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IGF Bali, 2013

Capacity Building Roundtable

 

 

Substantive summary:

 

Capacity Building Roundtable was introduced formally for the first time at the IGF as a place where institutions and individuals interested in capacity building can exchange experiences, discuss needs, practices and challenges, and synchronise their activities.

 

The roundtable started with sharing the information on identified needs and performed activities by Diplo, ICANN, ISOC, Brazilian, Nigerian and Indian government and other. The participants discussed various types of existing capacity building programmes and needs, including different topics of coverage, formats, target groups and aims.

 

It was emphasised that capacity building is easy to talk about but is not easy to carry out - not everyone can implement it as it requires resources, didactic methods and experience. Capacity building goes beyond a training or fellowship positions and involves:

  • online and in-situ learning
  • coaching and tutoring
  • training for trainers
  • involvement of participants in the practical processes and policy immersion
  • research activities
  • peer evaluation
  • community building.

 

All stakeholders should benefit from capacity building initiatives - both in developed and developing countries. Where applicable, the programmes should be of a multistakeholder nature to facilitate knowledge sharing across stakeholders and communications across professional cultures. Target audience of capacity building programmes vary and can include:

  • end-users and user communities
  • youth activists
  • entrepreneurs and SMEs
  • teachers and educators
  • local authorities
  • law enforcement institutions
  • regulators
  • government officials
  • policy makers
  • decision makers
  • diplomats.

 

Focus can be diverse also: from theory, technical aspects, (participation in particular) political processes and organisations, policy formulation and strategic planning, policy implementation and enforcement, education. Even geographical coverage may vary from local via national and regional to global programmes. Funding should mainly come from governments and private sector, including some of the technical community (like “I*” organisations).

 

The impact of capacity building is not visible instantly but only after few years’ time, or even a generation. It is important to follow on the participation of skilled professionals, as well as to include metrics to track the success of programmes through success of their alumni (even though it might not be always easy to measure their impact; social networks and communities of practice could help with this). Connecting the alumni of various programmes might benefit in their extended activism and involvement with the learning and practical policy processes.

 

There was a general concern that the capacity building has become a “bumper sticker” - a very commonly used term by number of high representatives in their speeches (even at the IGF in Bali) - without understanding the complexity of this learning process and sufficient investments (including financial) in reality. Capacity building is a process that needs experience, proven methodology and didactics, resources - and has costs.

 

 

The present organisations have agreed to follow up with the compendium initiated at the previous IGF meetings, strengthen the visibility of existing programmes, and jointly request for greater financial support to capacity building from both governments and private sector.

 

Conclusions drawn from the workshop:

 

The participants have agreed to provide a follow up on this discussion on several tracks:

-          Mapping the existing capacity building programmes linked to the IGF through further developing a Compendium with specific characteristics of various initiatives (organisation, format and components, topics, target groups, level, etc

-          Strengthening the visibility of existing capacity building programmes by presenting the compendium (possibly in a form of a searchable database) on the IGF website, including the key references and materials (reading and multimedia) that could be of use for interested professionals

-          Monitoring and reporting on the available and needed funds and resources for various programmes, in order raise awareness among governments and private sector of the greater need for financial support

-          Introducing a metrics for the effectiveness and impact of the existing programmes on the IGF process (eg. number, positions, engagement and influence of the alumni) in order to showcase the contribution of capacity building to the success of the IG debates

-          Further discussing capacity building activities to be conducted in between the two IGF meetings as well as during the annual IGF meeting (ie. Capacity Building Track of the IGF)

-          Jointly try to bring in private sector and governments in these discussions about capacity building to make them more aware of the complexity of it and the needed resources - in order to move beyond rhetoric towards their greater support