IGF 2020 Main Session NRIs: Role of the Internet in Emergency Situations

Friday, 13th November, 2020 (16:50 UTC) - Friday, 13th November, 2020 (18:20 UTC)
Room 1
About this Session

Emergency situations can be described as any situation in which the life, rights or well-being of ‎people ‎can be put under threat unless immediate and appropriate action is taken. Usually, ‎these types of ‎situations require application of exceptional measures, quick and collectively ‎coordinated action ‎response, as single or unilateral actions often show to be insufficient given ‎the negative impact these ‎have on people.‎

The world has seen a variety of these, from natural disasters relating to destructive ‎earthquakes, ‎floods, hurricanes, to the biological ones such as epidemics and made-man ‎emergencies such as terrorist ‎attacks, wars, degradation of environment and others forms of ‎accidents.‎

The necessary almost instantaneous response is always with people. And not rarely is that the ‎‎responses are insufficient or not executed timely. Technology showed to be a reliable partner ‎‎to people in preventing emergencies or combating them much more effectively.  ‎

The 131 NRIs as people-led multistakeholder discussion processes have been at the forefront of ‎action ‎dialogues when emergencies threatened their communities. From the Afghanistan IGF ‎whose ‎community faced series of terrorist attacks, to Haiti IGF discussions during devasting ‎effects of ‎hurricanes. The most recent and still  ongoing emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic, ‎has affected the ‎world and with that all 131 NRIs whose respective communities are ‎continuously discussing ways how ‎digital technologies and digital policy can help overcome the ‎devastating effects the pandemic had in ‎some parts of the world and prevent future scenarios.‎

The local actions, through the NRIs, grew to the extent that leadership from various sectors in ‎‎countries and regions started new initiatives to help people to fight the pandemic, going up to ‎the extent where laws ‎and policies are changed. ‎

This session will focus on concrete effects the emergency situations, such as the COVID-19 ‎pandemic, had on people and role of digital technologies and policy. It will look into good practices that emerged for people to benefit ‎more from digital ‎technologies.‎


The session will cover several policy areas, with key discussants coming from different NRIs, ‎ensuring ‎regional diversity.‎

The key discussants will speak for up to 3 minutes and each section will be followed by the ‎interactive ‎exchange discussions, between 5 and 10 min long, with participants communicating ‎inputs over chat and oral exchanges during dedicated time announced ‎by the moderators.‎

Moderators: Prof. Flavio Wagner (Brazil) and Ms. Mary Uduma (Nigeria)

16:50-16:55 UTC Moderators introduce the topic, organizers and speakers
16:55-17:15 UTC

Session block I 

Internet for worlds resilience 


Emergency situations, such as the COVID-19, showed that the Internet plays a ‎central role amidst tough restrictions (e.g. remote work and study, personal ‎communications, service delivery etc). In situations like these, did the Internet ‎make your communities more resilient and how?  

  • France IGF, Mr. Lucien Castex
  • Colombia IGF, Ms. Isabel Cristina De Avila ‎Benitez
  • Arab IGF: Mr. Qusai Al-Shatti

The COVID-19, for example, is an emergency that has also exacerbated a ‎number of digital policy issues. Which concretely in your communities? 

  • Brazil IGF, Ms. Tanara Lauschner
  • ‎Panama IGF, Ms. Jennifer Lopez ‎

Open discussion.‎

Sign-ups for interventions: Mr. Timofey V, Chief expert for risk management and emergency communications, G2P Think Tank ''Dialog'' 

17:15-17:35 UTC

Session block II 

Technologies helping people 


Looking at examples of good practices for combating emergency situations ‎using data-based technologies and emerging technologies. 

  • ‎Italy IGF, Ms. Emanuela Girardi
  • ‎Dominican Republic ‎IGF, Mr. Osvaldo Larancuent
  • Asia Pacific iGF: Ms. Jennifer Chung

Examples of good practices for combating emergency situations ‎using data-based technologies and emerging technologies: focus on vulnerable groups.

  • IGF-USA, Mr. Dustin Loup
  • Argentina IGF, Ms. Olga Cavalli


Open discussion.‎

Sign-ups for interventions: Mr. Eun Chang Choi, S. Korea IGF

17:35-17:55 UTC

Session block III 

No one left behind 


How to secure the deployment of online tools and services for combating ‎emergency situations?  

  • ‎West African IGF, Mr. Poncelet Ileleji
  • ‎Bolivia IGF, Mr. Roberto Zambrana
  • ‎Spain IGF, Mr. Felix Hernandez-Gil ‎

How to tailor our policies and actions to support the most vulnerable ones? ‎

  • Lebanon IGF, Ms. Zeina Bou Harb

‎ ‎

Open discussion.‎

Sign-ups for interventions: Mr. Mahendranath ‎Busgopaul, Mauritius IGF

17:55-18:15 UTC

Session block IV ‎ 

Economies going digital 


One of the main issues caused by this pandemic is the negative economic ‎effects for families and individuals in our communities, considering long ‎lockdowns, that make it impossible to continue working or doing regular ‎activities, particularly for those self-employed. ‎

What are good policy practices from stakeholders around the world, taking ‎advantage of Internet services, to support economies?  

  • UK-IGF, Mr. Nick Wenban-Smith
  • ‎African IGF, Mr. Makane Faye
  • ‎Ecuador IGF, Mr. Carlos Vera
  • ‎EuroDIG, Ms. Meri Baghdasaryan and Mr. Marcel Krummenauer

Open discussion.‎

Sign-ups for interventions: Mr. Riccardo Nanni, YOUthDIG

18:15-18:20 UTC Conclusion

To be completed

Trust, Security, Stability