[governance] IGC All members should opine: this is important

Fouad Bajwa fouadbajwa at gmail.com
Sat Dec 12 07:41:31 EST 2009

Dear all,

What Bill shares strikes a very good set of points that also tend to
answer Siva's question and many of the questions that are popping up
including where is the project but the point I've been trying to
emphasize on is where is the consensus and the consensus has to be
managed the same way we build consensus for all our initiatives:

IGC at the moment has 6 critical projects either in adoption or application:

1. IGC on Internet Rights
2. IGC on Development Agenda for Internet Governance or simply IG4D
and the Political Economy of IG
3. IG Capacity Building
4. Developing Country Participation
5. CS Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Impact Assessment of the IGF .
6. IGC Infrastructure both brick and mortar as well as the Cloud

I recollect and suggest the following few things:

1. We could reformulate and reorganize or simply said,
institutionalize (both legally and infrastructure) in Geneva as IGC an
international CS organization with a permanent address and location in
Geneva giving us a brick and mortar identity and a recognition that we
do exist as an off-line office-d Civil Society Organization that
organizes itself, its mission, its objectives, its members virtually
and monitors the IGF and works closely with the IGF Secretariat to
achieve maximum Civil Society stakeholder engagement in the IGF.

2. All CS members of IGC from their various countries host the liaison
or country offices or country group spaces of IGC meaning, IGC Brazi,
IGC India, IGC (country) and connect with the Umbrella IGC in Geneva.
Board selections and officers will be on a one year rotation enabling
everyone to participate in its official role and its management. Seats
will be equally allocated between developing/developed world CS
Individuals, Groups, Communities, Associations, Academia and Research
so that a balance is maintained for self-organization.

The structure can be full voluntary with paid staff if the funds
available. The role is facilitation of CS in the IGF process in
accordance with the IGC Charter that already exists. We need to plan
and organize our strategy. Bill is based in Geneva and so are some of
our IGC members that can play this important first step to organizing
the on ground presence of IGC in Geneva. The IGC Co-ordinator can be
suggested to be IGC's first step into managing the Geneva office with
the officers helping found it. The IGC Co-ordinator with the
Co-Coordinator can lead this with the board.

3. There are lot of project directions including our combined IGC
stances on Internet Rights, Development Agenda, Capacity Building and
Developing Country Participation and finally the CS Monitoring and
Evaluation as well as Impact Assessment of the IGF . These are five
critical areas to take forward plus six the infrastructure. The IGC
Headquarters in Geneva can act as a facility that could help in
assisting participating CS members in Geneva providing a space for
meets, helping out in campaigning, training, educating, facilitation
preparations for open consultations and MAG meetings. I see a large
number of engagement points for the IGC in Geneva. Its collaboration
with Diplo Foundation, the EURODIG, the South IG Summer School
capacity building initiatives, Research and Developments based on
Kati's idea, advocacy based on Jeremy's ideas, having a strong centre
on the ground in Genvea gives the strong structure that Civil Society
is evolving

4. We need our own IGC Cloud/Server environment (could be a cloud
service or hosted at a partner university). We need a single domain
infrastructure to host a multitasking activity environment including
our website, our mailing list, our social network and our action
oriented action environment. Basically our communication plan and

Let me come back to you with more clear ideas, suggestions on this.

On Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 3:28 PM, William Drake
<william.drake at graduateinstitute.ch> wrote:
> Hi
> On Dec 12, 2009, at 5:46 AM, Lee W McKnight wrote:
> My opinion & recollection:
> This is deja vu all over again.
> We went through a lot of discussion on this list on the issue of
> incorporating a couple years ago with the bottom line conclusion being that
> the cost of incorporating IGC and getting on the fund-raising treadmill
> outweighed benefits.
> Yes, we've established a tradition of redoing previous debates without
> drawing on the prior iterations and points of consensus.  Maybe this is
> inevitable given almost seven years of existence, changing casts of
> characters, changing external conditions, the lack of organized
> institutional memory (expecting people to go dig through list archives being
> unreasonable), etc.
> It's reasonable to ask the question again, but at moment I don't see answer
> being different.
> On the one hand, there's always the risk that the pursuit of funding, and
> all the institutional machinations this could imply, would take over the
> process and preclude or at least squeeze attention to developing substantive
> policy positions etc. Could also make the handling/distribution of any funds
> received a point of contention. We've probably all seen these sorts of thing
> happen before in other CS coalitions.
> On the other hand, if a subgroup of folks wants to go off and try to iron
> out a focused proposal for consideration, maybe the process could be managed
> in a way that's not overly disruptive to the main objectives.  As Siva
> notes, there are no 'projects' requiring funding.  But funds might be well
> spent on some foundational mechanics, e.g. things we've talked about in
> years past like pulling together all the caucus statements and other
> documents (both those now at www.net-gov.org and www.igcaucus.org and those
> nobody ever got around to posting); building a site with collaborative
> tools, e.g. social networking and wiki; disseminating outputs more widely;
> and so on.  Of course these things could be done on a volunteer basis too,
> but since nobody's ever shown an inclination paying, someone a little could
> be sensible.  As Carlos notes, there'd have to be an institutional base;
> incorporating IGC would be hard since it's a distributed network rather than
> an organization, but supporting IGC could be legally a project of some
> serious existing entity that enjoys credibility and trust in this space (one
> comes to mind, but I don't want to put anyone on the spot...).
> On the latter, Carlos and Janna asked about Computer Professionals for
> Social Responsibility.  Having served as its president for a few years
> during WSIS, I wish I could recommend CPSR as a project home, but I don't
> think it's sensible.  As far as I can tell the organization has gone pretty
> moribund in the past few years, which is a pity given that it was a
> reasonably prominent part of the US public interest ICT policy landscape for
> about 25 years, has multi-issue scope, and is something individuals can
> actually join (in contrast to staff-based NGOs etc).  Moreover, despite
> having paid members in like 25 countries and been active in WSIS, most of
> the membership was and probably still is more concerned with the US domestic
> scene than international institutions and issues.  That said, the IGC list
> was established by CPSR, and that's why still we're on NPO Groups.  Were the
> caucus to reorganize and consolidate its electronic resources, it could make
> sense to move the list and archive accordingly.  Not pressing, but might
> make sense in the context of a larger regrouping.
> Best,
> Bill
> ***********************************************************
> William J. Drake
> Senior Associate
> Centre for International Governance
> Graduate Institute of International and
>  Development Studies
> Geneva, Switzerland
> william.drake at graduateinstitute.ch
> www.graduateinstitute.ch/cig/drake.html
> ***********************************************************
Fouad Bajwa
Advisor & Researcher
ICT4D & Internet Governance
Member Multistakeholder Advisory Group (IGF)
Member Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus (IGC)
My Blog: Internet's Governance
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