New York – Today, at its Headquarters in New York, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)signed an agreement withthe Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF)to continue their joint work within the frame of the Knowledge Project for the next 10-years (2021-2030). The agreement renewsadecade-long partnership that promotes evidence-based policymaking for sustainable development in the Arab States region and around the world.

Achim Steiner,UNDP Administrator,Jamal bin Huwaireb,MBRF Chief Executive Officer,Saud Al Shamsi, Chargé d'affaires, and Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the United Nations,and Laurent Probst, Partner at Price Waterhouse Cooper in Luxembourg and Global Lead of PWC’s Accelerator Network participated in the signing ceremony, organized by UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States and the UAE Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

“Lessons of the past must inform development policies of the future, making knowledge a critical ally as we strive to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and shift to a more sustainable and resilient path,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. “In today’s fast-paced world, gaining, sharing and applying knowledgeexpands people’s capabilities and opportunities,and enriches their nations in every aspect of life — from education to the economy, from technology to the world of work.”

The Knowledge Project focuses promoting and measuring knowledge across the Arab States and around the world. Its key products include the Global Knowledge Index, the only global index that measures knowledge for 134 countries, and theFuture of Knowledge Foresight Report, a pilot study, covering 20 countries, focusing on emerging fields of knowledge that will shape the future of knowledge societies.

“There is no development without knowledge.The Global Knowledge Index addresses the critical need to measure knowledge within the Arab region and around the world,”stressed MBRF Chief Executive Officer Jamal bin Huwaireb. “, It alsofocuses on the pivotal role of youth in building knowledge societies. Our constant effort to spread knowledge and achieve its goals for development can only be realized through the empowerment of youth.”

In addition to the 10-year agreement, the event saw the signing of two other agreements, one charting a plan to engage youth from UAE as interns with UNDP, and another, between UNDP and PwC, to produce together the new Future of Knowledge Foresight Report 2019, one of the outputs envisioned in the ten-year plan between UNDP and MBRF.

“The UAE has witnessed remarkable socio-economic transformations since UNDPfirst opened its doors in 1977. Our relationship with UNDP has evolved over the years,” said Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations Saud Al Shamsi. “MBRF and UNDP found each other in 2008 and have been releasing since then great publications that document the best thinking on development and turning them into media-friendly content that is also practical for Member States. With the signing of this agreement, we look forward to outcomes of the next decade as this partnership continues to grow.”

For information, please contact
Diana Assaf
, Copywriter & Research Officer, Knowledge Project, UNDP-RBAS
E-mail:   Tel: +961 3 926917

Note to Editors

UNDP and MBRF have built a remarkable partnership over the past decade of collaboration on the Knowledge Project, sharing a vision of promoting and strengthening knowledge-based sustainable development in the Arab region and beyond.The project aims to promote knowledge societies and policies as transformational means to achieve sustainable development. It contributes to driving active conversations and raising awareness on the importance of knowledge and knowledge-based policies for sustainable development. The project encourages using the knowledge productions, namely the Global Knowledge Index, as advocacy tools, aiming to widely disseminate and embed in policy debates. 

The Knowledge Project has published three regional reports about knowledge in the Arab region, two of which involved original field research and country case studies. The Arab Knowledge ReportsAKR(AKR 2014: Youth and Localization of Knowledge, AKR 2010-2011: Preparing Future Generations for the Knowledge Societyand AKR 2009: Towards Productive Intercommunication for Knowledge) focused on contribution to establishing the knowledge society and economy in the Arab region, i.e. a society where knowledge is the ultimate tool and medium of effective integration between ICT, expertise, and governance capacities towards maximizing the gains and sustainability of human development. 

This led to the development of the Arab Knowledge Index – AKI (Arab Knowledge Index 2015 andArab Knowledge Index 2016), reflecting knowledge from a development perspective in the Arab region while taking into consideration the Arab region’s specific context, needs and challenges, and focusing as well on the critical role of Arab youth in the establishment of the knowledge society in the Arab region.Under the wider vision of the Arab Knowledge Index, the Arab Reading Index 2016was published providing an objective assessment of the state of reading in the Arab region.

The positive impact of the Arab Knowledge Index promoted the development of the Global Knowledge Index 2017, which is the only index that measures knowledge on the global level as a broad concept that is intricately related to sustainable development, hence to all aspects of modern human life, in a systematic approach that builds on solid conceptual and methodological principles.It was updated in 2018 through theGlobal Knowledge Index 2018.

As the Global Knowledge Index measures the current state of knowledge, the Knowledge and the Fourth Industrial Revolution 2018 andThe Future of Knowledge: A Foresight Report 2018lookedat the future, aiming at better understanding the navigation of present societies to cope with the demands of emerging technologies fields of knowledge that will shape the near and long-term futureof knowledge societies.

The Knowledge4All Portalwas launched in 2015 as a digital hub for knowledge, providing access to all results and products of the Knowledge Project. It was followed by the Knolwedge4All Mobile Appin 2016.


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