Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Member Countries and the Knowledge Economy: Opportunities and Challenges

Training Course
Begins:   Mar 21, 2006 
Ends:   May 17, 2006 


Training Course  I   KE Awareness Session  I  Readings


IsDB LogoAt the request of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the K4D Program delivered a training course for IDB staff on the knowledge economy approachand its relevance to IDB member countries. The course consisted of two half-day video conference sessions (March 21 and 28, 2006) and a three-day face-to-face workshop in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (May 15-17, 2006), and was attended by about 40 staff members from various departments of the IDB. The K4D Program has also delivered a separate introductory session on the Knowledge Economy to IDB operational staff and a KE Awareness Session at the IDB Annual Meetings. 


This page provides a brief overview of the event and the key presentations.


IsDB TrainingThe course introduced the knowledge economy approach as an integrative and coherent set of development strategies that tends to increase long-term economic productivity. Its importance has been steadily growing in the current extremely competitive era of globalization. The KE approach is not only about information technology or other high-technology industries per se, but about the capability to combine together elements from the various KE pillars so that the use of knowledge spurs economic activity and productivity. In this light, the KE approach is relevant to any economy at any stage of development, even to low-income countries.


An interesting example of the tourism industry in Mauritania was presented.  In the desert of Mauritania tourists are being guided by English speaking university graduates, previously unemployed, using the traditional knowledge of nomads.  Even in the desert, the tourists are able to remain cyber connected as the hotels are equipped with first rate Internet services and hardware, thanks to an exemplary telecom policy.  Hence, it was seen that the implicit application of the KE approach in low-income Mauritania has led to the decrease in skilled unemployment and growth of the tourist industry.


The course also included detailed discussions regarding the KE pillars. In terms of education, the emphasis was on the importance of problem solving skills rather than rote learning, and move from a centralized education systems to systems with more school autonomy and accountability of schools’ and teachers’ performance. The session on innovation highlighted the key principles for successful innovation policies. Lastly, the ICT session underscored that ICT are but tools, and that economic benefits can be reaped only if the right policies and incentives are in place.


The IDB staff were also introduced to the Knowledge Assessment Methodology, and had actual hands-on practice using the KAM to benchmark the KE performance of selected IDB countries.  The current version of the KAM includes 37 out of the 57 IDB member countries.  At the end of the three-day training workshop, the participants presented in teams their own KE assessment of a self-selected IDB member country. 


The course spent a substantial amount of time focusing on country case studies of knowledge economy strategies. Finland and South Korea were highlighted as exemplary economies that have made the transition to advanced knowledge economies, while China and India were presented as countries in the midst of the KE transformation. The performance of Malaysia, Egypt, Turkey and Senegal were discussed as examples of IDB countries at various levels of KE development. In addition, education reform projects in Jordan and Tunisia and ICT projects in Morocco, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia were shown as examples of how the World Bank provides assistance to countries undertaking knowledge economy strategies.


K4D team members Jean-Eric Aubert, Kurt Larsen (task team leader), Douglas Zhihua Zeng, and Derek Chen, together with other World Bank colleagues Bruno Lanvin (Telecoms and Infrastructure Policy Division), Omer Karasapan (MENA Region), and Jamal Al-Kibbi (MENA Region), contributed to the delivery of the course.


 Knowledge Economy Overview


arrow The Knowledge Economy: an Introduction. Jean-Eric Aubert, WBI. (PDF, 139Kb)


arrowThe Knowledge Economy Strategic Issues. Jean-Eric Aubert, WBI.(PDF, 339Kb)


arrowIsDB Countries and the Knowledge Economy – an Overview. Jean-Eric Aubert, WBI. (PDF, 104Kb)


arrowThe Knowledge Assessment Methodology (KAM) - an Introduction. Derek Chen, WBI. (PDF, 86Kb)


arrowIsDB Member Countries and the Knowledge Economy – KAM Overview. Derek Chen, WBI. (PDF, 819Kb)


KE Pillar Analysis


arrowKnowledge Economy Opportunities and Challenges: the Economic and Institutional Framework. Omer Karasapan, MENA. (PDF, 277Kb)


arrowFoster an Educated and Skilled Population that can Create, Share and Use Knowledge Well. Kurt Larsen, WBI. (PDF, 490Kb)


arrowInnovation Policy. Jean-Eric Aubert, WBI. (PDF, 95Kb)


arrowKnowledge Economy Assessment - the ICT Pillar. Bruno Lanvin, e-Strategies, the World Bank. (PDF, 793Kb)


Knowledge Economy Country Studies


arrowKnowledge Economy Perspective on Malaysia: A Comparative Diagnostic.Derek Chen, WBI.(PDF, 1.55Mb)


arrowMalaysia KE Brief. Jean-Eric Aubert, WBI. (PDF, 18Kb)


arrowSenegal and the Knowledge Economy: a Benchmarking Assessment. Derek Chen, WBI. (PDF, 1.53Mb)


arrowKnowledge Assessment Methodology – Senegal. Bruno Lanvin, E-Strategies, the World Bank. (PDF, 475Kb)


arrowTurkey and the Knowledge Economy: Implementing the Agenda. Omer Karasapan, MENA. (PDF, 310Kb)


arrowTurkey and the Knowledge Economy: a KAM Analysis. Derek Chen, K4D Program, WBI.  (PDF, 1.53Mb)


arrowEgypt and Knowledge Economy: Seizing the Opportunity. Douglas Zhihua Zeng, Economist, K4D Program, WBI. (PDF, 153Kb)



Permanent URL for this page: