The hunt for statistics in the Arab world can be as daunting as snooping for classified intelligence during a time of war. Any journalist or researcher will tell you statistics in the region are often hard to get access to, reports are often secretive and getting any information can involve lots of negotiation.
So a service allowing researchers access to annual country reports about the region divided by industries will be considered useful by many academics in the Arab world.
Oxford Business Group has started a service that allows participating universities’ students access to archives of 220 reports and 22,000 articles about 38 emerging markets in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America. The reports are published annually and cover 20 sectors, including agriculture, education, financial services, tourism, media, health, energy and tourism. These include trends in the industry, statistics about the economy as well as financial data and censuses. “It is all primary research conducted on the ground by our team of analysts,” says Stephanie Parker, the group’s director of circulation and communications. “Each team spends six to 10 months on the ground in each country compiling the research.” The research is based on hundreds of interviews in each country. The website’s database is also conveniently searchable by keywords.
The academic service was first started in the United Kingdom in 2010 but has recently expanded to include universities in countries across the region, says Parker.
Any university enrolled in the academic program can give its students access to the entire online library. The group has a list of more than 70 universities and business schools globally with 10,000 registered students. Students in partner universities can access the database through registration cards made available in classes, booths, libraries or cafeterias on campuses. Once registered, the student can access the entire library of research, including premium content, free of charge. If the university opted to purchase a subscription, anyone logged into the university’s network can download the PDFs of the reports, otherwise, the students get read-only access. (A complete list of the enrolled universities is at the bottom of this article.)
Students in universities that aren’t enrolled in the program and independent researchers, however, can still access reports. “On the occasions when students do contact us from a university that has yet to enter the program, we naturally give them access but then hope to engage with the university directly,” says Parker. “If a student who is studying independently contacts us, we are likely to make an exception and give them access to the free, read-only academic subscription.”
She said the students who appear to be most interested in the online library are studying economics, business or international studies.
The group has recently published its first report on Myanmar this year and covers various countries in the Arab region, including Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Tunisia, the Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
For more information or to request access to Oxford Business Group’s reports by e-mail write to [email protected]
Other Sources for Country Reports and Statistics:
Arab Advisors Group: The group publishes different reports on the region, including market research, analysis and forecast in communication, media, technology and finance. Some of their reports are freely available on their website and others require payment.
Arab Social Media Report: Produced by the Dubai School of Government’s Governance and Innovation, the report is produced periodically and analyzes online trends across the Arab world and Iran, Israel and Turkey.
Arab Media and Society: This is an academic journal that covers articles and reports on the Arab world’s advertising, journalism, publishing, media and blogging. It is divided by topics as well as countries.
The Dubai Press Club: The club publishes periodical reports on the region’s media industry, which include the Arab Media Outlook and Media and Technology.
Deloitte: The financial consultants publish industry reports for countries in the Middle East and Africa in cooperation with local researchers and academia.
Arab Network for Human Rights Information: An NGO defending human rights, the network publishes various reports on issues concerning freedom and human rights in the region.
PriceWaterHouseCoopers: The financial consultants publish international industry reports that include regional reports on various issues.
The World Bank Data: A complete database for economic and social indicators searchable by country or by sector.
The International Monetary Fund: The fund publishes reports on economic and financial trends around the world that include The World Economic Outlook Reports (WEO), Global Financial Stability Reports (GFSR), Regional Economic Outlooks and Fiscal Monitor Reports.
Doing Business: Series of global, regional and national reports on regulations and legislation concerning investment and businesses put together by the International Finance Cooperation and the World Bank.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development: The organization publishes reports divided by sectors with global and regional statistics on progress and development of different sectors. There is also a report on Africa and several other specialized reports that are searchable by keyword or through their online database.
Human Rights Watch World Report: An annual report covering 90 countries and divided into country chapters covering human rights practices around the world.
McKinsey and Company: The company publishes regional articles and reports on various issues concerning the Middle Eastern and African market. The reports normally focus on a specific issue.
Enrolled universities in the region for the Oxford Business Group’s reports include:
– Ain Shams University
– The American University in Cairo
– The British University in Egypt
– British University in Dubai
– Canadian University in Dubai
– Middlesex University in Dubai
– Paris Sorbonne University
– S.P. Jain School of Global Management
– University of Dubai
– Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology
– Waterloo University UAE
– Zayed University
– Al Yamamah Univeristy
– Caledonian College of Engineering
– Gulf University
– University of Bahrain
– Gulf University of Science and Technology
– Institut National d’Administration
– Jordan University of Science and Technology
– Philadelphia University
– World Islamic Sciences of Education University
– Management Development Institute Business School
– Middle East College of IT
– National Training Institute
– Sultan Qaboos University
– Northwestern University in Qatar
– Qatar University
Al-Fanar Media welcomes other suggestions for resources. E-mail us at alfanarmedia.org. We promise we will respond.