IGF 2019 WS #81 Data Governance and Economic Development

Organizer 1: Michael Pisa, Mr

Speaker 1: Michael Pisa, Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 2: Kathleen McGowan, Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 3: Aaranson Susan , Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organization

Policy Question(s): 

How can policymakers in low and middle income countries maximize the benefits and minimize the risks associated with the rapid expansion of data-driven business models in the developing world?

What are the tradeoffs associated with implementing different approaches to data governance, including specific elements of the GDPR, in developing economies?

How can governments foster the requisite institutions and broader ecosystem to ensure that personal digital data is managed equitably, responsibly, and in ways that safeguard civil liberties and strengthen open societies? What different opportunities and obstacles do governments in lower income countries face in this regard?

Relevance to Theme: Data Governance and Economic Development: Privacy, Access, and Innovation

Governments worldwide are reconsidering (or considering for the first time) how they approach data governance and data privacy, prompted in part by the increased attention paid to the risks of misusing personal data and the EU’s introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018. The GDPR looms large in these discussions because it provides a rigorous, consumer-centric model for countries to emulate and because of its potential impact on trade in data-based services.Although a growing number of countries in the developing world are incorporating elements of the GDPR into their own data protection rules, questions remain as to whether the approach is a good fit for these countries, given concerns that it could stifle innovation and that implementing it effectively requires a high degree of legal and technical capacity and a strong institutional framework. At the same time, increased attention is being paid to the importance of open access to data.

Relevance to Internet Governance: The desire by a growing number of governments in low and middle income countries to reassess how they engage with large tech companies, combined with a lack of rigorous evidence about policy efficacy, has resulted in a mishmash of approaches - including outright bans, social media taxes, and data localization requirements - that endanger the (mostly) open nature of the internet.


Round Table - Circle - 90 Min

Description: We will have several subject matter experts at the roundtable including the speakers listed below and will ask representatives from civil society and government in low and middle income countries to attend and encourage them to share their views on their policy priorities.

The discussion will focus on identifying developing country priorities for tech governance and areas where global and regional governance solutions may be helpful.

Expected Outcomes: The aim of the workshop is to bridge the gap between internet policy and economic development experts and help both groups better understand the tech governance priorities of policymakers in LMICs, with a focus on how policymakers are approaching issues related to privacy, access, and innovation.

The information shared at the discussion will feed into work done by the Center for Global Development, Future State, and the Centre for International Governance Innovation that seeks to give more voice to LMIC policymakers and civil society on global discussions regarding data governance.

Onsite Moderator: 

Michael Pisa, Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organization

Online Moderator: 

Michael Pisa, Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organization


Michael Pisa, Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organization

Discussion Facilitation: 

We intend to provide a list of discussion questions to potential participants ahead of the meeting.

Online Participation: 

Usage of IGF Tool


GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities