[governance] IGF 2019 Workshop Evaluation process

Michael ILISHEBO (via governance Mailing List) governance at lists.riseup.net
Wed May 8 11:14:44 EDT 2019

Dear Arsene,

In 2018, the IGF Hosted by the French Government was 3 days and not the
traditional 5 days (Day 0 inclusive).  The 03 days IGF indirectly affected
the number of workshop proposals selected.

*Michael L. Ilishebo,*

*Lusaka, Zambia*
*Digital Forensic Analyst -* Zambia Police Service*  | *
*UN IGF MAG Member ( 2017 -19)  | AU IGF MAG Member (2019 - 20)*
*ICANN* GAC PSWG Member * | **ICANN *Fellow/Mentor  |*  Alumni - *African
School on Internet Governance (2014)
Work Email :
* ilishebomichael at zambiapolice.org.zm <ilishebomichael at zambiapolice.org.zm>*
Contact* : +260965361255*

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*"walk a mile,for a while,with a smile"*

On Wed, May 8, 2019 at 3:10 PM farzaneh badii <governance at lists.riseup.net>

> Thanks for asking Arsene
> I wrote a blog last year where I enumerated the problems with the
> evaluation process. I copy paste the relevant section here.
> *MAG and its curious approach to workshop selection*
> Coming up with conference programs in a highly politicized environment
> such as the United Nations is not an easy task, especially for an event
> like the IGF where inclusion and diversity are fundamental and rightly
> important. Naturally, there were always problems with shaping the program,
> deciding on which sessions be included and what topics to be discussed.
> There was always a tendency to give some space to sessions that don’t
> really engage with Internet governance. But the IGF agenda is now at a
> stage of crisis. In the early days of the IGF when the globally inclusive
> multistakeholder concept was still largely unique, and it was gaining
> popularity, and when people could still remember why they convened IGF,
> there was some kind of order in the chaos of selection. IGF MAG could
> accept all of the proposals, merge a few and let the participants decide on
> the sessions they wanted to attend. MAG in those early years would not
> dictate the agenda and what should be discussed to the extent that it does
> now.
> But over the time, there was a change. Due to lack of resources and an
> increase in the number of session proposals, MAG’s role became more
> prominent in selecting the sessions and in shaping the agenda. That is when
> it started to get more complicated. Perhaps it didn’t help that IGF works
> under the auspices of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
> (UNDESA), and the MAG members are appointed more or less by UNDESA. Within
> the UN, UNDESA is the agency that “holds up the development pillar of the
> UN.” Is UNDESA influencing the IGF?
> This year, to be more inclusive, MAG asked the public what it wanted to be
> discussed at IGF. The response is summarized in this document.
> <https://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/index.php?q=filedepot_download/6701/1279>
> According to the summary, twenty-two percent of the respondents wanted to
> talk about cybersecurity, trust, and privacy; only seventeen percent
> submitted digital inclusion and accessibility. And the rest was about other
> topics. The results of the MAG process show a marked bias. Twenty-two
> percent of the proposals received by MAG were about cybersecurity,  but
> only twelve percent ended up in the top forty ranked proposals. In
> contrast, only thirteen percent of the proposals received by MAG were about
> digital inclusion and accessibility, yet thirty-two percent of the top
> forty ranked workshops were about digital inclusion. This was highlighted
> by *IGF Secretariat during MAG deliberations:
> <https://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/content/igf-2018-second-open-consultations-and-mag-meeting-day-1>*
> “But then if you look at the top 40 proposals, there is some deviation
> from what the most popular themes were in those …two other pools of
> proposals.  We have as the most represented theme digital inclusion when in
> the overall proposal pool and the call for issues it was clearly
> cybersecurity. And then following from that technical and operational
> topics, emerging technologies, cybersecurity, development, innovation and
> economic issues, evolution of Internet governance, and then human rights as
> last.”
> How did this happen? This year the MAG’s working group on workshop
> selection decided to assign each MAG member to a theme that the member had
> expertise in and was more comfortable with. And they could reduce the
> number of evaluated workshops by each MAG member because apparently, it’s
> too difficult for one person to evaluate so many proposals. Some of the
> deliberations and questions that have been raised about this issue among
> MAG members *can be found at this archive list.
> <http://intgovforum.org/pipermail/wgwseval_intgovforum.org>*
> The problem with this method of evaluation is apparent. It prevents MAG
> members from various stakeholder groups to assess the proposals
> objectively. Even though the secretariat assigned an equal number of
> members to each theme (and presumably considered stakeholder balance)
> <https://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/content/2018-igf-mag-virtual-meeting-vii-0>,
> some proposals did not have more than three evaluators on the day of the
> evaluation deadline. The Secretariat asked the MAG to do more evaluation
> since 13 proposals had only 3 evaluations
> <https://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/content/2018-igf-mag-virtual-meeting-viii-0>
> .
> https://www.internetgovernance.org/2018/10/29/igf-embracing-inclusion-excluding-internet-governance/
> Farzaneh
> On Wed, May 8, 2019 at 9:28 AM sivasubramanian muthusamy <
> governance at lists.riseup.net> wrote:
>> On Wed, May 8, 2019, 6:42 PM Arsène Tungali <governance at lists.riseup.net>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi there,
>>> Just wanted to throw this outta here.
>>> At the MAG, we are evaluating workshop proposals (the initial phase)
>>> and this goes until  May 12th. This is a tough job!
>>> I remember last year, there were a lot of unhappy people based on the
>>> results of the evaluation. What did the MAG do wrong last year?
>>> Can you share what were some of the frustrations that came out of the
>>> process last year? I know it might be late (or maybe not?) but if we
>>> can quickly discuss here, I am happy to consider some of your inputs
>>> and share to fellow MAG members.
>> Marginal errors in workshop evaluation
>> are unavoidable. But the MAG could ensure that there is no orchestrated
>> bias in the process towards or against a certain school of thought.
>> Sivasubramanian M
>>> Regards,
>>> Arsene
>>> ----------------------
>>> **Arsène Tungali* <http://about.me/ArseneTungali>*
>>> Co-Founder & Executive Director, *Rudi international
>>> <http://www.rudiinternational.org>*,
>>> CEO,* Smart Services Sarl <https://www.smart-kitoko.com/>*,
>>> Tel: +243 993810967 (DRC)
>>> GPG: 523644A0
>>> 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow
>>> <
>>> http://tungali.blogspot.com/2015/06/selected-for-2015-mandela-washington.html
>>> >
>>> (YALI) - ICANN GNSO Council Member
>>> <https://gnso.icann.org/en/about/gnso-council.htm> Member. UN IGF MAG
>>> <https://www.un.org/press/en/2018/pi2247.doc.htm> Member
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