National Economy and Competitiveness

This program features conducting both macro- and microeconomic as well as financial dynamic analyses to enhance Saudi Arabia’s competitiveness and industrial diversification.
This program includes – but is not limited to – the following research themes:

Fiscal Sustainability
Analyze and propose policies to sustain government spending without compromising its solvency and activities.

Competitiveness Analysis of Key Strategic Industries / Sectors
Identify and analyze critical sectors in the Kingdom and propose measures for their consolidation and improvement.

Relevant sectors include:

Petrochemical Industry, Military Industry (Defense, others...), Machinery Industries (Automotive, Electrical Equipment, other heavy machinery and equipment...), others...

Disruptive Technology Impact on the Economy
Analyze the tech trends that have the biggest potential for economic disruption in the Kingdom, including ways to harness and adapt to these technologies, and developing innovative capacities to support them (AI, internet of things, …)

Economic Zones
Determine international best practices and benchmarking exercises to find opportunities for development of new or improvement of existing economic zones in Kingdom.
Conduct domestic analysis to determine white spaces and conditions necessary for economic zones to be impactful.

Logistics Development Capacity
Research regional and global logistics hubs to determine best practices and necessary capabilities for success in building a revenue-generating global logistics hub in the Kingdom; conduct domestic analysis to determine barriers and solutions for the improvement of logistics.

Improving Productivity
Explore mechanisms to improve the output that production factors generate, including different incentive structures, trainings and other schemes; design productivity-increasing policies that could be applied across the Kingdom.

Price Transparency
Explore the ways in which increased price transparency, in both the public and private sectors, drives competition and promotes economic growth.

Small and medium-sized enterprises enhancement
Explore Small and medium-sized enterprises performance, identify their challenges, determine enhancement opportunities, assess small and medium-sized enterprises' role in job creation and develop strategies to promote Small and medium-sized enterprises.

Untapped Capacity Utilization
Optimize the use of public and private facilities to create revenue-generating opportunities.

Economic Modeling

The Center for Strategic Development is devoted to policy-oriented research and advice, with a view to provide analytical insights and actionable policy recommendations to decision makers to help them make informed decisions.

Economic Modeling Unit is established to build and test robust economic models, to offer the right recommendations at the right time.

Economic modeling is central to public policy analysis and decisions making.

At every stage – starting from policy design to policy implementation – economic model is widely used for descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analyses in order to take the right decisions.

Accordingly, the Economic Modeling Unit is committed to help policymakers to take correct policy decisions, develop and implement appropriate welfare programs in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

The Economic Modeling Unit is designed to have an instrumental role in assisting the Saudi policy-makers to carry out the ongoing economic transformation process in the best possible direction to achieve the strategic goals of Vision 2030.

To that effect, the Economic Modeling Unit team uses various qualitative and quantitative methods to understand complex socioeconomic questions and solve real-world problems in the context of policy-making.

The key objectives for Economic Modeling Unit are as follows:

  1. Assessment of existing policies & programs using several economic modeling techniques and suggesting the best possible solution;
  2. Designing and evaluating new policies using appropriate modeling methods; 
  3. Assisting other Center for Strategic Development teams by providing robust economic model-based insights
  4. Building empirical, observational and experimental models to produce different scenarios, in order to evaluate the effect of alternative policy options; and
  5. Undertaking behavioral research studies and making behavioral economics part of mainstream decision making. 

Behavioral Insight

The Center for Strategic Development is devoted to national socio-economic development, with a view to provide analytical insights and actionable policy recommendations to decision makers to help them make informed decisions.

In the light of the growing adoption of Behavior Economics in the field of applied public policy in the recent years, the Behavioral Insight Unit is designed to play an important role in the Kingdom’s policy making ecosystem.

In line with the Saudi Vision 2030, the significant socioeconomic transformation across the Kingdom will maximize the relevance of the Behavioral Insight Unit, in terms of making the government policies and programs more realistic, participative, and well-targeted to ensure desired results.

Accordingly, the Behavioral Insight Unit is mandated to design more effective policies and programs.

To that effect, the Behavioral Insight Unit team follows empirical/scientific approach, uses the ideas of behavioral science and builds realistic models to understand policy-related questions and provide behaviorally informed solutions.

The scope of the Center for Strategic Development’s Behavioral Insight Unit research encompasses both design and implementation parts of the Center for Strategic Development’s public policy in order to make it cost-effective, efficient and result oriented.

The key objectives for the Behavioral Insight Unit are as follows:

  1. Assessment of existing policies & programs using behavioral science and suggesting required improvements for better results;
  2. Designing new policies employing realistic models of human behavior; 
  3. Providing timely and appropriate behavioral insights to policy architects and decision makers to help them make behaviorally informed decisions;
  4. Providing recommendations to tap all stakeholders’ participation and keep them involved in the programs to make them successful;
  5. Assisting other the Center for Strategic Development teams by providing behavioral insights and suggestions; and
  6. Undertaking behavioral research studies and making behavioral economics part of mainstream decision making. 

Advisory Services

The Center for Strategic Development provides tailored advisory solutions for the unique transformation requirements of the public-sector institutions, including ministries, state-owned enterprises, government agencies and semi government organizations.
As the Saudi Vision 2030 aims to transform the Kingdom’s economy from resource-based to investment-driven, a remarkable socio-economic transformation is underway across the Kingdom.
This, in turn, requires evidence-based economic analysis and its conversion into actionable socioeconomic policies, programs and initiatives.
The Center for Strategic Development is in a unique position to provide advisory services to both public and private sectors, where it combines its Research and Policy expertise and advisory experience with pressing demand from public sector for advisory solutions.


Recognizing that knowledge management is a key enabler for sustainable development, the Center for Strategic Develop is creating a state-of-the-art knowledge sharing environment (National Knowledge) to be an online knowledge resource in fields of strategies and socio-economic development across the Kingdom.
To support objective, rigorous and detailed assessment of socioeconomic development across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Through an effective process and cutting-edge technology, The Center will enable collaboration and connect experts, researchers and leaders to share knowledge, through cutting-edge National Knowledge and effective processes.
The Knowledge Hub will enable users to learn from various experiences and discover new ways of policy-oriented socio-economic development.
The objective of National Knowledge is to establish a comprehensive, national-level knowledge repository that will collect and make available knowledge assets including studies, research, economic indicators, and pertinent data.
These knowledge assets will be collected from relevant government organizations, sourced from third parties, and some will be generated by the Center for Strategic Development’s Policy & Research, Advisory Office.
As well, this Hub will provide the required tools for knowledge sharing through experts’ networks and practice groups specialized in micro research themes.

The National Knowledge Hub will contribute to:

  1. Capture, save and reuse knowledge assets.
  2. Keep up to date with current thinking.
  3. Enhance skills and expertise.
  4. Save time and effort by networking, learning and collaborating with among researchers and experts.
  5. Develop deeper insights into specialist knowledge.
  6. Share what works with others.
  7. Accelerate collaboration, knowledge sharing, and knowledge-based innovation.
  8. Build solid relationships with researchers, experts and thought-leaders.
  9. Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of teams and business processes.

National Development Strategies

This program analyzes and processes national-level enhancements for overarching government-led reforms and large-scale transformations in priority areas of Saudi Arabia in both regional and global contexts.

This program includes – but is not limited to – the following research themes:

Vision 2030 Realization Roadmap

Review Kingdom’s current economic programs and policy directions, and provide an academically grounded set of robust recommendations for inclusion in the country’s economic plan and critical policies with a view to realize economic targets under the Vision 2030.

Private-Public Sector Gaps and the Civil Service Reform

Explore important gaps between the private and public sectors, including wage/compensation, efficiency, training and others, and propose policies to address or reduce them.

Saudi Arabia on the Global Stage

Explore ways in which the Kingdom can improve its prestige and leadership on the global stage, including its participation and role within international institutions (multilaterals); Propose policies to extend Saudi Arabia's influence in terms of culture, political values and foreign policies.

Global and Regional Economies

Analyze global and regional economies to determine potential risks and opportunities for Saudi Arabia and present policy recommendations.

Regulatory Effectiveness

Review and identify solutions to regulatory policies that may be creating obstacles for rapid development and economic growth in the Kingdom; develop tools to measure their efficiency and impacts.

Strategies for Economic Transformation

Explore case studies of the most successful economic transformations in recent decades and provide analysis and insights on best practices that can be applied to the development of the Kingdom.

Future Challenges and Priorities for Saudi Arabia

Conduct analysis of the most pressing challenges that the country will be facing in the long run.

Leverage the use of foresight and other forward-looking techniques to devise possible scenarios.


Review the privatization policies in Kingdom in light of the potential privatization opportunities and suggest policy improvements to activate privatization and facilitate its role in Kingdom development.

Assess the privatization impact and role especially in boosting government performance and efficiency.

Export Promotion Strategy

Develop an export strategy for Saudi Arabia based on extant studies, identifying white spaces looking at international examples such as the case of Korea.

Social Development and Welfare

This program studies broader social development and welfare policy issues, including healthcare, gender equality, community spirit and the third sector.
This program includes – but is not limited to – the following research themes:

State-society interaction

Study various roles the civil society could play in the national development process and how the government could further enable and empower the third sector.

National Pride, Cultural Identity and Civic Behavior

Explore different ways to boost the national pride among Saudi nationals and raise their social responsibility towards their community and country to enhance their civic behavior.

Women Empowerment

Explore the economic impact of promoting women empowerment, including participation in economic activities and review of social rights.

Health Systems and Policies

Assess the health system in Kingdom and identify improvement opportunities and re-arrangements towards a more efficient structure.

Housing Policy Issues

Assess the contribution of the housing industry to the economic and social welfare in Kingdom; develop research approaches for improving the housing sector performance and suggest housing strategies.

Pension Reform

Analyze improvement opportunities for the pension system in Kingdom, including scenarios and results under diverse pension system regimes.

Land Use Opportunities

Identify an optimal distribution of land according to human use and needs (industrial, agriculture, housing, etc.)

Rural Development

Identify rural challenges and explore more balanced development opportunities in Kingdom.

Facing Poverty

Explore the approaches and tools to combat poverty and develop poverty-reduction strategies considering key institutional, policy, and political dimensions.

Labor Market and Human Development

This program looks into the education, labor, market and human development issues for more effective development of Saudi skills and capacities.
This program includes – but is not limited to – the following research themes:

Saudi Skills Development
Analyze the labor market demand and supply mismatch issue, and develop Saudi skills development plan and policies for Vision 2030 realization.

Future Workforce
Explore the impacts of key trends (i.e. globalization, fourth industrial revolution) on the workforce of the future and the ways in which Saudi labor force development policies and programs can most effectively respond.

National Human Development Plan
Develop and institutionalize a national-level human development system.

Education Reform
Conduct review of the most successful education systems in the world and analyze lessons learned that could be applied to the Kingdom with particular focus on K-12 education.

Attracting Talent
Propose ways to review and setup incentive structures and areas for public and private investment to ensure a quality talent allocation.

Youth Development
Explore the highest impact challenges and opportunities facing Saudi youth today, and identify policy changes that have the potential to positively impact youth development and economic participation.

Natural resources and the environment

This program investigates the field of natural resources, their use and implications for the environment.

This program includes – but is not limited to – the following research themes:

The Future of Water

Research trends in water supply and new water technologies to determine ways that Kingdom can best prepare for the future and ensure it continues to meet necessary requirements for this vital resource, including required changes in complementary domains such as regulation, use, etc.

Opportunities in Renewable Energy

Research emerging renewable energy technologies and determine potential scenarios in which these may be considered to optimize the energy mix for Kingdom.

Excessive Resource Utilization and Environmental Impact

Conduct analysis that accounts for the environmental impact of resources/assets usage and reflect them in a cost/base analysis model to valuate natural resources and assess economic contribution of their utilization as well as assess economic impact of environmental damage.

Energy Markets

Analyze relevant dynamics and trends identified in the energy markets, and find the policy implications for the Kingdom.

Pollution, Waste Management and Conservation of the Environment

Diagnose the air pollution, solid and liquid waste conditions in the Kingdom and identify technological and policy related solutions to be implemented across the Kingdom to improve the management or elimination of waste and other pollutants across the Kingdom.

Sustainable Natural Resources

Study technological, scientific, political and economic developments related to petroleum and other natural resources to identify ways for Saudi Arabia to use and develop its resources in a sustainable way, both economically and environmentally.

Building Smart and Sustainable Cities

Research and explore the development and running of smart and sustainable cities, including best practices and new enabling technologies.

Explore ways in which the Kingdom could select and apply such advancements to enable the establishment of new cities or the upgrading of existing ones with smart technologies.