National and Regional IGF Initiatives:
Developing the Tool Kit and an Info Manual
- Virtual Meeting I: 4 August 2016 -
1. The first virtual planning meeting for developing the publications that will reflect the NRIs organizational processes and work was discussed during the First dedicated Virtual Meeting that took place on 4 August 2016 at 14:00 p.m. UTC.
2. The meeting was hosted by Ms. Anja Gengo from the IGF Secretariat.
3. The agenda is attached to this document as Appendix A1 and a list of Meeting Participants as Appendix A2. Appendix A3 includes a list of other relevant documents, as explained in this report.
4. Participants introduced themselves stating their full names, affiliations and any other relevant information.
5. Agenda was shared with the Participants. It was suggested to add under the Any Other Business (AoB) item, a briefing segment on the organization of the NRIs main session and a Booth at the IGF 2016 meeting, as well. The Agenda is unanimously adopted as such.
6. The Host explained that in the months ahead, the IGF Secretariat will be focusing on developing two publications that will reflect the criteria and procedures for establishing the national and regional IGF initiatives (NRIs). The working titles, subject to potential change, of the publications are: Tool Kit and Info Manual. It was explained that it is the initial idea for the Tool Kit to consist of relevant guidelines and instructions on how to establish an IGF initiative and it will explain the main IGF principles that need to be followed and applied in the overall work. It will reflect the internal organization of the initiatives and the mutual responsibilities between the NRIs and the IGF. An Info Manual will be focused on gathering contributions on NRIs work and sharing good practices, along with ideas and recommendations for future improvements.
7. As one of the main principles of the IGF is the bottom-up decision making, it was explained that the work on these two publications will respect the same principle. This is the reason why the Secretariat didn’t come up with any potential content outline, before the Community expresses its expectations. Thus, it was explained, all inputs to this Meeting will be gathered in a Summary Report, together with the inputs received by an email. This will be a subject for a review and an invitation for feedback from the wider community, all distributed through the NRIs mailing list.
8. After Host’s introductory remarks, as explained above, the NRIs Substantive Coordinator took the floor, in order to briefly make a retrospective on the way from the NRIs substantive session in Brazil, upon now.
9. It was said that last year, the NRIs held a substantive session at the 2015 annual IGF Meeting. Although the room itself was full, the internal organization amongst the NRIs was not on the level as it was today. However, it was explained that this session was the crucial moment and a turning point for the NRIs, as it called for defined, concrete changes for achieving better engagement with the global IGF and within themselves.
10. Participants were asked to share their expectations about these publications and to comment on the potential content.
11. One Participant commented that the Tool Kit is a very needed publication. He shared an example from experience, on how some of the stakeholders were of an opinion that they can ‘own the national IGF’, and the organizational process was driven by only one organization/stakeholder group. In this case, some of the stakeholders that felt excluded, reached out to this Participant, as experienced NRI coordinator, to explain to them the IGF processes and help build a multistakeholder IGF platform on national level. It is because of these reasons that a unique publication, explaining how the NRIs should be formed, is needed. It was advised that the publication needs to state clearly that the NRIs annual meetings’ agendas have to reflect the need of the wider community, and not any personal needs. The NRIs community expects the document that interested parties can consult whenever they need any information about the NRIs work procedures.
12. Another Participant shared its own experience in organizing a national IGF. It was said that this initiative, as today, being one of the most experienced and develop amongst all NRIs, did not organize itself rapidly. It took three years of hosting three meetings per each year, amongst different stakeholder groups, to explain to everyone the essence of the NRIs criteria and procedures, as well as to engage different stakeholders to work toward the same goal. The important learning that comes from this example, is that we will need one publication, where all relevant information will be gathered and available to all of the NRIs. It is needed for the NRIs coordinators to produce their insights, so we can all together produce guidelines that will help us in creating strong sustainability in our initiatives.
13. With the need of creating a firm concept for both publications, it was also suggested that it is important for the guidelines to be drafted using a simple language, as the document will have its global purpose, where the majority of the users will be non-English native speakers.
14. In line with above said, it was suggested that it would be useful for the produced document to be translated to all six UN languages. This was supported by the participants, but at the same time, concerns were raised about the resources who could take over the work. Some of the NRIs members could volunteer, while the UN authorized translators can supervise the work, so that we make sure that the validity of the document is present.
15. It was advised that these publications should have a section where the administration issues of each of the NRIs are discussed.
16. Gathering some practices on legal statuses of the initiatives would be useful, as there are no instructions on this segment. In general, it is important to note that amongst the NRIs, there are no single solutions, due to the existing diversity.
17. One participant was sharing its experience from an in-formation national IGF initiative, emphasizing the need for having a document where clear steps on establishing an IGF initiative will be explained. It was pointed out, that for their initiative, the biggest current challenge is how to engage their Government in the whole process, and this should be reflected by the documents content.
18. A Participant that was a newcomer to one well experienced national IGF, shared the concern that existing members are ‘dominating the floor’. It was called for more clarity on the potential ways how the newcomers can participate. And having a central information resource(s) is essential. Some of the examples of playbooks that the Participant had experienced with, were shared with the Meeting Participants, that might help in creating final concept and design (attached as Appendix A3.A).
19. This Participant also urged for involving young people in the NRIs processes and encouraging newcomers to attend the meetings. It was said that some of the initiatives are now experiencing the ideas of forming the sub-national IGFs, that are on a local level of a city. The question was raised about the potential practices on this and the ways how this should be addressed and reflected, as it is important to bring locally specific issues to the higher level agenda.
20. One NRIs Coordinator stated that it is their experience that the majority of the stakeholders don’t understand the concept of the IGF and multistakeholderism. This is why the Initiative that this Participant is coordinating, had to take concrete steps, in reaching out directly to various stakeholders in its respective community, and explain the processes and benefits of being engaged. These explanations resulted in organizing an event for more than 500 participants, with number growing every year.
21. In reference to the NRIs and global IGFs relationship, it was pointed out that the IGF is not about any decision making process, but about creating recommendations and guidelines.
22. One Participant informed that there are summer schools on Internet Governance around the countries and regions. This Tool Kit will be a very valuable and needed resource for these schools, so that the school participants can be informed from a reliable source about the IG(F) processes. Some samples of existing Tool Kits on different subject matters were offered as a potential example to be followed (attached as Appendix A3.B).
23. On the questions about the methodology and deadline for these publications to be produced, the NRIs Substantive Coordinator asked for the understanding and reasonable deadlines, as the priority of the NRIs work should be the Main Session for the 2016 annual Meeting. It was suggested to have a draft of both publications ready for the annual meeting, but the whole work to be finalized by February 2017.
24. In reference to the organization of the Main Session, one Participant suggested that the work should be split amongst the representatives from different regions, so that we can be assured that all perspectives are taken into account.
25. The Host asked the Participants to express their opinion about the organization of the Working Group, that would supervise and guide the overall work done by the wider NRIs community and the IGF Secretariat.
26. There was a general support expressed for the above proposal. It was suggested that the composition of the Working Groups should be balanced. It will be an Open Group, meaning that everyone wishing to join and support the work, can join. However, it was recommended to be concentred on having coordinators or designated members by the coordinators, of the WG from the more experienced initiatives (4+ years’ experience), followed by the initiatives that have less experience (up to 2 years’ experience), members of the in-formation initiatives and other individuals and stakeholders that are interested in the NRIs work, but not necessarily engaged and affiliated with them. Regional representation should also be taken into account.
27. This proposal was welcomed, as it will allow all different perspectives to be represented on the WG. This is important for producing a content that will be relevant for all levels of experience, and will reflect everyone needs making it applicable to the NRIs needs coming from all parts of the world. Essentially, it is important that everyone take responsibility for what they commit to do.
28. Some of the participants expressed immediately their support to this WG by volunteering to be part of it. The Secretariat took a note of it.
29. Under the last AoB agenda item, the Participants were briefed that the Secretariat is working on updating the website, developing an NRIs timeline and world map. During the annual IGF meeting in Mexico, the NRIs will host a main session, will have a joint Booth and relevant material will be produced and shared at the venue. All this is a subject for organizational discussion on the dedicated virtual meetings, hosted bi-monthly. It was called for collaboration of everyone from the NRIs network on all the above presented work.
Other Suggestions submitted to the IGF Secretariat
30. This section contains the summary of the contributions and suggestions received by the members of the NRIs mailing list, sent to the IGF Secretariat.
- A Research Paper on the NRIs status was submitted in line with stressing out that the work should be done by an impartial researcher. The Paper details attached as Appendix A3.C to this Report.
- One member submitted a list of questions that should be reflected by two publications, as shown below:
- How programs for the events are developed across different regions?
- How does the community engage in the whole process, what avenues exist to get all actors to participate, what strategies to engage governments are used?
- How the initiative is managed? Who runs it? What governance structures are in use?
- How are selection criteria for workshops/sessions defined? What processes/tools?
- What mechanisms are used to support newcomers?
- How are structured the different fellowships programs that exists?
- How to support for speakers?
- How is gender balance and diversity incorporated across the initiatives?
- One Participant submitted the following proposal for the content of the Tool Kit (initially submitted on French language. The Secretariat translated the proposal to English language):
- Global Introduction
- Brief review of the history of the Internet ecosystem and the involvement of different actors (ITU, ISOC, ICANN, ONU etc.)
- What is WSIS ?
- What is the IGF ?
- Main principles of the IGF
- The need for the IGF
- Steps in establishing an IGF initiative (subscription to different mailing lists, analysis of the Internet ecosystem etc.)
- How to establish an IGF initiative?
A- Local level
- Map of different NRIs
- Different models of the NRIs and engagement models : NRIs vs. IGF vs. IGF Secretariat
- How do you attract sponsors for your NRI?
- One Participant stated that each group should have the liberty of taking the approach that suits them best, based of course on the very basic criteria shared by the IGF Secretariat. It was recommended to collect the different sets of principles, as part of the process. Diversity in principles and approaches across regions should be celebrated and something we can all learn from.
- One Participant submitted the following proposal for the content of the Tool Kit:
- The process of formation of MSG
- Rights and duties of MSG
- Rights and Duties of the secretariat
- Difference in between powers of secretariat and MSG
- Various Process of communication -internal and external
- Proposals selection process
- Gender Principles and adaptation
- Themes and Agendas
- Funds Management
- Transparency and openness
- Core Values of internet
Along with this proposal, an attachment was sent, explain into more details the proposed content. This attachment is attached as Appendix A3.D.
31. The Secretariat will summarize the key suggestions raised during the Meeting and will distribute the meeting summary report during the week of 8 August.
32. The Report will be shared with the NRIs mailing list along with the invitation for commenting and asking for feedback, with the proposed time period for commenting of 5 days.
33. After the commenting period expires, the Secretariat will summarize the received suggestions and create the working plan, accordingly.
34. Next meeting. The next meeting should be organized immediately after the working plan, mentioned above, is created.
35. For any suggestions or questions regarding the Report, please contact the IGF Secretariat Focal Point, Anja Gengo at: [email protected].
MEETING AGENDA: NRIs Virtual Meeting I on Developing the Tool Kit and Info Manual, 4 August 2016.
- Explaining the need for Tool Kit and Info Manual
- Planning Discussion:
- Organizing the Working Group
- Abdeldjalil Bachar Bong, IGF Sri Lanka
- Ali Hussain, IGF Pakistan (in formation)
- Anja Gengo, IGF Secretariat
- Daniel Macias, Government of Mexico
- Dmitry Epstain, Chicago University of Illinois
- Emilar Vushe, African IGF and APC
- Fotjon Kosta, IGF Albania (in formation)
- Israel Rosas, Government of Mexico
- Judy Okite, West African IGF
- Lianna Galstyan, IGF Armenia; SEEDIG
- Lorena Jaume, IGF Germany
- Makane Faye, African IGF
- Marianne Sakalova, MAG Member, Belarus
- Marilyn Cade, MAG member; USA-IGF
- Miguel Ignacio Estrada, MAG Member, IGF Argentina
- Norbert Komlan Glakpe, Togo IGF
- Ritu Sarma, USA-IGF
- Shreedeep Rayamajhi, RAZYNEWS
- Susan Chalmers, USA-IGF, NTIA
- Sylvia Cadena, APNIC
LIST OF SHARED DOCUMENTS:
- Shared publications:
- The Article available on individual request sent to the Secretariat, with previous authorization of the Authors. Abstract available here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/poi3.116/abstract
- The Proposal available here: https://www.scribd.com/document/320593263/Recommendation-for-National-Internet-Governance-Forum-2016-Shreedeep-Rayamajhi