IGF 2023 WS #508 Boosting meaningful access through South-South cooperation


Digital Divides & Inclusion
Skills Building for Basic and Advanced Technologies (Meaningful Access)

Organizer 1: Hartmut Glaser, 🔒NIC.br / CGI.br
Organizer 2: Beatriz Barbosa, 🔒CGI.br
Organizer 3: Juliano Cappi, 🔒NIC.br
Organizer 4: Bruna Toso de Alcântara, 🔒
Organizer 5: Oms Juliana, NIC.br

Speaker 1: Julia Rodriguez, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Deepti Bharthur, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Carol Elizabeth Conway, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Beatriz Barbosa, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator

Bruna Toso de Alcântara, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Oms Juliana, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1) In your view, which are the main challenges and opportunities regarding capacity building actions to achieve meaningful access goals?

2) In your experience, in which ways south-south multistakeholder cooperation could help to boost meaningful access initiatives?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants are expected to deepen their knowledge of south-south cooperation initiatives, exploring ways this cooperation can enable capacity building and policy framework development and how it can be tailored to boost meaningful access. In this regard, the workshop intends to enhance discussions of meaningful access previously started within the IGF and offer a different perspective for stakeholders to perform their work concretely.


Digital divides pose challenges beyond connectivity issues, gaining complexity as the Internet intertwines in social structures. Dealing with these challenges has produced new approaches to frame effective policy initiatives. One of these approaches is meaningful Internet access, which is part of different policy arenas, such as the IGF Policy Networks. Elements such as affordability, meaningful connectivity, and a supportive social environment become essential to enhance digital inclusion. To be effective, they should be adapted to concrete needs, which vary worldwide and are closely related to stakeholders' resources. Cooperation then becomes a pressing issue to be addressed along with digital inclusion. However, as there are many cooperation formats, a focused discussion is needed, particularly regarding south-south cooperation.

The Global North and South have different demands, and looking at each region and tailoring solutions may be a better way to move forward. In this sense, cooperation can enhance stakeholder confidence and further share skills, knowledge, or resources in a collaborative effort, leading to more structured capacity building initiatives. In this sense, one can recall that capacity building has already been raised within Internet Governance debates, such as in the outcome documents of the World Summit of Information Society (2003/2005) and the UN High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation report, becoming a relevant issue to be addressed when seeking to bridge digital gaps.

Global South countries have acquired expertise in Internet-related areas, potentially creating more venues for collaboration than are currently known. In this regard, bringing stakeholders from the Global South to the table and looking at south-south cooperation can be an opportunity to shed light on a different perspective of cooperation and possible venues for capacity building that can boost meaningful access. Therefore, the workshop aims to explore multiple ways to establish and enhance meaningful access, shedding light on innovative cooperation frameworks.

Expected Outcomes

This workshop aims to trigger a debate within Global South stakeholders on better exploring existing and new cooperation models to boost meaningful access initiatives. It aims to be a space to exchange best practices and knowledge on the subject and identify significant challenges and opportunities regarding meaningful access activities that affect the Global South and ways to overcome them.

Hybrid Format: In order to safeguard the hybrid model, the online moderator will take care of the flow within all the online tools involved with the session, as well as read, select and guarantee that the onsite moderator will be aware of questions and comments received by the remote audience (Zoom Chat and Q&A, Hashtags in social networks, among others). Moreover, a proper interaction between online and physical audience will be ensured by the onsite moderator and the organizing team. Other online tools, such as polls and similar may be implemented during the session. The team involved with this proposal intends to be present, onsite, in Kyoto, which will facilitate interactions and logistics. The rapporteur will make sure to capture all the highlights and critical information of the session so as to list key takeaways for the short report and consolidate a further final report to be delivered to the IGF Secretariat.