IGF 2018 WS #158 Empowering women through Digital Markets: Ayitic Goes Global

Subtheme(s): 

Organizer 1: Laura Kaplan, LACNIC
Organizer 2: Kevon Swift, LACNIC
Organizer 3: Carolina Caeiro, LACNIC
Organizer 4: Beatriz Irisarri, Lacnic

Speaker 1: Carolina Caeiro, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Phet Sayo , Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Max Larson Henry, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Gender parity in the workforce and women underrepresentation in the ICT sector are two major factors in the future of work. Ensuring women’s access to the digital economy, particularly in the least developed countries is a significant policy challenge.
AYITIC Goes Global is a joint initiative by LACNIC and IDRC that seeks to address the digital divide in Haiti. Specifically, this pilot program aims at testing strategies to connect Haitian women from low-income households with online job opportunities, raising them out of poverty and empowering them through access to employment.
This flash session expects to contribute to previous debates at IGF on the Future of Work, with a special gender focus and considering implications for least developed countries.
The project is currently underway with the support of local partners: Transversal and L’École Supérieure d’Infotronique d’Haiti. Ayitic Goes Global started off with a research phase which analyzed online employment opportunities for Haitian women and limitations for the development of a digital service market in Haiti (please, see key papers attached); research is continuing with a thorough monitoring and evaluation process aimed at identifying lessons and best practices from this pilot. By November 2018, the project will have results from its first cohort of women trainees; one of the key goals of this session will be to share key findings with IGF participants.

Format: 

Flash Session - 30 Min

Interventions: 

Max Larson Henry, Project Coordinator and Director of Transversal Haiti, will explain how this initiative addresses local challenges and fits in the Haitian context.
Carolina Caeiro, Coordinator of Development Projects at LACNIC, will bring in LACNIC’s experience working towards Internet Development in Latin America and the Caribbean and how the technical community can contribute to closing the gendered digital gap.
Phet Sayo will bring IDRC’s expertise as a leading institution supporting research around the Future of Work and discuss the importance tackling digital work and gender together as a strategy to bring about greater gender equality in Internet and Technology industries.

Diversity: 

Ayitic Goes Global strongly relies on its local partners to carry out its work in a complex socioeconomic and cultural context. The session expects to bring in a Haitian perspective to the discussion about the current transition to a digital economy in developing countries and place this experience into the wider international debate about the Future of Work and the gendered digital divide.

Several of the challenges that the project touches upon, such Internet penetration rates, societal gender roles and barriers to online employment, are very similar across least developed countries. LACNIC and IDRC will contextualize this initiative as part of wider challenges faced in Latin America and the Caribbean and internationally, allowing to draw parallels to other regions and discuss strategies to develop local solutions to address global challenges.

Lastly, diversity in terms of stakeholder group is also considered: speakers will represent the view of the private sector (TRANSVERSAL), the technical community (LACNIC) and government (IDRC).

The goal of the session is to share an overview of Ayitic Goes Global and lessons to date, while promoting discussion around two main components:

- The future of work and its impact on women from developing countries
- The potential of online employment for Haitian women in digital and data-related services overseas.

The session will start with a very brief presentation of the initiative and its most recent outcomes by the project coordinator Mr. Max Larson Henry. A key aspect of the project is to strengthen Internet connectivity in the mid-run to enable the growth and consolidation of a digital market in Haiti; as such, Ms. Carolina Caeiro, Coordinator of Development Project at LACNIC, will discuss project complementary activities with the local technical community to bring about improvements to Internet infrastructure. Lastly, Phet Sayo from IDRC will contextualize the initiative in connection with the most recent debates on the future of work and implications for women in developing countries.
Following these interventions, participants will be given time to ask questions and debate on the initiative’s potential to mitigate Gender Divide in Haiti, possibilities for replication elsewhere and implications for the future of work.

Onsite Moderator: 

Carolina Caeiro

Online Moderator: 

Kevon Swift

Rapporteur: 

Carolina Caeiro

Discussion Facilitation: 

The first 15 to 20 minutes of the flash session will be allocated to introducing Ayitic Goes Global and its results to date in addressing unemployment and the gender divide in Haiti.
Speakers will promote discussion and feedback from the participants, particularly looking to incite a debate around:
- Similar challenges and projects in other developing countries: implications to the debate around the future of work.
- Proposals to tackle weak links
- Proposals and ideas to scale the initiative.

Online Participation: 

Should remote participation be enabled for Flash Sessions, the organizing team will work to coordinate the remote participation of stakeholders from Haiti hosted by our local partner, l´École Supérieure d’Infotronique d’Haiti, to provide input and insights on the initiative.
LACNIC will additionally promote the flash sessions on social media to encourage online participation throughout the LAC region.
Online participants will be engaged during the session dedicated to feedback, questions, and suggestions from the public. Inquiries from online participants will be prioritized.