UK’s Government Outcomes Lab – (GO Lab) has published a case study titled: The ATMAH Social Impact Bond and Abu Dhabi’s Aspirations for Inclusion.


This case study complements the ‘Abu Dhabi Social Outcomes Contracting Blog Series’, which outlines how Abu Dhabi aims to develop and implement Social Impact Bonds to achieve its social goals. The news comes after the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an announced its successes halfway through the programme, celebrating impressive milestones achieved during its first six-months.


The blog, which was written by Dr. Chih Hoong Sin, Chair of London-based Traverse

will be featured on the GOLab’s bank of international case studies and its weekly newsletter , which will be distributed to professionals, policy-makers and practitioners in the public, social and private sectors around the world. This high-level distribution internationally positions Ma’an and Abu Dhabi as leaders in implementing and addressing methods of financing and delivering solutions for the social challenges in Abu Dhabi.


ATMAH is the GCC’s first Social Impact Bond, launched by Ma’an, in collaboration with the Department of Community Development, Aldar Properties, Aldar Education and Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination.


Her Excellency Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, said: “As the first Social Impact Bond in the GCC, we look to international experts, such as Dr. Chih Hoong Sin to assist with providing the strong understanding regarding SIBs and how we can develop an outcome-oriented approach to social challenges, encouraging innovation and growth within the third sector here in Abu Dhabi.


“ATMAH’s successes will spark a wider movement across the region, exploring the role that private finance can have in contributing to solving social challenges.”



Dr Chih Hoong Sin Chair of Traverse an expert Knowledge partner, commented: “In this blog I explore how Abu Dhabi’s first Social Impact Bond, ATMAH, utilises a system-level approach, therefore influencing the design and execution of the Social Impact Bond in new and profound ways, rather than treat the Social Impact Bond as a discrete project, stakeholders in Abu Dhabi was using it as a vehicle to enable the Emirate to embed inclusion at scale. This holds important lessons for the international community.”


ATMAH is Abu Dhabi’s first Social Impact Bond. Launched in April, the vocational pilot training programme aims to equip young people of determination with the necessary skills and knowledge to secure permanent employment in Abu Dhabi.


Nigel Ball, Executive Director of the UK Government Outcomes Lab (GOLab) also commented: “The GO Lab is pleased to add a case study from Abu Dhabi to our bank of knowledge on impact bonds from all over the world. Abu Dhabi’s unique experience is bound to carry important lessons for those implementing and studying similar projects worldwide. This learning can only take place as long as project leads like those in Abu Dhabi remain committed to transparently sharing information on their projects, and we look forward to continuing to work with the project’s promoters on this going forward.”Dr. Bushra Al Mulla, Executive Director of the Community Development Sector at DCD, who noted that: “The inclusion and empowerment agenda of POD has been prioritized and translated into actionable roadmap through the Abu Dhabi Strategy for POD which aims at transforming the Emirate into an inclusive society enabling and empowering POD through a paradigm shift to the social and human rights perspective of disability. The Atmah SIB aligns seamlessly with this paradigm shift as it exemplifies how cross-sector partnerships are breaking down systemic and programmatic barriers to POD access to employment and inclusion and thus contributing to better social outcomes for POD.”


His Excellency Abdullah Al Humaidan, General Secretary of ZHO noted: “Inclusion is central to the vision and mission of the organization, with educational, social and employment inclusion remaining a key target of strategic planning and key initiatives”.

Sahar Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, Aldar Education, said: “Inclusivity and the value it brings, not only to the students, but to the communities within the UAE, ensuring that no child is left behind, is one of our key objectives at Aldar Education. It is this passion that drives us in this initiative and in creating this specialist pilot training initiative. We’re very fortunate to be working with likeminded partners, The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, Aldar Properties, Department of Community Development and Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, who have shown just as much enthusiasm to secure the results we have achieved so far.


It is our pleasure to work with such inspiring students, each with a vibrant skill set and the willingness to achieve greatness. It is our role to equip the students with employability skills and help them secure traineeships and employment, something we couldn’t do without our incredible teaching staff, Inclusion team and the supportive families.”



Talal Al Dhiyebi, Chief Executive Officer, Aldar Properties said: “As we mark an important milestone in the ATMAH programme, we are reminded of the incredible talent that exists in our communities, many on the lookout for the right opportunities to succeed.  This initiative is a great example of how the public and private sectors can work together in an innovative way to create impactful programmes that address matters of critical importance to our society and truly change lives.


Social responsibility sits at the core of what we do in Aldar and as a member of the wider community, we are committed to enhancing the social fabric of Abu Dhabi. Through our partnership with the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, we will continue to harness the untapped potential of people of determination while promoting a more diverse and inclusive workforce.”




Used by more than 30 countries worldwide, Social Impact Bonds are an internationally established and successful way to finance the delivery of public services. They involve the government, a social service provider and a social investor – using multi-party partnerships to bring together the right organisations to solve social challenges. It also encourages innovation and growth within the third sector.


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, philanthropic and corporate foundations, or investment funds, will then invest in the Social Impact Bond and the government will pay back the investor, but only if the outcomes are achieved.


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