Submitted Proposals


Organization: Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies
Title :
49. A Development Agenda for Internet Governance: From Principle to Practice
Provide a concise formulation for the proposed workshop theme including its importance and relevance to the IGF.

A development agenda is a holistic program of analysis and action intended to mainstream development considerations into the procedures and policy outputs of global governance mechanisms. In recent years, many stakeholders have worked to promote such agendas in the multilateral institutions dealing with such issues as international trade and intellectual property. But in the field of global Internet governance, there has not been any debate about whether a development agenda could be functionally effective and politically feasible.

To begin filling this gap, a workshop entitled, Toward a Development Agenda for Internet Governance was held at the 2nd IGF in Rio de Janeiro on 14 November 2007. Participants who spoke to the point in this lively multistakeholder session agreed that in principle, a properly configured and consensual development agenda could help to promote a more open, accessible, diverse, and secure global Internet. They also agreed that the IGF provides the right venue for further non-binding dialogue on the possible substance and modalities of a development agenda. Accordingly, the proposed workshop would provide the expected follow-up to the discussion in Rio. It would move beyond the question of whether a development agenda is desirable in principle to consider what this might actually involve in practice. Two sets of questions would be explored. The first concerns the possible substantive focus of such an agenda. This could include assessing both the policy outputs of governance mechanisms pertaining to Internet infrastructures and their use for networked information, communication, and commerce (the vertical dimension); and procedural or institutional issues, such as the transparency and inclusive participation called for by the WSIS principles on Internet governance (the horizontal dimension). In both cases, current activities could be assessed in relation to developmental objectives in order to identify potentially generalizable best practices and lessons learned that organizations could choose to consider when pursuing their respective work programs.

The second set of questions to be explored concerns the operational aspects of establishing and promoting a development agenda. Given the highly distributed character of the Internet governance ecosystem, such an agenda would need to be flexibly configured so as to facilitate variable responses in accordance with the specific characteristics of the governmental, private sector and multistakeholder mechanisms involved. This and other parameters of the Internet environment would require an innovative, multistakeholder model that is informed by but different from other development agenda experiences.

The workshop theme is very important, as it concerns ways to enhance the fit between Internet governance and the needs and interests of developing and transitional countries. This is of direct relevance to the IGF and its mandate, and to the overarching IG4D framing of its meetings.
Provide the names and affiliations of the panellists you are planning to invite. Describe the main actors in the field and whether you have you approached them about their willingness to participate in proposed workshop.

Moderator:
Dr. William J. Drake, Senior Associate, Centre for International Governance, Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland

Panelists:
  • Fiona Alexander, Associate Administrator (Head of Office) for International Affairs, National
  • Telecommunications and Information Administration, Department of Commerce, Government of the United States
  • Olga Cavalli, Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and representative to the Governmental Advisor Committee of ICANN, Government of Argentina
  • Amb. C. Trevor Clarke, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, and Special Representative to the World Trade Organization, Government of Barbados
  • Raul Echeberría, Executive Director, LACNIC (Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean), Uruguay
  • Anriette Esterhuysen, Executive Director, Association for Progressive Communications, South Africa
  • Jose Vitor Carvalho Hansem, Deputy Head of the Division of Science and Technology, Ministry of External Relations, Government of Brazil
Development is a cross-cutting theme relevant to all the main actors in Internet governance. The organizations involved in the workshop as cosponsors and the individuals involved as speakers are among these main actors.

Provide the name of the organizer(s) of the workshop and their affiliation to various stakeholder groups. Describe how you will take steps to adhere to the multi-stakeholder principle, including geographical diversity.
  • Centre for International Governance, Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Federal Office of Communication, Government of Switzerland
  • Association for Progressive Communications
  • Consultative Committee on UN Information Technology, China Association for Science and Technology
  • Diplo Foundation
  • Internet Society of China
  • Ian Peter and Associates Pty Ltd.
  • Panos Institute West Africa, Cipaco Project
The cosponsorship is very multistakeholder, as it includes entities from government, industry, civil society, the technical community, and academia. These organizations are geographically diverse, being based in Switzerland, China, Australia, and (in APC's case) South Africa/global, and the nationalities of the individuals involved are even more diverse. Additional cosponsorships with organizations based on other continents are being explored. In terms of organizational gender balance (?), both men and women are involved in the cosponsorship.

Does the proposed workshop provide different perspectives on the issues under discussion?
Yes, the perspectives provided will vary in multiple dimensions. Given their past statements on the issues and involvements in other Internet governance arenas, it is very likely that some speakers would be enthusiastic about the pursuit of a development agenda while others would not; that some would favor making certain issues priority foci of such an agenda, while others would not, or would suggest other priorities; and that some would favor certain operational models for establishing an agenda, while others would not, or would favor other models.
Please explain how the workshop will address issues relating to Internet governance and describe how the workshop conforms with the Tunis Agenda in terms of substance and the mandate of the IGF.
The workshop is directly concerned with the substantive policy outputs of global governance mechanisms pertaining to Internet infrastructures and their use for networked information, communication, and commerce. It is also directly concerned with the procedural or institutional aspects of Internet governance, e.g. the transparency and inclusiveness of the mechanisms involved, as well as capacity building. Both these substantive and procedural issues are addressed in numerous provisions of the Tunis Agenda. Dialogue on a development agenda also would be entirely consistent with the Tunis Agenda's mandate for the IGF in Art. 72, most notably each of points a) through j).
List similar events you and/or any other IGF workshops you have organized in the past.

As noted in response to Question 2 above, this workshop would build on a workshop held in Rio, which was organized by the moderator and cosponsored by mostly the same partners. At Rio, the moderator also co-organized and moderated the Internet Governance Caucus' workshop, Fulfilling the Mandate of the IGF. Both workshops were well attended and successful.

If by "similar events" the question refers to events other than those organized in the IGF context, it can be noted that the workshop also would build on a panel discussion held at the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet) symposium that preceded the IGF Rio conference http://www.igloo.org/giganet; and on a February 2007 brainstorming meeting held at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva http://shorl.com/gihytidaryfi.  The workshop moderator was co-organizer and organizer, respectively, of these two events. The moderator also organized five side events during the WSIS summits and preparatory process.

Were you part of organizing a workshop last year? Which one? Did you submit a workshop report?

Please see the response to question 7. The report on the Rio workshop, Toward a Development Agenda for Internet Governance, is at http://intgovforum.org/Rio_event_report.php?mem=29. The report on the Rio workshop, Fulfilling the Mandate of the IGF, is at http://intgovforum.org/Rio_event_report.php?mem=30.