World Uncertainty Index – How an interoperable digital identity can help build new data sets

Digital Innovation Alliance, formerly known as Smart Card Alliance Latin America – SCALA, holds a discussion with Senior Research Officer of the International Monetary Fund on the World Uncertainty Index, aimed at companies and financial institutions.

The event seeks to create teaching on the tools available to reduce uncertainty and the lack of data in the countries most impacted during the COVID19 pandemic to facilitate the understanding, application and implementation of technologies that allow a rapid recovery and creation of new economies.

The World Uncertainty Index (WUI) is a new index of uncertainty that is available for 143 individual countries. The index is constructed by using the frequency of the word “uncertainty” in the quarterly Economist Intelligent Unit country reports. Globally, the index spikes near 9/11 attack, Gulf War II, Euro debt crisis, UK Brexit vote, trade tensions between US and China, and Covid-19. We also find that the level of uncertainty is significantly higher in developing countries and is positively associated with economic policy uncertainty and stock market volatility, and negatively with GDP growth.

An interoperable digital identity could be an effective instrument to build new data sets that help determine the impact of uncertainty at an individual level, communities, and nations, giving countries a powerful tool to reactive and rebuild its economy based on data driven evidence while empowering their citizens with the platform to create new economies.

Digital Innovation Alliance’s Executive Director, Edgar Betts, discusses this with Hites Ahir, Senior Research Officer at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose research interests include: global housing markets, forecast assessment, and measuring global uncertainty. He previously worked at the Inter-American Development Bank where he assisted with analysis of the Southern Cone economies. He did his graduate work in economics (MA in economics) at Johns Hopkins University.

Hites’s vast experience provides a clear insight on how the world of uncertainty can help determine development and how an interoperable digital identity could serve developing countries regain their pre-pandemic economy and even build a newer economy with the needed data sets it provides and, in the future, include forward looking indicators that could help expand economic growth. This event also has the participation of Belisario Castillo from UNPYME, Member of the Board of Directors of the Panamanian Union of Small and Medium Business.

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