IGF 2019 WS #220 Impact of dif. policy approaches to connect the unconnected

Organizer 1: Raúl Echeberría , Independent
Organizer 2: Carolina Aguerre, San Andrés University
Organizer 3: Adela Goberna, Asociación Latinoamericana de Internet (ALAI)

Speaker 1: Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Jane Coffin, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Muhammad Shabbir, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Moctar Yedaly, Intergovernmental Organization, African Group

Policy Question(s): 

What are the public policy approaches that can have a stronger impact in connecting the unconnected?

Relevance to Theme: HIGH.

There have been talks about connecting the unconnected for many years and the population that remains unconnected still hovers 50% of the world’s citizens. Connecting the people that are still not included in the digital sphere is tougher than connecting the first 50%, according to some accounts, since those that still remain outside are not only the poorest to a large extent, but they also have higher non-financial obstacles that are also involved (age, culture, gender, disabled, refugee, etc).
In those talks we usually identify different critical groups who should be the target of public policies.
However, public resources are limited and policy makers have to prioritize on a daily basis.
What is the potential impact we can achieve in terms of access working in each of the different identified possible areas of work.
In addition, while there seems to be a broader agreement on some of the areas where work is needed, we don’t necessarily use evidence-based information to back those approaches.

This session proposes to address three interrelated issues: identification of the target groups, specific barriers for each and policymakers’ shortcomings to contribute to a long term discussion on this topic.

Relevance to Internet Governance: HIGH.

It is expected that Internet Governance always includes the access and development perspectives in any discussion and /or policy development process.
This workshop will contribute to feed into those discussions with different kind of inputs and will contribute to address those important topics in every IG forum.


Debate - Classroom - 90 Min

Description: If we want to really create an impact in a short time to connect the unconnected, it is essential to explore policy options that address the right population targets and the specific barriers for each of these groups. Who are these groups? How can we define their needs as most pressing than others? One could list: people with disabilities, displaced people (refugees, migrants), senior people, children, women. But how to prioritize the target beneficiaries, where and through what means are questions that beg for an answer at a broader level using more refined policy tools than in the past. This is the user-based dimension of the problem.

In addition, this challenge faces the “supply-side” of the equation, i.e. the public policy component. Policy makers face many kinds of vulnerabilities to address this issue effectively, from lack of resources (human, financial, organizational), lack of influence to escalate the issue, lack of evidence, policy fragmentation within state departments and political animosity to cooperate with other sectors, to name but a few.

The session will invite speakers with diverse backgrounds and representing different interests to learn from their experience and the potential impact of their proposals. It will also be a venue to discuss qualitative and quantitative evidence about the issue and also to assess different target groups’ and the prioritization strategies.

This workshop will also serve to discuss examples of policies that could have an impact on the identified target groups.
The format of the session will be a combination of short answers to different questions presented by the moderators and intervention from the audience.

The proposed structure is the following:
5’: Moderators’ introduction
25’: First round of interventions from panelists (5’ each)
5’: Questions and comments from moderators
15’: Second round of interventions from panelists (3’ each)
3’: Moderators open floor to questions/interventions from audience
15’: Third round of interventions to feedback from audience (3’ each)
2’: Moderators open floor to last round of questions and comments from audience
10’: Final round of interventions and closing remarks from panelists (2’ each)
5’: Closing words from moderators

Expected Outcomes: The session will produce a set of proposals, thoughts and evidence to address the policy question. This discussion will assist policy makers to define their proposals at country, regional and global level. It will also serve to position the different perspectives from other stakeholder groups that are vital to accomplish the delivery of this goal.

The rapporteur will prepare a report summarizing the main ideas and proposals.
The organizers will also use the takeaways of this workshop as a kick off of a complementary initiative that will to make a deeper compilation of the different contributions both from panelists and audience and to disseminate the results to interested parties.

Onsite Moderator: 

Raúl Echeberría , Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator: 

Carolina Aguerre, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Adela Goberna, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Discussion Facilitation: 

Each of the speakers will be challenged with questions at the beginning. They will have 3' to speak. After one round of interventions of the panelists, there will be time for at least 7 speakers from the audience with interventions of no more than 2' each.
There will be so an open round of interventions from the panelist of 3' each.
and after them, there will be another round of interventions from the audience similar to the previous one.
finally, the panelists will have another opportunity to speak for 2' to round their ideas.

Online Participation: 

Every time the floor is opened to the participation of the audience, the moderators will remark that the call is for on site and remote participants. Same treatment will be given to both kind of participants.
Additionally, the remote audience will be explicitly encouraged to use the platforms and tools explained in point 16.c

Proposed Additional Tools: Social media (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) and specific hashtags will be used in order to encourage remote participation and collect comments from remote participants. The session will be distributed in specific mailing lists and we will ask for support from our panelists to distribute among their contacts.

The information will be disseminated a few weeks before the event so that participants can schedule it accordingly and it will be reinforced the week prior to the session and the day before. The questions received from the floor and the online platform will be forwarded to the panel moderator. The online moderator will be summarizing key aspects of the discussion in order to engage remote participants into the debate.


GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals