Developing the Omani strategy for social development 2016-2025


The Omani Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) is the body responsible for the implementation of the Omani government’s visions in the field of social protection and empowerment. The MoSD extracted its past policy responsibilities from the strategic guidelines included in the eighth five-year plan developed by the Supreme Council of Planning.  It is mandated to provide social protection involving social security and social care to families, children, people with disabilities and the elderly as well as other vulnerable groups. Additionally, it is mandated to develop and regulate the non-profit sector. The MoSD is also the key referral authority assessing eligibility for developmental services and social work. In the social policy sector, the MoSD coordinates with other ministries and relevant social institutions.

Planning within the MoSD is linked with the overall national planning process.  In order to convert its visions and existing responsibilities into policies, projects and work programmes, the MoSD has set out a strategic plan, the Strategy on ‘Social Development’. The strategy has also informed the 9th national five-year plan 2016-2020, which is developed by the Supreme Council of Planning.

Professor Shereen Hussein working with UNICEF and other colleagues assisted the MoSD in developing such a strategy. The strategy covered six core pillars:

  1. Social protection;
  2. Social care;
  3. Family and community development;
  4. The rights of people living with disabilities;
  5. Civil society; and
  6. Institutional support.

Professor Shereen Hussein led the development of the ‘social care’ pillar and contributed to other pillars within the strategy. This development was based on extensive fieldwork including interviews with stakeholders, surveys of needs and workshops.


Image credit: Journaway Rundreisen,

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Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and its impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.