IGF 2019 – Day 4 – Raum III – Concluding Breakout Session: Digital Inclusion

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany, from 25 to 29 November 2019. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 



>> Good morning.  Can I invite everyone to come around the table close to a mic because?  This is going to be an interactive session?  It is not a formal structure.  So we really want to get the input of the participants.  So we will give it a minute or so for people to come in, but please just sit on the table close to a microphone and let's engage in dialogue.  And then to our new colleagues that are coming, can we sit around the table?  We want everyone sitting close to a mic.  We would like to get everyone's input if possible.  I see a few defectors in the corners.  We also have room around here, although it is harder to escape from this side of the room.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Good morning, everyone.  Thank you for attending this closing session on the digital inclusion track.  My name is Susan Chalmers.  And together with Paul and a number of other MAG members we have organized this session as a way for folks to come together and discuss any insights, share experiences that they have had over the week.  Please feel free to be fill in your comments.  It looks like we have kind of a smaller group, a more intimate group.  So we can just share.  For those of you who were unable to attend the introductory track or session that we had on Tuesday, what we did is we went in to five different breakout groups and some of the subthemes of digital inclusion.  And if I recall correctly, those breakout groups were governance, local content and multilingualism, access, affordability and infrastructure, social inclusion and somebody's going to help me with the fifth one.  Oh, sorry, skill, education and jobs.

So we are not necessarily going to follow that format, but we are just going to use this time to have a discussion about the inclusion issues that folks have experienced over the week.

So we could either go around the table or just ask for volunteers to begin.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  I just want to add to that as well.  The IGF, it is a personal journey.  There is so much going on.  We have different interests, but we also share common interests.  And those that followed some of the digital inclusion track, these are issues that are quite pertinent.  And for us the feeling is that we have got to tackle a lot of big problems to achieve to digital inclusion.  The sort of feedback, have these workshops helped us to achieve some of those goals.  Has it fallen short?  Are there areas that need more intervention?  Do we have workshops that are saying the same thing?  So are we getting duplication?  Messages and these captured in to other documents and they help to set policy on a global level.

So as Susan said, this session is a reflective session, just to get a sense of how was your journey.  There is no formal right response.  It is really how did you feel.  Was it good.  Most of us on this side are members of the MAG.  So we are part of the organization group for the IGF.  So it is important for us to because next year we are starting preparations for the next one which is in Poland.  And, of course, the intent is not to go backwards but to go forwards.  We don't want to repeat things that don't work.  And we have been accused or the IGF has been accused in the past of not being reflective of the issues and concerns of the different stakeholders.  So, you know, but we are human and we do make mistakes but tell us.  It is not about telling us about what we did right or wrong.  How was your experience.  What did you learn.  What were your key take‑aways.  If one thing you need to take back to your own constituency or own Government, what would that be.  A new message that you have learned or amplified through the discussions that have happened.  We are hoping to get participation from everyone here.  So don't be afraid.  Jump on the mic if you can please.  Thank you.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  So would anybody like to start us off?  I know it is not that early anymore.  But ‑‑

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  We have to pick a corner.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  We will call upon one of our MAG members to help start the discussion.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Our colleagues in the back and work around.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  June, would you like to start us off?

>> Hi.  I'm June Paris.  I'm on the MAG.  This is my second year.  And I have got one more year to go.  The part that I looked at in the last session here was governance.  And I think now since I have done that I'm a little bit confused myself with governance even though I have studied governance.  And I think that it is not entirely clear for all of us that are here because I got the impression that some people think Internet Governance is governed by the Government.  And I want to know if we can talk about that.  I'm just starting you off, even countries without a Government they can have Internet Governance.  So it is not the same thing.  And since during the last session I myself I am not even clear on it any more.  So if we can talk about that to begin with and see if you can clear my head for next year, as I said it is countries without a government.  Like what country was it?  Begins with an I.  Libya.  Libya.  Libya hasn't got a Government.  And Libya is doing ‑‑ having Internet Governance.  And they seem to be doing quite well at it.  So you don't really need a Government to have Internet Governance.  Okay?  So I just want to clear that up.  And I want people to talk about it right now, if they can.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you.  I think that's a fascinating question.  If I recall from the introductory discussion, you had organized a session about digital inclusion and governance, inclusive stakeholder practices within ICANN I believe it was.  Would you be willing to share any key messages or insights from that session?  That would be a good place to start I think on the governance track.

>> Yeah.  Okay.  It was great to have the opportunity to have this session.  It was really great to have the IGF.  Because my impression was we touched on some pretty sensitive issues about structural inequality and multi‑stakeholder governance at ICANN.  Language inequality, geographical inequality, business and strength in Internet Governance.  Paul, you were there.  It was very open.  It was very reflective.  It was very frank.  It was very direct.  And I thought this is such a good place, a place to bring all these different stakeholders together and to be, to have a serious discussion about serious issues without getting super passionate about it as well.  It was very good.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you.  While we are on the topic of inclusive Internet Governance practices, would anybody else like to share any insights that they have or have encountered over the past week?  If not, maybe we can move on to something along the lines of access, access to infrastructure and inclusion, digital inclusion of folks and access to the Internet.  Would anybody like to kick us off?  Yes, please go ahead.

>> Thank you, Susan.  My name is Muwis.  I work with the Ministry of Communication and a policy director and that's Afghanistan.  So, of course, the whole week there have been so much new experience for me.  And I saw that there have been different sessions talking about how, what policymakers and regulators should do back in the country and what they shouldn't touch and what should be prioritized.

Coming back to the topic of digital inclusion, so, of course, we currently ask in terms of reaching out Internet and broadband throughout the country, but the practices that yesterday the same, we had the session where the broadbandpolicy.org, a website is developed where Government can see what is the world doing in terms of broadband policy and what should be included in while drafting those policies and what are the good experience and what have other countries done.  So those sort of platform knowledge sharing and best practices could help countries that are countries struggling.

So one of the questions was okay, so you are making sure that your Internet is accessible.  So then what's the next step?  And how well ‑‑ what needs to be done in the area of digital literacy and what standards should be considered in digital literacy that could best suit the need and how do you encourage people to start using those infrastructure that you are investing so much.  So this opens up a new window for discussion back in our country and see and adopt new approaches.  And you have to have those different indicators and milestones once you achieve the other ‑‑ you have to be ready.  And you have to make the environment enabled for that.  So those sort of discussions in terms of policy and the most important how do you make those sort of mechanisms in terms of digital inclusion and talking about digitalization.

So those sort of topics, knowledge sharing, idea sharing, best practices being shared, so I think this platform have helped, personally helped me in seeing things from a different perspective.  And thank you for that.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you so much for sharing that.  And does anybody else here work on broadband access in the room?  Because I would be interested to hear reflections on this comment.  No?

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  One of the things that is shaping up in my mind and, you know, I'm from the Global South.  I live in Namibia, but I engage with regulators across the continent.  We still have a 20th Century mentality when we think in telecommunication.  We have a Ministry of Information Communication Technology.  We have communication policies.  But the Global North has moved to digital policies and not telecommunication policies and things.  I think this is a radical shift that we need to start thinking about in the Global South.  And it is not that we are not aware of it.  We are just slow to do it.  When you look at a digital policy you start looking at digital literacy.  It is not just about connecting our community anymore.  It is about providing meaningful connectivity and having a digital literate community that can access it.  And also understanding the difference between access and accessibility which I'm still trying to understand myself.  And I get taken to tasks many times because I don't fully understand it, but we need to understand that because access and accessibility are two completely different things.  So I don't know if anyone around the floor has any comments on how they feel we can move towards a more digitally driven policy framework or sensitivity around our governments understanding that process.

>> Yes.  Thank you.  For the record, this is Mohammed from Pakistan and I am the President of Internet Society accessibility special interest group.  Well, my friend was talking about the difference between access and accessibility.  To my limited understanding these are the terms which are being used interchangeably for access over the Internet and access to the Internet.  But as a person with a disability I have a concern to both.  For instance, there is an access to the Internet where you need to connect with a person to the Internet where they don't have the access to the Internet and digital technologies.  At the same time there is a situation and there comes a situation where a person has access to digital technology, access to the Internet, but still remains unable to use or to take benefit of that technology or that Internet just because the technology was not developed in such a way so that everyone could use it.  So the part of inclusivity was somehow ignored in that.  So that I call the accessibility on the Internet where a person with disabilities have the access to the internet and remains unable to use it.  And then there is also a part where people do not even have the access to the technology much less to talk about inclusivity and its development.

And in that there are both haves and have nots, if you allow me a bit of more time.  So haves is the north and south divide.  One is, of course, the cost element which comes from living in the Global South.  There are less resources and people try to do or to achieve certain things using shortcuts.  And they try ‑‑ they mostly avoid standards.  I am not saying that we should strictly follow the standards because being humans following those standards or developing those standards there may be some laggings, but there needs to be some sort of standard that we need to follow so that they can give us if we are not understanding the technology and the requirement they can give us some guidelines.

The second thing that I wanted to highlight was regarded to, related to the inclusivity in policy.  One example that I can give from my country, Pakistan, is that last year we ‑‑ so that was the example that I gave earlier in a couple of sessions as well.  But still to reiterate, that in 2017 and 2018 the Government of Pakistan formulated its IT policy.  It invited inputs from different sectors, multi‑stakeholder model, Ministry of Information Technology was consulting different people, different communities, technical community academia.  There was Government involved and Human Rights organizations involved.  In that there were Persons with Disabilities also included.

So the Government has now a complete document which is approved by the Government of Pakistan and it is following.  And now it is creating a strategy.  So this in a way at least the Government tried to include all sections of the society to get their inputs that what do they want.  If you don't ask people that what do people want and Governments start or people start thinking that they are all doing, X, Y or Zed kind of provisions and ABC provisions cannot be provided without asking and assuming this could lead us astray.  This is my input.  Thank you.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you so much for that.  And for ‑‑ before you put the microphone back, ma'am, I think I want to ask a few follow‑up questions because there is so much, Mohammed, in your intervention.  Thank you for sharing the landscape of the policy landscape in Pakistan.  And I'm just wondering, are there any other leaders, are there any countries that stand out in particular who are champions that you know of or any companies in particular that seem to prioritize accessibility in this regard?

>> So to my limited understanding, so here I have to acknowledge my limited, my own limited knowledge and understanding, but I know in Developed Countries, for instance, there is the standards BS77, 88 of United Kingdom.  They follow the WC web ‑‑ WTC, WCAG guidelines and they have made their own standards of making websites accessible.  And they have their own standards that at what level websites and the digital technology should be accessible.  Similarly there is in the U.S. there is Section 508 which is related to accessible technology and its accessibility.  And I know that there were inputs.  When these standards and policies were being developed, there were inputs which were included from the persons with disabilities and their communities.  I am not sure and I have not been able to verify right from the community or able to hear from the person with disabilities, but I heard that at least on the paper the Government of Afghanistan also developed an IT policy.  And there was some sections on ‑‑ that addressed the inclusivity and also about the issues of Persons with Disabilities.  But to what extent and to whom the Government consulted while they were formulating the policy that I need to yet more make myself more aware.  So this is it.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you.  So there is a lot of information in there.  And I believe there is, if I'm not mistaken, I'm pretty sure, there is a Dynamic Coalition on accessibility in dealing with these issues.  So if folks are interested in following this issue throughout and within the IGF community, it may be worth checking that DC out.

While we are on this topic, is there anything else, would anybody else like to contribute to the subtheme of accessibility and inclusion?  Nope.  Oh, yes.  Please.

>> Good morning, everyone.  My name is Amelia.  I'm from Pacific access think tank.  I wanted to say that it has been a pleasure being here at the IGF, meeting all the vast stakeholders with different disciplines and to tap in to that.

Just from my personal experience because I mean I am not an information system person.  And later on when I first started, whenever I tried to do ‑‑ to voice my opinion on the social side in relation to ICT, it was always shut down by the ISPs and in that environment.  So I'm just glad to be here to see that even though that we started talking about it, and then I could see the ripple effect of this there is inclusivity.  In the Pacific there is women in ICT has been driven and women economic empowerment acknowledging the use of technology, connecting the urban to the rural.  I am glad we are here in this room talking about this issue.  There is a ripple effect.  And thank you for being here and talking about it.  Thank you.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Thank you.  Social inclusion is a very important topic.  And it really forms part of being digitally included.  Do we have ‑‑ June.  Judy.  Oh, Judy.  The floor is yours.

>> Thank you very much.  And thank you, Susan.  Just to add in to the voice regarding accessibility and access, I think there was one of the panels that they were talking about access.  And when this other panelist brought in the accessibility regarding Persons with Disabilities, then you could see that everyone got confused because when they were addressing access they meant, you know, is there Internet in the place.  But just as Mohammed has said accessibility is actually that there is internet but there is particular persons that are not able to access to it.  Probably because of a software, probably because of a hardware.  And so that is important to know.  I know that in Kenya ‑‑ sorry, my name is Judy.  I come from Kenya.  Yes, in Kenya in ICT law, we have a caption that says we should be following the WC3 standard when it comes to the web content.  And unfortunately you will find that even the Government websites are not accessible.  Like a screen reader cannot be able to read through it.  So I'm not sure how to turn, you know, the policy in to implementation.  Yes, it is there.  How do we go forward on that?  Thank you.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you, Judy.  And I think there are probably a number of different approaches that have been used for implementation, though I will have to admit it is not my area.  But if folks do have experience it would be very interesting to hear some illustrations.  With regard to what you had said about clarifying the terminology, access to the Internet, and then accessibility, I think Mohammed put it very clearly when it was access to the Internet and access on the Internet.  So I think that might be an important distinction.  And just in the way of the boring organizational background, when the MAG members here, when we were discussing the different subthemes within digital inclusion, there was some thinking about ‑‑ some organizing around infrastructure.  So you start there.  And so I would consider some infrastructural issues like broadband accessibility, even IPv6 as an infrastructural issue.  And then you have the content layer and then some other aspects of that.  So that it might be helpful, we were kind of thinking it in terms of OSI model for organizing subthemes.

Do we have any other thoughts?  Yes, Mohammed, please.

>> While we are on the topic of accessibility, one of the sessions that I was on the panel the day before yesterday of new participatory methods, one of very interesting points came up and while we are on the suggestions that what we need to do about is, the question was that do we have a research in quantitative terms about the accessibility of the Internet for Persons with Disabilities, that how if a website is made accessible to certain level, how much it benefits the community and what is the ‑‑ what is the outcome in the financial terms.  One of the answers there was that ‑‑ there were very short or lacking of such kind of data, such kind of researches.  So while I would highly recommend that this ‑‑ if we are doing some research and that we are trying to commit to some research in the future, this is one area where we need to work upon that of how in terms of quantitative terms, in terms of financial terms, the accessibility impacts websites and the ‑‑ so if I put it in another way, that how the accessible websites impact the financial or revenues of the company and how the inaccessible website impact the financial benefits and the revenues of the companies and organizations.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Thank you, Mohammed.  Any other interventions or comments?  I captured something here, we need to differentiate and understand what accessibility means if we are to achieve digital inclusion.  That's one of the IGF messages we can take back and share.  I am going to hand the floor to Dolsi to give a bit of an insight in to the access affordability because we are on this theme and infrastructure to see if we can stimulate some dialogue around that.  But as I mentioned we want to get ‑‑ we don't want to be talking to ourselves.  We get a lot of opportunity to talk to ourselves but not to talk to you.

>> This is Carolina.  I understand the start off with the infrastructure layer and speak a bit more of access to the Internet.  There has been several sessions around community connectivity.  And I think that definitely needs to come up as a message.  I feel that what started coming up strongly is the work around community Networks meant across the Global South.  And I think we have a few representatives, at least there is one here, a colleague from a community network in Latin America.  And I think sort of the message there or what's been discussed in the session sort of like the evolution and back saying, I don't know, IGF 2016 community Networks felt it was a new topic and a new thing and sort of a lot of strength throughout the years.  And essentially this idea of, you know, when we think about connectivity, connecting the connected that we don't think about hey, private sector has to do it or governments have to do it.  There is sort of other answers to connectivity and community Networks or, you know, if I may attempt to sort of define them, Networks that are built and sort of run by communities that are unconnected be it because they are in rural areas or in the Global South they are in urban areas that are regarded as unsafe and Internet providers do not want to go in there to provide the service.  So in ‑‑ yeah, again in terms of access I think that's a message that needs to come across.  Thank you.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you so much.  And I don't know if perhaps there is an example or an illustration of a community network or a narrative.  Maybe our colleague could ‑‑

>> Sorry.  Here is a colleague from Colombia.  He doesn't feel comfortable with Spanish.  He has given me a few ideas.  We LACNIC, around the freedom program.  And we gave our community Networks award to our colleagues ‑‑ this is Freddy Riveria.  And they have sort of brought connectivity to rural Colombia again to an area that was disconnected.  I can provide details of size of the network and how it is built.  I don't know that that's particularly relevant.  Several examples from Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa, I would say from the early 2000s to date that have proven successful, relying on sort of a whole range of different technologies really.  I don't know, you know, if that, you know, that's kind of where you are looking for.  I mean it is ‑‑ I don't know, such a sort of wealth of, you know, sort of approaches that these different communities have adopted, that it is sort of hard to give one concrete example.  I just to sort of relay what my colleague here was saying, he was saying sort of trying to tie the question of access to accessibility saying that community Networks is such an effort to sort of build infrastructure, build the Networks that sometimes a struggle to also meet standards for accessibility.  He asked me to relate that to the public.  So yeah.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Just on the topic of community Networks, maybe I'm going to throw some questions back to you.  I work with the African continent.  And I do TV white space, regulated part of the spectrum.  That's a different topic.  But there is a definite disconnect between the regulators and community Networks.  And I have spoken to regulators and the regulators say, you know, we need to understand from the community Networks what they want, that sort of attitude.  But the community Networks are not getting the spectrum that they need.  There is complex processes for them to get the license and that doesn't enable the community Networks to thrive.  And in my opinion I believe the community Networks will play a massive role in connecting the currently unconnected.  They have need to put down their business models to be sustainable and have this management structure.  And they apply to the larger ISPs.  And if we were going to take a message to the regulators, what would that message be?

>> I wish there were more colleagues from the community Networks here.  I don't know if there is anyone.  They have been really helpful.  They have multiple messages.  Very sort of abolished.  They didn't make it here.  To go to the big themes, what we have been discussing in the last couple of days is that when community Networks started they were, you know, it was an idea, right?  They were in last proof of concept.  We know there are different communities and facing different challenges across the global south that work.  In terms of thinking how community networking can scale there are several questions that lie ahead and I think you got to the heart of two.  One is working on sort of the regulatory front to ensure that Networks are not operating informally.  So they are not like trying to borrow spectrum and sort of off the books.  And there has been quite a bit of progress and I am from Latin America.  And I can speak to that.  We had one of the community Networks back in 2016.  And they received an operator's license in Argentina.  There has been steps forward under sort of regulation front.  And, of course, I mean within the community Networks there is a lot of things that need to still sort of be worked out.  As you mentioned there is a question of sustainability models.

Some communities work based on sort of nonmarket, nonmarket logic that works for some community Networks.  It doesn't for others.  But it is various models, something that's been explored and also sort of exploring questions around producing local content.  And there is a lot more to do still on sort of the development of hardware and software that's sort of better suited for the needs of community Networks.  But definitely I mean if I were to summarize the community Networks are still figuring things out.  And one of the sort key things that is known as important and necessary next step is working more closely with regulators and questions around spectrum use and access.  And all their sort of complimentary aspects I mentioned before.  For instance, you know, being granted operator's licenses so that they can access, you know, Universal Service Funds and so forth.  And I hope I ‑‑ I did justice to ‑‑ again if there is anyone else from here that wants to talk about it, that would be great.  Thank you.

>> Yes.  Very good speaking in Spanish and I will translate in English if that's okay.

>> Well, two aspects that are really important that I would like to mention about spectrum policies.  For us it is like a big like hole that we have to face and to come by with, to really connect us.

There is a new law defining technologies and access to spectrum in Colombia.  And we are now on trial with the Government because we consider the ‑‑ that this law doesn't give us the rights that we need to do the spectrum.

So we always have to wait the states has been efficient with our demands without granting us rights.

For us the aspect of governance is really important and we as community Networks we want to govern our own Networks.

And it seems that there is still kind of a confusion between access and accessibility.  I don't see much of confusion here.  And I will tell you why.

What we can do as community Networks is first step to create access for the communities, but the real task comes later when we are talking about how to make this first access to turn it in to really accessibility for the whole community.

We talk about accessibility, we don't only talk here about people with different capacities or we are talking here, thank you, we are talking here about illiteracy and digital skills.

For instance, there are networks that we have deployed in rural areas where lots of farmers are living but those people to not know how to read or don't have the skills to interpret certain messages.

So we are now on a panel about the question of accessibility to the Networks, but we should maybe broaden the question to the point what do we use the Internet for.


>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Thank you.  I would like to thank our speaker from what could be a message here out of what you just said.  But I just want to share it, the thoughts.  One of the reasons I am trying to capture I have to do a speech in the closing as a wrap‑up.  I am trying to steal your ideas, but for community network the first step is to create access.  Turn access in to accessibility.  Is that a capture of that?  For a community network the first step is to create access.  The real task comes later to turn access in to accessibility.

>> Yeah, I think that captures the spirit of it.  It would be important to state the part about having to work a regulation as sort of a next step.


>> Yeah.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  I actually have the regulations captured elsewhere because that's something I experience a lot of.  I think it raises an important issue that our regulators do not understand these community Networks are not ISP.  They need connectivity to deliver their core mandate.  And there isn't connectivity.  So they have to establish that first to deliver what they want.  It could be a service.  It could be e‑medicine.  It could be something else.  Just getting a community is part of a digital village.

>> They are meant to be complimentary to big service providers.  Small ISPs but you think the spirit is this term that they have used of sort of co‑existing, if you will, and you know they can peacefully coexist and serve to serve the unconnected.  I am happy to talk more about that at the session.  Thank you.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you.

>> Just to add a point was also mentioned is that if you talk about accessibility, so to take in to account intersections, intersectionalism that is included.  Different capacities and I think languages is also a very important point.  It was not mentioned yet.  I came a little late but this is also a great barrier.  And this is where community Networks are also offering or could offer doing the first step to provide solutions on this.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  So I wish I had a white board.  Yes, please.

>> Yes.  Good morning.  I am Patricia from Costa Rica, from the Government of Costa Rica.  I want to share a best practice that we have.  Early this year the Government announced that we are going to have a WiFi in more than 400 parks and public spaces and libraries and schools all over the country.  And this was funding from a fund from Texas, from big providers.  It was made to make Internet accessible to everyone.  At the moment it is working fine but we have found challenges regarding mostly digital literacy, that it is needed, especially for vulnerable groups like women and other people and sometimes young people.  So I think that the thing about access it has also to do with digital literacy.  It is very important to consider that.  And also the thing about accessing different languages and different kinds of ‑‑ the multilingual access to the Internet.  The Government also has launched a public policy regarding access to make all the Government websites, to make them accessible to everybody and it has to be done during the next three years.  So it can be also a more equitable way of seeing Internet.  Thank you.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you so much for sharing that illustration.  And so I think we are going to turn to Dolsi who during our introductory session moderated the breakout group on access and infrastructure.  And then we can move on to other topics.  Dolsi, please.

>> Thank you for giving me this opportunity.  Again my name is Dolsi and I'm from Vanuatu.  I can give you some insights on what's happening there.  So first of all, the issue here is, you know, that we have covered in the last how many days, access infrastructure and affordability.  But moreover, there are more other factors included to that one.  That makes it more complicated with you in the Vanuatu example.  We had this policy, what we call the universal access policy and it promotes a model called pay or play.  This is where the operators, you know, are monitored by the regulator to make sure that they are actually implementing this policy.  So, for example, if their operators are consulted and they feel we are choosing to play then that's when they at their own cost they develop access.  But if they don't, then that's when we leave it there.  So it worked out very well.  And in the last year we achieved around 98 percentage of the population.  Not the geography, population coverage.  But, there needs to be a lot of improvement of quality of service.

The interesting part in there is that the regulators have the role to monitor the licenses and in our case there is some remote communities where we give these Internet communities a special license recall we call exception license.  This is where some of the conditions they accept them from that.  Wean out really well and that's why we achieve that population coverage.  So I think it depends very much on the policy itself, the Government's mandate, overall roadmap.  And as we have that really, really clear level I am pretty sure we can work our way through the multi‑stakeholder approach and to build access.

I also note from the people with special needs this is also another area but the policy also indicates that they must be included and that's where the operators also have a function in there to, you know, play, work together with the Government and work together with other interested stakeholders, especially the donors who support and provide access.  So I will close it there.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you so much.  We are lucky to have regulators in the room.  It is a very valuable perspective.  So having started with these questions about infrastructure and then distinguishing access to infrastructure from accessibility to the Internet, I just kind of want to come back to accessibility also being dependent on content available in different languages and also digital skills.  So we are kind of building a theme here.  And I would like to return to Rose who during our intro session led the breakout discussion on digital skills innovation and jobs.  And then we might segway there ‑‑ there is the gentleman who had mentioned languages to the local content and language discussion.  But Rose, please take the floor.

>> Thank you, Susan.  Good morning, everyone.  I am Mary Rose from the Philippines.  I lead the discussion on regional session on skills and jobs.  We have been hearing how we can have meaningful access to the Internet.  We are talking about how can we prepare our workforce to respond to the digital demand in the first place, improvement, development and technology so we can have a meaningful and productive access to the Internet.  So one of the key messages that transpires over the course of the IGF Forum and during the introductory session we had how can we prepare our educators.  And if there are practices in ways or policies that we can prepare our educators for them to transfer the needed skills to the students and graduates.  And then to the existing workforce to improve their skills based on the demand of the changing technologies.  And I think what is the most important thing that arises here is building not just the digital skills, but also the analytical skills, critical skills, and the human skills which is a lifelong learning.  And we need an approach in order to build this capacity instead of just giving them the skills on how to program and how to code and use the computer.

Right?  So we also like, for example, in the Philippines if I could share, there is a challenge on improving the universal curriculum in order for us to trace our core sets based on‑demand of merging technologies.  While we are in the course of improving the curriculum we partner with industry associations with private companies for them to give the training and workshops to community instead of forcing your educators to do it internally.

And that one is one of the best practices that I have heard as well and also I can share to you.  I think this ‑‑ there is a necessary bridging the gap between the lap of capacity, the academia level and expertise of the industry partners.  And that's where I think we can start working on how we can improve the digital skills of our workforce.  And also I want to share to you if you have read this charter by the German Government for the SMEs, coming from the private sector and tech startup community build up, I want to share with these goals and aspirations it is here that we have to work together to help our small and medium enterprise to be empowered and digitally skilled and give the resources whether it is infrastructure or financial resources to help them invest in a more robust digital infrastructure, give them access to more resources to empower them and help them create and develop ‑‑ develop solutions instead of just ‑‑ instead of just, you know, doing this for other people.  Giving them the capacity to offer their solutions at the local level and the same at the global level.  That one I want to stress out.  So thank you, Susan.  And maybe I can throw back to the room, if you have heard within your participation at any workshops or sessions if you can share any practices or policies that you have heard and maybe you can share to everyone as well.  Thank you.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Sorry.  So it seems we have ‑‑ we have a few hands over here.  Would you like to begin?  Yes.

>> So I have a question.  Now I see that the issue that I am struggling back home is not an issue with my country but it is universal.  Coming back to the points that have been raised by the colleagues we have the same issue back in Afghanistan.  We are in the process of bringing, revising our University curriculums in the area of computer science session where how do we incorporate the new technology trend that is happening.  How do we do that as a curriculum.  She suggested is we did consider that, but our concern is how do you institutionalize the trend for the curriculums to be adopted ‑‑ adoptive and somehow changeable in terms of new technology development.  Let's say, for instance, that currently we are talking about Big Data Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence.  And we are struggling with that and making that in to a curriculum.  In the private sector is more looking in to human capital and they will be back relying on Universities.  So sort of value chain and harm ‑‑ we do not introduce those sort of mechanisms or approaches that could let's say enable a way for enhancing our curriculum.  Has there been any positive, any other approaches that could be supported for us in making those windows open for innovation and for adaptation of new technologies in our curricula.  Thank you.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Do we have any educators in the room?  Any educators?  Oh, sure.  Rose, please.

>> Thank you, sir.  I understand yeah, it is really quite challenging to institutionalize that at the national level.  So what we are really doing right now is starting small step within our University.  So within our University we institutionalize it at our level.  So we have a partnership with industry associations.  It was a matter of memorandum of agreement that they can train the students and provide internship and provide opportunities for them to work the companies and allow that to be credited to the student's diploma or course.  So we really start in small steps.  If we wait for the national Government to institutionalize all this then we will take ‑‑ we know the challenge.  So we are doing our best at our level.  We are like a consortium of Universities.  So that's what we do at our own level.

>> This is Carolina from LACNIC again.  I wanted to share another reflection from one of the workshops we organized.  I think there was only one workshop on the future of work at this year's IGF.  And Rose, I believe you were in attendance.  And I think two main messages came up from sort of our work sort of reflecting around the question of future work which I understand has to do what do we want the Internet for.  And the two things that came up was ‑‑ one was sort of in terms of how we should go about preparing the sort of workforce in the Global South for the jobs of the future was the question of upscaling digital skills.  And I don't want to say a lot more about that.  I think Rose did a great summary.

I guess the conclusion, I don't do digital skills.  Digital skill has to come hand in hand with soft skills and also specifically when you talk about sort of the workforce in the Global South not just thinking that the Global South can like take in like a micro work and sort of replicate certain sort of, you know, inequalities, sort of in a digital world, but that you can also sort of work for people in the Global South to sort of evolve and maybe start with like, you know, some basic jobs, but with like, you know, access, you know, better work opportunities as they develop careers in technology.  They learn how to program, that they can sort of better integrate and access better jobs in Digital Economies.  That was one thing.

The other big thing I haven't heard come up yet is the question of gig economy and the question around where work opportunities that are being made available, whether those are decent work opportunities.  And we had quite sort of a lengthy discussion about how we can go about making the gig economy more fair for workers and sort of the need to sort of rethink sort of perhaps, I don't know, like labor laws at the very least like labor conditions for workers on the gig economy.  I think those would be very important messages to include.  Thank you.

>> About this cooperation that the colleague from the Philippines was mentioning, I think there is some kind of a threat also that we have to be very careful that the private sector will not end up to define the curriculum of the Universities.

It is true that the internet is creating lots of opportunities, but it is not only the labor market that needs development.

And so me as a software developer I see my work not only as something that create ‑‑ then creates an income for me and my family but something that should transform the community where I am living.

And we have to be really careful, especially those like me working with technology that we don't enter in a dynamics where we are exploiting ourself in precarious conditions.

So I don't ‑‑ I would like to end up as a kind of Uber driver of software development.  We also always have to think how to create, adjust and dignifying working conditions that transform our societies.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you.  I mean for raising these other concerns or points for consideration.  On the ‑‑ on digital skills and education and innovation, do we ‑‑ oh, please.

>> I would briefly like to comment on what the Minister is saying.  It sounds like the key word is mobility and digital work, jobs.  I'm already speaking.  So I'm also a software developer and regarding accessibility, I'm ashamed to admit here that I don't ‑‑ I don't produce inclusive software.  Right?  So it is not accessible.  And I would like to ask anyone here if they know how can we push the industry to pay the cost, pay the higher development cost to make software more easier to use, to allow more people to have better jobs.  And that's it.  Philippe speaking.  Thank you.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  I think these are very, very important questions.  And I'm glad that you have asked them.  Would ‑‑ it is a big question.  But would anybody like to take the floor and suggest some ideas?  Well, I mean because it is such an important question I think that means that we all need some time to consider it.  But thank you so much for asking these questions.

So we have really gone through quite the journey here.  Again so we started with access to infrastructure issues.  We discussed community Networks as a way to connect the unconnected.  And we have talked about accessibility.  We have talked about the aspect of accessibility which is digital skills.  And then we have also taken a look at inclusion from the SME perspective, how do you include in the private sector different types, different sizes of businesses.  So I'd like to ‑‑ since we had our last two interventions from software developers I would like to move on to local content and multilingualism.  And the reason why I connect that to software developers I will share one issue that could be kind of obscure for most folks but it is called universal acceptance.  And universal acceptance I think is the aspect of digital inclusion.  So what universal acceptance means is that all domain names or e‑mail addresses regardless of what script they are in or how long the domain string is are accepted by software.  So if we think about I'll just take one half of universal acceptance, if you have an e‑mail address that ends in a new gTLD like dot photography, if you want to go and use a web Forum or sign up for a listserv you are able to use that e‑mail address and it is recognized.  There is also a really important multilingualism and digital inclusion aspect to universal acceptance.  And that is the acceptance of Internationalized Domain Names.  Or say, for example, if you have an e‑mail or domain name address in the Armenia script and you'd like to be able to sign up for access to different services using that domain name, that you would be able to do that.  And so for many folks and I have to admit I speak French and English.  I am not familiar with different scripts other than Latin, but for the great many of Internet end users who do use different scripts, it is about lowering a barrier to be able to participate more seamlessly on the Internet using your own language.  So I just wanted to bring that up just in case folks hadn't heard about universal acceptance readiness.  When it comes to the question of local content and multilingualism I am sure we have a very diverse crowd here today.  And I would like to hear from folks if they have any thoughts or experiences to share, if anybody was able to attend a session on this subtheme of digital inclusion.

Any local content stories from the IGF this year?  No?  Okay.  Well, perhaps ‑‑ oh, yes.  We have got two.  We will start over here and then go to you.  Thank you.

>> Maybe the question of local content answers the question that I raised earlier, what do we use the Internet for.  The project I work is called our network.

Before coming to the IGF I had very poor, somehow a poor understanding of what local content really means.

After yesterday we were in the panel about the experiences of production of local content that really impressed me.  There was, for instance, animation, film production studio in South Africa and not only producing films with girl characters, super hero characters but also included young girls and women as active producers of those films.  And the most important was that they have really lots of confidence to win Academy Awards one day and I think this will really happen.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you for sharing that.  And local content, if you encounter that term for the first time it can be confusing and sometimes it is used in different contexts.  For example, in trade agreements or trade requirements there could be provisions around local content that might not just mean Internet content but physical goods, but I think mainly in the IGF context when we talk about local content it is content that is well, made locally and available locally, of course.  But the idea is that if folks have content that is more relevant to them and in their language then some say that will help drive demand for Internet access and therefore increase uptake.  But I hope if anybody else would like to jump in on that definition, I would feel very grateful if they would.  But first we will go to you and then Rose.

>> Just I was thinking one could perhaps tie a couple of points here together.  Philippe was asking how do you get software developers and industry to provide the more accessible technologies.  And I think the answer is in particular market forces won't deliver it.  So that's why you need rules, regulations and governance.  Those were not going to be provided unless there was a push from rules, but it is also a case that before the IDN, the Internationalized Domain Names were pushed through finally in ICANN in 2009 it took a huge push and you would say it is obvious.  Most people don't work in Latin script.  You need to have Internationalized Domain Names.  Why was it such a long struggle to get that through?  The governance itself was not inclusive.  Since most of the governance was being done by the large businesses, by the large governments, by the English language speakers, et cetera, there wasn't enough push.  And it is just a general push to say inclusion in governance is so important because if you don't have inclusion in governance you don't get the inclusive rules then you don't get the inclusive digital society.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you for bringing that back full circle.  So swinging back again to the local content, Rose.

>> I totally agree and I think that's ‑‑ that's how I want to say as well, there is a need to push for the principles of universal acceptance.  And it is a way to go to encourage and build the capacity of our software developers and website owners to adopt the system of universal acceptance.  Why do we need to adopt this principle to make our Internet more inclusive?

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Can I get a show of hands who here has an e‑mail address or a domain name in a non‑ASCII script?  Anybody have an e‑mail or domain name in a script ‑‑ here we go.  And what script is that?

>> (Off microphone)  It is Latin with some digraph characters.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Okay.  And that certainly counts.  I'm sorry, where are you from may I ask?

>> I'm from Croatia.  Croatia.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Okay.  Anybody else have ‑‑ so everyone else's e‑mails here are in Latin or ASCII?  That's interesting.  Okay.  Well, universal acceptance is definitely at its nacient stage.  We hope it will become more important.  We have had some interesting comments on local content.  Yes, please.

>> About the question why we don't have more e‑mails with ASCII scripts, I think the answer is the acceptance or the fear of not being accepted using a different kind of e‑mail address.  And so we are just trying to follow the general rules.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  It can become kind of a chicken and egg situation I guess.  And there is that question about demand, but then there is also the ability to be able to first to cater and to accept these non‑ASCII domain names.  At the working level it resides with software developers, but there is a whole host of other roles at play when it comes to policies and procurement policies.  You can create a demand.  In so many words you can create a demand there through procurement policy.  Thank you for that insight.

So we are rounding up our session.  And I would just like to turn to Juliana who led our social inclusion breakout.  This will be the final subtheme of the inclusion discussion.  Social inclusion.

>> Hello.  My name is Juliana.  I am from Eurasia and also a MAG member.  Since the time is running out, I will be short.  I think it is for my opinion, for another social inclusion is impact that followed the development of technical technology.  Not cover the risks of learning from coding and deployment computer hardware for students in both urban and rural areas or in cities.

This kind of deployment is bringing both the negative and positive impact at how people ‑‑ how any community.  The negative impact is bringing or the discussion is about young people who will expose with the pornography or violence or health space.  It also raised the problem about the youth gender gap and the security of sex worker when connecting in to the digital world.  But also there is a positive way about the deployment of technology when more people get connected, especially people living in rural areas who have difficulty to get access.  There is a discussion how to tackle the negative effect of technology community, empowerment and Government regulation are some ideas that arise.  We ‑‑ we ‑‑ and some people still believe that technology could bring an advantage and a positive way in to people.  But we still have to think how to mitigate the negative effect of technology.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Okay.  We are going to open the floor for a minute or two on social inclusion.  And it is quite a key issue to digital inclusion.

>> I am happy to hear this.  I couldn't make the initial session.  My session was at ‑‑ thus far this session had been sort of gender blind a little bit.  And I think social inclusion goes to speak about some of the challenges of, you know, LGBTQI communities, experience in terms of exercising their sort of digital rights in the online world.  This is a topic that I'm interested in.  I haven't coordinated any workshops around it, but I think that gender needs to be somewhat transversal to any talks about digital inclusion.  It didn't come up when we spoke about access, accessibility or even local content and I think it is really something that sort of goes through all those topics that we discuss today.

And yes, I guess I'll just sort of leave that comment or feedback there.  Thank you.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Okay.  Are there any other comments, interventions from the floor?  Anything anyone wants to say on any topic, any advice you want to give us?

>> I have something else, if I may, if no one else.  I wanted to give a bit of feedback about the session itself.  I think this is my fifth IGF.  I am really excited that we are doing these sessions to sort of, you focused on three topics and then you have opening and closing sessions.  I feel there is sort of wealth and depth of discussions.  I am thinking perhaps it is a very, very important space.  There is something that can be done for to ensure at least workshop organizers are required to come to these sessions.  Because, you know, I have done my best, for instance, to like explain some of the conclusions from the community Networks, you know, sessions that I participated in, participated in.  And I feel like I didn't do it justice again.  And so perhaps that can be a way in which we can sort of draw the conclusions because content there were a lot of things that we didn't manage to touch upon here.  Thank you.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you so much for that feedback.  And we did send out invites kind of explaining the nature of ‑‑ I don't know if everyone received them.  Perhaps we can do better to communicate that, but inviting workshop organizers and participants to come and share.  There is room for improvement and I agree with you, I feel like there is such a wealth of knowledge and experience.  And if we can do our best to evoke that then we will focus on this for next time.


>> Sorry, I didn't introduce myself before.  I'm Jan of University of Gothenburg.  That's a really good point.  We were struggling a little bit at the opening of the session how do we get this going.  And possibly a way to get it going is to ask the workshop organizers to come with one message.  And then just go around and tell them that they are going to have a role.  And I was a workshop organizer.  I wanted to hear what was coming here.  It might be an idea.

>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Yes, on behalf of the MAG I would actually like to thank the two of you specifically for those interventions because it is very important for us.  So that everyone knows this is the first time that the IGF has taken this approach.  So in a way it was a bit of an experiment.  We want to be risque.  But our sense was this is bringing some focus.  IGF has been accused of becoming unfocused.  If you look at last year, there is just thousands of things happening over the place.  We tried to get three main themes plus all the other open Forums and DCs and still probably too much.  But our sense is to take stock of these three tracks and get a sense did they make a difference to people's experience at IGF.  And if we do it again, which I hope we will, how do we do it better.  And the comments that we received I think we will ‑‑ we will definitely take them back.  And we are hoping they will become part of the way that we tackle this next year.  And to be honest, when we started this session we had a bit of a formal structure.  And I don't think we had the right structure.  Going back to breakout groups was not the right approach.  It would not have gotten an open discussion and open feedback from each of the workshop or workshops streams, but I think ‑‑ I don't know how we can get more organizers to these sessions.  We can't force people to come.  It is on a voluntary basis.  It needs to add value to them.  And at these sessions there is still a lot of interesting things going on around us.

I would like to thank everyone who did take their time out of other sessions to come here because this discussion for us has been very useful.  I'm hoping it has been useful for all of you.  And that it was worth your time joining us at this session.  And I think we can just have a clap for everyone that came and ourselves and everyone.


>> PAUL ROWNEY:  Thank you.  And I hope to see you this afternoon for the closing sessions.