Preparing the future of the Sultanate | Borneo Online Newsletter

James Kon

The cohort of the recently concluded Strategic Foresight Methodology course at the Center for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS) demonstrated their understanding of strategic foresight through project documents that were crucial to their organization.

This was the fifth course in Strategic Foresight and this year the course marked a significant achievement after being internationally recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Chair in Futures Studies (UNESCO) and the Sejahtera Center for Sustainability and Humanity of the International Islamic University. Malaysia (IIUM).

CSPS Executive Director and Chief Researcher Dr Diana Cheong said in a statement: “Policy makers around the world are facing disruptive forms of change in a rapidly changing technological, ecological, socio-economic landscape.

“Seemingly unlikely and marginal events can, and often do, create significant ripple effects not only locally but also globally.

“There is a need to continuously address the external environment – ​​be it climate change, new technologies, new diseases, new employment patterns and changing social expectations of the community. The continuous analysis of signals and events that could be important in the longer term allows for reactive and anticipatory governance.

“Our CSPS Strategic Foresight course provides skills in a multitude of foresight analysis tools.

“We help workshop participants identify current trends and emerging issues that may impact Brunei in the medium to long term.”

The course also provides scenario development capacity and exploration of alternative policy models and pathways to help develop stronger policies needed to achieve the overall national vision, she said.

According to workshop facilitator Yuzilawati binti Abdullah, the course was conducted before the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Sultanate and one of the exercises was the consequences of the virus.

“The attendees were asked if it was possible for Brunei to close its borders. of Brunei were closed. Ridiculous as it may seem, the unintended consequences must be considered in order to prepare us for the changes,” she said.

For the Ministry of Defence’s Foresight Project, “Protecting the Future of Brunei’s Land Border Security”, Kelvin Wong pointed out that strategic foresight tools were applied to explore areas of countering transnational crimes. in the country from the point of view of the security of its land borders.

The exercise helped to understand not only the complexity of the underlying issues and their consequences, but also the possibilities of employing mixed approaches to achieve the preferred future through means such as international cooperation, development and l empowerment of local communities.

He said: “The tools challenged us to broaden our thinking and we hope the document will serve as a useful entry point for further study and strategy for early interventions.”

Meanwhile, for the Foresight Project of the Attorney General’s Chamber (AGC) and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), “The Future of the Administration of Justice in Brunei Darussalam in the World of Transformation digital”, Pengiran Hajah Siti Rahmah binti Pengiran Haji Mohammad of AGC shared the course enabled organizations to research emerging trends over the next five years or more, such as digital transformation and the realization that data are the new oil.

“The administration of justice is recommended to consider digital transformation to achieve the whole-of-government approach, connecting meaningful data between stakeholders and agencies and embracing the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) using the legal technology and document digitization in realizing the rule of law and the nation’s aspiration to Vision 2035.”

The Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Foresight Project “Valuing What’s Valuable: Driving the Development of the RBAF Reserve Force” explored an ideal 15-year future for defense in Brunei focusing on the growth areas of military reserves.

As part of the Ministry of Development (MoD) Foresight Project, “Centralized Online Application System Towards Smart Digital Services”, Amal Hayati binti Haji Junaidi from the MoD shared the document’s aim to move towards a “ centralized online system”, via a single platform (‘one-stop hub’) offering smarter and more responsive services to the general public.

This is a response to advances in technology, whereby manual methods of the application process will no longer be feasible in the long term.

This integrated online service will focus not only on online registration, online billing and customer support, but also on search engine optimization of information, use of digital signatures and sending automated notifications to agents and candidates.

Muhammad Nasrullah bin Murni from the Office of the Prime Minister (PMO) highlighted the foresight project of the PMO, the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunication and the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and Tourism, “Emerging Issues in Brunei », on the emerging problem around the theme of rapid urbanization. developments in Borneo.

“The tools and the framework we learned during the course give us a perspective on how such a problem could develop and what the direct and indirect consequences are. Several scenarios are built and this allowed us to identify if emerging issues are a problem or an opportunity for us to strategically plan accordingly.

For the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the DST Foresight Project, “Health Data: Are We Protected?

He said data protection policy will be further regulated and enforced and with the advancement of technology to ensure Brunei is “a healthy, secure and protected nation.”

Also, for Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali and Radio Television Brunei Foresight Project, “Transforming Higher Education for Future Relevance: Case of Brunei”, Dr Hajah Juraidah binti Haji Musa from UBD said: “The team envisioned world-class higher education without walls, which can be achieved through a pan-national approach, with government as the catalyst and a society embracing change for more equitable access to education, not only for the local but also for the global community.

“It capitalizes on digital innovations, educational and pedagogical advances, a stable and growing local and global economy, as well as political stability and international collaborations.”

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