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Knowledge and Innovation in the Arab Region: Realities and a suggested framework for a guiding index Prepared by: Ghaith Fariz Director / Coordinator Arab.

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Presentation on theme: "Knowledge and Innovation in the Arab Region: Realities and a suggested framework for a guiding index Prepared by: Ghaith Fariz Director / Coordinator Arab."— Presentation transcript:

1 Knowledge and Innovation in the Arab Region: Realities and a suggested framework for a guiding index Prepared by: Ghaith Fariz Director / Coordinator Arab Knowledge Report

2 Knowledge The concept of “knowledge” expands to embrace all forms of a society’s epistemological and cultural assets. It is a major organizing principal of holistic human development, aiming to expand the choices and opportunities available to the individual Arab to enjoy freedom and an honorable life. Knowledge in terms of its acquisition, production, indigenization, and deployment, thus becomes a tool and goal that affects all levels of society equally and involves all fields, from the scientific, artistic, cultural and traditional to accumulated social experiences. Arab Knowledge Report 2009

3 Knowledge is an entry point to reform and human development: a tool and product of development Knowledge is a human right Adopting the broader concept of knowledge, which includes humanities, art, literature, in addition to applied sciences The tight connection between the status of knowledge and the enabling environments (Political, economic and social environments) Intercommunication; within the inside and with the outside, is a founding pillar

4 The Arab Region and the Aspired Knowledge Society

5 General Environment Human development… the broader framework of knowledge society: A slight improvement with the persistence of many structural problems (Poverty, unemployment among youth, illiteracy among adults) Additional pressures: Negative impact of wars, occupation and internal conflicts, extremism The global financial/economic crisis : Opportunities and challenges for the establishment of the knowledge society

6 Education: The founding tributary of knowledge society

7 Despite the Arab region having spent about 5% of GDP and 20% of government budgets on education over the past 40 years, around 1/4 of the population (15 years & older) is unable to read or write, and there are still some 48 million illiterate individuals in the Arab region.

8 About one third of the Arab countries suffer from significant school drop out rates Children in many Arab countries receive less than 70% of the time allotted for their formal education Some 5 million school age children in the Arab countries are out of school of which over 60% are females

9 Minimum Required Score Cognitive Skills (Searching for information, written communication, problem solving and use of technology) Conative skills (motivation to learn, self esteem and planning for the future) Social Skills (communicating with others, teamwork, public participation) Values (cognitive, conative, social and universal) Quality of Education Source: Arab knowledge Report 2010/2011

10 Up to this date, the educational systems in the Arab region were not able to create a critical mass of technicians capable of meeting the demands of the labor market Enrollment in higher education=24.1% compared to world average of of 28.7% and 57.5% in Europe and Central Asia, and 59% in Japan, and 75.8% in countries of very high HDI

11 Enrollment in Higher Education Country Educatio n Humaniti es and Arts Social Sciences, Law and Business Administratio n Science s Engineering manufacturin g and reconstructio n Agricultu re Health Service s / Other Unknown Algerie 1.83* 23.86* 41.01* 11.7* 13.25*1.63*3.47* 1.54* 1.7* Djibouti.. 30.77*** 17.27*** 27.79*** 18.68***.. 5.5***.. Jordan 19.43* 17.6* 28.06* 9.72* 6.4*5.44*2.98*.. *9.88 Lebanon 5.1* 12.62 46.49 10.99 12.35..11.19 0.81.. Morocco 4.69*** 13.21*** 35.27*** 23.25*** 12.4***1.12***6.65*** 3.39***.. Oman 10.73*** 15.88** 24.59** 21.52** 17.41**0.84**10.22** 0.73** 10.9*** Palestine 34.13 9.39 31.17 8.65 7.27..8.46 0.53.. Qatar 5.23 18.64 34.59 6.35 27.22..5.49 2.49.. Saudi Arabia 9.05 27.34 27.73 20.65 8.3..8.5 1.97.. Tunisia 0.5 18.74 23.72 25.92 16.451.549.19 3.92.. *2011 Data **2010 Data ***2009

12 Information and Communication Technologies The pillars and tools of knowledge

13 Arabic is among the top ten languages used on the net. Arabic-speaking internet users are the fastest growing group (>2000%). Arabic digital e-content is still relatively weak Rates of internet use in most Arab countries are less than the prevailing global rates Dissatisfactory levels of ICT applications for development (Education, health, media... with the exception of GCC countries)

14 Arab Performance in Innovation

15 Spending on scientific research in the Arab region is among the least worldwide (Ranging from 0 to 1 % of GDP, most of it depends on government funding with minimal involvement of the private sector ) Scientific publishing and patents...modest achievements Arab citizen’s share in published books equals 4 per cent and 5 per cent of the share of British and Spanish citizens Loss of Arab human capital (brain drain)...the ultimate result of low incentives and high constraints (45% of Arab students who study abroad do not return to their home countries) Weak link between innovation and production/development

16 CountryPopulationNumber of papers in 2013 Saudi Arabia28 287 8553 266 Tunisia10 777 5001 140 Lebanon4 424 888354 Kuwait3 250 496249 Jordan6 318 000451 Oman3 314 001203 UAE9 205 651506 Bahrain1 317 82772 Egypt80 721 8742 940 Palestine4 420 549127 Algeria38 481 705804 Morocco32 521 143609 Libya6 154 62375 Iraq32 578 209274 Syria22 399 254122 Sudan37 195 349104 Yemen23 852 40966 Mauritania3 796 1417 Comoros717 5031 Djibouti859 6521 Somalia10 195 1340 Arab countries according to the number of research per million in the first half of 2013 Source: Arab Scientific Community Organization 2013

17 Number of Patents Granted by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office CountryPatents (2013) Saudi Arabia237 Kuwait84 Egypt34 UAE18 Lebanon7 Morocco1 Tunisia4 Jordan6 Syria0 Jordan3 Qatar7 Algeria0 Iraq0 Bahrain2 Sudan0 Libya0 Yemen0 Mauritania0 Total Arab* countries403 Malaysia214 Finland1221 South Korea14548 Germany15498 Greece65 Turkey74 Philippines27

18 Overall Indicators

19 KEI for the Arab Region 2000 & 2012 Source: World Bank Knowledge Economy Index (KEI), 2012:

20 Knowledge Economy Index Arab Countries 2000-2012 Source: World Bank Knowledge Economy Index (KEI), 2012:



23 Despite the multiplicity of institutional initiatives in the Arab region, they neither cover all the domains of knowledge, nor do they reflect a clear policy for doing so. Arab legislation remain insufficient/inadequate in terms of either adoption or implementation to address the questions and issues of the knowledge society. Institutionalism and Legislation…..

24 Comprehensive Vision for Change Development…Openness and Intercommunication…Knowledge Policies Regional and National Change Management Institutions and Project Implementation Business and investment environment Education, training and media ICT and communi- cation System of innovation and creativity Social, political and cultural environment Arab Youth Skills…Values…Enabling… Knowledge Society Sustainable Human Development Moving Toward Preparing the Youth for the Knowledge Society

25 Innovation…. The locomotive to catch up A suggested framework for an innovation index

26 Knowledge Productive Intercommunication and Openness Development Innovation

27 Chronic problems, ambitions and catching up with the world Education – Illiteracy over 25% – Quality?? Rentier economies – No need to be innovative… Resource based economies Openness and productive intercommunication – Innovation and knowledge require openness and productive intercommunication

28 Required scales and indices of innovation in the Arab region Most of the available scales and indicators are designed for developed or emerging economies… in the Arab region we are neither nor….. How much do we really have of that in the Arab region? Are these indicators OK for us??? What should we do..??



31 Key points for an Arab innovation scale Directing the indicators to address our pressing developmental issues Can we wait …..Burning stages Critical mass approach Democratization/dissemination of innovation and knowledge Productive intercommunication and openness

32 Impact/Output (social, economic, environmental, cultural) Governance of Innovation Linking knowledge/innovation with production and development Translation and Languages R&D ICT Partnerships (regional/international Capabilities (Human/ knowledge capital) Legislative tools Societal tools Institutional tools Financial tools Intercommunication and openness Values

33 Innovation Doable Absorptive Capacity Responsive to Developmental needs Feasible Efficient and Effective

34 ImpactBasisMechanisms Enabling Environments Employment/ poverty Political support Intercommunication/ openness Financial tools Economic (FDI, ODA, Debt…) Economic environment R &DLegislative tools Social (health, education, Societal supportICTInstitutional tools Environmental Human/knowledge capital Partnerships (regional & international) Societal tools CulturalValues Translation and languages Overall governance Wellbeing, dignity and prosperity Protecting legislations Governance of innovation Incentives (financial and non-financial) Elements of Knowledge and Innovation Scale for the Arab Region

35 The required change is, at its core, a comprehensive economic, social, political, and cultural process of mobilization to build the Arab renaissance project with and through which the young Arab generation can prepare for a new society that lays the foundations of knowledge and brings openness to the world to serve sustainable human development for the dignity and wellbeing of the Arab people. Arab Knowledge Report 2010/2011

36 Thank you Ghaith Fariz

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