Some of the most frequently asked questions about the national, sub-regional, regional and Youth IGFs can be find below.
NRIs is an acronym that stands for National, Sub-Regional, Regional and Youth IGF initiatives. These are the Internet Governance Forums organized on a national basis in different countries, or on a regional or sub-regional level, depending on the size of the geographic area, where the main criteria for identifying region is geography, but also in some cases mutual language and culture.
A shared objective for all NRIs is adhering to the core values and principles of the IGF. They are contributing to Internet Governance related matters, nationally, regionally, and globally. The NRIs are organic and independent in their organization. However, they have agreed and are expected to respect the main IGF principles and working modalities. Therefore, the NRIs are open and transparent, inclusive and non-commercial, with a multistakeholder participation during the whole organizational process of the annual meting(s), as well as during the meeting(s) itself, and with a bottom-up decision making process. All parties agree and accept to act on an equal footing, which is a unique but important aspect of the Internet Governance Forum [IGF].
The NRIs are located all around the world, in more than 40 countries and 15 regions on four different continents. To see the NRIs geographical locations, visit the IGF website/NRIs map.
The NRIs are organized by the community and for that respective community. Internally, the most crucial organizational segment of the IGF initiatives is the existence of the multistakeholder Organizing Team, where the most basic requirement is to have representatives from at least three different stakeholder groups, with intention of evolving toward the inclusion of all stakeholder groups.
In addition to this, there is also an identified contact person who takes on the role to commit to act as a liaison between the initiative, wider community, IGF Secretariat and the NRIs network. NRIs need to create a website, maintain a working email address, and provide support to social media accounts for conducting effective outreach toward the NRIs respective communities, but also toward the wider IGF community.
The “coordinator” also accepts responsibility for ensuring that the NRI meets the basic requirements to be listed on the IGF NRI website, coordinates the submission of the required report and participates in the NRIs network’s open working calls.
Several countries are working toward launching their first IGF meeting. Accordingly, the IGF Secretariat is encouraging participation in the NRIs network, and is recognizing the “in - formation” initiatives and listing them on dedicated pages at the IGF website.
These initiatives are internally organized, but have not met the conditions for organizing their annual IGF meetings.
The NRIs gather their community to undertake open consultations and develop an annual IGF meeting, that addresses key issues of concern locally, or regionally. Using a bottom-up consultation process, the NRIs strive to include all stakeholders (governments, civil society, private sector, technical community), to work together on issues pertaining to the Internet, all acting on equal footing.
Taking into account all received inputs from their respective communities, the NRIs develop comprehensive agendas that reflect the needs of the community, and logistics for organizing the major annual event(s), where different stakeholder groups will gather and discuss the issues of highest priority to them. Some recommend messages or outputs for potential solutions and next steps toward the improvements on Internet governance related fields.
To organize the IGF initiative, the first step would be to contact the IGF Secretariat and consult the Toolkit. The Secretariat’s Focal Point for the NRIs will further assist in explaining how to get started, with details for the main criteria and procedures that need to be followed, also providing concrete examples from the more experienced NRIs and advice on how to improve and speed up the organizing process.
It is important to gather the group of interested individuals that are coming from at least three different stakeholder groups, for the process to be initiated.
Absolutely. On the global level, the NRIs are conducting regular and open to everyone, (bi)monthly virtual meetings for the purposes of coordinating their joint work activates. The NRIs are also organizing their open, face-to-face gatherings at any of the bigger Internet governance related meetings.
Every year, the NRIs organize dedicated focus sessions at the IGF annual meeting, with discussing substantive issues from different world perspectives. They are regular contributors to the IGF intersessional work.
To keep yourself updated about the most up to date NRIs work activities, subscribe to the NRIs mailing list, where all relevant information are shared. All NRIs join activities are open to everyone.
For one IGF initiative to be recognized by the IGF Secretariat and listed on the IGF website, a written statement outlining the following essential information needs to be submitted to the IGF Secretariat:
• Full name of the initiative;
• Details regarding the composition of the core Organizing Team: full names, affiliations and stakeholder group of members.
• Dedicated website/webpage;
• Contact details of the initiative’s coordinator(s);
• A clear statement that the preparatory work and the meeting itself will be organized in
accordance with the IGF principles of being: open and transparent, inclusive, non-commercial, multistakeholder and bottom up;
• Details about the annual meeting including the organizations logistics;
• After the event, the initiatives will need to send a full report that will reflect the substance and organizational logistics of the preparatory work and the meeting day(s).
The IGF Secretariat has a dedicated Focal Point to the NRIs, that can provide with needed information and connect you with the NRIs coordinators. Be free to contact the IGF Secretariat at: [email protected] or +41 22 917 3411.