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NRIs Virtual Meeting IIab, 15 February 2016

 

National and Regional IGF Initiatives (N/RIs):
Planning the IGF 2016 Activities 
Virtual Meeting IIab: Monday, 15 February 2016

 

About

1.  The second virtual planning meeting for developing a work plan of the national and regional initiatives for 2016, taking into account 2015 activities, took place on 15 February 2016 at 15:00 p.m. UTC.  It was hosted by the Anja Gengo on behalf of the IGF Secretariat and moderated by Ms. Marilyn Cade. The agenda is attached to this document as Appendix A1, and a list of meeting participants as Appendix A2. Appendix A3 contains relevant supporting documents as the report from the IGF 2015 substantive session and the survey results. 

2. Participants were given an opportunity to introduce themselves identifying their role in a National or Regional Initiative, or stating if they are attending as an observer and indicating the time framework and plans for having a 2016 IGF event.

Summary Report

3. The Host opened the call describing the purpose of the meeting, which is to give a final review of the proposed 2016 annual work plan on a previous meeting and develop a set of work plan activities. 

4. The host reminded the participants that the 2016 MAG meeting and Open Consultations are scheduled to be in Geneva, Switzerland on 4-6 April 2016. The participants were also reminded that the deadline for sending the suggestions for the IGF 2016 improvements is 19 February 2016.

5. The document that contains eight (8) proposed goals for the NRIs to work on during the 2016 year was shared with all participants in the meeting. The initial list of proposed work activities refers as following:

  •  Create a Survey Monkey with proposed potential topics (for N/RIs Coordinators) that should be reflected by the global IGFs annual activities 
  • Create an Observatory Group with a purpose of enabling new incoming Initiatives asking questions to more experienced coordinators  
  • The relevant sessions for national and regional initiatives should be more output oriented (follow ‘Connecting the Next Billion (CNB)’ methodology)
  • More outreach by both Secretariat and by N/RIs Coordinators should be undertaken to contribute to attracting more participants To double the number of IGF national and regional initiatives for the period 2016-2017 
  • Create ‘Outreach Communication Plan’ and ‘info-manual’ (examples of contained information might be: how to fundraise locally; how to recruit from business locally; how to engage with civil society; engaging youth in your national IGF; what to include in a registration process – name, affiliation, gender, youth; how to create support for your report [e.g. recruitment and training of rapporteurs]. By publishing it on the IGF website, the relevant information will be more exposed to new Initiatives and strengthened by the experiences of existing Initiative Coordinators
  • Reactivation of the regular meetings of the N/R initiatives 
  • To establish ‘one sponsorship per national IGF’ for the coordinators from the developing countries for the purpose of funding their costs to attend the global IGF’s annual meeting. Potential funding sources should be discussed
  • Recommend the Secretariat maintain a dedicated focal point for the National and Regional IGFs within the Secretariat, and endorse support to the Secretariat to attend, upon invitation, N/R I events

6. It was suggested to divide eight proposed goals to three main sections. The first section contains the ones that are priority and require for the work to start as soon as possible. Second section gathers the goals that requires the work of coordinators and all interested members of any N/R IGF initiative organized into working groups, while the third sections contains the goals that are a long-term plans and require more time and more substantive work in order to be fully achieved. The moderator suggested reading goals, one by one, to analyse the meaning and purpose of each and develop a potential work methods all in order to obtain a proper classification of the goals into the above mentioned three sections.

7. It was noted that the first goal regarding the creation of a potential list of the topics to submit to the global IGF relevant parties [IGF Secretariat and the Mutlistakeholder advisory group (MAG)] is based on recommendations of the N/RIs substantive session at the IGF 2015 and is consistent with the survey results that were presented at that session indicated that the Initiatives need opportunity to have a direct voice and influence in the selection process of the themes and topics for the global IGF annual activities. During the Substantive Session, the participants noted the important of two way reflection: from the national and regional Initiatives into the IGF, and from the IGF into the national and regional IGFs, noting that an example was the invitation to participate in Intercessional work on Connecting the Next Billion, which several Initiatives accepted.  This goal was viewed as a priority and an opportunity for all the N/RIs coordinators to reflect into the global IGF themes and topics.

8. The meeting participants recognized that this goal carries with it a challenge for the Initiatives to take very short term, but effective inputs from their steering committees/organizing groups which indicates that efficient work methodologies are needed. Additionally, it was emphasized that the challenge can be even bigger for the newly established Initiatives as they are still in a process of establishing the wider network of participants. Ideas about how the Secretariat can support mechanisms was briefly discussed, with reference to possible Survey Monkey approach, etc.  

9. The call to be formally addressed to the Secretariat to facilitate the overall process of supporting how Initiatives might gather inputs was unanimously supported.  The time line will be developed in an agreement with the Secretariat, depending on the overall available resources.     
It was concluded that the first proposed goal belongs to the first section, thus requires immediate work activities.

10. It was agreed that a mutual linkage exists between second and sixth item, thus should be analysed together. 

11. All participants on the call welcomed the idea of having a unique space for the purpose to share their opinions, questions, concerns and suggestions. It was explained that this kind of online unique platform is a long waited proposal that will have multiple benefits. The newly formed Initiatives present at the meeting fully support the idea, while the present regional Initiatives emphasised that their experience related to the communication with certain national Initiatives supports the need for having a unique platform. In short, there was broad support to the Secretariat examining how this might be supported. 

12. It was explained that on the above mentioned platform, all Initiative will have an centralized online space to post their experiences and relevant material that other Initiatives could use to strengthen their organizational processes and capacities. One example was that a registration program used by a national Initiative might be posted for sharing, and customized by another Initiative for their own purposes.  The creation of this platform was marked as more open ended process and flexible in time to develop.

13. The sixth item on the list was also supported by the participants on the call. The need for creating a sort of  “info/how to manual” is essential and it will result in helping the newly formed Initiatives to get started, taking advantage of ‘lessons learned’  and helping to quickly  make their Initiative’s capacities stronger. \

14. It was concluded that a thorough outline for the logistical items to be included in the “Information/How To” Manual be developed by the next meeting. The proposed basic plan for creating a draft set of topics that will be included in the manual and working sub-groups to work on these topics was highly welcomed.

15. Concerns were raised regarding the importance of inclusion of the representatives of each world region, and including national, sub regional, and regional representatives,  as there are many diversities to be taken into account. It was suggested that this need for diversity should be taken into account in the development of all of the working teams, both to develop the final work plan logistic in order to achieve full inclusiveness, and then in the development of the sub teams for each segment of the “manual”.

16. On the concerns above, the moderator and the participants stressed that the survey results (see Annex 3) should be consulted before forming the teams as its results can serve as a set of guidelines and indications for determining the relevancy of the proposed topics to each region.

17. The participants agreed that the main goal is to finalize an outline of this manual at least two weeks before the first MAG meeting and Open Consultation 4 to 6 April 2016, so that a brief update on the work of the N/R Initiatives during the Open Consultation can include a brief reference to the work underway.  

18. The  next step after this meeting is two fold:

  • Top Priority: create a survey [Survey Monkey possible ]  for the coordinators to propose some themes and topics for the IGF 2016. The Secretariat will assist in the facilitation of this process from the administrative and technical side.
  • Develop a draft outline for the “Manual”, with the Secretariat and any volunteers contributing to the first draft of the Outline [conference calls open to all on Coordinators List will be hosted by Secretariat]. Draft Outline to be published to Coordinators List mid-March.

19. The seventh goal addresses substantial increase in the number of national IGFs and the creation of additional sub regional IGF Initiatives. One Participant noted that it is not up to the IGF to create new world regions, thus the issue of “regional IGFs” should not be addressed. One participant noted that this issue was proposed during the Substantive Session and was very well received; the group on the call discussed practicalities of doubling the number of national IGF Initiatives in terms of the time challenge. The Secretariat and others on the call identified at least 8-9 possible new Initiatives for 2016, and one emerging sub regional under development.  The discussants concluded that a more realistic and attainable  goal is  2018, with the sub goal of having eight - ten more national initiatives per year. The participants stressed the importance of discussing this issue as one of the biggest challenges that the Initiatives are facing, and that more support to the National and Regional Coordinators attending the global IGF’s meetings, the regional meeting or sub regional meetings is essential to build expertise and relationships that can be leveraged to support the success at the national levels.

20. It was noted that item seven, regarding pursuing funding for Coordinators to attend the preparatory sessions, and the IGF must become a priority.

21. Further, the N/R Initiative Substantive Session participants, and the meetings of the N/R Initiative Coordinators have made a further recommendation regarding Secretariat support to the work of the N/R Initiatives, both for intercessional work, with the N/R Initiatives themselves, and for the IGF itself. 

22. From the past experience, the participants noted that having a designated and stable person on behalf of the Secretariat is essential to provide continuous coordination and provides direct engagement, especially for the new and emerging Initiatives. .The role of the present Secretariat contact was noted as essential, with recognition that attendance at the IGF was a special event. The N/R Coordinators recommend strongly that this become an ongoing part of the of the Secretariat’s support to the N/R Initiatives. 

23.  It was discussed about taking advantage of other events when some Coordinators may be attending for non related but congruent events to find opportunity for the Initiatives /Coordinators to meet in person. The first such opportunity identified was the next ICANN meeting that will be held in Marrakesh, Morocco from 6-11 March 2016 and that can potentially be a good opportunity, as some of the Coordinators will attend as well as the representative of the Secretariat. The Secretariat will distribute a Doodle poll for the coordinators to indicate if they will attend, so that the needed organizational activities can be done.  Marilyn Cade  volunteered to act as onsite logistics contact and coordinator.  

Next steps

24. The Secretariat will make a summary of all proposed suggestions and recommendations. The document will be shared through the national and regional Initiatives’ mailing list: [email protected]

25. In communication with the coordinators, the Secretariat will create the  above mentioned survey regarding themes and issues and distribute it through the mailing list in the next seven days. The Survey will be designed in a way that an Initiative can simply duplicate the content and distribute to their own Steering Group/Community.
The time frame will be developed for the rest of the activities during the next two weeks in communication with the coordinators and will be a subject for discussion for the next virtual meeting.

26. All interested parties should send any potential suggestions, recommendations, updates, edits and questions to the Secretariat via the above mentioned mailing list or if they prefer, they can send it off the list, to the Secretariat at [email protected].  

27. The Secretariat will distribute a Doodle Poll regarding attendance at the ICANN55 meeting, asking for availability for an informal gathering of the Initiatives Coordinators, but also to identify arrival and departure dates, to ensure that the Secretariat who is attending can also meet informally on a bilateral basis, as schedules permit. 

28. Next meeting: The next meeting will take place in two weeks’ time. The Secretariat will send out details for indicating preferences for the next meeting slot using a Doodle poll.  

 

APPENDIX A1:
Agenda : National and Regional IGF Initiatives (N/RIs): Planning the IGF 2016 Activities, 15 February 2016

- Overview of the proposed 2016 work plan activities 
- Adopting the final list of the 2016 work plan activities
- Developing the plan of working activities and applicable time frameworks
- AOB

 
 APPENDIX A2:
MEETING PARTICIPANTS

  1. Abdeldjalil Bachar Bong
  2. Ali Hussain
  3. Anja Gengo
  4. Carolina Aguerre
  5. Cheryl A. Miller
  6. Christina Andersson
  7. Christine Arida
  8. Eleonora Mazzucchi
  9. Fotjon Kosta
  10. Jahangir Hossain
  11. Jevgenija Voronko
  12. Julián Casasbuenas G.
  13. Lianna Galstyan
  14. Marilyn Cade
  15. Nico Tshintu
  16. Nicolas Fumareli

        

APPENDIX A3:
The supporting documents that were used during Meeting:

- Report from the substantive session at the IGF 2015 available at the IGF website here: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/documents/igf-meeting/igf-2015-joao-pesso...
- Results of the survey presented at the IGF 2015 available at the IGF website here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/16YODlTq7Io_WZjF-NYi_UKUZtKrHo2pw...

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678