NRIs Collaborative Session on Internet Governance for Sustainable Development

Digital competences to harness technologies for sustainable development - Cases and Approaches



  1. Brazil IGF
  2. Central Africa IGF
  3. Portugal IGF

Session title

Digital competences to harness technologies for sustainable development - Cases and Approaches

Session format and timing

The session will last for 90 minutes. It will comprise three segments: (a) keynote speech (5-10min); (b) multistakeholder 6 to 8 people round table (35-40min); (c) an open mic including other NRIs in the audience (35-40min).

The workshop starts with a brief explanation of the flow of the session by the onsite moderator(s), which present the keynote speaker and the policy questions that structure the discussion. The keynote speech presents a brief account of the convergence between the Internet governance and sustainable development agendas. A multistakeholder round table of selected NRIs follows the keynote. It aims at enabling the conversation by selected participants around each of the two policy questions presented above. The third segment will host an open mic/dialogue session enabling the participation of people in the audience who wish to join the dialogue. In the end, the moderator(s) will summarize discussions, highlighting consensus achieved by the participants as well as divergences that appeared during the debate.

Content of the session

The session is built around two policy questions regarding the topic: “Digital competences to harness technologies for sustainable development. “ They are: (1) what is the role individual NRI´s in harnessing technologies, through digital competences, for sustainable development within the respective country/region?” and (2) How can NRIs collectively contribute to that goal?

The scope of the competences we need for today´s digital world is changing. The new practices tend to be based online, and users normally interact with them through electronic devices. In the case of the active population, learning, productivity and competitiveness are also increasingly dependent on digital factors, meaning that there is a growing need for digital competences in many different professions.

Digital competences include digital inclusion, formal education, employability, advanced specialization and new knowledge. These competences are part of exercising a full citizenship. A country with digitally proficient citizens is also a country where more people are included, involved, and able to deal with the society they are part of. This applies both to developed countries and others countries that are working to reach that stage.

Digital competences are also intrinsically linked to employability - increasing digitalization in the labor market requires new competences. A more skilled active population generates more new jobs, as well as innovative markets and products, generating more competitive and robust economic activities.

At the same time, all countries must be active agents in the global effort to produce new scientific computing knowledge and develop the capacity to manage and use large amounts of information. We cannot wait to find out what the new technologies will be; we have to create them and work with them.

Creating a more resilient society involves developing new competences, particularly digital ones, which are constantly changing and evolving; at the same time, it involves preparing people for growing uncertainty, recognizing that there are differences that will require unique preparation models.

It is in this context its fundamental to promote a public policy integrated action that aims to stimulate and guarantee the development of competences as tools to help prepare the new generations for the “unknown”, investing increasingly in new knowledge and in the capacity to create new jobs - more qualified and better paid - encouraging entrepreneurship in young people.



Carlos A. Afonso (Expert)

People invited to the round table:

1. Ana Neves (Portugal IGF)

2. Representative from the Brazil IGF 

3. Tian Luo (China IGF)

4. Federica Tortorella (IGF Dominican Republic)

5. Michel Tchonang (Central Africa IGF)

6. Anriette Esterhuysen (South Africa)

7. Bertrand Moullier (France)

8. Luc Missidimbazi, Central African IGF (Congo)

9. Marcien Mackaya, Central Africa IGF (Gabon)


Relevance of the issue

The session envisions a discussion among different NRIs that can contribute for the Internet locally and globally. The issue of how the NRIs are individually and collectively organized to foster Internet development is especially relevant to governance and policy arenas such as IGF. The issues under discussion (including the policy questions proposed around which the session is structured) deal with possible strategies that can help stakeholders in the Internet governance arena tackle one of the sustainable development goals. 

The development of digital competences is currently one of the major concerns of both developed and developing nations, for social justice/citizenship, it represents the basic foundation of an inclusive Digital Society.

It encompasses important issues for social justice such as: accessibility, access, education, digital literacy (that comprehends also safety and privacy issues, rights, ethics and so on and so forth) and inclusion. Those areas are of fundamental importance in today's society and represent a concern that must be address in order to achieve the next digital level.


Interventions/Engagement with participants (onsite and online)

Interventions/Engagement with participants is thoroughly described in items “12” and “13” below.

Geographical, Stakeholder and Gender Diversity

The list of participants comprises people from all stakeholder groups and individuals who have convergent and divergent economic, political and social perspectives on the policy question proposed. It also follows a 50/50 gender balance at the time of this submission. They all come from different countries and most of them come from the developing World, some of them being newcomers to the IGF space. 


Onsite moderator(s)

Carlos A. Afonso (Expert)


Online moderator(s)

Vinicius Santos (Brazil IGF)


  1. Maria Luisa Ferreira (Portugal IGF)
  2. Diego Canabarro (Brazil IGF)    

Online participation logistics

Online participation and interaction will rely on the WebEx platform. Those joining the session using WebEx (either invited members of the round-table or the general audience) will be granted the floor in the Q&A segment of the workshop. People in charge of the moderation will strive to entertain onsite and remote participation indiscriminately. Social media (twitter and facebook) will also be employed by the online moderators who will be in charge of browsing social media using some hashtags (to be defined).

Discussion facilitation

The discussion will be facilitated by the on site moderators who will guide the debate in each of the proposed segments for the workshop as well as during the Q&A and comments session in the end.

The first segment of the session  (5-10 min) comprises a keynote speech that provides a brief account of the convergence and digital competences, between the Internet governance and sustainable development agendas. 

The second segment comprises a multistakeholder round table (35-40min) of selected NRIs that aims at enabling an initial conversation by selected participants around the following policy questions (15-20min each) : (1) What is the role of individual NRIs in harnessing technologies for sustainable development within the respective country/region?; and (2) How can NRIs collectively contribute to that goal? For each round, moderators will call up to four participants to (3-5min each) to provide a preliminary answer to the respective question. Moderators will ensure that each person participates at least once in the dialogue.

The third segment (35-40min) will host an open mic/dialogue session enabling the participation of people in the audience who wish to join the dialogue. Those invited to join the round-table may also wish participate in the third segment, but have to enter the cue line as a regular member of the audience. 

Moderators will strictly enforce time limits during all segments of the workshop and will be in charge of using the remaining time of the session to provide general comments on the overall results achieved by the debate during the session. 



● Sustainable Development Goals:

● Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform:

● IGF 2016 Main Session: Assessing the role of Internet Governance in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

● ISOC Factsheet "The Internet and Sustainable Development":

● "OECD Observer i-Sheet -- The digital economy":

● INCoDe.2030



● Best Practice Forums:

○ BPF on Internet exchange points (IXPs)

○ BPF Gender

● Dynamic Coalitions:

○ Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability

○ Dynamic Coalition on Child Online Safety

○ Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity

○ Dynamic Coalition on Core Internet Values

○ Dynamic Coalition on Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Media on the Internet

○ Dynamic Coalition on Gender and Internet Governance

○ Dynamic Coalition on Innovative Approaches to Connecting the Unconnected

○ Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change

○ Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles

○ Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries

○ Dynamic Coalition on the Internet of Things

○ Youth Coalition on Internet Governance