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FAQs

 

KAM bullet1.  What is the KAM?

KAM bullet2.  Which are the 4 knowledge economy (KE) pillars?

KAM bullet3.  Who developed the KAM?

KAM bullet4.  What are the data for the variables obtained?

KAM bullet5.  How often are the data updated?

KAM bullet6.  How are comparisons performed within the KAM?

KAM bullet7.  What are the differences between the 6 modes?

KAM bullet8.  What is the Basic Scorecard mode?

KAM bullet9.  How were the variables for the Basic Scorecard selected?

KAM bullet10.  In terms of the time periods available in the KAM, exactly which year is “the most recent year”?

KAM bullet11.  What are the KAM pillar indexes?

KAM bullet12.  What is the Knowledge Economy Index (KEI)?

KAM bullet13.  What is the Knowledge Index (KI)?

KAM bullet14.  Why are some countries not included in the KAM?

KAM bullet15.  What is the difference between the weighted and unweighted innovation variables?KAM bullet

16.  Why does the KAM include qualitative data?

KAM bullet17.  Does the KAM examine facets of the knowledge economy at regional or the firm   level?

KAM bullet18.  How is the KAM relevant for low-income countries?

 

 

1What is the KAM?

The KAM is an Internet-based tool that provides an assessment of countries’ and regions’ readiness for the knowledge economy. More specifically, it is a user-friendly interactive diagnostic and benchmarking, Internet-based tool that is designed to help client countries understand their strengths and weaknesses by comparing themselves with neighbors, competitors, or other countries that they may wish to emulate based on the four knowledge economy pillars.

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2.  Which are the 4 knowledge economy (KE) pillars?

 

The 4 knowledge economy pillars are:

 

  • An economic and institutional regime that provides incentives for the efficient use of existing and new knowledge and the flourishing of entrepreneurship.
  • An educated and skilled population that can create, share, and use knowledge well.
  • An efficient innovation system of firms, research centers, universities, think tanks, consultants, and other organizations that can tap into the growing stock of global knowledge, assimilate and adapt it to local needs, and create new technology.
  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) that can facilitate the effective communication, dissemination, and processing of information.

 

Making effective use of knowledge in any country requires developing appropriate policies, institutions, investments, and coordination across the above 4 pillars.

 

 

 

3.  Who developed the KAM?

 

The Knowledge Assessment Methodology (KAM) was developed by the World Bank Institute’s Skills and Innovation Policy Program.

 

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4.  What are the data for the variables obtained?

 

The data in the KAM are compiled from datasets that have been published by reputable institutions.  The data sources are clearly cited in the KAM User’s Guide.

 

 

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5.  How often are the data updated?

 

The KAM database is updated regularly and the country coverage is expanded whenever possible.

 

 

 

6.  How are comparisons performed within the KAM?

 

Comparisons in the KAM are made on the basis of 148 structural and qualitative variables that serve as numerical proxies for the 4 knowledge economy pillars.  Currently, there are 146 countries and 7 regional groupings that are available in the KAM.  The comparisons are presented in a variety of charts and figures generated by the 6 display modes that visibly highlight similarities and differences across countries.

 

 

 

7.  What are the differences between the 6 modes?

 

The 6 display modes present the country and regional comparisons based on the KAM data in a variety of charts and figures.   Between the 6 modes, the KAM can display the comparisons in a spider chart, diamond chart, bar chart, scatter plot or tabulated in a table.  In addition, between the 6 modes, users can choose to make comparisons across countries, regions, and time periods based on a set of pre-selected variables (in the Basic Scorecard mode) or any combination of the 148 variables available in the KAM. 

 

 

 

8.  What is the Basic Scorecard mode?

 

The Basic Scorecard mode is one of the more frequently used modes of the KAM.  It provides an overview of the performance of a specific country or region in terms of all 4 pillars of the knowledge economy.  It includes 12 standard variables, with 3 variables representing each of the 4 KE pillars. The comparisons for the 12 basic scorecard variables can be made for the year 1995, 2000 or for the most recent year, or for any combination of two out of the three years in order to show the movement over time.

 

 

 

9.  How were the variables for the Basic Scorecard selected?

 

The 12 knowledge variables used in the Basic Scorecard were selected on the basis of their ability to proxy the respective KE pillar, their availability for a large number of countries and for a longer time series, so as to provide consistent comparisons for a large number of countries across three time periods, 1995, 2000 and the most recent year.

 

While there may be more robust data to proxy each of the 4 KE pillars, these data tend to be available only for the more developed countries.

 

 

 

10.  In terms of the time periods available in the KAM, exactly which year is “the most recent year”?

 

The exact most recent year for which a data series is available depends on the variable in question.  For example, the most recent year for gross tertiary enrollment rate is 2009, whereas that for average years of schooling is 2010.

 

 

 

11.  What are the KAM pillar indexes?

 

The KAM provides indexes for each of the 4 KE pillars.  Each pillar index is constructed as the simple (unweighted) average of the 3 knowledge indicators that proxies the pillar in the Basic Scorecard.

 

 

 

12.  What is the Knowledge Economy Index (KEI)?

 

The Knowledge Economy Index (KEI) measures a country's ability to generate, adopt and diffuse knowledge and also whether the environment is conducive for knowledge to be used effectively for economic development.  It is an aggregate index that represents the overall level of development of a country or region in the Knowledge Economy, and summarizes performance over the 4 KE pillars.  The KEI is constructed as the simple average of the 4 pillar indexes in the KAM.

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13.  What is the Knowledge Index (KI)?

 

The KAM Knowledge Index (KI) measures a country's ability to generate, adopt and diffuse knowledge, but not whether the environment is conducive to knowledge use.   It is an indication of overall potential of knowledge development in a given country. Mathematically, the KI is the simple average of the indexes of the 3 KE pillars – education and human resources, the innovation system and information and communication technology (ICT), and excludes the economic and institutional regime.

 

 

 

14.  Why are some countries not included in the KAM?

 

For this current version of the KAM, countries are included in the KAM database only if, among the 12 Basic Scorecard knowledge variables, there at most 1 variable from each of the 4 KE pillars for which data is not available.  For example, if Country X does not have data for the secondary and tertiary gross enrollment rates, then the education pillar index, the KI and KEI all cannot be calculated, and Country X would therefore not be included in the KAM database.

 

 

 

15.  What is the difference between the weighted and unweighted innovation variables?

 

For the innovation variables in the Basic Scorecard, there is an option to either have the variables weighted by total population (divided by total population measured as millions of persons) or unweighted (not divided by anything).  Innovation variables that are weighted by population indicate the strength of the innovation pillar while accounting for the total population of the economy, which is a commonly accepted norm of presenting macro variables such as GDP per capita or number of births per thousand persons.  Innovation variables that are unweighted indicates the critical mass effect where there tends to be more creativity and innovation, the greater number of people within a specific geographical location to exchange ideas.

 

 

 

16.  Why does the KAM include qualitative data?

 

The KAM includes many variables that are qualitative in nature, that is, based on opinion surveys because there are many aspects of the knowledge economy for which quantitative hard data, consistently measured across a large number of countries, does not exist.  Rather than totally missing any measurement of these components, the KAM includes these qualitative data as a second best option.

 

 

 

17.  Does the KAM examine facets of the knowledge economy at regional or the firm level?

 

No, the KAM was developed to examine countries progress toward the knowledge economy only at the country level.  Although very important in many countries, such as in China where there are significant economic differences between the costal and non-coastal regions, accounting for sub-national differences requires additional tiers of data which is not readily available for international comparisons.

 

 

 

18.  How is the KAM relevant for low-income countries?

 

Because many of the low income countries are just embarking on the transition to becoming a knowledge economy, some of the variables in the KAM may not be particularly relevant for these countries.   To compare countries that are in the early stages of the KE process, one could choose the relevant regional or low-income comparison groups when generating the charts and figures, or alternatively use the custom scorecard mode and choose variables that are more relevant for the countries being analyzed. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  




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