Several social research centers, independent or affiliated to universities have been engaged in the implementation of international programs which study and record the social attitudes in various countries through the application of a unified methodology and a single time frame.
The results of a national values survey, launched in the 2012 in collaboration between the Watani Programme and Barrett Values Centre, showed the UAE rank the highest amongst participating countries in the Arab region. The survey, using the Barrett model, measured social, humanitarian and moral values. The results indicated that the UAE has the opportunity to maintain the highest results regionally and internationally as well; particularly that these positive values are the core drivers behind the happiness of the UAE society’s.
Taking into consideration the inclinations of Emirati society, the stereotypes about the society and its indices that contribute to the periodic development of strategy, the participation in such an international program places the UAE within a global context that would allow for international and regional comparison, which the UAE always strives to achieve top ranks in.
Our recommendation for the UAE to participate in such international program is an invitation for the UAE to increase its presence in the global scientific and academic field. Participation also provides an opportunnity to highlight the a sucessful casestudy that can be benchmarked for peaceful and harmonious coexistance amongst the world’s civilizations within a set framework of values. The core value upon which this framework is based on human diginity and happiness.
This invitation can come as a solution to those countries effected by wars and conflict that lead to the world witnessing choas and extreme human despair in the shape of self sacracfice into open waters running away from the hell of reality. These nations and their societies failed to reach a common value platform between its people that they can stand by and defend.
On the contrary, religious sects, factions and tribes have set their own governance structure with values serving their narrow interests, and this has led to the wide spread of negative values of hate, intolernace and the radicalisation of the other.
One of the leading programs is the World Values Survey program which has so far implemented six waves and is currently preparing for the 7th wave which will continue up to five years starting from the year 2016.
The World Values Survey Association is the organization responsible for the implementation of the survey .It is a non-profit organization based in Stockholm, Sweden and is working to increase the number of the participant countries in order to cover the rest of the world countries .
The main objectives of the World Values Survey is to study the cultural, social and political changes affecting the societies so as to examine the extent of their effects on the values and major beliefs of the population. The survey is built on a general philosophy which holds that the relationship between the social changes in any society is a link with the values and opinions of the individuals in that particular society. The survey waves study is implemented by an international group of sociologists who are specialized in quantitative studies and who were working in national surveys since the year 1981 in approximately 100 countries as shown in the world map below and is covering now 90% of the world population. It is including the Arabian countries of Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Tunis, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Yemen, and Libya & Palestine.
Image source: World Values Survey Association
The World Values Survey is composed of major components related to the national and individual priorities and the values related to labor, political opinions, trust in the various governmental departments as well as trust in others. The association works on the analysis of the various social attitudes such as democracy, the social roles of man and woman ,the impact of globalization, people’s attitudes towards the surrounding environment,labour,family,politics,national identity and culture. The program outcome provides support to the decision makers to study the motives and values of any social changes.
It also provides them with the social indicators through which public policies could be developed as well as the start-up initiatives having positive impacts on the society and the individuals. This is in addition to the program role in supporting the process of developing the policies and strategies in a manner that conforms to values and attitudes of the society and the major behaviors governing this particular society.
Among the other international programs, is the international social surveying Program which has been developed by four contributors: The Public Opinion Center of the University of Chicago, The Research and Methodologies Studies Center in Germany, and The National Center for Social Sciences in the UK and the Social Sciences Center of the University of Canberra in Australia. The start-up was during the eighties with new criteria introduced annually. This survey includes the role of the government, the social support, the social equity, family and gender studies ,labour,religion and the environment
In the United Arab Emirates, the government has carried out one values survey in the year 2012 in collaboration with Watani Program and Barate International Values Center. This survey had revealed the fact that The Emirates society has the highest percentage among the countries in which Borate Model has been applied in relation to the prevailing social, human and moral values. This is attributed to the national unity that has been reinforced by the higher leadership of the state. The results concluded that the United Arab Emirates has a great opportunity to remain as leading pioneers in the positive values at the regional and international levels due to the fact that the positive prevailing values are the major motives for welfare and happiness of the society.
Participating in such international programs shall place the UAE in the context of regional and international comparisons ,as the state is constantly looking forward to be a pioneer in all aspects of life. This is due to the importance of obtaining the attitudes of the UAE citizens, the stereotypical impressions about the society and its indicators which help in the development of sustainable periodic strategies.