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IGF 2018 - Day 1 - Salle VII - WS262 The Challenges of Capacity Development: Practical Approach

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Paris, France, from 12 to 14 November 2018. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Good morning.  Welcome to Paris.  Good morning to everybody here in Paris, but also good morning or afternoon or evening to all of us joining us remotely.  And I know at least if it goes for the speakers, that we have people joining us from very far away.  It's a disadvantage to have the session on the Day 1 in the morning, so I am afraid it has affected the participation here in the room, but it's not a sign that the topic that we are about to discuss is not worthwhile and crucial and important for us to tackle. 

    Before we dive in, I would just like to give you a little bit of context.  First of all, my name is Tereza Horejsova, from DiploFoundation, also working on the Geneva Internet Platform Project, and I have been involved in capacity development programs for a couple of years now.  And working on that alongside my colleague, we have realized that there are so many practical challenges that are not really dealt with. 

    As you know, and our director often says that, if you are writing a speech and you don't know what to put in to spice it up a little bit, put capacity development because that never goes wrong.  You can always spice it up with capacity development because everybody will agree with it, everybody will be happy because everybody agrees that capacity development activities and digital policy, which is the context we are covering here, is needed.  However, what I feel -- and many of you around here, through our discussions, I know are feeling the same way -- is some kind of a disconnect between the proclamations, the things that everybody thinks should be done, and the very practical issues, how should it be done, how to avoid unnecessary competition while at the same time having meaningful participation and cooperation among actors providing capacity development programs, how to complement each other.  How to even tackle the very sensitive issues of financing capacity development programs because while everybody says the capacity development programs are needed, the little detail of how capacity development programs should be paid are sometimes neglected.  Should it be responsibility of those that are receiving capacity development activities?  Is it the responsibility of government, the international community, private donors?  We don't know, and nobody seems to be taking that responsibility, and maybe not a single group should be taking the responsibility. 

    How to make capacity development programs really impactful, that we don't have a hooray, you know, one of action that might have some immediate impact for a very limited period but not really an impact that would last for a much longer time. 

    So these are some of the questions that we have been talking about, both informally in Diplo and with many of you around, but that we have also tried to bring this discussion to various international fora. 

    So some months ago, we had a session at the WSIS, at the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva.  Some of you in this room actually participated in this session, where we kind of tried to take this discussion to the higher level, to open up issues that not everybody wants to speak about.  We then continued in Toronto at the RightsCon conference.  And finally, we are now here in Paris bringing it to the Internet Governance Forum.  At the Internet Governance Forum, you know that there is a capacity development track, so I think this discussion definitely belongs here. 

    Before I turn to some of the resource people that are here around the room, I would also like to introduce my colleague, Marco Lotti, who is our bridge with the remote participants and remote speakers, so while we are having this discussion, we will do our best to involve also people that are joining us from other parts of the world and couldn't travel to Paris.  And I would also like to introduce Katharina Hone, also from DiploFoundation, who is reporting from this session.  At the beginning, Diplo is covering every single session at the Internet Governance Forum, and reports will be available on our Digital Watch Observatory usually within two hours after the session is finished.  So if you miss this or another session, you are more than welcome to refer to our reporting. 

    So before I ask our resource people, I would just like to turn to some of you here in the room or, of course, remotely, if based on the intro I have given or the context this is also your thinking or what are some of the kind of concrete challenges that you, in your work, are facing, and if you take the floor, if you can just say who you are and where you are from. 

    Okay.  Thank you.  Let me switch this off first. 

    >> DUSTIN PHILLIPS: Thank you, Tereza, for organizing this panel again after the successful panel we had at RightsCon.  Just wanted to touch on a few of the things that you mentioned.  I think one is working -- looking at other capacity development initiatives, not as competition.  I think what really drives that competition is the funding aspect because there's only so much funding to go around, but our work actually complements each other well if we kind of take that element out of it. 

    So I should introduce myself.  My name is Dustin Phillips.  I work with ICANNWiki, and we are a separate entity from the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers.  We are privately funded through mostly corporate sponsorships and memberships, and we have -- if you are involved in the ICANN community, you have likely heard about some of the issues that we've had around funding recently.  For a while, we were funded by the ICANN organization, and recently that funding has been diminished as part of their larger organizational budget cuts.  So this is an issue that's particularly close to home, and you know, it brings a few thoughts to mind, one being who is responsible for the funding element of capacity development, and I think, you know, you touched on this, but it is no one actor that should be spread out amongst foundations, corporate entities.  And it's also important for the people running these initiatives to keep the sustainability in mind as they kind of think about the continuity of the project, especially when it comes to grants and sponsorships.  A lot of times once a project is over, the funding runs dry and you risk losing all of the work that you've done.  And that is one thing that we are struggling with, trying to keep the project alive but also preserving 13 years of work.  It's less about keeping a job for myself and more about protecting this work that the community has provided for 13 years. 

    And so I think we have set ourselves up in a good way because our content is community sourced.  It's much like Wikipedia is, where anybody can come and contribute, and we've put a lot of work in over the years, and it's easier to contribute on Wikipedia using various tools like the visual editor and different forms that speed that process along.  But other than that, I think it's just owning the responsibility to keep the project going, but also not doing so in a way that takes away from the product you want to provide because when you look at profitability, that doesn't always align with what's actually best for the people you are trying to serve.  So that's a really tough issue to grapple with and one that we are dealing with now. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Thank you, Dustin.  I think really what you brought also comes close to home to us.  I would say that there are also these various aspects of responsibility, first of all, of the donors when they start supporting a project that is meant to be of a longer duration and there is discontinuation, it can have quite an impact.  On the other hand, I think we have to understand that for many donors priorities change.  Therefore, the only suggestion I would have in this regard for any organization is try to have diversified sources of funding to be able to follow the mission and the activities to the largest extent possible because putting everything on one cart is always very, very tricky.  I certainly hope that ICANNWiki is such a crucial project for the community, it will continue despite the challenges. 

    Thank you.  About the competition, I think some of us might tackle that as well.  It is also very practical issues because yes, we are competing for the same funding in many cases, but at the same time, I think every organization has a specific niche and approach, and if we reasonably and smartly try to complement each other, things can only go well. 

    If there are any other issues from the room or remote?  Not at this moment yet.  Please. 

    >> LARA PACE: Good morning, Tereza.  I completely agree with the challenge and how you obtain sustainable funding and trying to address the challenge of fund-raising and not risking being the job justifier kind of endeavor.  But I think if we have to change the perspective and think about impact and what we mean by impact, and if we as a community can not define it but agree on what we all think is impact, and I think the challenge of securing continuous funding becomes automatic because I think donors are always looking for impact.  But we talk about impact, but we don't really understand what it means because it's such a broad term.  So I would be very keen to see that sort of flip of the argument. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Thank you.  This was Lara Pace.  I learned the right pronunciation of her name. 

    What about donors?  Alberto, maybe I can turn to you quickly for this.  For donors -- and Jorge -- is it more interesting for you to fund projects which are implemented by multiple partners, maybe building on what Lara said, that when you have various partners, putting their forces together, complementing each other to develop a certain project, or maybe is it actually easier for you to just work with one because, you know, there again comes this kind of a practical issue.  It just came on my mind that it would be good to hear your views on this. 

    >> ALBERTO CERDA SILVA: Shall I just answer your question?  I am Alberto Cerda.  I am an officer at the Ford Foundation.  My work is supporting capacity in countries working on Internet rights and from a human rights perspective. 

    One of the challenges for us, and I suspect that's the case for most groups working in this organization, is we are subject to tax law.  That makes a lot of requirements to the kind of organizations we can support, and it excludes certain kinds of organizations, certain kind of people, and that is particularly tricky, difficult when you are trying to work with overseas organizations because naturally, they are not established in the U.S.  They don't need to follow U.S. standards, and it makes it difficult to work with them. 

    Most of the time we work with organizations in overseas countries, not couldn't based in the U.S., we start with project support.  The laws does not allow them to get general support.  As our relations with them, we try to help them in the process of normalizing their status, to what we call legally equivalent to a U.S. nonprofit.  That allows us to provide them general core organizational support. 

    In my case, I have been with the foundation for four years.  Today around half of my portfolio, I am working with 13 organizations in 15 different countries, it's based on general support, which is much more useful than for the specific project, especially when you are trying to see political opportunities, that they last for just a couple of weeks, sometimes a couple of months, and that's it.  But it's still challenging to do it in certain countries. 

    Just some examples.  Many countries, there is no specific status for nonprofits, for organizations.  Every single nonprofit is actually a corporate for social responsibility, which is not equivalent to U.S. status.  We cannot operate with these kind of organizations, we have to do it through private support.  And I completely agree with the fact that the continuity of the goal is relevant.  I, myself, was (?) many years ago, and at some point I became an orphan for foundation because of the change of priorities, and also the change of the people.  A lot of the foundations are based on the capacities that the professional staff has on hand.  If they lose capacity for the staff in the organizations, they loss the capacity for the whole organization.  But we have made significant improvements.  Today almost 30% -- sorry, almost 40% of our budget is spent to provide organizational support.  It means support for organizations to become stronger rather than for the specific project.  Out of the remaining 60%, I would say maybe 50% of the resources are for general support.  We are trying to reduce the general support because it doesn't necessarily help the resources in the long-term and also doesn't help us strategically speaking. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Thank you.  I can assure you for those capacity programs, core support is also preferred because it's also a sign of trust to continue and pursue the mission that the organization has and enables the organization to further develop the project and seek partnerships with others to make the real impact. 

    Jorge, maybe quickly on this, this is Jorge Cancio from the Office of Communications.  You are also from the donor perspective.  How do you see it is like working on specific projects with multiple organizations?  I know that many of your projects are of this kind. 

    >> JORGE CANCIO:  Thank you so much, Tereza.  I am Jorge Cancio from the Swiss government.  As a sort of introduction, I guess I would need to say that coming from the Office of Communications, we are not really in the business of giving support to specific projects.  That's something that is being done by our partners, our colleagues in the Agency on Development Cooperation, and of course, there they have lots of projects that touch on ICT for development, and they have been active there for a long time. 

    From our point of view, and from government's perspective, you are, of course, bound by law.  That's really very tricky sometimes because you have to find the legal basis to support a project.  And on the other side, of course, you have to convince your political supervisors that that project, when you have your basis, that it is really worth supporting.  I think generally from the Swiss perspective, in the field of Internet governance and Information Society, we have been very eager to take part in this, many times in cooperation with our colleagues from the Foreign Affairs Department, who have, let's say, more clear legal basis or more clear specific budgets for doing this because as a small country which is highly connected, we are really dependent on having other people, other colleagues from other countries and also from civil society, from the private sector engaging and being able to engage in these multistakeholder discussions.  That's why we were funding, organizing the first WSIS in 2003, giving seed funding to the IGF in the early days when it was starting, and then, of course, we also tried to walk the talk of capacity building.  So on digital policy specifically, it's been, let's say, a joint venture between our Foreign Affairs Department colleagues and ourselves to support initiatives which we thought were important and which were helping other stakeholders also with a focus on the missions of developing countries and small countries in Geneva to really be able to take part in these discussions because, as you know, large delegations in Geneva, for instance, for giving just an example, may have more than a hundred or more diplomats working there, but small delegations from, for instance, from African countries may have five, six, seven people in total, or with the ambassador included, and one person is covering all the specialized agencies.

So you really have to provide them with the tools to empower them to take part in such projects. 

    And going to your question in particular, let's say that from our point of view -- and this is a very pragmatic approach to the question -- is a lot of what we are providing in support for digital policy capacity building is through the GIP, the Geneva Internet Platform, because it's, let's say, also joint venture between Diplo and the Swiss government, and where we try to have a very arm's length relationship with the GIP, let's say that this is kind of the trust that gives the core funding for the project, but we try as much as possible to stay away from the (?) because the objectivity, neutrality, and also, of course, the quality of the content and of the activities that the GIP is developing is really a precondition for them to be trustworthy, to be perceived as not directed by the Swiss government.  Of course, it gives us also some soft power, and that makes sense, but the basic, the gist of this commitment is to really provide good information, good capacity-building tools, the community in Geneva and beyond Geneva, of these small and developing countries. 

    And of course, there, if Diplo, who runs the Geneva Internet Platform, sees that there is value in having partnerships for specific activities with different NGOs, with different projects, with different organizations, be it ISO, whatever, be it ICANN, with the IGF Secretariat, depending on what they do, as long as they keep it objective, neutral, and with high quality, we want that and really support that. 

    And beyond this, let's say, our core digital policy project, we try to support as far as our legal basis allows us other projects with very specific activities, be it funding a lunch, funding the setting up of the transcription someplace, so there we try to be as pragmatic as possible within the Swiss law, which is quite prescriptive. 

    So I leave it there. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Thank you.  Thank you very much, Jorge, not only for the trust, but also for describing a project that gives this freedom to the implementer.  I think many of us around the room have experienced projects from some donors where you have to worry about deliverable 36B, although deliverable 36B or 1420A makes no sense in the context, so being able to kind of adjust the priorities or the activities, rather, that your organization is working on as developments arise is, I think, absolutely crucial if you want to have an impact.  And I know impact is something that my colleague, Hannah Slavik, from DiploFoundation, wanted to say a few words ago.  So Hannah, over to you. 

    >> HANNAH SLAVIK: Thank you, Tereza. 

    Yes, I wanted to pick up on what Lara also said about impact.  I wanted to pick a couple elements to move in further to our discussion, to add to the background Tereza provided based on Diplo's years of experience in capacity development, research, training. 

    So what I wanted to do is start with a reminder that the ultimate gain of capacity development is long-term and sustainable change.  It doesn't matter whether you have funding, how much funding, how many people are trained, how many events you organize, how much awareness you raise, or whatever other activities; if it doesn't lead to the long-term, sustainable change for the better in the environment where you are working. 

    So unfortunately, sometimes capacity development activities don't achieve the intended impact for various reasons.  This might include lack of local involvement and ownership.  So for example, a project may be designed by external experts who lack the knowledge of the local environments, local priorities and needs, or of existing capacity.  There might be a lack of trust among project partners.  There might be a neglect of elements related to soft capacity.  So there's many different reasons that a project might not achieve the intended impact. 

    In other cases, there's a lack of realistic assessment of whether the project has achieved its impact or not.  In some cases it might be due to pressure or perceived pressure from donors to report success rather than to look at failures and to try to adjust based on that.  In other cases, it may be more related to the fact that monitoring and evaluation haven't been built into a project from the start.  So the project may well be achieving impact or it may not, but we simply don't know because there isn't actually a good system in place to discover this. 

    So what I wanted to do is leave with a couple proposed solutions.  So obviously we can't know from the start whether a project is going to be successful.  We have to go through a process of trial and error and to learn from each step of the process.  But first of all, when we are designing projects, capacity development activities in the cyber field, we can learn from the broader development field of capacity development principles and approaches which have been shown to work well in other environments.  So the first thing is to learn from what others are doing in capacity development and not to reinvent the basic approaches is it.  And the second thing is to build monitoring, evaluation, and learning into each project from the start so that every step along the way we assess what's going on, we assess whether the impact is being achieved, and we adjust as needed in order to achieve those results. 

    So yeah, to sum it up, we need to learn from what other capacity development experts are doing, and we need to learn from our own mistakes as we go.  Thank you. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Thank you.  Thank you very much, Hannah.  Also welcome to those of you that joined us a little bit later.  This is a session dealing with practical issues connected with capacity development programs. 

    Hannah, admitting mistakes is difficult for each of us individually.  It's also difficult for an organization.  But I think it's an important part of the process.  And what I appreciate also in Diplo, you cover capacity development also from the theoretical point of view.  We have a course in capacity development which takes it more from theory and, you know, trying to integrate some of the theoretical knowledge to the practical programs can be actually quite beneficial. 

    As I said at the beginning of our session, we were suppose today have two remote speakers, but there are some challenges, so one of them, notably, Grace Mutung'u, will not be able to join us unless the situation evolves, but I would like to welcome Fiji.  I would like to welcome Anju Mangal, who should be joining us from a very remote Pacific island, and I am hoping that we will soon hear and see her on the screen.  She is from the SPC. 

    Anju, can you hear us? 

    >> ANJU MANGAL: Yes, loud and clear. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Okay.  We cannot see you; right?  It is not possible? 

    >> ANJU MANGAL: No, it's only because of facilitation, so it might not be feasible. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: I understand.  Anju, please go ahead.  You yourself have a lot of experience in capacity development programs, notably in the Pacific islands.  Please. 

    >> ANJU MANGAL: Thank you very much, DiploFoundation, for giving me an opportunity to be part of this important session.  I believe this is one of the most critical sessions at IGF, and I keep reiterating this at every IGF.  Unfortunately, I couldn't be part of it this time. 

    I represent the Pacific, and like most of you would say, we continue to struggle to attend face-to-face meetings due to lack of funding opportunities and also because of our geographic location.  We are also very geographically displaced and face the threat of climate changes, as you all mostly know. 

    So let me tell you about my journey, as this feeds into the title of the session, challenges of capacity development, and I hope to make my speech a bit spicy, as Tereza mentioned earlier.  I was fortunate to be part of the DiploFoundation IG course in 2007 and was part of the capacity development multilateral initiative, which was funded by Swiss government.  Because of my participation in capacity development, I was then awarded an opportunity to join the IGF Secretariat and work under Markus Kummer and Chengetai. 

    I was then given the opportunity to be the first Pacific Islander to join the Multistakeholder Advisory Group. 

    I continue to push more and more Pacific Islanders, more island states, to participate at IGF and also DiploFoundation funded meetings and capacity development courses; however, from my point of view, there are always two major obstacles.  One is not enough funding to continue supporting island states, and there's not enough buy-in from our governments to support capacity-building initiatives in the area of IG or digital policy. 

    I also think that there's lack of strategic commitment from our leaders to support capacity-building interventions in the space of Internet governance and digital policy.  And in addition to this, I also feel there is a lack of exit strategies to ensure that the donor investment is sustainable in the long-term so that follow-ups can be done, and we continue with -- continuously face the challenge of making sure that these initiatives are implemented successfully with great results and impact. 

    Hannah mentioned that we continue to make -- sometimes we do make the same mistakes, and we don't really learn from it.  And I think it's important that we continue to learn from our mistakes and also to look at what are the challenges for each of the different countries because we all are in different capacities, and some of these small island states don't have enough resources or they lack the capacity to maintain or to invest further in capacity development initiatives. 

    So yeah, so these are some of the challenges that we face, and I do have some recommendations that might be suitable for this forum, but if need be, I can type it.  I am not sure if I have the time or not, Tereza.  Thank you. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Anju, thank you.  What's the time in Fiji now? 

    >> ANJU MANGAL: It's 10:45 p.m.

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Okay.  We appreciate even more that you are with us at this hour, but thank you very much for joining us and bringing your very specific expertise and experience from the Pacific Islands, which, of course, has an additional layer of complexity when it goes to capacity development. 

    Maybe if I can point out one point that you mentioned, you've also talked about kind of your government and your leaders' role in this being kind of able to realize that gaps in capacity to cover and follow digital issues are a problem because here we are also at a point, I mentioned at the beginning, that the responsibility doesn't necessarily just or should rely on the outside help, international.  It is also an issue that needs to kind of be tackled domestically.  So a lot of the work that you do in the islands working with the local governments there I think is also a kind of precondition for more impactful capacity development programs in the field on the ground. 

    >> ANJU MANGAL: Yes. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Thank you.  Feel free to jump in any time by either voice or typing, and Marco will pass the message.  Thank you for now. 

    >> ANJU MANGAL: Thank you so much. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: I would like to turn now to others.  Feel free to jump in at any time.  We don't need to do it in any particular order if you want to elaborate on any points that have been mentioned.  But if not at this minute, I would like to turn to our last person, and that's Susan.  Susan Teltscher is from the International Telecommunications Union, app actor that is more and more active and visible in capacity development events.  Over to you.  What do you see as some of the challenges from your experience? 

    >> SUSAN TELTSCHER: Thank you very much, Tereza.  Good morning, everybody.  Thank you very much to Diplo for inviting ITU to this session.  I am head of the Capacity Building Division at ITU, so to me this topic is very, very dear but also for ITU it's one of the core objectives to do capacity building and capacity development in the field of its activities among its membership. 

    So I wanted to actually touch on a specific angle in the debate today, which is about financing capacity development activities, and I would like to share with you a specific model that we have tried in our own work on this, just to throw in a bit of a different perspective on that topic.  Because I know a lot of what we are talking here is project-funded capacity development activities.  Project funded by different communities, national, international, banks, et cetera.  We do a lot of that, of course, as well, but I wanted to share with you an example of where we have tried out a different program where we moved from project funded to self-funding activities in our capacity development work.  And this is a specific program that we have had for many years, but four years ago we changed the strategy so we call it Centers of Excellence program, and we have globally around 26 Centers of Excellence that do capacity building in the field of ICT and digital development.  These are usually local entities, training entities or universities who are delivering training, and they are part of this ITU global network.  And so in the past it was a project-funded program where we basically supported the instructors, some of the travel of the participants, and other activities that were costly.  And then the strategy changed, and we moved towards a self-funding model, which started four years ago.  And the way the Centers now work -- in fact, first we reduced the number of Centers.  We had a lot more.  Now, as I said, we have 26 operational, mostly in developing countries.  And we changed it in a way that now the Centers actually charge tuition fees for the training that they deliver, and then that money is used to pay for their own costs.  And we also have actually a cost-sharing model between them and ITU where they keep 80% of the fees, and 20% come to us, which we use to support our help to maintain the program, and we have an online platform they can use to deliver their courses, et cetera, et cetera. 

    So this is now four years in place.  We are doing now for this cycle the assessment right now.  It's been working quite well from the self-sustainability model from what we have seen, but some of them are much more successful than others.  There are different challenges that they are facing in this.  But for now, I just wanted to share this model, and if there's more time, I am happy to talk a bit more about some of the success stories or lessons learned.  But it's just to throw in another angle on the funding aspect. 

    Thank you. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Thank you.  Thank you very much, Susan, and I think it's very useful because also kind of this aspect of financing your participation in capacity development program, it's also that we at Diplo, we have big internal debates about this because capacity development programs do cost money, and sometimes we also have the feeling that once you deliver programs for free as it is perceived, it is actually not for free because when something is for free, it means somebody else must have covered it.  Then when you want to change the model, maybe include some co-financing aspects, it's very challenging.  Hannah could probably tell stories about this from Diplo's experience. 

    At this moment, are there any quick reactions to anything that was said so far? 

    When we were in RightsCon, the second kind of more formal debate on this issue on capacity development and the particular questions, we tried to create an action plan, kind of taking some of the key points that have been resonating in these debates.  Actually, it ended up being a nine-point plan, so I am sure we are missing because there are no nine-point plans, but once the IGF website is up, you know, feel free to go to the session, and the background paper is there to be downloaded.  Many of the points that we have covered in this nine-pointer have been echoed here at this session.  One of the points has not been covered yet, and I will just quickly read it to you and would invite you to comment.  We've talked about how implementers of capacity development programs should be communicating and cooperating and, you know, filling in each with their respective expertise, but what about the donors?  So one of the points was donors should talk to each other, share relevant information, and have a dialogue.  It could be useful to create a platform for exchanging information and building partnerships.  Because not only can there be a lot of duplication kind of in, you know, we do this.  We also do this, by the way, and we come across this very often.  But what about the donors?  If the donors do not communicate, maybe one donor finds something, another donor finds the same thing, maybe in the same country, which leads to unwanted competition, maybe confusion of the recipients of the training or similar programs.  Any reactions on that?  Alberto, maybe you are best placed.

    >> ALBERTO CERDA SILVA: My perception is that unfortunately, in this field, there is not the level of coordination that you may expect where you can see in other fields.  But you go to fields like environmental issues, human rights, you see that a number to start on critical mass.  They are to the point of in some cases doing joint grant making.  But in the field of digital policy, my perception is if I can put in my hand, in this hand, all the donors that are working in Latin America in this area, and I may have too many fingers for Africa.  There is not a critical mass of donors to have significant collective efforts.  So, so far, you can see that kind of effort in the U.S. where we have that net gain, where major donors, HughesNet, Mozilla, do join their force to advance Internet policies and to support initiatives in this area, but we are in a much more precarious situation where there is not to coordinate that much, given the fact there are a few, a handful of dollars. 

    Let me give you a couple of examples.  In the case of Latin America, where we started making (?) foundation, five years ago, there were possibly (?).  Today in Latin America, we can also find (?), Avena Foundation, a local organization foundation based in Mexico that is actually working in this field; Mozilla has expressed significant interest in landing there, and the Canadian Agency of international cooperation is also supporting initiatives in the region. 

    We coordinate.  I have been in touch.  I have reviewed many proposals from my colleagues; my colleagues have reviewed many proposals I have received.  We try to have conversations to assess organizations and to know what opportunities are coming around in the following days.  But I would not say that we have joint efforts yet.  So to answer your question, I have the perception that we don't have yet a critical mass of donors working in this field to ask for the level of coordination that we can see in other areas, like environmental issues or women's or human rights. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: That's, I think, actually to me your answer is quite reassuring because you are definitely at least exchanging information.  If you are involved in the cross-solutions of projects, this is also out of transparency and efficiency, it's very reassuring in my view.  Also interesting that you highlighted how this field of digital policies is a bit narrow compared to the bigger issues of human rights or climate changes. 

    Thank you for that. 

    Susan, I know that the ITU is also activity in kind of trying to bring capacity development providers together and having a discussion in this informal forum, if I may.  Can you elaborate a bit on that, what you have been trying to do in your efforts to bring the community together? 

    >> SUSAN TELTSCHER: Yes, thank you very much, Tereza. 

    Yeah, indeed, we are trying because there are not a lot of forums where you actually bring all the people together who are active in capacity development.  So we work a lot with partners in the field, not only our Member States, the governments, but also the private sector is very active, by the way, in that field also.  Academic institutions we are trying to bring, and then other training entities also from the civil society.  So we are trying to also have a dialogue.  Among the things we do is to foster dialogue among these different stakeholders because we really think it's important that the universities and the private sector talk to each other so that they know what are the demands actually from the market in terms of skills that are needed.  So we are trying to bring them together, talk together.  The governments need to be there, of course, because of their policy implementation programs.  They have to talk to the whole ecosystem in the capacity building or skill development environment.  So you have to bring all of these together.  And we have a capacity-building symposium that we organize.  It's a biannual big event where we try to bring all these people together to have a conversation on what are the current needs in terms of skill development in the field of ICT and digital development and who is doing what in order to address those needs.  And important, as I said, is to hear also from the market, from the private sector, to see what is actually what they need and have a conversation with the other stakeholders that are in charge of doing capacity building and training. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Thank you.  We will certainly come back to the private sector.  I just -- Anju would like to jump in remotely.  Anju, over to you. 

    >> ANJU MANGAL: Hello.  Can you hear me? 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Yes, we can. 

    >> ANJU MANGAL: Okay.  Perfect. 

    So again I'd like to speak on behalf of the small island states.  I like the cost-sharing approach that Susan mentioned earlier, but there are many small islands states that are struggling to understand what things mean.  This is a basic struggle.  I also feel that we may need to establish a joint funding approach and also look at how this could support the Sustainable Development Goals.  This could be a way forward for donors because they continuously look at the Sustainable Development Goals. 

    And also, it would be good to encourage our donors and partners to invite, again, the small island states to be part of your high-level wikis so that when you make decisions, you are aware of the issues we face in the small island states.  And I would highly encourage -- and this would be my final point before I leave -- is to have a donor and partner organization roundtable basically to identify synergies for future capacity development initiatives.  And this I call for support from not only small island states but the entire ACP member countries.  I think this would be very appreciated by some of us who are working in the development sector. 

    Thanks. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Thank you very much, Anju. 

    Two points here, also building on what Susan has said.  The role of the private sector.  We haven't really tackled that, but I think that's another kind of aspect that we do need to take into account.  And I don't want to put anybody on the spot.  I don't know if there is anybody from the private sector besides -- I don't want to kind of put -- and feel free not to talk if you don't want to.  But you came here now to a session dealing with practical questions of capacity development.  You are representing the private sector, a big company, Symantec. 

    Would you like to see from your perspective -- and once again, sorry you missed what we have been discussing before, but why would you as a private sector be interested in what we are doing in capacity development?  It would be quite useful for us.  Sorry for putting you on the spot. 

    >> DEEPAK MAHESHWARI: Thanks, Tereza. 

    Two things.  Number one, I think most of the technology development as well as deployment and design, is happening within the private sector.  And that's where a lot of capacity is available, and also a lot more capacity is needed there. 

    Second, there is interest of the private sector also if whenever they develop any products or services, they should also be used in a proper manner.  So for example, it's one thing to develop good browser with a whole lot of privacy settings, et cetera, but unless people know how to use those properly, the effect will not be so good, and at times, actually, it could be even negative. 

    So for example, in India, I work at Symantec, and one of the things that we have done there is we are part of NASSCOM, which is India's largest IT association, and developed cyber security curriculum, and those have been approved by a government body, and now those curricula are available free of cost from NASSCOM, not from Symantec, by the way.  So Symantec was one among equals, so we had companies, including banks, including consulting organizations that supervised, what is needed, what is being developed.  And even the course curriculum, et cetera, was developed ground-up. 

    So what happened, they formed a committee.  So they did multiple workshops with people, what type of skills are needed in the three- to five-year timeframe.  They developed ten job roles, and we supported five of them.  We also developed another course of ATRs.  Now we are considering how to put those on the cloud and things like that. 

    So I think it's very important for people to not only look at what can be done but also what should be done and how it should be done.  And that's one of the areas I would say is that it must be voluntary, but at the same time, increase those type of voluntary movements.  Thank you. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Thank you.  That was Deepak Maheshwari from Symantec.  Also, I can imagine from the private sector, working on technology, you want people to know how to use it, but you also want the policymakers to be able to take informed decisions, environments that are regulated, such as this.  So it is connected, and I see with myself, I see this as an entry point, why the private sector needs to be at the table for debates like this. 

    One other comment building on what Anju said was bringing previous conversation to the high level.  What I can say that, for instance, in High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation, which was established in July, really looks into capacity development, and I do expect that the report that is due to be submitted in the spring next year will elaborate quite a lot on capacity development, and I will try to make sure to also feed in the discussions that we've had around this table to their work and also please be aware that now until I think the 18th of November, you can also send your input.  So if capacity development is something close to your heart, please do take advantage of that opportunity as well. 

    Now, we are closing the session in a few minutes at the latest, so I wanted to take this opportunity to ask if there are any comments from your experience?  Lara, please. 

    >> LARA PACE: Thank you.  I think one of the things I just wanted to say before you close the session is there's a lot of focus on securing funding, and we've spoken a lot about donor coordination, which I think is absolutely important, but as implementers of capacity development, one of the things that I don't feel has become normalized in the planning stages of programs or large projects is the ability to create hooks in our work to enable other organizations, the ones that perhaps we may seem to look like we are in competition with but actually we are not.  So if in our planning stage and in our design stage we can create these hooks for these other organizations to come in, then, A, it helps in terms of that duplication that we are talking about, but it also brings more value to our project in having that long-term -- that drive to establish the long-term change. 

    So I think in terms of collaboration and coordination, which you hear about all the time, it really is down to the implementers when they are designing the programs to create this space for your colleagues to come in. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Thank you, Lara.  Yeah, I think we could all say that.  Yeah. 

    If there are no other -- Alberto, please. 

    >> ALBERTO CERDA SILVA: I think that something that is interesting to explore in near future, especially as many of us have been engaging in this conversation for a while, is recognizing the fact that we are coming to this conversation from different settings with different interests.  Anju was talking about having the opportunity to have all the dollars in the same room.  Probably I have been in many of those meetings with many in the room and everybody is coming from different places.  While some of them are working on building capacity building for improvement of acceleration, others are interested in justice, in other cases human rights.  And the flavor of capacity building may be very different if you are working within the same sector with different perspectives.  So it's not only where you are coming from, but what you want to achieve with capacity building, and probably it could be very interesting to be more transparent and up front about what are our expectations in order to identify how we can move forward together in some instances. 

    >> TEREZA HOREJSOVA: A very important point.  Alberto, thank you very much. 

    With this, I would like to thank all the resource people at our session, namely Hannah, Susan, Alberto, Anju remotely, and Jorge.  I would also like to thank Katharina, who is producing a report for this session, which will be involved on the dig.watch within two hours, if she is quick maybe even earlier.  I would like to thank Marco, our remote moderator, making sure we get everybody remotely safely in the session.  Thank you very much for being here.  Let's continue this conversation and keep in touch.  Have a good IGF.  Thank you. 

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