NRIs Collaborative Session on Access


NRIs Collaborative Session: Achieving meaningful access: inclusion of vulnerable groups and developing digital capacity

Theme: Digital Inclusion

Sub-theme: Digital Identity, Economic Development, Human Rights, Innovations

Policy Questions: 

  • How do we ensure that Internet governance processes are truly inclusive? What needs to be done to enhance the capacity of different actors (and especially those in developing and least-developed countries) to actively contribute to such processed and whose responsibility is it?
  • What tools could be developed to promote (better) Internet access for women and girls, older people, people living with disabilities, refugees and other disadvantaged groups?
  • How can we better utilize primary and secondary schools and tertiary educational facilities to promote and to deliver on digital literacy to their communities and should digital literacy be the fourth pillar of education, alongside reading, writing and maths?

Relevance to Theme and Internet Governance: Access to the Internet is the pre-condition for all benefits digital technologies can bring to society. It is the fact that half of the global population is unconnected. But, the access is not about the availability of infrastructure. It is also about the purpose for which the access is used. How do people use the Internet? Does an increased penetration bring cultural, social and economic progress to societies? A number of involved countries in this session show that this is not necessarily the case. The knowledge and skills related to how to use the online tools and services are on a very poor level with a significant time continuity. Many countries show to have clearly defined social groups that are on a low level of digital literacy and do not use the online tools. These mostly relate to women, youth, people disabilities, indigenous people, people in rural areas. In addition, many showcases that abuse of children online is progressing with the penetration rate raise. This is associated mostly with lack of awareness and knowledge on the side of those taking care of children and associated with that, school system that is neglecting the importance of education on digital literacy. All these matters will be discussed through concrete case study examples brought by the involved NRIs communities.

Description: This session will allow for a concrete insight into the different challenges the developed, developing, least developing countries and small island developing states have in regard to achieving the meaningful access and including vulnerable groups. This session will, through a concrete set of examples, show how the description of the vulnerable groups differ from country to country, associated with cultural, religious, social and economic factors. It will also look at possible recommendations on how to achieve full inclusion on local levels and with that bridge the digital divide. The small island developing countries will also reflect on the international support they have or need. The session will end with a set of concrete messages, prepared by the rapporteurs.

Format of the Session: Interactive roundtable discussion

Expected Outcomes:  The session aims to showcase concrete issues local communities have related to access, and will produce a set of concrete messages on what are the issues and how to potentially resolve them.

Discussion Facilitation: The moderator will follow the agreed set of policy and will allow for introductory, case study remarks by the NRIs speakers. This will be followed by engaging other present participants into developing an interactive discussion.

Online participation: A dedicated online moderator will be placed next to the onsite moderator. All participants will be using the online speaking queue to be treated equally in their requests for interventions. All input presentation will be made available at the IGF website and links will be shared via the online tool.


  1. Cameroon IGF
  2. Colombia IGF
  3. Chad IGF
  4. Ghana IGF
  5. Bolivia IGF
  6. Vanuatu IGF
  7. Nepal IGF
  8. Haiti IGF
  9. Malawi IGF
  10. Portugal IGF
  11. Sudan IGF
  12. Lebanon IGF

Speakers: Speakers to be delegated through an open, bottom-up process by the NRIs multistakeholder organizing committees.

Connection to SDGs: