NGOs in the UAE have got a collective platform for communication purposes with a web portal called Musahama, which was recently launched by du and Ministry of Social Affairs.
The portal, a corporate social responsibility initiative developed by du, will become an interface for interaction among all stakeholders involved in public-benefit activities.
Forty NGOs currently placed on the portal will have a chance to communicate with the ministry, the public and their international counterparts and partners, said Maryam Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of Social Affairs.
She said: "The first stage will hopefully draw all 130 NGOs currently registered with the ministry to be part of the portal. It will then help us launch research initiatives, surveys and assessments that will further develop the ministry's decision-making process."
"The second stage aims at drawing NGOs registered in the free zones, in addition to organisations established by decrees of the Rulers of the emirates, and have not been registered with the ministry. We will also establish communications with international organisations such as the United Nations organisations and agencies. These include UNDP, ESCWA and Unesco."
Besides acting as a source of information on NGOs, Musahama will display the work of each organisation and facilitate volunteering. The portal still needs fine-tuning to ensure that all information provided is correct, and that phone numbers and contact details are listed for each organisation.
Abdul Baset Mohammad Mirdas, Chairman of Emirates Thalassaemia Society, said he expected the portal to take up to six months to start functioning in a full-fledged manner.
NGOs registered on the portal have their own platforms of communication that allow them to promote their activities.
Commenting on whether the portal could help provide a new channel of communication with funding sources, Mirdas stressed being listed with the ministry allows the NGOs to create awareness and maintain deeper trust in their activities and contributions.
Mohammad Hassan Abu Taleb, Head of Communications Department, Bait Al Khair Society, said it was too early to judge traffic on the web portal, but it is a good way of compiling all information about public benefit organisations in a single location.
According to Al Roumi, the 40 organisations registered in the first stage of the project were selected to represent the ministry's four categories of NGOs – professional, humanitarian, charity and specialised associations and organisations.