IGF 2021 – Day 2 – OF #65 Strengthening Global Digital Capacity Development

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. 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, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> MODERATOR: We are waiting a couple of minutes and then we'll start.


>> MODERATOR: Good morning, from wherever you are joining us why, whether it's here physically at IGF in Katowice, we are very proud to have you today at the launch of the multistakeholder network for capacity building, we are grateful to all of you for joining us today.  As part of the form I can't remember launch of this capacity building network, we are going to hear from some of the stakeholders themselves who are leaders in different ways of digital capacity building as part of the global effort to have more coherent digital capacity building.  Time allowing, we will also have a brief open discussion and question and answer so to participate in the question and answer, please commit questions online through the Zoom chat, ask the online moderators to share them in the end and we'll ask our distinguished speakers and panelists to respond.

If you're in person, place indicate here in the room if you'd like to talk the floor.  With that in mind, let's start with the welcoming remarks by Maria Francesca Spatolisano, assistant Secretary General and office of the Secretary General's envoy on the technology.  Live as well as the 16th internet governance forum.  Please.

>> MARIA FRANCESCA SPATOLISANO: That you, Yu Ping.  It is my pleasure to welcome you all to our session on strengthening global capacity development.  Organized by the office of the Secretary General Envoy on Technology together the ITU, international telecommunication union, and the U.N. development program.  As COVID‑19 changes and challenges the world, the importance of building capacity for digital transformation has become ever more urgent.  Working and learning are no longer the same, we all have experienced that we went online efforts to sustain education, health, jobs and economy during the COVID‑19 pandemic.  So just new ways we can and we must reimagine our society for a post‑pandemic world with digital technologies pervasively.

Throughout the pandemic, we have also witnessed how global inequalities can be exacerbated but the digital divide, which is not only day to a look of connectivity, but also gaps in building digital capacity.  This divide is only worsened in and among countries if the gaps between the digital have and have knots are not addressed.

Simply having connectivity is not enough.

Underserved populations with all need digital skills, knowledge skills, literacy, capacity to fully and meaningfully leverage the transformational power of digital technologies in their lives.

The Secretary General's roadmap for digital cooperation lays out concrete action‑oriented steps for narrowing the digital discusses and strengthening digital global capacity building.

This is urgently needed, in particular to achieve also the sustainable development goals and build the open, free and secure digital future for all envisioned in the global digital compact to come in September next year.

But Todd, in fulfillment of one of the roadmap's recommendations, we are very pleased to announce the launch of our multistakeholder network on digital capacity development, or MSN for brevity.  Through dedicated efforts, I have to give it, the co‑champions of our round table on digital capacity building, we have been engaging a broad range of cross‑sector stakeholders, to better understand the landscape of digital capacity initiatives and then to design the multistakeholder network on digital capacity development.

The network builds on an existing online database, featuring over 100 digital capacity development providers, and will also contain additional information on global resources, presented in a user-friendly format.

Most importantly, it will provide what we call a clearinghouse function powered by a new ITU UNDP joint facility to help direct specific requests for support to potential providers of digital capacity building initiatives, training, but not only, and you with all hear all the dolls in a minute.

I would like to invite you all to join our efforts as we work to expand the MSN to provide more tailored and impact oriented digital capacity building support for all, let me end by thanking again, and congratulating ITU and UNDP and the others who have already confirmed their readiness to be part of this network.  So that we can collectively join hands with all those users we wish will benefit from this platform.  I thank you.

>> YU PING CHAN: Thank you, Maria Francesca Spatolisano.  We call upon Doreen Bogdan Martin, Director of the bureau for development at ITU.

>> DOREEN BOGDAN MARTIN: Thank you so much, it's great to be here and to welcome you to this session on strengthening global digital capacity development and to share a bit more with this community on the multistakeholder network on digital capacity development.  I think also Yu Ping we have had this morning, yesterday and of course Monday on day zero, opportunities to dive into the different barriers around connectivity from the affordability piece, the trust piece, security piece, the gender piece and youth piece and now we'll dive into something that we think will help when we talk about the capacity, the digital capacity gap.

So this multistakeholder network is something that was built, actually, with many of you, again, very grateful that so many of you have joined us in the process.  The network is an outcome of the digital cooperation roadmap.  We have co‑championed this exercise with our partners, UNDP and of course Robert Opp is here with us as well today, and its intention is really to, as part of the roadmap follow-up, to implement the key actions around capacity building that were annotated in the digital cooperation roadmap.

New data, and you've mentioned this a couple of times this week, I think everyone has followed the data that we launched last week about this connectivity boost that was caused but COVID that brought an additional 8 million in more people online.  I've been focusing on the 2.9 billion remain totally offline, never used me internet.  Of course, within that, the biggest challenge is with least developed countries, in particular, where the vast connectivity divide remains with almost, it's about one in four people connected and a handful of countries, we see penetration rates where we have one in ten people actually connected.

So much work to be done in that space and of course the majority of those we consider digitally excluded actually face formidable challenges in capacity development.  From the lack of digital literacy, digital skills, even awareness of the many opportunities that the internet provides.

So, of course, changing this picture demands innovation, innovative new ways of working and, of course, concerted efforts on many fronts.  I think everyone has something unique and valuable to bring to the table.  That's why we have taken this approach to integrate a wide range of perspective and try to pool our strengths by doing so.  We believe we can empower ourselves to truly make a difference.  This principle has been central to our work with the multistakeholder round table approach.  Supported, as I mentioned by UNDP and of course the Office of The Tech Envoy, leveraging our respect of know‑how and networks, we put together this database as the ASG just mentioned, from different providers around the globe.

We have a core on nine focus areas, of course, they are all centered around digital transformation, sustainable digital transformation, and as well, we have hundreds of digital capacity development resource.  With the help of the multistakeholder network members, we will and to expand this database so that those looking for digital capacity development training can rapidly identify the resources available and match them to their needs.

We will also be creating new resources because we want to be able to support groups that might still be underserved, and our efforts, of course, can only benefit from a more diverse range of voices.  So if you'd like to contribute your own insights, your experiences or services, we would warmly invite you to do so, my colleague Caroline can post the link in the chat.  Ladies and gentlemen, yesterday in the opening ceremony, the U.N. SG placed strong emphasis on global cooperation and on reinvigorated efforts to build an inclusive digital future for all.

Capacity development is a critical piece of ensuring an inclusive digital future, and with your support and participation, the multistakeholder network will serve as a key building block in strategies and initiatives to leverage the power of digital so we can all make good on our pledge to leave no one behind.

So thanks very much for joining us, and with that, Yu Ping, I hand it back to you.

>> YU PING CHAN: As the tech envoy office has been so great to have you as strong partners in this.  Let's turn to UNDP represented by Robert Opp, chief digital officer.

>> ROBERT OPP: Thank you so much, Yu Ping and good afternoon, good morning to everybody, it is a pleasure to be with you Todd and welcome you to the launch of the multistakeholder network for digital capacity building.  It's been a great journey we have been on together with our co‑champions, ITU, Doreen thank you for your leadership, as well as the support and leadership of the U.N. Tech Enjoy investment, thank you, Francesca and Yu Ping for that, we can say the demand for digital capacity building has never been higher.

Across our country office network of about 170 countries and territories, we are seeing a huge demand for capacity building.  In fact, we have digital champions in all of those offices, and we recently surveyed them on the needs that they see among our partner governments, and capacity came back really near the top.  We know that the challenges around digital capacity building are highly varied between countries and even within countries.  We have challenges of a look of content in local languages, we need to understand specific needs of certain populations, Doreen mentioned the gender digital divide, youth, affordability is an issue.

This is precisely why we need a multistakeholder approach to address the problem, we can bring different perspective, different pockets of expertise, different gee graphic reach, specific capacities and all of this to be able to support people a timely and agile way.

We know that collaboration can make our work better and in UNDP, we are really pleased to collaborate with ITU globally and region necessarily as we work together on a small island in a developing state project on e‑learning, where in Mauritania we collaborate with the e‑governance academy of the government of Estonia, we work together with the European bank for reconstruction and development on the skills for an inclusive future initiative, which is about how do we amplify profit sector engagement in digital skills development, and we are really pleased to also have established as part of the round table process a joint facility for global digital capacity building together with ITU.  And that joint facility is really initially, at least, about supporting the work of the multistakeholder network and looking as needs emerge, how do we build new joint capacity building offers that are informed by what the multistakeholder network is identifying in terms of needs and gaps.

Just before I close, I'd like to take this opportunity really to thank and express our gratitude to the over 30 organizations that participated in the round table process over the last 18 months‑ish, we really could not have done any of this without you.  A lot of these partners have expressed their commitment to becoming members of the network and we invite all other organizations as well who are interested to join the effort.

With that, Yu Ping, I'll turn it back over to you and look forward to the conversation from our special guests today.

>> YU PING CHAN: As we mentioned at the start of the meeting, it is important to hear from those stakeholders directly involved in various of bringing digital capacity building to the ground.  That being said, let me kick off by kicking o of to Mr. Anir Chowdhury, the police.

>> AVA: Er for A2i Bangladesh.  Let's start with you then and let me ask for your views on how your initiative, A2i has built capacity among governments and how you think the MSN we are launching today can support governments in building capacity.

>> ANIR CHOWDHURY: Really glad to be here, wish I could be there in person, but good to see many familiar faces, obviously Doreen, good to see you here.  The support that we have had from UNDP since the beginning of A2i has been tremendous, because UNDP actually started in the Prime Minister's office 14 years ago, and them digital was a call from the Prime Minister made it A2i the flagship steering program for building digital capacity building was really at the heart of the project.  At the heart of the government officials.  We have played an important role in two ways.  One in terms of physically guiding the government to develop connectivity across the entire country and second, inspiring many of the initiatives that we have launched over the years with the WSIS awards, thank you, Doreen for encouragement over the years since 2014, we have multiple awards every year, thank you for that.  A2i has been at the forefront of what we have done.

I should probably mention that Bangladesh when we started out was not a digital country, 2007 we had less than 1 percent internet connectivity in terms of digital services, less than 10, now we have over 1500.  In terms of access to digital services, that was also lacking because, obviously, internet penetration was less than 1 percent, we had no assisted access.  What we did with the then UNDP administrator, Helen Clark was of thing Bangladesh at that time, we launched 4,500 rural digital centers, basically the bridge between analog citizens and digital world of services, that you can access services by paying a small fee.  It numbers within 8,000 plus a few kilometers of almost every citizen in the country, except for some hilly areas.

So in terms of capacity development, these digital centers actually create a fer actual ground for innovation, because many, many ministries can.  We have 300 services delivered from the digital centers over the last 10 or 11 years, we have delivered 750 million services.  So it's a large number of services we have developed and delivered.  Every month about 6 million people visit the centers.

So that's one capacity development for civil service they can decentralize their services.

So we call these digital centers part of our policy labels.  Essentially these are components of innovation that are stitched together to build innovation.  I'll gulf you a couple of other examples.  A decision support system within the government, which is now being used by about 11,000 offices, the way this works, each ministry can build their innovation on top of the support, this gives you a foundational stack on which to build new services, and several hundred services have been built on top of it, which is called e‑filing, we have a national portal which now covers about 50,000 offices of the government, another building block used by different offices to build new digital services.  The last two things I would like to point out, from the point of assisted access from the point of view of building these digital building blocks and created new services on top of it, we are focusing on what is called empathy training, a design‑taking process for thousands of civil servants who actually go through a citizens view of services process.  They go through a citizen’s journey and understand what is not working for citizens, they actually redesign services based on that.  They simplify services.

We have had many ministries simplify about 700 plus services before they digitized them.

A combination of these policy labels, they access the digital centers and the capacity development process that we have within the government, in terms of understanding citizens perspective, combining the policy levels and creating new innovations in the whole ecosystem, culture in the last 12 or 13 years.  That's why UNDP have taken very good care.  MSN being launched today, I think some of the lessons we have learned over the years could potentially serve as starting points or further lessons for other countries, this is always looking for lessons from other countries rather than reinventing the wheel.

We are looking forward to this network and learning from members of this network from innovations and approaches to building their organization.  Thank you very much.

>> YU PING CHAN: Thank you so much, you think that's a good example how ITU and UNDP can really serve countries on the ground and directly.

We now torn to Bjorn Richter, Head of Sector programming at GIZ, joining us online.  GIZ has established, for instance, a learning platform as part of the global project Africa cloud to provide digital skill training, how do you see partnerships, with MSN.

>> BJORN RICHTER: Thank you very much for having us and thanks for the great opportunity to also join the MSN community as we ‑‑ as rob and Doreen already laid down, it's a great partnership that grows by sharing it.  So it's a lot when it comes to digital transformation, we have to appreciate we can only answer the efforts or the challenges in a joint manner and rather not in a separate manner.  Just wanted to contribute to this one.

Looking precisely in the area what rob said, we have 32 countries where we have so‑called digital transformation centers as advisory bodies to the ministers and authorities up and running.

What we see between Mexico and Indonesia and the African soil between Niger, Nigeria and Kenya, very diverse countries, we see huge new connectivity that is coming in because of the COVID crisis, we see a lot of opportunities.  We see a big question about how to champion that one for human‑centric approach.  Obviously that is important for us.  But also what we would saw is the usage.  While the connectivity is now with a lot of partners been finally tackled, particularly the World Bank, but also the European Commission now coming on board and the private sector very much welcomed and needed.

We see that the use of usage to create a data economy, to create a real digital data economy is important, and we also see that it's important to get governmental services digitized and to get better and more receives directly to citizens, what I think was presented also yesterday with the initiatives where we think the digital public goods should be strengthened.

Looking into this one, is absolutely essential to work together on capacity development, to strengthen not only the regulatory authorities, but also the digital ecosystem partners.  So we do this with two examples based on a think a learning platform that we reached out to 2 million people already, a global platform, but feeding out in different forms, and global platform has a contribution to the so

>> Called Smart Africa Digital Academy.  I think Calvain is on the call from Smart Africa and inform you more about this one.

It was an incredible piece of work to work with the African regulators on issues like AI and demystifying digital development for rural areas, what Anir just laid out, particularly to bridge the digital capacity development to offices in the rural area was very well perceived and run and could be something that could also be potentially scaled in other countries.  Obviously it's important to come with partners from the industry, like partners from IBM, but also SAP, Orange and to see how there are particular skills you need to understand if you want to work in a digital sector itself.  And always on an open source and open educational platform, not driven by the industry, but facilitating the requirements and making the authorities do have the capacity to do their job for human‑centric approach.

When it comes to skills development, we also see the learning platform that you mentioned has reached 2 million people.  How was that possible basically with flew partnerships, and here I think our partnership with UNICEF and the Austrian development agency and quite some startups on the African soil are taking in what we call the YUA project, which is basically developing young people with career perspective.  Thanks a lot.

>> YU PING CHAN: I didn't mean to cut you off.  I'm so sorry.  All the work you are talking about, we have a number of other speakers, I want to pick up on your point on open source, GIZ and ITU is a partner, we have Kate from DIAL to speak on important steps, we really do look forward to leveraging on your work and GIZ's very important role as part of the network.

Now let me turn to Tereza, Director of Project development in Geneva internet platform.  Tereza.  They have actually been working in this area of supporting small and developing countries there are targeted trainings in digital policy for quite a while.  Why do you see the biggest challenges and how do you think the multistakeholder network can address these?

>> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Thank you to the session organizers for allowing me to be part of this organization.  I would prefer not to talk at Diplo and our work but to share inputs about how I see these efforts.

First of all, I really wanted to congratulate the champions that you have managed to certainly kind of raise the political attention that was given to capacity building and capacity development and digital policy especially in the framework of the roadmap for digital cooperation.  That's excellent.

I will be a little bit more Frank.  So I think that creating, trying to imagine the demand and supply, it's a very important endeavor.  However, I am convinced this is simply not enough.  This will not make the cut in solving or contributing to having less usuals we are experiencing in digital capacity building.

The roadmap provided kind of a framework that we should create a multistakeholder network that should be promoting holistic, inclusive approaches to digital capacity building for sustainable development, we are not there yet.  I am afraid.  Why do I think it, and this is based on the experience that Diplo has made in providing capacity building programs for developing countries in particular?

These countries do not have sufficient capacity to meaningfully involve or get included in the global policy processes, and to change this, they need very targeted and tailored support.  They need individualized guidance in this respect, in the process, and these challenges will not be solved that the kind of demand and supply will be matched.  It will not be solved by them using a database and knowing who are the providers of possible capacity building programs in their area.

So that's one point, another point I would like to raise is that this is also not the first effort or attempt to kind of map capacity building and I would really appreciate, and I can see even in the lineup of the session, this is the case, there is more stakeholders that have experience with this match‑making or clearinghouse function that are really involved in this exercise and that we built on their expertise.

One example can deferral be the global forum on cyberexpertise.  So by being very practical, what would I suggest we do next after creating this first step is to really take this as only starting point, much more needs to be done.  It would be excellent if the political weight of the U.N. can be really used in trying to mobilize more resources for capacity building support, because this will be the problem for many developing countries, and we do need to talk about resources for capacity building programs.

I would suggest to work with experienced providers who can tailor neutral capacity building programs and urge us to think about impact that these perhaps are everything.  Because very often kind of the impact is bigger if we work on a smaller scale and do not just worry about big numbers, let's say, of individuals trained.

With this I will probably stop, sorry to be more provocative.  I hope this will contribute to good discussion at the end of the discussion, thank you, Yu Ping, over to you.

>> YU PING CHAN: That kind of candor and honesty is what we need to make real progress.  You're right, the roadmap was a start, it's a start of a process that's much bigger and larger than all of us.  It is precisely that.  Using the convening power of the U.N. and all of you together that we will make that kind of progress and answer those questions you have raised.

Next speaker is going to be Calvain Nangue, project manager for skills development and capacity building at Smart Africa.  Joining us online, Calvain has launched the Smart Africa Academy.  What demands for capacity building are you seeing in the African region and how do you think we at the United Nations and MSN could be useful for scaling the work and the job offers you are making through o?  Calvain, please?

>> You're muted.

>> CALVAIN NANGUE: Sorry about that.  Thank you very much for the included us on the MSN, we congratulate ITU and UNDP for this roadmap.  We are the most populous content in Asia, 1.3 billion people, youngest of all the continents.  We have jobs available for junk generation for Todd, and we need to ensure quality jobs, on the continent demographic to be one of here in Africa.  The Academy was launched as a coalition of stakeholders, Member States, the private sector international organization, training providers, academics more.  The aim is to skills required enable citizens (?) we have five essential dominions, we empower leaders to make informed policies, advance ICT mastery, professionals and entrepreneurs, academics, we need to empower citizens for basic literacy in an increasing manner.

How do we then go about benefiting from the MSN network?  We are a multistakeholder coalition by each member state in Africa.  To rely on the powerful collaboration and partnerships that define sustainability, best practices are shared, successful initiatives are promoted, and projects are scaled.

For instance, we had a joint initiative with ITU, to develop innovation and bring our communities and competitive ICT industry for job creation, we had a collaboration (?) to give citizens access to opportunities.

I will not mention the involvement on the U.N. projects to Interconnected schools.  We also have the rejoined GFCE to strengthen cyber expertise in the Member States countries.  We had a collaboration to prepare or government principles.  Transformative into the transformation process.

Finally, we have a partnership with Microsoft, to strengthen the understanding of emerging technology trends by policy and decision‑makers to take informative policies.

So in a nutshell, we support the MSN initiative by promoting and coordinated efforts to developing the African continent capacity.  We that's the nutshell.  Thank you.

>> YU PING CHAN: Thank you so much, Calvain.

Also in reference to not just Calvain's work, but something that was already previously mentioned, Chris painter, who is president of the global forum on cyber expertise.  How do you think the MSN can help work with the GFCE which has been providing cybersecurity advice to many countries, do you see potentially a role being neutral partner Tereza has mentioned before, what can MSN do to work on the work you've been doing?

>> CHRISTOPHER PAINTER: We have heard this earlier from Doreen, cyber capacity building is foundational to all the other good things we are trying to achieve in cyberspace and combating the bad things we see.  It's really critically important.  It hasn't, I think, received the level of resources or political attention it needs, that goes to Tereza's comments.  Speaking with me GFCE hat on, it was created now about six years ago, almost seven years ago, it's a relatively mature operation focusing on the cybersecurity part of this, cybersecurity and cybercrime and enhancing capacity building and providing tools to the community, creating a community and doing that clearinghouse function, one of our core functions to match countries who need help with a range of multistakeholder entities provided.

It's really built on the notion that capacity building, particularly cyber capacity building, which is one part, an important part, but one part of the larger capacity building you are talking about, requires a flexible approach and a diverse ecosystem that emphasizes multistakeholder engagement from the beginning.  That's been affirmed in our founding documents, the Delhi communique.  We have a number of U.N. bodies, including we have worked with the ITU and UNDP as well.

So we have built ‑‑ we have been building and sustaining this dynamic capacity building system.  We have the community, we also work beyond the community.

So we, for instance, administer the civil portal, which is a capacity building knowledge portal, which I think is something that should be cross‑lunged between the work that you're doing, which makes it easy for folks, and it's available to everyone, access information, I put the link in the chat, access information on projects, resources, events, data provided but the network and also research projects that have been ‑‑ where we looked at gaps and tried to full those gaps.

We also have other initiatives and projects driven by the network to help with capacity building efforts, one of the most important things is creating this community, identifying those gaps and then looking for the needs.  We have shifted to what we call a more demand driven approach, simply not saying what we think people need, but asking, which is critically important what they need.  That's an important part of that.  I must say, my experience with the clearinghouse, it is far more intensive, resource intensive than simply creating a website, when we have people come to countries, it requires a lot of work, what they might need and putting together those resources to help them.  So that takes a lot of time in each case.

As we go into the future, I think this is where there's certainly a lot of opportunities for collaboration, one thing that's a priority for us in 2022 is to strengthen the link between digital development and cybersecurity capacity building.  This is one of the aims we are planning on having a high-level conference in 2022 on cyber capacity, that's being cohosted by the GFCE, World Bank, and world economic forum.  It will be very inclusive and right now, we are planning on having that at the World Bank, that will be an important thing, I found the cybersecurity community are often different animals and don't talk to each other as much.  In fact, we initiated a report called integrating cybercapacity building into the digital development agenda with important recommendations, this was just released last week at our only meeting, including pathways to bridge the development community to the cybersecurity capacity building community, which will make us all stronger, that's another area of collaboration, that was an effort we did and worked with UNDP closely on that.

As I look into the overall issue in your question, it's important to connect the MSN with the GFCE network and explore areas of cooperation and collaboration.  Because we have limited resources in this space, avoid reinventing the wheel, those are things we can do, we have a mature system that I think can work the MSN, and we look forward to doing that in the future.  All, based on other experiences, helping you think about the challenges we have seen as we have been working in the space for the last seven years and going forward.  Again, this is a critical area.

>> YU PING CHAN: Thank you so much, Chris, and certainly like all the other stakeholders, we are counting on your expertise and experience to help us in guide us to make sure MSN has maximum impact and brings the plus Cal attention and resources this urgent issue really requires.

Our last panelist, Kate Wilson, a close partner for us at the tech envoy office.  Something that a lot of you had also mentioned and is a round table that we work on as well and the Secretary General roadmap, the area of public goods.

The question we have for you, you are now working with a range of countries on the accelerating the digital transformation, what do you see as the key will challenges and if you could choose one indicator of success for the MSN, what would it be and how would we look at progress going forward.

>> KATE WILSON: Thank you so much.  I really want to thank the assistant Secretary General, you yourself, Yu Ping, Robert and Doreen for your leadership adjustment think your efforts to actually pull together all of these capacity efforts cross all the partners working on this is so critical and it's not enough, but an excellent place to start.  I know we have a lot more to do together.

Keying offense your question and picking up on the comments that have been made by colleagues, point out some areas where, you know, we talk about capacity as this quite large thing and specific types of capacity, some of which Chris just touched on in terms of cyber, or direct logical support.  Let's talk about what are countries really struggling with on the ground.  We have a team that just left Sierra Leone yesterday, last week they were leading work with the government in training the principals for the government.  It's a set of heuristics, and they did that to underpin how they were then going to work on their enterprise architecture.  And that work, done in partnership with our colleagues at Smart Africa and close partners there, and the ministry in ‑‑ Ministry of ICT in Sierra Leone, highlights what countries are looking for.

First, that you are thinking about, how do I help create better digital choosers, how am I identifying what information I should be doing, what are some best practices that are common across technology and how do I underpin that, the deep training and expertise in setting out the systems that really will guide our whole of government or whole of society approach.  That ties in, as Bjorn said to the initiative we are doing.

After they've started to choose and under‑that, they need to be able to identify where that technology or those building blocks fit.  And one of the places that we are then emphasizing, the catalog of proven solutions which allows people to highlight and identify what technology already exists.  I'm pleased to say in cooperation with the ITU and UNDP, we are linking the MSN network, this capacity building with the technology building blocks them, so that you can both find what you're looking for and I find people who can help link that.  I think that's a critical combination between them.

The third thing that I think countries are really looking for is as many of the speakers have highlighted, all the things on the soft side.  When I've worked with countries, they have asked me for, you know, can you help me ‑‑ I know perfectly well how to identify my information systems, I need help advocating for policy change, I need help with advocating for new financing for capacity, I need help with building out my middle management track of people.  So we sometimes use capacity as this broad thing and teaching people how to use the technology when in reality we often have amazing tech in all adjusts on the ground already there, who need to understand how do I do policy advocacy, financing advocacy, how do you mobilize the resources to make sure this effort lasts.

So I think as we begin this journey together with the launch of the MSN roadmap, we really start to do that.

Your question directly was how do we think about an indicator or metric for that, my main indicator would be that anyone, anywhere in the world, who is beginning to identify new information systems for their governments or for their societies as a whole, actually has access to the technology products easily available, the capacity to use them and through gov‑sec has the information to do this effectively and efficiently.  A little bit more than one indicator.

>> YU PING CHAN: Definitely a goal to aspire to.  Thank you, again, Kate.  We now have some time for questions and answers.

I'd like to turn to the audience both here in person as well as online as well.  Maybe I can start with the colleagues that are here joining us live from Katowice, I see here somebody in the room.

If you could introduce yourself.

>> Audience: Good afternoon, everyone, I'm Avi, work for UNDP at the Cairo office.  Congratulations for launching the MSN.  I actually second Tereza's opinion that the support provided by MSN has to be country specific.  For example, in Egypt, we are developing a platform that's providing career advisory/capacity building to youth.  We advise youth on which kind of training they need to take to pursue a specific career.

This platform is actually recently being linked to an initiative ‑‑ a national initiative called digital Egypt youth, initiative, under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Egypt.

We are providing some free training when we have funds, of course, and recently some training with Amazon and with Cisco, but actually on the long‑term, if we don't have funds, the platform will not really be as effective as it should be.

So I'm wondering what the network can provide us, how can it support in such cases, thank you.

>> YU PING CHAN: Very concrete question and hopefully we can have some concrete answers.  Can I turn to the panelists, perhaps ITU or UNDP, Rob, Doreen, want to kick us off?

>> DOREEN BOGDAN MARTIN: Yu Ping can I jump in and throw it to Robert.  I was actually thinking to our joint facility that he referenced is perhaps the answer to the question, by putting together this joint facility which pulls ITU, UNDP and other resources, it's intended to actually support countries, in particular the resident coordinators, if they have a request, they can come to us and using this joint facility, we can help support them with less budgetary challenges, I'd ask Robert to perhaps supplement, if I can pass to him.

>> ROBERT OPP: Yeah.  No, thanks, Doreen and thanks for the question.

I think this is exactly what you said, Doreen, but also to pull something from what Chris was saying about in the chat about making sure we use existing capacity first, the first port of all would be to look at who has Arab language skills, who has capacity to work with youth, who can ‑‑ you know, the kinds of things that are being looked for.  Then if there are existing capacities that can be made available, that's great.

But if there are not and we identify a gap, that's something that possibly can be done, for example, by the joint facility or finding another partner who might be able to step into that gap without an existing service there.

I think it's a combination of those things together.

>> YU PING CHAN: Thank you so much, Rob.  Can I see, does anybody else in the room here who might like to ‑‑ I see a gentleman.

>> I'm Asima.  I work for GIZ.  I don't have a question, I want to reference your question, as Bjorn was there, so I think the platform, the good learning management solution, and there are a lot of courses available, all really focusing on Africa.

Thank you.

>> YU PING CHAN: If we could turn to Bjorn.

>> BJORN RICHTER: Thanks a lot for the question, and maybe also to link us to the colleague from Egypt.  We do have digital governance program in Egypt, that could be something we could look into, you have to look beyond the platform, what is the issue and how existing platforms can be used, advocating one of the DIAL principles, the sustainability of the individual platform is rather unique and needs ‑‑ see how we can recycle or reuse already existing efforts for this.  But yes colleagues in Egypt could come in handy.

When it comes to the platform, we work with online, but also blended learning, so online only, there are tutors, and there are web‑based trainings that get certificates online only and when it comes to blend learning, the partners like UNICEF or those using the platform and endorsing the platform with offline certificates.

So that's enshrined.  We currently have 400 courses on the platform, and have agricultural backgrounds, it depends, again, it's a platform and depends what kind of target you want to look into, then nothing comes with an unguided system, but quite often with online only manual.  Because we believe this is something in the COVID times that can make a difference, the most effect of these platforms, yes, there is a link to access opportunities to offline services that the platform is providing.  With other technical gadgets brings us to underserved communities.  Thank you.

>> YU PING CHAN: I believe Chris might want to say something and Rob very quickly before we turn to a question online.

>> CHRISTOPHER PAINTER: I think the more targeted approach is what we are trying to do with the demand‑driven approach and more regional focus.  One of our projects is a project ‑‑ a big project we are doing in Africa with the AU, the African Union and looking at local needs, figuring out what's there, thinking about knowledge modules that could be ‑‑ if someone else had a digital public good that could be used for others in creating those.  The regional efforts we are trying to do are important as well, and we are also trying to build some hubs around the world, like in the Pacific island area.

It is important to have the global approach where people can share the information, but also the local and regional approach, because the needs may be different, realities may be different and tying those together is important.  I know Robert and his ‑‑ what UNDP does is very affined to that local effort, so appreciate that.


>> ROBERT OPP: You apologize for asking the floor again, I wanted to make a point that perhaps I should have done up front.  The discoverability issue.  Every time we met with the round table, you discover more and more things that are out there.  And so what another reason to have the network is to just ‑‑ you know, it's not to duplicate, not to overlap, it's really meant to kind of network, real literally, about ‑‑ try to get people to be able to find a way to navigate to things already there, because it is so hard and digital moves so fast, it's hard to keep track, and so hopefully we are starting to create with all the partners here a kind of resource networked approach where you can lead and navigate to those areas, thanks.

>> YU PING CHAN: Because we are running out of time, I'll go very quickly.  Read the question about role models like Bangladesh out there, that's an opportunity for anywhere to come in quickly.  I understand he wants to say something.

>> ANIR CHOWDHURY: Thank you, Yu Ping.  I was going to actually mention something that UNDP has started working on, to create open-source training content for civil service, based on something that the New York University lab has actually produced, and the gov lab team, Beth Novak and others, especially put something kite interesting, focused on solving public problems.  There is a digitization aspect to it.  It's really how you look at a problem, how you partner with the private sector, how you create evidence, again, this is the citizens needs and develop those.  That is quite interesting discussion I think is going on with UNDP, to take that and globalize it.  In many different languages and contexts, actually mobilize it also.  I wanted to point that out.

In the case of Bangladesh, we are interested in using that in our economy.  If I may take 30 seconds to say what we have done in Bangladesh.  Again, the model of support and guidance from UNDP and GFCE over the years, a lot of learning from failures.  In Bangladesh, deliberately.  Our Prime Minister has given us the freedom to fail and learn from that.  I think that political will, a lot of the panelists talked about the political will is important.  That you try out, learn from mistakes and move to a higher plane and build on that, that actually develops confidence.  Sometimes what happens, what we started in the beginning, to try to copy from south Korea and Singapore, we started out, and that failed, so we started learning from our own failures.  Just want to point that out.

>> YU PING CHAN: And Kate.

>> KATE WILSON: I really appreciate the opportunity to have last word.  I wanted to talk about ‑‑ answer that question, but tell you what Anir was talking about, which is the concept of peer learning, which Mei Lin and I put into the chat and something I neglected to mention.

I cannot overemphasize the number of times that we have seen countries actually learn best from one another.  We have great examples in terms of Smart Africa's digital economy working group, examples in terms of ADLI, the African data leadership initiative, bringing together countries, great examples in Asia, where 27 countries are charting their journey to universal health coverage and the digital information systems that tie together.

I think that the more we can incorporate that into capacity building, the better off everyone will be, as Mei Lin puts in, this is a common practice in terms of tech, I would love to actually see us expand and invest in that to the extent ‑‑ at the depth to which it deserves, as a great way to drive digital transform.

>> YU PING CHAN: Thank you so much all panelists and questions from the floor.  We now have a video from the assistant Secretary General of the Office of Information and communications technology here, at the United Nations, Mr. Bernardo Mariano, after which we will have closing remarks from the Assistant Secretary General.  Can we have the video, please.

It doesn't seem that there's sound on the video.

>> Let's try again, the sound is a bit soft on the video.  Go ahead and turn your earphones right up.

All right, we will start that again to give them the full attention he deserves.

>> YU PING CHAN: Third time is the charm.

>> CAROLINE TROEIN: Exactly.  This is the lesson of what happens when you go over your time.

Otherwise, we'll try to upload it so you can all view it later.

All right.

>> Excellences distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I am very pleased to be able to address you today.  First of all, I would like to commend the office of the Secretary General's Enjoy San Technology, national telecommunication unit and the United Nations development program for convening these important round table on the multistakeholder network for capacity building, this multistakeholder network which is part of the Secretary General round map for digital cooperation will be critical mechanism to help us better coordinate, scale the U.N. system digital capacity support.  This multistakeholder network practices will also help to contribute to ongoing work towards the digital compact as proposed but Secretary General recent, and I quote, our common agenda, end of quote.  My office, the United Nations Office of Information and communication technology is committed to support the Secretary General roadmap for digital cooperation and the multi‑stakeholder network through various initiatives aiming at strengthening our role of technology provision enabler and orchestrater for multiple U.N. entities.

As well as being responsible for technology support to the Secretary General data strategy, my office, in cooperation with the Secretary General's Envoy on Technology establishing an open-source program.  In fact, in a world that is complex, hyper connected and dynamic, we cannot go about doing business as usual.

The U.N. charter principles of equality, unity, collaboration, inclusivity and respect of diversity embodies a strong drive towards open-source culture in our organization, and in our Member States.  The open-source initiative will further contribute the support, the open-source heroes, wherever they are, whatever they are, and orchestrate a concrete open-source technology adoption.  The open-source program is being designed to be the center of the U.N. open-source operations, and the enabler of the U.N. technology teams to build and configure software artifacts as digital public goods for university use.  I hope that we will have a very fruitful and stimulating discussions today, and it is my sincere wish that today's round table will spear both actions and partnerships to ensure that through this work, the met work of stakeholders will contribute in accelerating progress towards sustainable development goals.  My office is ready to engage and support your digital transformation work.  I thank you.

>> YU PING CHAN: Thank you, Bernardo, for closing words now, thanks to everyone, our stellar panelist and all of you for being here today, Assistant Secretary General to close the.  Maria Francesca Spatolisano thank you, of course, to all of you, and in particular, the time very encouraged by the concrete examples you've heard from all our roadmap partners contributing.  The aim, as we all understand, is bridging the digital divide.  The second point is, of course, this is not the only way, this is a tool.  This is a network, this is a useful and starting point to know what's out there, and to match what the demand and the offer can be.  I would say maybe less elegantly than Rob already said, it helps us to navigate, I would say it also helps us to avoid reinventing the wheel.  There are programs out there, there are many, many informations that you can find on this network, on this clearinghouse, if you take the time to navigate it and I find what you need, if it is already available, you will have spared yourself a lot of other time you would need to build a new program, which does exactly the same thing, which is already available through this clearinghouse.  And third, the last point, I really renew the invite to other service providers to join this platform, letting us know and adding their initiatives because the more this platform is reached and updated, the best it will serve its purpose for all the users.

Thank you very much.

>> YU PING CHAN: Thank you, everyone, and thank you so much to the technical team for allowing us to go over because of such an important discussion.  Good night from Poland and thank you again.