Social development in Oman: designing a national strategy

This project helped to provide an evidence base for informed decision-making on social development policy in Oman.

Project team members

Social development has been identified as a core component of Oman’s next national five-year strategic plan. We assisted the Ministry of Social Development at the diagnostic stage of its elaboration of a 10-year strategy on social development, covering the periods of the next two national five-year strategic plans (2016-20 and 2021-25).

Our work focused on clarifying the scope of the strategy and supporting the design and delivery of a diagnostic study on the current status of social development service provision in the country.


As part of its remit, Oman’s Ministry of Social Development is responsible for providing a range of services within the country, including both cash-based social security and in-kind social care services. It also promotes community development, develops and regulates civil society, and coordinates with other ministries on social development issues.

Oman's social security system is well established and far reaching, but the country recognises the importance of rationalising the distribution of benefits, and also of strengthening coordination of social assistance with in-kind services and with other sectors such as employment and housing policy. In this context, social development has been identified as a core component of Oman’s next national strategic plan (2016-20).

This project was established to help gather robust evidence on existing social protection measures, as well as current and future needs, to support the elaboration of a national social development strategy for Oman.

Our approach

We worked with the Ministry of Social Development—supporting staff in-country and through remote technical assistance—in the diagnostic phase of writing their national social development strategy.

During the scoping stages of the project, our team helped the ministry set the parameters of the strategy and developed a timetable for its elaboration.

We designed a programme of qualitative fieldwork to support a diagnostic assessment of the current status of service provision for social development in the country.

We accompanied ministry researchers for three weeks of qualitative fieldwork in several governorates, talking to communities and key informants to understand the current need for provision of social development services, the quality and accessibility of those services that exist, and the gaps in service provision.

The results from this ongoing diagnostic study will be used to inform the development of the draft 10-year strategy.


Our work helped provide a foundation for evidence-based decision-making around social development policy in Oman. By supporting robust primary and secondary research across the country, our diagnostic study has helped to give a representative idea of service provision and the priority gaps that need to be addressed by the government over the coming years.

Area of expertise