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IGF 2019 Connecting the Dots from Data to Policy Takeaways


Dynamic Coalition on Innovative Approaches to Connecting the Unconnected

Round Table - U-shape - 60 Min


This year's dynamic coalition session on innovative approaches to connecting the unconnected seeks to build on three previous years of active engagement at the Internet Governance Forum. In 2016, we introduced the first effort to systematically gather data on innovative approaches to connecting the unconnected. In 2017, we invited grassroots organizations to speak from their communities to provide a personal flavor to the nature of these projects, and understand at the grassroots, the challenges that exist. Last year, in 2018, we introduced cost data on a 100+ case studies, synthesizing them for data on cost per beneficiary per year, and providing key insights to policy makers and project implementers on the effectiveness of innovative approaches to connecting underserved communities. This data added to a robust community discussion on metrics and how governments view such data, and our session last year enabled perspectives from new governmental voices at the Internet governance forum including from Afghanistan and South Africa. This year, we seek to build on the momentum by introducing synthesis papers by domain (health, education, agriculture, financial inclusion) through community-driven work that we have been doing through in-depth interviews with multiple stakeholders. These studies seek to distill key takeaways for implementation Further, we seek to talk about the data available on new technologies on the supply side, especially fixed wireless work that has seen a recent emergence in the US and forms four of our more recent case studies. Finally, we hope to present regional synthesis papers for policy makers to engage in robust discussion on priorities in their regions. The session will trace the arc of the coalition's work, and yield concrete outputs to feed into ongoing work in different areas, including financing for connectivity, digital skills principles coordination, mhealth and ehealth practices, and internet connectivity for agricultural uses.


Christopher Yoo, Co-Convener, University of Pennsylvania Rajan Mathews, Co-Convener, Cellular Operators Association of India Michael Kende, Co-Convener, Graduate Institute, Geneva, Helani Galpaya, Co-Convener, LIRNEAsia Sharada Srinivasan, University of Pennsylvania Muge Haseki, University of Pennsylvania


We are still in discussion with speakers for participation in the session, so our speaker list is to be considered preliminary. As with last year, we are hoping to include new and diverse voices to a robust discussion. We are hoping to include speakers from: 1. The World Economic Forum's Digital Economy and Society initiative (Derek O' Halloran/Eric White) 2. The World Bank-led Digital Development Partnership (Samia Melhem/Doyle Gallegos) 3. GSMA (Dominique Lazanski/Belinda Exelby) 3. Government representatives (India/Nepal/Rwanda - we will additionally reach out to participants from countries that are engaged in policy implementation and experimentation in relation to access, to solicit their participation) 4. Grassroots projects (We have invited case study participants from Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Portugal to the IGF) 5. Additionally, we also hope to reach out to the ISOC and IEEE policy communities to solicit their participation in the session.


GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Reference Document:

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 411