Report from Expert Group Meeting

Report from Expert Group Meeting

Below are the key action points from the IGF Expert Group Meeting (EGM) hosted in New York on 30 March - 1 April 2022. The EGM action points are subject to public commenting. Comments can be added through the platform below after each section by clicking on ''View and Add Comments for Paragraph''.
A full report of the EGM is available here.

Deadline to post comments is 26 May 2022.
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Anonymous Wed, 13/04/2022 - 22:35

[EGM REPORT]

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) convened an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) from 30 March to 1 April 2022.  The Meeting was hosted by the Mission of the Government of Finland in New York. 

The meeting was convened, in the context of the Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and report on Our Common Agenda, to consider:

  • how the IGF can contribute to ‎advancing digital cooperation and implementing proposed initiatives related to it; and
  • the ongoing process on strengthening and improving the IGF as a space for ‎global multistakeholder discussion on Internet policy issues. 

The meeting was attended by 35 invited experts from developing and developed countries and from diverse stakeholder groups concerned with Internet governance and the IGF including governments, international and intergovernmental organisations, the private sector, civil society and the technical community.   

The agenda was structured through a series of sessions exploring different aspects of its theme.  These began on Day 1 with discussion of the role of the IGF in relation to the Digital Cooperation agenda and the development of ‘actionable’ outputs; continued on Day 2 with discussions, in the light of those held on Day 1, of the IGF’s plenary and intersessional activities and the future roles of its Leadership Panel and Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG); and concluded on Day 3 with discussion of fundraising, outreach and capacity development. 

This short report lists the observations and suggestions made during each session on which there was significant consensus.  A longer version of this report includes more detail concerning discussions at the Meeting.

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Profile picture for user shreedeeprayamajhi

35 invited experts from developing and developed countries

IGF is a Multistakeholder group or concept with bottoms up approach. 
why is it that every time when it comes to topics like representation, inclusion and diversity the lower economic region  countries are missed out. I see the same people in the internet community with the same issue and same agenda. IGF has to grow better than the concept of gender in the inclusion, New and fresh leaders in the concept of representation and  diversity.

I highly recommend  to the IGF secretariat to have better inclusive and collaborative approach with new and fresh leaders from the community. 
 

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Profile picture for user Mark Carvell - IS3C and EuroDIG

EGM Report consultation process

It is important to read the full EGM report (only 21 pages covering 11 themes) at  https://www.intgovforum.org/en/filedepot_download/8/21302  because it provides the necessary context and explanations in order to fully understand the rationales for all the observations and suggestions.

More time should have been allowed for large corporate organisations and public agencies, governments and regulators, and for the NRIs and dynamic coalitions in the IGF eco-system, to consult their stakeholder communities and members on the EGM's proposals. 

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Introduction

The EGM held detailed and active discussions on each item on its agenda, beginning with the framework for digital cooperation identified by the Secretary-General and, in that light, considering how the IGF can most effectively contribute to digital cooperation, improve and develop its own work, and establish partnerships and directions for the future. 

Participants recognised that the Internet has changed markedly in the seventeen years since the mandate for the IGF was established at WSIS, and that the Forum needs to adapt, innovate and reform in response to this.  Critical changes since that time relate not just to the technology and services that constitute the Internet, but to its increasingly pervasive reach; its impact on economy, society and culture; its effects on relations between government, business and the citizen; and its relationship with further innovations in digital technology, such as artificial intelligence.  International discourse on these issues is increasingly concerned with the interface between the Internet and other areas of public policy, and with risks as well as opportunities associated with pervasive digitalisation as this reshapes societies in ways that are often unpredictable.  It now takes place within a much larger range of institutions and decision-making fora than was the case when the IGF was founded.

It was generally recognised in the Meeting that the modalities established at the Forum’s outset have served it well, and that its model of multistakeholder dialogue has been both successful and influential.  It was also recognised that these modalities need to evolve.  The Forum itself has changed over the years, transitioning from an annual conference to an ecosystem that includes intersessional activities and regional and national fora alongside its global meeting.  There have been a number of discussions over the past decade concerning possible improvements to the IGF, especially concerned with the call for it to develop more substantive outcomes.  There has been increased focus recently on finding ways for the Forum to become more coherent and cohesive, taking a more holistic view of its various components and leveraging these for greater impact.  The emergence of the Digital Cooperation agenda and the introduction of the Leadership Panel reflect heightened awareness of digital issues across the UN system and provide an opportunity for the IGF community and stakeholders to reflect on how it should develop and revitalise, and implement improvements, ahead of the scheduled mandate review in 2025.

Observations and suggestions

The following observations and suggestions arose from the discussion.

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Profile picture for user shreedeeprayamajhi

International discourse on these issues is increasingly concerne

IGF has a bigger hinderance of 
1. communication barriers 
2. lack of core values 
3. Language barriers 
4. Many more 

At regional level generally what happens is the bigger nation eats up the smaller nation issues. The major focus goes to the good communication skills and a lot of the times proposal and discussion happens on the basis of merit of evaluation  not on seriousness  of the issue.

Asia is dominated by the few developed nation where the focus goes to those nation whoes representative have good English and china is excluded out of it. There is a greater part of the politics that goes hand to hand with this   

The core issue of the multistakeholder challenges at grassroots level remains same and untouched. 

At national level a lot of the times NGOs and INGOs manifests their problems and challenges exploiting the opportunity  where the grassroots level issues and problems remains untouched. 

 

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Profile picture for user Kapil Goyal

Reply to

Lack of political will power

Dear Shri, 

Apart from said concerns, I believe Lack of strong support from regional and state government is one of the key issue. We all need to voice our concern at various stakeholders meet both online and offline to address this issue. 

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Profile picture for user samik.kharel_13029

On how internet has changed, and pervasive reach/digitalization

Within the Internet ecosystem, change is inevitable. The "change" is not technical but largely driver by the users. But what the participants in this meeting should have weighed is whether this mutated internet ecosystem over the years has served the IGF's interests which was mandated 17 years ago. Where have we failed and where have we succeeded? Have we really endorsed the multistakeholder governance model? Have we made taken substantial leaps every year(or an assigned timeframe) to practice this model?

In choice of words, "pervasive" should be balanced with "progressive" too. Use of only one word can bring negative connotations. 

 

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Profile picture for user Mark Carvell - IS3C and EuroDIG

IGF and the Global Digital Compact (GDC)

I agree with the report's advocacy of the IGF being the preeminent multistakeholder platform for developing the Global Digital Compact  which will also be an important milestone in the lead up to the WSIS+20 review and the UN's review of the IGF mandate in 2025. The Compact  will also be an important milestone in the lead up to the WSIS+20 review and IGF mandate review in 2025. The timeline for agreeing the Compact ahead of next year's Summit for the Future includes the holding of only one IGF meeting. The planning now for this year's IGF in Addis Ababa should therefore include an open preparatory phase for agreeing and delivering  a substantive contribution to the Compact that is based on inclusive multistakeholder discussion involving communities in all regions of the world. The global network of over 150 regional, sub-regional, national and youth IGFs needs to be involved in this process as soon as possible in order for them to hold stakeholder consultations within their own timelines and schedules of events. The views of young people need to be taken into account in the Compact.      

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1.   The role of the IGF in relation to the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and Our Common Agenda

  1. The IGF is an ecosystem and should act as a platform for stakeholder engagement on implementation of the Roadmap and development of the Global Digital Compact (GDC) which is to be prepared ahead of the Summit of the Future.  Steps towards this would include consultation within and beyond the IGF community and could include aggregation by the Forum of inputs from diverse organisations.
  2. National, regional, sub-regional and youth initiatives (NRIs) should be invited to support this process, in order to enable comprehensive local input, by conducting their own consultations and discussions on their own agendas.
  3. The Secretariat should consider what existing outputs from the IGF ecosystem could contribute towards the GDC, and how this contribution might be realised.
  4. The annual meeting in 2022 should focus on the GDC, building on the MAG’s decision to align the agenda with its overarching theme and five focus areas.  The MAG should consider how to facilitate this, in order to encourage more focused discussions, leading to more substantive messages of particular relevance to the GDC.
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Profile picture for user samik.kharel_13029

National, regional, sub-regional and youth initiatives (NRIs)

Should add and highlight independent "individuals" in the process.

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Profile picture for user amritachoudhury8_1459

Role of IGF wrt Roadmap of DC and GDC

Agree with all the recommendations mentioned under Point 1.   The role of the IGF in relation to the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and Our Common Agenda.

Additinally,  IGF will also have to play a role with the help of the NRIs need to conduct capacity building sessions to explain to different communities spread across the globe (who may not have a similar understanding) on what the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and Our Common Agenda is. This will help to get inputs from communities who till now have not engaged in IGF processes. 

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2.   The relationship of the IGF to intergovernmental, international and other decision-making bodies, including those within the Internet governance ecosystem and those in wider global governance

1.   The MAG should consider the needs of other organisations and decision-making bodies, concerning the Internet itself and issues impacted by the Internet, when deciding its agenda.  To achieve this, it should identify/map organisations and decision-making spaces that are particularly relevant to its work and prioritise the development of relationships with them.

2.  Stronger interactions should be built with other UN and international entities, including the General Assembly, the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, the Office of the Envoy on Technology, lead agencies within the UN Group on the Information Society (UNGIS) that facilitate the implementation of WSIS outcomes, and the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development.  IGF outputs should be communicated to UN entities and consideration given to how these can disseminate them and raise the visibility of the Forum with Member States.

3.   The Leadership Panel should play a leading role in promoting IGF outputs and building relationships with senior staff including those in government and business communities, not least by encouraging participation by senior personnel in the annual meeting’s high-level and parliamentary tracks.

4.   The work of the Leadership Panel should, as resources permit, be supported by a dedicated member of the Secretariat staff with responsibility for liaising with decision-making bodies and enhancing the Forum’s visibility.

5.   The annual IGF meeting could consider including an additional special track for judges, lawyers and law enforcement specialists, in addition to the existing high level and parliamentary tracks.

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Profile picture for user shreedeeprayamajhi

The Leadership Panel should play a leading role in promoting IGF

The most important role of MAG or leadership panel is to give continuation of what our MAG chair Ms. Anriette Esterhuysen achieved. The MAG process needs to be fluid and open,  transparent and more collaborative with the community and people. 

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Profile picture for user Nicolas Fiumarelli

Stronger interactions should be built with other UN and internat

maybe including that stronger interactions should be built between National and Regional initiatives and the UN entities. For example this year for the first time we had some sinergies between the Youth Coalition and the UNGMCY, maybe that could be the start of a relationship that is mutual benefit for widening the IGF worldwide.

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Profile picture for user samik.kharel_13029

Top priority should be to fulfill SDG, target 9.c

The Sustainable Development Goal -target 9.c commits to “Significantly increase access to information and communication technologies and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the internet in least developed countries by 2020.” But nearly two year has passed since the deadline.  It is becoming more urgent to achieve this goal- hence all the UN agencies and respective stakeholder should concentrate and progress towards achieving this as the foremost priority. "Access" is the most important thing and LDC's are decrying for what they think is  a "privilege"- while this is a fundamental "right". 

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Profile picture for user Mark Carvell - IS3C and EuroDIG

Role of the Leadership Panel

I support the role of the Leadership Panel as "ambassadors for the IGF", promoting worldwide the IGF model of multistakeholder governance and the impact of the IGF's  outputs. The Panel has a key role in increasing the diversity of participation in all IGF sessions so that they include more high level policy makers from governments and regulators, more decision-takers from industry sectors and representative organisations outside the Internet's technical community and service providers, and more representatives of youth organisations. The Panel should work in close coordination with the MAG in identifying priority themes, and key global/regional issues for the IGF's multi-year strategy. 

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3.   Development of outputs and expected outcomes that will facilitate the extended role of IGF in the international decision-making ecosystem

1.   The MAG, supported by the Secretariat, should plan strategically to develop actionable outputs that address issues which matter to decision-making bodies, on which it can make a substantial contribution (building on its unique multistakeholder character and ecosystem), and consider how to build consensus towards such actionable outputs.  This goal relates to consideration of issue focus and multi-annual programming (see session/theme 7).

2.   Outputs should be focused on the needs of target audiences.  A limited number of concise messages, focused on programme themes, should be prepared at or following the end of annual meetings.  These should be forwarded to the Secretary-General for the attention of the General Assembly, and separately addressed to Internet governance entities and senior decision-makers.  The Leadership Panel could play an important role in ensuring that IGF messages reach these intended targets.  More substantial, evidence-based supporting outputs are appropriate for policy advisers and for subject experts. 

3.   The development of outputs should involve all parts of the IGF ecosystem, including discussions and participants in NRIs as well as the main meeting and intersessional activities, in order to maximise the value of experience within the IGF community.

4.   The Secretariat should map outputs that have already been prepared, identifying those that could be used now to contribute to decision-making processes and to the GDC. 

5.    The MAG should consider what outputs might result from IGF discussions when structuring the annual agenda.  It should encourage session organisers to have the scope for potential recommendations and outputs in mind when planning sessions.  The meeting programme should be structured in ways that build momentum towards outputs (see session/theme 7).

6.  A new communications strategy should be developed to enhance the visibility of the Forum, including the promotion of outputs/messages.  This could include new dissemination mechanisms such as senior-level and “ambassadorial” endorsements, policy briefings, seminars and improved website content.  Modalities should be included to enable impact assessment.

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Profile picture for user shreedeeprayamajhi

A new communications strategy should be developed

Communication has been a major challenges in the community
1. From collaborating with the leaders to getting feedback from the community, Ambassadors, leaders,  fellows  and new leader should also be given responsibility and opportunity to grow 
2. A collaborative inter communication strategy should be developed with all (I star organization ) for better collaboration 
3. Better engagement strategy is also needed 

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Profile picture for user Nicolas Fiumarelli

Development of outputs and expected outcomes that will facilitat

This was widely discussed at least since 2016, about maintaining a real bottom-up structure, that is, where the outputs of the national IGF events go to the regional ones (this does not have to be ordered in 1 year but in a process continuous). From the regional to the global, in this way, all the workaround public policies, replication, and other elements of digital cooperation that are being lost today can be captured.

The idea then would be to fine-tune these processes of multistakeholderism, including artificial intelligence for consensus and having a single text-based platform like the IGF Review platform that we're using right now, extended to really be able to seek consensus. There should be some committee of volunteers or experts in the area who carry out the consensus with the help of some AI tool.

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Profile picture for user samik.kharel_13029

On Communication Strategy

The communication strategy should be revamped every year in accordance with the new trends and platforms. Transmedia storytelling could be a great way to move forward for wider reach and simplified content.  Different mediums and platforms for communication can be used for disseminating variety of content. Let's focus on identifying, how the same content can be modified for serving various mediums. 

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Profile picture for user Mark Carvell - IS3C and EuroDIG

IGF Outputs

It is important for the impact of the IGF's more substantive outputs to be measured,  reported and promoted worldwide through the UN system with the help of the Leadership Panel. The IGF session organisers have an important role in contributing to the definition and context of key "messages" and tangible outcomes such as menus of policy options, charters of principles, toolkits and guidelines, so that they can be promoted by the Panel as based on the authoritative consensus of experts convened by the IGF. The leaders and coordinators of the intersessional work of the IGF's policy networks, best practice fora and the dynamic coalitions should also be regularly consulted by the Leadership Panel on the definition, progress, reporting and dissemination of IGF outputs.  This will also help to achieve more cross-fertilisation and coherence within the IGF eco-system on issues of shared concern, and reduce the incidence of work being conducted  in silos of IGF activity.

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4.   The IGF ecosystem

1.   The IGF should describe itself as an ecosystem rather than an annual conference that has accrued associated activities.  This will recognise the importance of intersessional activities and NRIs.

2.   MAG and Leadership Panel terms of reference should pay more attention to the wider ecosystem.  Named members of the MAG should take responsibility for liaison with intersessional activities and NRIs.  Members of the Panel could also engage with these initiatives.

3.   Intersessional activities should be integrated in the work of the annual meeting.  They should be offered enhanced opportunities to contribute to main sessions and other programme components, rather than being directed into siloed sessions that focus on their own activities.  Intersessional activities should also consider how they can contribute most effectively to the programme of the annual meeting.

4.    Intersessional bodies and NRIs should be invited by the MAG to play a more substantial role in developing the annual programme.

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Profile picture for user shreedeeprayamajhi

Intersessional bodies and NRIs should be invited by the MAG

The NRI is a loose network of national and regional level initiatives which has to be driven in a more progressive way.

1. There has to better opportunity of learning, funding and collaboration  
 

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Profile picture for user Mark Carvell - IS3C and EuroDIG

Integration of Dynamic Coalitions in the IGF meeting

The IGF's Dynamic Coalitions have great potential as pools of global expertise that can serve as policy incubators for the overall IGF process. Representatives of the Dynamic Coalitions should therefore be invited by the MAG to participate in the IGF programme planning, the various activities and events in the IGF’s preparatory phases, in the development of the IGF’s multi-year strategy  and the process for agreeing priority themes. I agree therefore with the suggestion that IGF main session organisers reach out to dynamic coalitions for their participation in particular when a clear thematic linkage has been identified.   

It must be borne in mind that the DCs are voluntary associations of stakeholders who bond together in the global IGF eco-system in order to advance a shared interest and objectives in a specific policy area or issue. As such they do all not easily conform to a single template or set of rules of procedure. However, they should be mindful of the importance of demonstrating transparency and accountability in their process for reaching decisions based on rough consensus so that their outputs are received by target audiences as credible for adoption and implementation.

The suggestion in the report that the MAG "should....encourage DCs to focus on issues related to the main themes of the annual meeting" runs counter to the DC concept because it introduces an external direction of their activities and priorities. In the follow up to the EGM report, the MAG should therefore discuss this suggestion with the Dynamic Coalitions Coordination Group (DCCG).  

I agree that intersessional activities would benefit substantially from enhanced reporting, profiling and visibility generally in the IGF eco-system. This would enable them to gain strength and diversity of participation, enhance their sustainability in resources, and recognition of their outputs by policy-makers and decision-takers worldwide. I support the EGM  report's suggestion of achieving this through greater prominence on the website and other media, and updating of their progress for example in regular online bulletins and opportunities such as media interviews with the lead coordinators for individual PNs, BPFs and dynamic coalitions.   

 

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5.   The role and work of intersessional bodies, including dynamic coalitions (DCs), best practice forums (BPFs) and policy networks (PNs)

  1. The MAG should commission BPFs and PNs and encourage DCs to focus on issues related to the main themes of the annual meeting.  With multi-year programming, this could enable iterative dialogue between the annual meeting and intersessional activity which would enhance the quality of outputs.
  2. Intersessional activities should establish focal points responsible for reaching out to potential participants within and beyond the IGF community, including UN bodies, in order to engage them with their work.
  3. Modalities should be identified to strengthen the work of Dynamic Coalitions, including procedures and responsibilities to IGF stakeholders; guidelines for participation and deliberation; and quality standards for the work they produce.  This would help to validate the work presented by DCs and facilitate their contribution to IGF outputs.  Appropriate models may be available from other Internet governance bodies such as ICANN. 
  4. The Secretariat should seek to raise awareness of intersessional outputs through the website, social media and other communications.
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6.   The role and work of national, regional, sub-regional and youth initiatives (NRIs)

  1. The MAG should consider ways of enhancing the participation of NRIs at the annual meeting.  It was suggested, for example, that they might be invited to contribute more substantially to the development and/or delivery of main sessions rather than focusing primarily on a collaborative session.
  2. MAG and Leadership Panel members should be encouraged to play an active part in their communities’ and regions’ NRIs.  At least one member of the MAG should take responsibility for liaison with NRIs.
  3. NRIs should be encouraged to discuss some or all of the forthcoming annual meeting’s selected themes/topics in the year before each annual meeting, and to submit observations concerned with national experience to that meeting.
  4. More attention should be paid to networking between NRIs to share experience.  A common platform, for instance, could be developed for coordination of youth NRIs.
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Profile picture for user shreedeeprayamajhi

The role and work of national, regional, sub-regional and youth

The most important things for any national, regional, sub-regional and youth initiative has to be transparent, accountable  and open to all. A lot of the times these initiatives is run by selective group and people with vested interest. These initiative have to be monitored and most importantly cross checked.  

IGF funding in such initiative has to be open and accountable and needs to have a process to verify its social existence. 

Values 
1. Openness 
2. Accountable 
3. Transparent 

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Profile picture for user Mark Carvell - IS3C and EuroDIG

Integration of NRIs and youth initiatives

The NRIs provide an extremely valuable two-way channel between discussions at the global level and the diversity of regional and local experience. Youth initiatives such as the Youth Coalition of Internet Governance (YCIG) and YouthDIG in the European region provide the route for young people and young professionals to bring their perspectives for the future to the forum at the centre of the global Internet governance eco-system, for the attention of policymakers in governments and decision-takers in industry. There needs therefore to be much more effective engagement with them in the programme development of the IGF. Session organisers should seek to involve NRI and yout representatives in the conduct of their sessions.

Annual NRI events and related youth events take place throughout the year so ways need to be found to mitigate the practical challenges of integrating the IGF's annual timeline of for calls for themes etc leading to an end-of-year meeting with the highly varied timelines of NRI processes for stakeholder consultations etc.    

  

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Well next leaders are the…

Well next leaders are the next generation, so youth plays a big impact on the advancement of these causes.

team CCW

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7.   The annual meeting of the IGF, including multi-year programming, hybrid format and issue focus in programme development

  1. Future annual meetings should be hybrid, with attention paid to enabling equal participation by online and face-to-face participants.  This will require further improvements in the Forum’s online facilities and innovative approaches to facilitating networking.  Adjustments to cater for time zones will need to be considered.  The technical community may be able to assist in developing appropriate modalities.
  1. The MAG, supported by the Secretariat, should develop a multi-year programme, integrating the annual meeting with intersessional activity and, where appropriate and desired, with NRIs.  This could include iterative dialogue between successive annual sessions and intersessional activities, allowing the latter and NRIs to participate more effectively in output generation.  The Leadership Panel should work with the MAG in developing this programme.
  2. Within this context, the MAG should focus each annual meeting on a smaller range of more specific topics, concerned with issues of importance in international decision-making on the Internet and impact of the Internet.  These should be selected following consultation with IGF stakeholders, discussion with other stakeholders including UN agencies, and input from the Leadership Panel.  There should be opportunities for emerging and urgent issues to be added to the programme if required.
  3. The MAG should invite proposals for workshop and other sessions to be submitted on these selected topics, thereby enabling greater focus to be achieved across the programme.  Session types should be reviewed and consolidated, and opportunities taken to experiment with modalities like ‘open space’.  There should be dialogue between the MAG and session organisers throughout the period between session approval and the annual meeting, to ensure quality of delivery and maximise the contribution that all sessions make to the Forum as a whole.
  4. More attention should be paid to integrating the high-level and parliamentary tracks with main and other sessions.  In particular, the high-level track could be moved from the beginning of the meeting to the end, when it would be informed by discussions in main and other sessions that had already occurred and contribute to the finalisation of messages and other outputs.  The Leadership Panel should actively encourage participation in these tracks.
  5. The MAG should focus on broad programming issues and revert much of the responsibility for workshop evaluation to the Secretariat. 
  6. Expertise from the technical community could assist in supporting technical implementation of the meeting, including improvements to the website display of the programme, search functions, and adjustments to the modalities of online participation.
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Profile picture for user shreedeeprayamajhi

hybrid format and issue focus in programme development

A better engagement strategy has to be developed at leadership, communication and operation level. The efficiency of the event  cannot be evaluated with the number of people who have participated but how many communities have been reached and what are take their away from the forum.

Regarding the submission of the proposals a relative strategy have to developed promoting generic issues and problems of the region. As a lot of the times evaluation is based on merit basis where stereotype representation is done on the basis of gender, population, people and region....

Just because a person is not able to communicate doesn't mean he or she is not part of the multistakeholder engagement. It is our responsibility to bring such voice to the table as we are the privilege ones to lead the community.       

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Profile picture for user Nicolas Fiumarelli

The annual meeting of the IGF, including multi-year programming,

In order to widen the IGF, a possibility could be to shape it more like the IETF is. The IETF has 3 hybrid sessions each year, but the actual work happens at the mailing list and drafts, ordered by WG and area. The IGF is similar to the IETF process, but it lacks best-ordered documentation processes. In order to achieve recommendations and best practices for the worldwide Internet-related matters and public policies, and in order to widen the voice of IGF I come up with 4 opportunities:
* Take the Leadership Panel as a session for compile the results of the intersessional process at the time of the panel.
* Creation of a platform for policy recommendations based on the bottom-up multistakeholder model including NRI, DCs, BPFs and PNs and the MAG.
* Follow an SDGs/HR approach, via software so people can match with concepts for consensus-driven discussions.
* Expand the sessions at the GLOBAL IGF to include different timezones and maintain a IGF Review platform sites with public comments linked for every session. so the more disadvantaged in terms of language barriers, and timezones could catch up with the content of the session and put comments and questions for 1 or 2 weeks period, so the meaningful part of the session will happen via the platform instead of the session itself (more like the IETF)

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Profile picture for user samik.kharel_13029

Developing sophisticated platforms to secure online format

It is important to develop better platforms for online participants. In 2021, online platforms were zoom bombed with explicit contents which was a shame for all of us. We should ensure, better safety when it comes to online platforms. We should  concentrate on solving this problem for this year's hybrid IGF.

While hybrid is a great way to ensure more participating it comes with more challenges. Unstable internet, power cuts and lower bandwidth can hassle users from lower economies. IGF should facilitate access to the needy ones who require uninterrupted access. Also, the sessions should also be scientifically allocated considering the time zones. All my pleas from last year's online event.

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Profile picture for user Mark Carvell - IS3C and EuroDIG

Benefits of IGF's Hybrid Format

Experience has broadly demonstrated that the hybrid format enables more diverse participation of stakeholders who in the past would not have had the capacity and resources to travel to a physical venue.  Furthermore, senior government representatives, parliamentarians and senior business representatives are more likely to agree to participate online in view of the significant opportunity cost arising from participation on site.

The advent of the fully open hybrid forum with online participation fully equivalent to on site participation therefore presents an important opportunity to correct some of the long-standing deficiencies in representation at the IGF from senior levels in government and the business sectors, and from the Global South and small island developing states. I support the proposal that the IGF Secretariat and the MAG examine the rapidly evolving potential of the hybrid formatting of the MAG consultation meetings, the IGF preparatory phases and the IGF meeting programme, in achieving this critical objective.      

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Profile picture for user Mark Carvell - IS3C and EuroDIG

Smaller range of specific topics

It is important that decisions to narrow the scope of the IGF meeting in terms of number of specific topics are taken in full and open consultation and endorsed by the MAG, ideally within a  structure of multi-year programming to avoid the risk of gaps in issue coverage. 

Programme space should always be provisioned for emerging and urgent issues.  

Transferring the major task of workshop proposal evaluation from the MAG to the Secretariat would require the latter's resources to be substantially expanded.  Implementation of this suggestion needs further discussion of the implications for resources and process therefore.   

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8.   The Leadership Panel, the MAG and the place of the IGF within the United Nations system

  1. The development of a constructive, cooperative and complementary relationship between the Leadership Panel and the MAG should be a priority.  This will require clarification of the responsibilities of each, and of the Secretariat in relation to them, defining what each body does and does not do, and establishing modalities for collaboration.  The chairs of the Panel and MAG will need to establish effective liaison arrangements. 
  2. The Leadership Panel should focus on its strategic roles in relation to strategic and urgent issues, the engagement of high-level personnel including those from government and business, the promotion of IGF outputs, and fundraising.  Members of the Panel could act as ‘ambassadors’ for the IGF.  They should engage with the whole IGF ecosystem, including NRIs, and could be invited to participate in MAG meetings when appropriate.
  3. The Leadership Panel should, in future years, comment on strategic priorities for the Forum’s annual meeting before the MAG begins to work on programme design.  Collaboration on strategic and programme aspects of the 2022 meeting, with its focus on the digital cooperation agenda, could be crucial in determining the effectiveness of the IGF’s contribution to the GDC and should be prioritised once the Panel is established.
  4. The MAG’s terms of reference should be reviewed, on their own terms and in relation to those of the Panel, perhaps with the assistance of a MAG working group.   More clarity should be introduced concerning MAG members’ responsibilities, including the MAG’s engagement with intersessional work.  MAG working groups could assume responsibility for activity in areas such as capacity development.
  5. The Secretariat should resume responsibility for some aspects of programme development currently undertaken by the MAG, particularly workshop evaluation, in order to free MAG time for more proactive developmental work, such as that concerned with issue focus, multi-year programming, the integration of the main Forum and intersessional work, and preparation of outputs.  Forward planning and additional resourcing for the Secretariat will be required for this.
  6. The MAG should consider ways of engaging all MAG members more effectively in its discussions.  More should be done to assist new MAG members to participate in meetings, particularly where they are not experienced Forum participants.  The expertise of former MAG members could help in this regard.  Experienced current MAG members should avoid acting in ways that dominate discussion, and should actively encourage engagement by new members.
  7. Past experience of the IGF – and/or NRIs – could be made a requirement for selection as MAG members.  Eligibility for annual renewal could be associated with demonstrated active participation in MAG work.
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Profile picture for user shreedeeprayamajhi

The MAG should consider ways of engaging all MAG members

The role and responsibilities of a MAG members is immense as they are the representation of the different stakeholders and communities. Even the MAG member selection process needs to be further made open and transparent. The current process of selection is hugely politicized and a group of people have been controlling the process, this needs to be made scientific and processed so that better and new group of people with better voice can join and further have efficiency and effectiveness in the MAG enagagment process.

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Profile picture for user samik.kharel_13029

More engagement and outreach

I have been following IGF activities for a few years and feel it is dormant for most of the year. While a lot takes to organize an annual conference, IGF could do more for rest of the year. I also feel that the outreach and engagement programs could be done more extensively in various regions. 

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Profile picture for user Xiaobo YANG

Concerns on the Secretariat's workload

There are hundreds of workshop proposals needed to be evaluated each year (in a short few months). As pointed out in this report, the Secretariat is "under-resourced and over-stretched". Will the evaluation work further increase its burdens? Considersing that the Leadership Panel will definitely need the Secretariat's support. A rough idea: will it be able and feasible to form a global evaluation work supporting team and get representatives from the NRIs involved?

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Profile picture for user Mark Carvell - IS3C and EuroDIG

Decisions relating to the IGF's strategic priorities.

I agree with the report's observation that defining the separate but complementary roles of the MAG and the Leadership Panel  should now be a priority as the Roadmap on Digital Cooperation proceeds to implementation - including the reforms of the so-called "IGF Plus" - and the IGF's role as the central platform for the Global Digital Compact beds down in the year ahead.

Consistent with the "bottom-up multistakeholder model," I believe the MAG should continue to take the lead in setting the IGF's strategic and thematic programming decisions. The Leadership Panel, drawing on its diversity of experience and expertise, should be invited by the MAG to contribute its views, ideas and suggestions for the overall direction of the IGF's strategy, the relative urgency of specific issues, the allocation of resources, and the phasing of the IGF's multi-year programming of activities and events.    

The process for reviewing and updating the MAG's terms of reference and responsibilities should be full open to stakeholder participation and consultation on proposed amendments and revisions. 

 

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9.   Funding of IGF activities including the IGF Secretariat

  1. The IGF needs a clear fundraising strategy, to bring more financial sustainability to the Forum and enable the Secretariat to meet expanding responsibilities including those related to the Leadership Panel.  It will also be important to focus on effective resource mobilisation.
  2. The Leadership Panel should play a significant role in fundraising, leveraging the senior status of Panel members to encourage more governments and other stakeholders to make contributions to the Trust Fund.
  3. The Forum should seek to diversify funding sources, for instance by approaching development banks, national development agencies and foundations for funding for specific activities, and by encouraging small donations.
  4. The Secretariat should provide more information about income and expenditure, including quarterly or half-yearly reports to donors and the wider IGF community.
  5. DESA should review the bidding process for countries to host the annual meeting to improve visibility, clarity, openness and hosting criteria, including financing arrangements.
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Profile picture for user shreedeeprayamajhi

Funding of IGF activities

Funding of IGF activities or regional activities have to be 
1. Open Any funding activities has to be open and  transparent
2. Transparent Any funding activities has to be transparent and open 
3. Accountable  Local Level Audit at countries law must be adopted 

 

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Profile picture for user amritachoudhury8_1459

Funding for IGF Secretariat

Apart from the points mentioned under 9.   Funding of IGF activities including the IGF Secretariat   want to reiterate the importance of increasing funding for the IGF Secretariat.  Especially considering the workload of the IGF Secretariat that is ever increasing.

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Profile picture for user Mark Carvell - IS3C and EuroDIG

IGF Funding

The deficiency in IGF funding which arguably has constrained the IGF's range of year-round activities, is a key challenge that the Leadership Panel is empowered to resolve through members' high level contacts and channels of engagement in government and industry circles.  Success in sourcing additional donor funding will result in a strengthened Secretariat with more capacity to support and coordinate the expanding range of "IGF Plus" year-round activities.   

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10. Modalities to extend outreach, engagement and participation in the IGF

    1. The Leadership Panel should encourage high-level participation in the annual meeting.  Members of the Panel could act as “ambassadors” for the IGF, encouraging participation from within their regions and stakeholder groups and from decision-making bodies in which they participate.
    2. The MAG should consider whether the high-level track should be moved to the end of the annual meeting so that it can focus on outcomes from previous discussions and contribute to the development of IGF messages/outputs.
    3. The annual meeting agenda should include headline speakers whose presence would attract participation from a wider audience.
    4. More detailed assessment should be made of participation in IGF activities, including active engagement in annual meeting sessions, intersessional activities and NRIsNRIs should be encouraged to act as channels for input to the annual meeting from under-represented groups.
    5. The Leadership Panel, MAG and Secretariat should develop a communications strategy for the Forum aimed at building awareness and disseminating outputs.  This would benefit from professional public relations support.  DESA and the Office of the Envoy on Technology could support and promote the work of the Forum within the UN system.
    6. The MAG should consider innovations in the annual meeting structure that would be attractive to under-represented groups, such as “hackathons” and sessions concerned with the impact of the Internet on particular sectors or public policy issues (such as climate change).  NRIs could consider similar innovations.
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Profile picture for user samik.kharel_13029

All engagement activities should disseminated to the community

There is a rising trend of tokenism and crony circle within internet governance activities. IGF's mandate should make sure that everything should be shared with everyone and not limited to a circle of people. An appeal should be sent out to all internet governance bodies and its ramifications- to make sure that "no one is left behind". Everyone should know about every initiative- which is the core idea behind the celebrated multistakeholderism. 

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Profile picture for user amritachoudhury8_1459

Increasing outreach engagement and participation in the IGF

Apart from what has been mentioned, there is clearly a need to relook at the communication, outreach and engagement strategy adopted so far, in terms of what has worked and what has not. This will help to better strategies.

Further new modes of communication should be adopted to reach out to different age groups or stakeholder communities from different parts of the world.

Engaging the IGF Community members (NRIs, DCs etc) for outreach and communication may help to reach out to local communities with the information.

Further apart from the UN languages, if important messages can be translated and sent in other languages (that are used widely) it may help to connect to new people.

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Profile picture for user Mark Carvell - IS3C and EuroDIG

Reply to

Increasing outreach engagement and participation in the IGF

I agree 100% with Amrita's points concerning the need for a strategic communications strategy for the IGF. The new website is a step forward in enhancing the messages and online interaction but much more can be done to converge the range of thematic inputs from the various intersessional activities in the IGF ecosystem. It still seems fragmented and difficult to navigate: as Amrita says, a review would identify a more coherent ands strategic approach. 

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/*-->*/ The way the…

The way the information has been dissiminated just makes me glad, how transparent the team is.

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11. Strengthening the IGF in relation to capacity development

1.   The Secretariat should work with other organisations that already offer capacity development programmes on Internet governance (including the Schools on Internet Governance) to add maximum value with limited resources. 

2.   The Secretariat should provide information and access links to capacity development resources through its website.  Capacity development experiences could also be shared online.

3.   Capacity development initiatives concerned with participation in the IGF itself should recognise the needs of diverse audiences, seeking to maintain the engagement of established as well as new participants, and reaching beyond the governance of the Internet to include its impact on other areas of public policy.

4.   The global meeting and NRIs should discuss and communicate priorities for capacity development to other stakeholders. 

5.   The Secretariat should consider other options for capacity development, including internships and the establishment of an alumni network.

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Profile picture for user shreedeeprayamajhi

IGF in relation to capacity development

At grassroots level there is a greater need of core values development in terms of Internet and need to create better awareness about openness, transparency and accountability. 

The secretariat had developed a toolkit ages back which further needs to be reviewed and updated with  better engagement tools and techniques. 

Collaborative initiative and efforts are need in creating better engagement and awareness tools.  

 

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Profile picture for user Mark Carvell - IS3C and EuroDIG

IGF, capacity building and the Sustainable Development Goals

It is widely recognised that ICTs and digital technologies are enablers for all 17 SDGs because they provide the backbone for an inclusive global digital economy that is a catalyst for sustainable development of all sectors of national and regional economies. I agree that the IGF should use its website for providing resources for capacity development in the cyber and digital sectors. There is a strong fit here with digital cooperation initiatives in support of the SDG targets. 

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12. Follow-up and implementation

  1. The Leadership Panel and the MAG will need to work rapidly, with DESA and the Secretariat, to establish cooperative working modalities that will enable them to initiate the Panel’s work, implement proposals from the EGM and develop the IGF’s contribution to the GDC.
  2. This will require clarification of the relationship between the Leadership Panel and the MAG, including review of terms of reference.
  3. The MAG should determine modalities for the work of the 2022 meeting in relation to the Roadmap and the GDC, encourage contributions to discussion of this theme from intersessional fora and from NRIs, and invite session proposals from the IGF community related to it.  It should also consider modalities for the preparation of an output document related to the Compact.
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I believe the coordination…

I believe the coordination of these organizations will speed up not just the process but also the result.

Yang, 

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Conclusion

The EGM started from the premise that the IGF should do more than maintain its current role and level of activities, but respond to the changing Internet and Internet governance environment and achieve greater impact from its work.  The observations and suggestions listed in this report stem from the desire of Meeting participants to fulfil those goals.

A number of clear priorities can be identified.

  • In the immediate term, the Forum needs to establish effective collaboration between the Leadership Panel and the MAG, enabling it to implement improvements along the lines identified by the Meeting.  Participants recognised that the quality of the relationship between the Panel and the MAG will be crucial to achieving progress towards a more impactful IGF.
  • In the short term, the MAG, with support from the Leadership Panel, needs to ensure that the 2022 annual meeting enables the IGF to make an effective contribution to development of the Global Digital Compact which is to be presented to the Summit of the Future in 2023.  Participants recognised that the quality of the IGF’s contribution to this will affect perceptions of its ongoing value to digital cooperation.
  • In the longer term, participants agreed, the Forum needs to build more coherent collaboration within the ecosystem that has evolved around its annual meeting, intersessional activities and NRIs, leading to more substantive, evidence-based discourse and to the production of actionable outputs which will have more substantial impact within the United Nations and in international decision-making fora concerned with the Internet and its impact on society.  Its ability to achieve this will have substantial influence on the scheduled review of the Forum’s mandate by the General Assembly in 2025.

Participants recognised that substantial work towards these goals has been realised in recent years, and were optimistic that their suggestions would enable them to be achieved.  While some of those suggestions would require additional funding, which should be sought as a priority, others were cost-neutral and could be implemented quickly.  The short time now available between the EGM and the 2022 Forum should encourage all stakeholders to progress improvements with a sense of urgency.

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Profile picture for user Nicolas Fiumarelli

more substantive, evidence-based discourse and to the production

As I stated earlier, the IGF needs evolution in terms of "grounding the processes" on a single platform.
Many discussions about public policies on the Internet take place in a disaggregated manner, beyond the efforts to consolidate the reports, there is no automated mechanism for crossing discussions and opinions between events and processes, the important thing here would be to focus on specifying PDP processes, which remain non-binding and open but where the statements are submitted for review and consensus, by a specialized group such as the IGF Leadership panel.
Year after year we have seen that little by little the NRIs align in a certain way and achieve joint results, but many times the disaggregated nature is not respecting the bottom-up from subnational to national to sub-regional to regional to global and that is where I see an opportunity for improvement to achieve a more contemplative and inclusive process.

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