IGF 2018 LIGHTNING SESSION #17 ICANN and Capacity Building in the Underserved Regions

Title:  ICANN and Capacity Building in the Underserved Regions” 

Presenter:  Lito Ibarra (ICANN Board) 

Short Description:  This Session will describe the ICANN capacity building work in Underserved Regions; especially focussed on enhancing understanding of governments on the Domain Name System (DNS) and ICANN.  It will invite contributions on how this work might develop for the benefit of the wider Internet Community. 


Session Time

IGF 2018 Report Template






- Session Type:  Lightening Session   


- Title:  ICANN and Capacity Building in Underserved Regions



- Date & Time:  Wednesday, 14th November; 2018


- Organizer                            ICANN


- Chair/Moderator:          Lito Ibarra (ICANN Board); Technical Community  


- Rapporteur:                       Nigel Hickson


- Speaker:                               





- Theme:                                  Domain Name System / Capacity Building




Key Messages


1. That effective participation in the multi-stakeholder process (at ICANN) is enhanced through a level of knowledge in processes and practices which capacity building programmes allow;


2. That capacity building, whether in underserved or developed regions, is an on-going, and not a one-off process; it is part of a successful and inclusive multi-stakeholder policy development and assessment;


3. That the ICANN programme, targeting mainly government officials in the underserved regions, has been successful in enhancing GAC contributions, from the relevant regions, as well as enhancing generally knowledge about ICANN,



Overall Dialogue


The Lightening Session has a duration of 20 minutes and took place in an open area within UNESCO, and thus with a partly transient audience.  At any one time, there were 10-15 participants.

After Nigel Hickson called the session to order Lito Ibarra (ICANN Board Member) went through a brief presentation in which he outlined the objectives of this unique capacity building programme. It was initiated in January 2017 to strengthen diversity and lower barriers to participation in ICANN by governments. The objective was to increase meaningful participation of GAC members from under-served regions (USR). Since this GAC consists of a large number of countries which are facing different local challenges, it has been decided to adopt a regional approach in order to deliver the most appropriate content to the concerned GAC Representatives.  The approach aimed at fostering collaboration and promoting sharing amongst countries of ideas and actions to achieve regional objectives. The project had a duration of 18 months and included eight regionals workshops held in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Latin America, and the Pacific (the last in Panama at ICANN62). He went over the types of stakeholders attracted to each workshop (generally government staff made up 70% of delegates) and the range of material delivered. He noted that while the ICANN Organisation had coordinated the delivery they were greatly aided by Board and ICANN Community members. He outlined some of the key messages that came out of the process, including the problems of turnover of GAC personnel (this as a result of both staff turnover and machinery of government changes) and the complexity of the ICANN environment.

In discussion

·      Where next programmes may take part; was noted that further developments of the Programme were awaiting GAC consideration and were subject to budgetary considerations;   

·      The case for including, in the capacity building programme, sessions on IP rights; was noted this could be part of Community led sessions (say on on-going PDP processes);


Key Points from Presentation and Discussion


1. The need for a continuation of this ICANN initiative; success cannot be sustained without an evolutionary approach to capacity building;  


2. The potential for broadening out ICANN capacity building to include key Internet issues which impact on ICANN.





There were around 15 participants


Estimate the total number of women and gender-variant individuals present.


About 5 of the participants were women


To what extent did the session discuss gender issues, and if to any extent, what was the discussion?


There were no specific gender issues discussed.