IGF 2019 WS #271 Making global data governance work for developing countries

Organizer 1: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 2: Civil Society, African Group
Organizer 3: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: Mariana Valente, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Ndiaye Aïda, Private Sector, African Group
Speaker 3: Benno Ndulu, Government, African Group

Policy Question(s): 

- What are the most important data governance policy issues facing developing countries? Are current global conversations around technology policy aligned with developing countries' priorities? If not, what needs to change?
- In what ways could international coordination help developing countries achieve their data governance policy goals? What particular actions would be useful?
- What are the tools and instruments that the international community could deploy to help developing countries best engage with the global data economy? Who are the individuals or organisations that are best placed to coordinate international technology policy decision-making?

Relevance to Theme: The growth of the data-driven digital economy poses significant opportunities and challenges for developing countries. More than 65 percent of the roughly four billion people in the world without internet access live in developing countries. Policymakers worldwide will face new challenges as these people come online, and harnessing the potential of new technologies for inclusive growth may require internationally or regionally coordinated responses.
However, to date, much of the debate about data governance in international fora has been based on the priorities of richer nations. The workshop will be an opportunity to shift the debate to better reflect the point of view of developing countries. It will draw from results of a broad consultation with a diverse group of stakeholders working in low- and middle-income nations.
The survey is being conducted by the Pathways for Prosperity Commission, which is chaired by Melinda Gates, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and African telecoms businessman Strive Masiyiwa. The Commission is hosted at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, and has been catalysing new conversations to make frontier technologies work for the world’s poorest and most marginalised people.

Relevance to Internet Governance: This workshop will discuss in which ways the debate around data governance has fallen short of the goals and priorities of developing countries in pursuit of technology-enabled growth.
On the one hand, governments and private sector actors in developed countries have been developing rules and standards which apply beyond the borders of a single jurisdiction. For example, the United States and the European Union have recently adopted rules with extraterritorial provisions (US CLOUD Act and the EU GDPR) which restrict the set of regulatory options available to other jurisdictions. In addition, technical solutions developed by big tech companies (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google) are implemented globally.
On the other hand, such propositions are often not tailored to the particularities of poorer nations who often do not have a sit of the table. Developing countries struggle to navigate the challenges of digitalisation and often lack enforcement mechanisms, technical capacities, and human resources required to fully engage in the global data economy. The result of this mismatch is likely to be missed opportunities for inclusive growth.
This workshop will contribute to the internet governance debate in two ways. First, it will develop a more nuanced understanding of the key challenges and opportunities of data governance policy-making from the perspective of developing countries. Second, it will identify how international coordination can contribute towards ensuring that developing countries benefit from new technologies. Speakers will be invited to provide answers to the following questions: (1) What are data governance policy priorities from the perspective of developing countries? (2) What are the tools and instruments that the international community could deploy to help developing countries best engage with the global data economy?

Format: 

Round Table - U-shape - 60 Min

Description: This session will be a roundtable discussion on the technology policy priorities of developing countries and how international cooperation can contribute to inclusive growth. The discussion will be based on the results of a broad consultation process conducted by the Pathways for Prosperity Commission with a diverse group of stakeholders based in 25 different countries and working with regulation of technology to find out what are the most important technology policy issues facing developing countries. Speakers will be representatives from the four main stakeholder groups surveyed by the Commission (government, academia, private sector, and civil society organisation) and everyone ‘at the table’ will given equal weight and equal opportunity to intervene. Mariana Valente is an expert in digital divides who has conducted research in a broad range of topics in the intersection of law and technology in Brazil, who will be able to provide the perspective of the civil society but also evidence from the rigorous quantitative and qualitative research conducted by InternetLab on the topic. Aïda Ndiaye is a Public Policy Lead, Francophone Africa, at Facebook and will provide the perspective of the private sector. Benno Ndulu is the one of the academic directors of the Pathways for Prosperity Commission and published widely on growth, policy reform, governance and trade. Having served as the Governor of the Bank of Tanzania, he will be able to provide both the perspective of the government and of the academia.
The moderator will kick-off the workshop providing a summary of the findings of the consultation in 9 minutes. Each speaker will then have 7 minutes to present their perspective on how international coordination by be needed to address the policy priorities highlighted by the consultation. The moderator will then open the floor to receive contributions from the audience for 15 minutes. Walk-in participants and remote participants will be invited to comment on the results of the consultation and on strategies for implementation of the recommendations. Each speaker will then have 5 minutes for a second round of contributions and final remarks.
There will be a timekeeper helping the table to know when to move the discussion forward. The moderator will encourage participants to follow the time limits strictly and will make sure that the discussion is dynamic and interactive. Both onsite and online moderators will be committed with ensuring diversity of participation and will attempt to prioritise questions from members of under-represented groups.

Expected Outcomes: With this workshop we want to discuss the findings of the consultation and implementation of the recommendations of the final report. The goal is to shed light on a more nuanced understanding of the key challenges and opportunities as perceived by people working in and with developing countries. We expected the discussion to facilitate conversation and debate about international governance for inclusive growth and to crystallise an agenda for global action.

Discussion Facilitation: 

The moderator will make sure that the discussion is dynamic and interactive, and will provide equal opportunities for onsite and remote participants to intervene and engage with speakers in a respectful but insightful manner. Both onsite and online moderators will be committed with ensuring diversity of participation and will attempt to prioritise questions from members of under-represented groups.

Online Participation: 

The official online platform will be used to allow remote participants to watch/listen to the discussions and also to give them the opportunity to ask for the floor remotely, sending questions and contributions which will be brought to the discussion by the online moderator.

Proposed Additional Tools: There will be an official #hashtag associated to the workshop and all participants will be encouraged to use it on social media (Twitter/Facebook/Wechat). The online moderator will keep an eye on remote participants on the IGF online participation platform and also on social media platforms, sharing comments posted with the official hashtag and giving remote participants the opportunity to ask questions during the session.

SDGs: 

GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities