[bestbits] Impacts of civil society contributions to processes and/or outcomes in international ndigital rights advocacy?

Becky Lentz roberta.lentz at mcgill.ca
Tue May 31 09:18:42 EDT 2016

Dear BB colleagues,

I¹ve been following for some time now your discussions online; I also
observed various CS activity at the IGF in Brazil this year. In this
preliminary research so far I¹ve been trying to discern how various CS
stakeholders view the impacts they are making in IG governance/advocacy for
the purpose of academic and applied (evaluation-oriented) research.

For example, much activity seems centered around collaborating on issuing
various collectively produced/signed Statements. Other work involves
attending a variety of forums and meetings representing civil society
stakeholders. Still other work involves debating/discussing self-governance
processes, what community in civil society means to different participants
(the multi-stakeholder issue), documenting activities and events online,
convening together to develop intervention strategies for specific events,
pursuing litigation activity, and developing/distributing materials that
explain issues to different types of audiences.

I¹m certain this is only the tip of the iceberg, and thus, would very much
like to learn more and share what I learn via publication in scholarly
venues as well as translate that research into forms that can be beneficial
to practitioners. To be sure, many of you already document your work; many
of you also share what you view to be your impacts for your communities of
practice (including your donors). With some exceptions, however, most of
this documentation features individual, not necessarily collective, efforts.
Because of this, your individual efforts cannot be compared across
organizations in ways that allow drawing broader conclusions, i.e., beyond
specific institution/organization-based efforts. Additionally, without
research that compares activities, it¹s difficult to find ways to
respectfully self-reflect on the work being done.

With this in mind, I would like to invite those interested in being
represented in my evolving research on this topic, i.e., the forms/impacts
of CS engagement/participation in IG, to email me off-list to set up a brief
skype interview about the possible benefits/time demands for you of being
involved. Part of this of course would be a discussion about research ethics
having to do with transparency, accountability, and how those involved
participate in reading/commenting on the research about them and also how
the work can/might be distributed/translated to different audiences.

Thank you,

Becky Lentz, PhD
Associate Professor of Communication Studies
McGill University Faculty of Arts
853 Sherbrooke Street West, Arts Building, W-265
Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 0G5
Phone 514.398.4995
Fax 514.398.8557
Email: becky.lentz at mcgill.ca

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