on a pay-for-success basis, whereby social service providers will have the freedom to innovate and come up with a solution that delivers the social outcome. Private investors, such as high net worth Individuals or investment funds, will then invest in the Social Impact Bond and the government will pay back the investor – with interest – but only if the outcomes are achieved.