[governance] IGF Development Agenda Workshop Proposal

William Drake drake at hei.unige.ch
Sun Jul 1 04:57:21 EDT 2007

Joining the parade...


Question 1:    Provide a concise formulation for the proposed workshop
The full name of the workshop, which does not fit the space allocation on
the form, would be,

"Toward a Development Agenda for Internet Governance"

In recent years, developing countries, civil society organizations, and
concerned academics have worked to promote broad ³development agendas² in
the international institutions and policy debates dealing with such issues
as trade, debt, and intellectual property.   But in the field of Internet
governance, no parallel initiative has taken shape.  Development concerns
were raised during the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
process, but they were not systematically explored as elements of a
holistic, multi-institutional agenda. Moreover, there was no broad consensus
as to what kinds of governance initiatives would most directly promote
development, as opposed to satisfying political objectives. And in the
post-WSIS period, development generally has been discussed in relation to
capacity building, rather than substantive policies and institutional
design.   To help fill the void, this workshop would foster multistakeholder
dialogue on the potential utility and outlines of a development agenda, and
would explore such questions as:

€    What are the potential risks and rewards of pursuing a holistic
development agenda? What challenges would need to be met in order to have a
positive, constructive dialogue?
€    Are there lessons to be learned from development agendas in other
international arenas?
€    In which of the many arrangements involved in governing the Internet
and its usage can we identify specific substantive and procedural measures
that promote development? Can we identify good or even best practices of
generalizable applicability? What could governmental and nongovernmental
mechanisms learn from each other in this regard?
€    In which of the many Internet governance arrangements can we identify
specific substantive and procedural barriers to development?  If such
barriers can be clearly identified, are there functionally and politically
feasible options for reform?
€    What is the relationship between development and the implementation of
the WSIS principles, e.g. transparency and inclusive participation in
Internet governance?  How might cooperation be enhanced in this arena?
€    How could a development agenda best be taken forward given the
distributed architecture of Internet governance? What roles could the
Internet Governance Forum and related groupings play in such an effort?

The workshop would build on the research papers and panel discussion on the
same topic to be presented at the 11 November Global Internet Governance
Academic Network (GigaNet) symposium
http://www.intgovforum.org/May_contributions/GigaNet07CFP.pdf; and on the
February 2007 brainstorming meeting held at the Graduate Institute for
International Studies in Geneva

Question 2:    Provide the Name of the Organizer(s) of the workshop and
their Affiliation to various stakeholder groups. Describe how you will take
steps to adhere to the multi-stakeholder principle, including geographical
€ Project on the Information Revolution and Global Governance, Program for
the Study of International Organization(s), Graduate Institute for
International Studies, Geneva [academic/civil society]

€ Federal Office of Communication, Government of Switzerland [government]

€ Brazilian Internet Steering Committee [government, business, civil
society, academia]

€ Consultative Committee on UN Information Technology, China Association for
Science and Technology [academic/civil society]

€ Internet Society of China [technical community]

€ Association for Progressive Communications [civil society]

€ Center for Global Communications, International University of Japan
[academic/civil society]

Other co-sponsors may be added later.

The event will adhere to the multi-stakeholder principle, including
geographical diversity, in two ways. First, the co-sponsors are from four
stakeholder communities: government, business, civil society/academia, and
technical. They are geographically diverse, and include individuals and
organizations from the USA, Switzerland, Brazil, China, South Africa/global,
and Japan. Second, the speakers on the panel will be equally diverse, if not
more so, in both dimensions. Probably there will representatives from most
of of the co-sponsoring organizations, as well as people from other
stakeholder groups like international organizations and business.  A variety
of perspectives will be represented on the panel.

Question 3:    Why do you think the proposed theme is important?

In the course of the WSIS and IGF processes, there have been frequent
invocations of the linkages between Internet governance and development.
But invocations are not the same thing as serious analysis and focused
dialogue, nor are political demands necessarily the same thing as actual
development promoting measures.  In reality, there has been no effort to
systematically parse the issues in order to identify strengths and
weaknesses, challenges and opportunities, best practices to build on and
missteps to avoid in the conduct of Internet governance from a development
perspective.  Given that development is a central guiding concern of the
Tunis Agenda and the IGF mandate, beginning to fill the gaps between
Internet governance and development is patently important.

Question 4:    Describe the workshop¹s conformity with the Tunis Agenda in
terms of substance and the mandate of the IGF.
Many paragraphs of the Tunis agenda link development and Internet
governance.  Four are particularly relevant:

31. We recognise that Internet governance, carried out according to the
Geneva principles, is an essential element for a people-centred, inclusive,
development oriented and non-discriminatory Information Society.

52.    In order to ensure effective participation in global Internet
governance, we urge international Organisations, including
inter-governmental Organisations, where relevant, to ensure that all
stakeholders, particularly from developing countries, have the opportunity
to participate in policy decision-making relating to Internet Governance,
and to promote and facilitate such participation.

65.    We underline the need to maximise the participation of developing
countries in decisions regarding Internet Governance, which should reflect
their interests, as well as in development and capacity-building.

66.    In view of the continuing internationalization of the Internet and
the principle of universality, we agree to implement the Geneva Principles
regarding Internet Governance.

As for the TA 72 mandate, it states, inter alia, that the IGF should:

c)    Interface with appropriate inter-governmental organisations and other
institutions on matters under their purview;
d)    Facilitate the exchange of information and best practices, and in this
regard make full use of the expertise of the academic, scientific and
technical communities;
e)    Advise all stakeholders in proposing ways and means to accelerate the
availability and affordability of the Internet in the developing world;
f)    Strengthen and enhance the engagement of stakeholders in existing
and/or future Internet Governance mechanisms, particularly those from
developing countries;
h)    Contribute to capacity-building for Internet Governance in developing
countries, drawing fully on local sources of knowledge and expertise;
i)    Promote and assess, on an ongoing basis, the embodiment of WSIS
principles in Internet Governance processes;

Question 5:    Provide the Name and Affiliation of the panellists you are
planning to invite.

The co-sponsors have not yet begun to discuss specific panelists, but will
do so in July with an eye to providing names prior to the advisory group's
deadline for deciding on proposals. Per previous, the panel will be
multistakeholder, diverse in geographical and other dimensions, and embody a
range of viewpoints.

Question 6:    Describe the main actors in the field. Have you approached
them and asked whether they would be willing to participate in proposed

There are a great many "main actors in the field" of Internet governance as
it was defined during the WSIS process.  Some are involved in this workshop
as co-sponsors, others will be invited to participate.

Question 7:    List similar events you have organized in the past.

Most if not all of the co-sponsors have extensive experience organizing
events similar in format and/or substance.  Moreover, per the answer to #1,
the lead organizer held a multistakeholder workshop on the same topic in
February, and the GigaNet symposium will address the same topic with
academic papers.  So there are potentially strong synergies to be realized
by having two linked events, one with scholarly analyses, the other with
views from policy practitioners/stakeholders.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.igcaucus.org/pipermail/governance/attachments/20070701/e8b0f993/attachment.htm>
-------------- next part --------------
An embedded and charset-unspecified text was scrubbed...
Name: message-footer.txt
URL: <http://lists.igcaucus.org/pipermail/governance/attachments/20070701/e8b0f993/attachment.txt>

More information about the Governance mailing list