Fostering a Progressive Society While Protecting Qatar’s Heritage

Qatar Foundation (QF) is committed toward promoting the community development pillar of QF’s mission. They aim to foster a progressive society, enhance cultural life, protect Qatar’s heritage, and address the community’s immediate social needs.
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To this end, a number of events are organized by the Community and Lifestyle Services department of the Support Services Directorate around the year.

The planning and implementation for these events and activities is a continuous and on-going process. Fatima Al Ansari, Community Services supervisor, Support Services Directorate, explains: “We start planning our annual calendar almost six to seven months before the start of the fiscal year, and from then on, it is a constant process.

The team comes together to brainstorm for new and interesting ideas; we look into customer feedback and develop ideas based on their input. We are always planning to organize exciting events of high quality for the members of the QF Community.”

After going back and forth on multiple ideas, the team then develops an event proposal which then gets approved by their management. The proposal must include various details such as target date, target participants, suppliers, event requirements, logistics and manpower requirements.

The team is also required to submit a Risk Assessment Form to the Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE) Directorate to ensure that the event meets the safety requirements. To arrange for the supplies and other necessities needed for the event, the team raises a Material Request with the Procurement Team 3-4 weeks before the event. The Community and Lifestyle Services also collaborate with the Communication Directorate to proofread and translate the advertisement material.
Al Ansari said: “It is indeed a team effort; we cannot work in isolation. It is the support of various directorates including HSSE, Procurement and Communication that makes our events so effective, and efficient.”

Once all the details of the event have been finalized, the team works to ensure that the highest number of people know about the event, in order to ensure the maximum turnout. Al Ansari said: “Once the advertisements are approved, we share it with the community through various channels, including the internal communications portal, Maktabi, through the outdoor screens, through the QF Telegraph publication, and even through the social media pages. We also print and distribute pamphlets across Education City.”

For several of the events, pre-registration is required, and this process usually ends before the start of the event. Closer to the date of the event, the team focuses on the Levels of Support and Area Actions. This includes sorting out the logistics, putting through a request for the set-up through the Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM) system about three weeks before the event, and following it until the event date.
The request needs to include details such as the number of handymen required, the venue for the event, the schedule of the event and the date and time for the set-up. The suppliers are required to ensure that all the supplies are delivered at least a week prior to the event.

Al Ansari said: “Usually, the set-up is scheduled the day before the event, and it is the event focal point’s responsibility to ensure that everything is in place, and ready for the kick-off of the event. He or she will be supported by a team which has participated in a briefing session to understand how the event will proceed.”

She explained that staff members are assigned specific areas and tasks to ensure that the event goes smoothly. These tasks could include monitoring, clicking pictures of the event, assisting the suppliers and participants, and requesting participants to take the survey.

Following the completion of the event, the event focal points are required to ensure that the set-up is removed safely and efficiently. They are also required to develop and submit an After Action Report to their supervisor highlighting the steps involved in organizing the activity, the feedback received, and the lessons learned.

According to al Ansari, catering to a diverse and multicultural community is one of the key changes the Community and Lifestyle Services department face. “We understand that people have different wants and tastes, and our challenge is to develop an event or activity that brings them all together and ensures that they all enjoy and learn at these events.”

She explained that in order to be able to anticipate their expectations, community members are encouraged to fill out the online survey forms on a monthly basis, and a Customer Service Day is also organized twice a year.

Keeping in mind the Community Development pillar of the mission of QF, the future goal of the Community and Lifestyle Services is to maintain and to provide more quality events, classes and activities to all QF members and their families.

Al Ansari said: “We are committed toward ensuring that we can actively engage the QF Community in programs and activities promoting an enhanced quality of life, inculcate ethics and values of good sportsmanship by organizing different tournaments and competitions within Community Services locations; it is also a very effective slow learning experience, giving participants good time through quality services.”

They aim to encourage young community members, especially students. to excel and achieve in academics by organizing two school-related programs a year within QF. Qatar’s culture will also be in focus, as events will be organized to promote awareness of Qatar culture and traditions, and provide educational information about the historical heritage within Qatar; and they also aim to provide QF members with different activities that observe, follow, and respect the diverse offerings and development of spiritual growth during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Al Ansari concluded by urging the QF Community to actively participate in their educational and entertaining events organized by their team to ensure that it becomes a success.