IGF 2019 WS #106 Filling the Gap on Digital Inclusion

Organizer 1: Sofia Rasgado, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portuguese Safer Internet Centre Coordinator, Department for Information Society)
Organizer 2: Deborah Vassallo, Insafe
Organizer 3: David NG, eHelp Association

Speaker 1: Oliana Sula, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 2: Olausson Kristina, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Shadi Abou-Zahra, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Ana Neves, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Children's Media Literacy Education Research Center of China National Youth Palace Child lecturers, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Policy Question(s): 

1. How do we ensure digital inclusion, in particular to vulnerable people, in the current fast digital transformation?
2. What is needed to enhance the capacity of the different stakeholders to avoid broadening the digital gap?
3. Do we need new approaches to promote digital inclusion? What can be enhanced or is already outdated due to the fast path of the digital transformation?
4. What are the best tools and methodologies to allow vulnerable people not to be lagged behind?

Relevance to Theme: It is more than known that digital transformation has increased the digital gap, something that 10 years ago was unthinkable. In what concerns vulnerable people this reality is more critical. Therefore, special attention should be paid to migrants, refugees, unemployed, underprivileged people, minorities, nomadic people, older persons and persons with disabilities.
This finding leads to the development of an enormous diversity of actions to avoid the fast increase of such gap. Currently, no one can be lagged behind. It is crucial the existence of a Knowledge Society where Human Rights should be more than ever respected, and access to education and training guaranteed.
This workshop aims to focus on the downstream, i.e. on the need for all communities to have the same access to digital and to its potential, regardless of gender, age, geographical location, socioeconomic status, or ability.
Only with this objective in mind and finding the rights tools and methodologies, it will be possible to come up with effective and timely solutions so that Digital Inclusion ceases to be an issue.
The present session intents to reaffirm the need for Design for Inclusion under innovative initiatives and social inclusion and put Accessibility at the heart of Digital Inclusion public policies.

Relevance to Internet Governance: To address Digital Inclusion in general, and Accessibility in particular, with the right tools and methodologies, different stakeholders need to intervene and be part of the equation. The governance of this issue is key to the success of this challenge.
To that effect, the governance model should empower vulnerable people through ICT for better human development, economic sustainability and increase their participation in decision-making processes, namely:
• Advocate the role of the vulnerable people in the Knowledge Society;
• Propose mechanisms for better participation of vulnerable people, based on multistakeholder consultations;
• Gather information and observe the needs of this target group and enable the development of innovative solutions for their inclusion in the economic, social and public life with the help of ICTs;
• Improve accessibility and access to information for disadvantaged groups in a safe and multilingual digital environment;
• Reaffirm the need of capacity building for different stakeholders in the field
To discuss the current trends for the better inclusion of vulnerable people in the Knowledge Society, some successful applications, resources and websites will be shown throughout the session in order to underline how some are digitally inclusive and others are not. Participants will be called to critically identify throughout different platforms, websites and apps which comply with accessibility or not.
To sum up, this session should serve as a lab to address issues and best practices towards global cooperation between different countries, organisations and initiatives, to foster the multi-stakeholder approach.

Format: 

Round Table - U-shape - 60 Min

Description: Under the current on-going digital transformation, it is crucial to make sure that everyone enjoys this transformation, regardless of their language, location, socioeconomic status, education or physical ability. The reality and statistics show how much is still to be done. This workshop aims to share some inspired initiatives and good practices in addressing this gap.

Following the plenary case sharing, where experts are invited to present their best practices on Accessibility, the moderator will set up small working groups which will be facilitated by the panellists. Each group should discuss the topic with the element provided by the plenary and will subsequently be invited to present the results of this discussion. The workshop should conclude with the analysis of these results by the panellists.

Tentative agenda:
Welcome and opening comments by the moderator (5 min)
Best Practices sharing by stakeholders from government, academia, industry, civil society, and youth (Plenary - 20 min)
- Technological solutions
- Community leaders empowerment approach
Challenges identification by smaller working groups that will be facilitated by the panellists as indicated above (4 working groups - 25 min), regarding the policy questions:
- How do we ensure digital inclusion, in particular to vulnerable people, in the current fast digital transformation?
- What is needed to enhance the capacity of the different stakeholders to avoid broadening the digital gap?
- Do we need new approaches to promote digital inclusion? What can be enhanced or is already outdated due to the fast path of the digital transformation?
- What are the best tools and methodologies to allow vulnerable people not to be lagged behind?
Closing remarks based on feedback from working groups and the way forward (Plenary - 10 min)

Expected Outcomes: The workshop is aimed at:
- Share good practices in bridging the gap
- Identify challenges and opportunities
- Explore ways to move things forward

Onsite Moderator: 

Sofia Rasgado, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator: 

David NG, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Rapporteur: 

Deborah Vassallo, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Discussion Facilitation: 

The session will be divided into two main parts. The first half will be a showcase session for invited speakers to share their best practices, in order to stimulate the thought of the participants and explore opportunities to establish similar initiatives when they are back home.
In the second part, the moderator will set up small working groups which will be facilitated by the panellists. Each group should discuss the topic with the element provided by the plenary aiming to identify the challenges and the missing pieces of the discussion. Subsequently, each group will be invited to present the results of the discussion. The workshop should conclude with the analysis of these results by the panellists.

Online Participation: 

Remote participation will be ensured through prior involvement of various stakeholders from across the world. The online moderator will ensure that remote participants are able to communicate questions to the onsite moderator during and after the debate. The online moderator will collect and summarize the views of the online participants, in a bid to encourage them to provide inputs to the roundtable discussion as well.

Proposed Additional Tools: Complementary to this, a social media campaign on Twitter will help to give further visibility to the panel session both prior, during and after the event. Live tweeting during the session will open the discussion to a wider online audience and will give remote participants the possibility to get directly involved in the debate.

SDGs: 

GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities