Building an AI Nation: Accelerating Artificial Intelligence Adoption through Agile Policymaking – The Case of the UAE

Resource Date:
Content Type: Publication
Region: Middle East
Thematic Area: Leadership and Public Servants’ Capacities
Contributor: ESCWA
Resource Language: English

We live in a world of rapid change that may be best characterized as a ‘VUCA world’: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Effectively, it is a new world where old laws and rules no longer apply. The advanced technologies of the digital age are disrupting ‘business as usual’ and no industry is immune. Not to be left behind, governments have to predict the future by imagining what the world will be like and ‘adapt’ at the same pace, all while being flexible, especially in crafting and implementing responsive policies. One approach is for policymakers to adopt the ‘Agile’ project management methodology used in dynamic software and start-up worlds as way of experimenting, developing and crafting policy through an iterative trial and error approach.[8] The new realities demand continuous innovation in how policies are shaped to drive future governance, while establishing policy frameworks that utilize agile processes to develop policies better equipped to adapt, change and grow.[9] For example, one approach to this is regulatory sandboxes that are already being trialed by various governments, including the UAE, to allow experimental approaches to policy development, while limiting risk. So how did the UAE chart its AI path? The combination of policy instruments and agile responses involved piloting, strategic re-alignment, organizational re-structuring among others.


File added date:  March 2021

Author: MBRSG