GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
Assessment of People and Knowledge in the GCC Countries with Guidelines Toward Future Development
Paper Proposal Text :
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, with their rich oil resources, are facing the problem of fallen oil prices on the one hand, and reduced oil reserves on the other. As a result, they are moving toward less dependence on oil, and increasing dependence on people and knowledge. It is therefore important to assess the state of people and knowledge issues in these countries; diagnose existing strengths and weaknesses associated with these issues; derive guidelines for future development; and monitor development progress according to these guidelines.
This paper is concerned with the development of a wide scope “people and knowledge index” using relevant international indicators made available by international organizations, including: governmental organizations such as those associated with the United Nations (UN); non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), such as the World Economic Forum (WEF); and various other renowned institutions. The paper is also concerned with assessing the GCC countries according to this index, and with using the results of the assessment to derive guidelines that can direct future development toward foreseen outcomes.
The targeted index is based on a set of principles that are partly unique, and partly related to the principles of other available indices in use for various development issues. This set of principles include the following.
 The index considers a wide scope of different issues covering the state of people and their interaction with knowledge and society. This helps providing comprehensive assessment that leads to useful results.
 The index is built of relatively small building blocks, with each building block consisting of a small number of indicators that provide a revealing collective meaning that can be expressed as a sub-index. This principle enables flexibility in adding, or removing blocks, depending on requirements paused by different needed investigations.
 The GCC scores given by the international indicators are normalized for enabling their integration at the building block level and at the main index level. The normalization method used is based on the scores of the world best and least countries of the indicator concerned. This provides normalized scores for the Gulf countries relative to the state of the world.
 Weights can be assigned to the various indicators, and to the sub-indices in their construction of the main index. This would enable considering investigations associated with different emphasis on different issues.
The main index includes “ten building blocks”, with each providing a sub-index consisting of five international indicators. Four of these blocks are concerned with the “core issues” of people and knowledge; while the other six are related the “environment issues” with which people and knowledge interact. These ten blocks are illustrated in Figure 1.
Figure 1:
The building blocks of the proposed structured “People & Knowledge Index:
The paper describes the use of the “people and knowledge index”, and derive results on their strengths and weaknesses among the issues of “50 international indicators”. This helps understanding the state of the GCC countries relative to one another on the one hand; and relative to the whole world on the other, as this is enabled by the normalization method used. From these results and from current world trends, future development guidelines for the GCC countries will be developed emphasizing the increasing dependence on people and knowledge, and the reduced dependence on oil. It is hoped that the paper would contribute to the role of people and knowledge in the development of successful life in the GCC countries.