Arab Knowledge Index launched to measure status of knowledge in Arab countries

DUBAI, 9th December 2015 (WAM) — The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have launched the first edition of the Arab Knowledge Index, a systematic mechanism to monitor the status of knowledge in the Arab countries every year.

Announcing this at a press conference during the Knowledge Summit 2015 in Dubai which concluded today, Jamal bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of the MBRF, said the index has been developed after a year of field research, in-depth studies and reviews and a series of workshops conducted in a number of Arab and international countries such as Morocco, Jordan, the US, France and the UK.

The Arab Knowledge Index comprises six main indices covering the most vital sectors that represent the knowledge levels in every Arab country. These indices are: Pre-university education; Higher education; Vocational education and training; Research & development and innovation; Information technology and communication; and Economic sector.

Bin Huwaireb said, “The Arab Knowledge Index takes into account national, historical and cultural characters of each Arab country separately, and is flexible enough to be adopted in several countries with different development levels. The index does not aim to create rankings, but is a scientific tool that describes the status of knowledge in the Arab region. It establishes a road map for the economic and societal development strategies.”

Bin Huwaireb also stated that while this year the Arab Knowledge Index features only Arab countries, efforts are on to include all Islamic countries in the Index from next year onwards.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sima Bahouth, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States in the UNDP, said the Arab Knowledge Index will serve as a pragmatic tool to establish sustainable development in the region.

“We live in turbulent times and the region is losing focus in the area of knowledge, leading to spurts in extremism and other issues of concern. Qualitative education can help eradicate poverty and unemployment in the region and help establish development channels in the region,” Dr. Bahouth added.

The findings of the Arab Knowledge Index are available on the ‘Knowledge 4 All’ portal, launched by the MBRF in cooperation with the UNDP at the Knowledge Summit. The portal is a digital reference hub for researchers, professionals, students, stakeholders and the general public for various data and publications on knowledge-related topics.

Apart from the Arab Knowledge Index, the ‘Knowledge 4 All’ portal features three Arab Knowledge Reports published between 2009 and 2014 and other research reports.

The three-day Knowledge Summit 2015 was organised by the MBRF, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai.