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We know an inclusive information society is a vital enabler in fully achieving the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Digital exclusion is inextricably linked to social and economic exclusion. How can we overcome the issues and challenges to achieving inclusion for all? What constitutes an enabling environment for all to be meaningfully connected to the Internet, and to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard in decision-making processes.

At IGF 2020, the thematic track on inclusion will consider and discuss:

  • How to provide the opportunity for all to be meaningfully connected to the Internet, including unserved and underserved communities and those prevented by their gender, disability, digital literacy, or affordability issues from being able to access the Internet and its opportunities
  • The enabling environment needed to achieve an inclusive information society, such as engaging all stakeholders and ensuring everyone’s voice is heard and treated equally in decision-making processes and ensuring everyone has the necessary access, skills, and motivations to reap the social benefits of going online and participating in the digital economy.



This list includes both MAG-suggested sub-themes as well as sub-themes proposed by session organisers.

Access (basic and non-basic)
Affordability (pricing/business models of Internet services)
Agility and sustainability
Capacity building
Community networks (leaving no one behind)
Conducive regulatory frameworks
Connecting the unconnected
Database protection
Design for inclusion
Digital cooperation
Digital divide
Digital literacy (education)
Digital skills
Digital divide (age, gender, disability and geographics)
Digital transformation
Economic development
Emerging technologies
Environmental impact
Extraterritorial jurisdiction
Human rights
Inclusive governance
Infrastructure (adjacent systems)
International cooperation
Internet protocols
Journalism and news media
Local content development
Meaningful connectivity
Multilingual (e.g. local content development, universal acceptance)
Open data
Open standards
Policy making
Poverty eradication
Social inclusion


Related Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 1. No poverty
SDG 3. Good health and well-being
SDG 4. Quality education
SDG 5. Gender equality
SDG 7. Affordable and clean energy
SDG 8. Decent work and economic growth
SDG 9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG 10. Reduced inequalities
SDG 11. Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 12. Responsible consumption and production
SDG 16. Peace, justice and strong institutions


Overarching Policy Questions

The following high-level policy questions have been developed by the IGF secretariat based on an analysis of all IGF 2020 sessions under the theme of “inclusion”. The high-level policy questions reflect overarching concepts and trends reflected across all data sessions at IGF 2020:

High-Level Policy Question 1


The Internet and related digital technologies continue to shape people’s lives and revolutionise social, professional, and personal relationships. These technologies have also proven to be vital in times of global crisis, as we have shifted towards remote work and online learning. But much of the world’s population remains unconnected and various barriers to meaningful access are still in place.


What do stakeholders need to do to develop and implement sustainable initiatives and policies that foster meaningful digital inclusion for all and eliminate all forms of digital divide?

High-Level Policy Question 2


As the digital economy expands and new digital business models emerge, access to the economic opportunities created by the Internet, such as e-commerce, digital payments, and digital entrepreneurship, are not yet available to all, nor are the opportunities to learn the digital skills required to take full advantage of these economic opportunities.


What policies, regulations and support structures are needed to build the enabling environments for inclusive digital economies that allow everyone to have access to their benefits in both developed and developing countries?

High-Level Policy Question 3


There are many organisations and processes, from the local through to the global level, dedicated to discussing digital inclusion issues and developing policies to foster such inclusion. For these to be effective and efficient, they need to take into account a wide range of opinions and experiences surrounding digital inclusion and ensure that all concerned voices are heard and included.


How can we ensure that policy spaces and processes that address digital inclusion issues are inclusive and foster the active and meaningful participation of those people and communities whose digital inclusion issues they hope to overcome?


Previous Discussions on Inclusion at the IGF

Inclusion has been a core topic of discussions at IGF dating back to 2005, where the "Access" and "Diversity" were two of the original main themes of IGF. Below are links to high-level messages created on the theme of data over the past few IGFs:

IGF 2019 Berlin Messages on Digital Inclusion
IGF 2018 Development, innovation and economic Issues
Digital Inclusion & Accessibility
Human Rights, Gender & Youth
Media & Content
IGF 2017 See Chair's Summary

See also:

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