As reading is the basic tool in knowledge acquisition, exchange, and dissemination, the Arab Reading Index aims at providing an objective assessment of the state of reading in the Arab region under the wider vision of the Arab Knowledge Index.
The Arab Reading Index focuses mainly on reading within the more general knowledge development concept, emphasizing the role of reading as a tool for enlightenment and empowerment.
Assessing the state of reading is a challenging task because of the multitude of dimensions involved (mental, psychological, emotional, social, etc.). The Arab Reading Index is a unique tool that brings together all these different components under a single index comprising the three following pillars: Extent of Reading (hours and books read), Access and Availability (at the levels of family, educational institutions, and society), and Personal Attributes (skills and capacity, motives and incentives, and attitudes and standpoints).
It relies on data collected through an electronic survey that was conducted in 2016 involving more than 145,000 participants from all 22 Arab countries.
It is hoped that the index will shed more light on the importance of reading in the contexts of knowledge and development, and inform policymakers in how to best promote reading in the Arab-region.
The Arab Reading Index (ARI) was first released in 2016 by the Arab Knowledge Project, in partnership between MBRF and UNDP.