Speaker 1: Mariana Valente, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Kamal Bhattacharya, Technical Community, African Group
Speaker 3: Elizabeth Stuart, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Fabrizio Hochschild, Intergovernmental Organization
Beatriz Kira, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Tebello Qhotsokoane, Civil Society, African Group
Toby Phillips, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Round Table - U-shape - 60 Min
- What are the most important data governance policy issues facing developing countries? Are current global conversations around technology policy aligned with developing countries' priorities? If not, what needs to change? - In what ways could international coordination help developing countries achieve their data governance policy goals? What particular actions would be useful? - What are the tools and instruments that the international community could deploy to help developing countries best engage with the global data economy? Who are the individuals or organisations that are best placed to coordinate international technology policy decision-making?
GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
Description: This session will be a roundtable discussion on the technology policy priorities of developing countries and how international cooperation can contribute to inclusive growth. The discussion will be based on the results of a broad consultation process conducted by the Pathways for Prosperity Commission with a diverse group of stakeholders based in 25 different countries and working with regulation of technology to find out what are the most important technology policy issues facing developing countries. Speakers will be representatives from the four main stakeholder groups surveyed by the Commission (government, academia, private sector, and civil society organisation) and everyone ‘at the table’ will given equal weight and equal opportunity to intervene. Mariana Valente is an expert in digital divides who has conducted research in a broad range of topics in the intersection of law and technology in Brazil, who will be able to provide the perspective of the civil society but also evidence from the rigorous quantitative and qualitative research conducted by InternetLab on the topic. Aïda Ndiaye is a Public Policy Lead, Francophone Africa, at Facebook and will provide the perspective of the private sector. Benno Ndulu is the one of the academic directors of the Pathways for Prosperity Commission and published widely on growth, policy reform, governance and trade. Having served as the Governor of the Bank of Tanzania, he will be able to provide both the perspective of the government and of the academia. The moderator will kick-off the workshop providing a summary of the findings of the consultation in 9 minutes. Each speaker will then have 7 minutes to present their perspective on how international coordination by be needed to address the policy priorities highlighted by the consultation. The moderator will then open the floor to receive contributions from the audience for 15 minutes. Walk-in participants and remote participants will be invited to comment on the results of the consultation and on strategies for implementation of the recommendations. Each speaker will then have 5 minutes for a second round of contributions and final remarks. There will be a timekeeper helping the table to know when to move the discussion forward. The moderator will encourage participants to follow the time limits strictly and will make sure that the discussion is dynamic and interactive. Both onsite and online moderators will be committed with ensuring diversity of participation and will attempt to prioritise questions from members of under-represented groups.
Expected Outcomes: With this workshop we want to discuss the findings of the consultation and implementation of the recommendations of the final report. The goal is to shed light on a more nuanced understanding of the key challenges and opportunities as perceived by people working in and with developing countries. We expected the discussion to facilitate conversation and debate about international governance for inclusive growth and to crystallise an agenda for global action.
The moderator will make sure that the discussion is dynamic and interactive, and will provide equal opportunities for onsite and remote participants to intervene and engage with speakers in a respectful but insightful manner. Both onsite and online moderators will be committed with ensuring diversity of participation and will attempt to prioritise questions from members of under-represented groups.
Relevance to Theme: The growth of the data-driven digital economy poses significant opportunities and challenges for developing countries. More than 65 percent of the roughly four billion people in the world without internet access live in developing countries. Policymakers worldwide will face new challenges as these people come online, and harnessing the potential of new technologies for inclusive growth may require internationally or regionally coordinated responses. However, to date, much of the debate about data governance in international fora has been based on the priorities of richer nations. The workshop will be an opportunity to shift the debate to better reflect the point of view of developing countries. It will draw from results of a broad consultation with a diverse group of stakeholders working in low- and middle-income nations. The survey is being conducted by the Pathways for Prosperity Commission, which is chaired by Melinda Gates, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and African telecoms businessman Strive Masiyiwa. The Commission is hosted at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, and has been catalysing new conversations to make frontier technologies work for the world’s poorest and most marginalised people.
Relevance to Internet Governance: This workshop will discuss in which ways the debate around data governance has fallen short of the goals and priorities of developing countries in pursuit of technology-enabled growth. On the one hand, governments and private sector actors in developed countries have been developing rules and standards which apply beyond the borders of a single jurisdiction. For example, the United States and the European Union have recently adopted rules with extraterritorial provisions (US CLOUD Act and the EU GDPR) which restrict the set of regulatory options available to other jurisdictions. In addition, technical solutions developed by big tech companies (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google) are implemented globally. On the other hand, such propositions are often not tailored to the particularities of poorer nations who often do not have a sit of the table. Developing countries struggle to navigate the challenges of digitalisation and often lack enforcement mechanisms, technical capacities, and human resources required to fully engage in the global data economy. The result of this mismatch is likely to be missed opportunities for inclusive growth. This workshop will contribute to the internet governance debate in two ways. First, it will develop a more nuanced understanding of the key challenges and opportunities of data governance policy-making from the perspective of developing countries. Second, it will identify how international coordination can contribute towards ensuring that developing countries benefit from new technologies. Speakers will be invited to provide answers to the following questions: (1) What are data governance policy priorities from the perspective of developing countries? (2) What are the tools and instruments that the international community could deploy to help developing countries best engage with the global data economy?
The official online platform will be used to allow remote participants to watch/listen to the discussions and also to give them the opportunity to ask for the floor remotely, sending questions and contributions which will be brought to the discussion by the online moderator.
Proposed Additional Tools: There will be an official #hashtag associated to the workshop and all participants will be encouraged to use it on social media (Twitter/Facebook/Wechat). The online moderator will keep an eye on remote participants on the IGF online participation platform and also on social media platforms, sharing comments posted with the official hashtag and giving remote participants the opportunity to ask questions during the session.
This workshop will discuss in which ways the debate around data governance has fallen short of the goals and priorities of developing countries in pursuit of technology-enabled growth, and what governments, businesses, civil society, and academia can do to ensure cross-border governance frameworks are better tailored to low- and middle-income countries. The goal is to contribute to the design of the updated global digital cooperation architecture, under the IGF Plus model, raising awareness to the importance of considering the particularities of developing countries when designing international frameworks.
Some of the key questions are: (1) What are data governance policy priorities from the perspective of developing countries? (2) What are the tools and instruments that the international community could deploy to help developing countries best engage with the global data economy? (3) What is the future of international technology governance and how should a framework for digital cooperation look like?
Elizabeth Stuart opened the workshop highlighting the relevance of effective data governance frameworks for inclusive development in the digital age. Kamal Bhattacharya then presented the highlights of the consultation conducted by the Pathways for Prosperity Commission, arguing that current governance frameworks have been falling short of developing countries’ goals and priorities, and discussing key principles which could guide efforts to make sure that cross-border governance of digital technologies works for developing countries.
Mariana Valente shared findings from her research pointing out examples of where international rules have negatively affected developing countries, and discussing how to improve international cooperation mechanisms to better address the interests of low- and middle-income countries. Fabrizio Hochschild discussed the future of international technology governance and the architecture of the IGF Plus model – a proposed framework for digital cooperation.
International cooperation is seen as essential to include developing countries’ concerns and interests when deciding for online standards and rules. Elizabeth Stuart highlighted that international co-operation was the most promising option for making digital technology governance work for developing countries.
The final report of High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation convened by the UN Secretary-General proposed the introduction of regional help desks and regional capacity building mechanisms that could take into account particular country and community concerns in a more nuanced way, and help empower communities and regions to play active roles in the global debate.
Fabrizio argued there is also a need for capacity building at a regional and sub-regional level to make it possible for more engagement in the international fora. Mariana argued we need holistic plans, not fragmented conversations, and that developing countries need to start working together, and that UN institutions need to be aware of these issues. Kamal argued there is a pressing need for better taxinomy and better understanding of the problems we are tying to address, because we need to see what is positive about tech and what is a problem in order not to overregulate.
Almost 100 people were onsite participants, around 50% of those were women.
The session discussed the need for more and better gender disaggregated data on internet access and use. The majority of questions and contributions from the audience were from women.