Submitted Proposals


Organization: APC
Title :
8. Promoting pro-poor access to ICTs
Provide a concise formulation for the proposed workshop theme including its importance and relevance to the IGF.

Introduction: Increasingly it is becoming evident that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have the potential to contribute to poverty reduction and inclusion of poor and currently marginalized and under-served areas and communities. Increases in access to information and services through affordable means of communications for the poor can facilitate improvements in productivity and efficiency of businesses and economic activities of the poor. It can contribute to improvements in their living standards as well as to their social and economic empowerment. The new ICTs present enormous opportunities to enhance communications provision and improve poor people’s lives through cost effective technologies and roll out as well as through allowing for network development to take place through the contribution of multiple actors. However, in spite of major advances there continue to be wide-spread disparities in access both within and across regions.

Workshop context:Governments, policy practitioners, civil society organisations (CSOs) and field level practitioners are developing various innovative ways of promoting affordable communications access. There are many new lessons, experiences and opportunities for improving pro-poor ICT access. However, at the moment, these innovations are not widely shared amongst three key stakeholder groups – non-ICT policy makers, including parliamentarians, ICT-for development practitioners and advocacy groups.

APC in partnership with the UNDP has drafted a resource toolkit on three important aspects in enhancing pro-poor access:
  • policy and regulatory issues
  • implementation of projects at the community level
  • advocacy strategies and approaches.
This resource toolkit aims to:
  • consolidate emerging ideas, experiences, lessons and opportunities in pro-poor access provision in developing societies.
  • provide a resource and advocacy toolkit for the range of stakeholders (policy makers/regulators; practitioners; advocacy groups) seeking to boost pro-poor ICT access.
The results and recommendations of this work will be presented and discussed at this workshop. The workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to learn about and discuss some of the emerging and promising options for increasing pro-poor access to ICTs.

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.

Workshop Chair/Moderator:
Radhika Lal, Senior Policy Advisor, UNDP

Context Setting: Introducing pro-poor access
Claire Sibthorpe, Maple Consulting Services [5mins]

Policy and regulatory issues:
Seán Ó Siochrú, Nexus Research [10 mins]

Implementation of projects the community level
Tina James, icteum Consulting [10mins]

Advocacy strategies and approaches
Steve Buckley, World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) [10mins]

Break out into 3 groups for interactive discussion – one for each topic [35mins]

Feedback to plenary
Three module authors (5 minutes each) [15mins]

Concluding Remarks and Thanks
Anriette Esterhuysen, Association for Progressive Communications [5]
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.

Association of Progressive Communications (APC) is the organiser of the workshop and has long term and active working relationships with government, policy makers, regulators, business, media, researchers, academia, practitioners and civil society advocates in relation to this area and at national, regional and global levels.

The information to be presented and discussed looks at the issue from the point of view of a range of stake-holders. The resource and advocacy kit being developed which will inform this workshop consists of 3 modules, developed to respond to the needs of each of the three identified stakeholder groups - policy makers/regulators; Practitioners; Advocacy groups

The panelists will be derived from each of these groups. The research being undertaken is global and will include case studies from around the world with a particular focus on these issues from a developing country perspective. The panelists will be both male and female.

Does the proposed workshop provide different perspectives on the issues under discussion?
Yes, as described above
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.
This workshop falls within the Access theme of the IGF. It specifically looks at the issue from a multi-stakeholder perspective and also directly supports a number of the items identified within the mandate of the IGF. These include:

* Facilitate the exchange of information and best practices : in this regard make full use of the expertise of the academic, scientific and technical communities this workshop aims to share the information on emerging ideas and options for pro-poor access to ICTs based on the work on this topic taking place in the lead up to the IGF. It will share a resource and advocacy kit being developed by APC.

* Advise all stakeholders in proposing ways and means to accelerate the availability and affordability of the Internet in the developing world: this workshop will present and discuss the emerging options for accelerating the availability and affordability of the internet in the developing world. It looks at innovations in terms of pro-poor access to ICTs.

* Identify emerging issues, bring them to the attention of the relevant bodies and the general public, and, where appropriate, make recommendations
List similar events you and/or any other IGF workshops you have organized in the past.
APC and UNDP co-hosted a workshop in late 2006 bringing together different actors working together in a research initiative looking at pro-poor options to increase equitable access. Around 60 participants from Africa attended.

APC hosted a one day public event on Equitable Access, as a pre-event to the IGF in Rio, 2007.

APC hosted also workshop at the Rio IGF on Regulatory Frameworks for Improving Access and prepared a substantial report on the ser9es of access related workshop hled at the Rio IGF, with a proposed action plan for continued work.
Were you part of organizing a workshop last year? Which one? Did you submit a workshop report?

APC led/co-sponsored 2 workshops and 2 Best Practice Fora at the IGF
in Athens, Workshop reports have been submitted for all events.

Workshops:

- Regulatory Frameworks for Improving Access
[http://intgovforum.org/Rio_event_report.php?mem=26]

- Content regulation and the duty of States to protect fundamental
rights [http://intgovforum.org/Rio_event_report.php?mem=19]

Best Practice Fora:

- Moving Beyond the Talk: Partnerships in Practice
[http://intgovforum.org/Rio_event_report.php?mem=27]

- Public participation in Internet Governance: Emerging issues, good
practices and proposed solutions
[http://intgovforum.org/Rio_event_report.php?mem=28]