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IGF Community Consultation – IGF Retreat Proceedings: Ideas and Suggestions

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 A two-day working retreat on “Advancing the Ten-Year Mandate of the IGF” was organized by the UN Secretariat in Glen Cove, New York from 14 to 16 July 2016. Against the backdrop of a newly extended ten-year mandate, the programme of the retreat examined areas for further  development and improvements for the IGF, anchored in the Tunis Agenda as well as subsequent recommendations made by the IGF Community, the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) Working Group on IGF Improvements, and multiple reports from the first 10 years of IGF meetings.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 3 Forty attendees from each of the four IGF stakeholder communities – Government, the private sector, civil society and the technical community – as well as UNDESA/IGF Secretariat staff, were present at the retreat. The resulting proceedings record of the discussion that took place is published and available for comment on the IGF’s website.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Many of the ideas and suggestions that emerged from the retreat have been compiled in the following document and are included as an annex to these proceedings.The compilation is structured and ordered following the agenda of the retreat and is published here for ease of reference and to facilitate public consultation.

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 1 All stakeholders are invited to make comments and any additional suggestions by September 26th, 2016  for review by the community and as input to the 2016 Internet Governance Forum (IGF): ‘Enabling Inclusive and Sustainable Growth’, scheduled to take place from 6-9 December 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 IGF Retreat Proceedings: Ideas and Suggestions

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 I. Introductory Session

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 -Setting the scene – the last 10 years and the next 10 years of IGF; what role should the IGF play in 2025 and beyond?

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 -How has the IGF evolved since its creation in 2006?

  • 9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0
  • Participants discussed the creation and development of the IGF since it was established by the UN Secretary-General, as requested in the Tunis Agenda, in 2006. It was said by many that the Internet has evolved rapidly in the ten years since WSIS. Internet governance has also evolved, in line with changing technology and with new opportunities, problems and challenges arising from the Internet’s increasing scale and scope. The IGF has responded to this evolution of the Internet and Internet governance, growing in confidence and capability from uncertain beginnings in 2006 to the point at which the extension of its mandate for a further ten years was readily agreed by the UN General Assembly in 2015.
  • 10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 2
  • Different views were expressed concerning the IGF’s impact on the evolution and use of the Internet. It was not generally felt that the IGF had contributed significantly to the technical evolution of the Internet (and some expressed the view that it was not appropriate for it to do so), but it was felt that the IGF has impacted issues concerning access and usage and on the ways in which discussions take place in the ICT sector and beyond. At the same time many felt that the evolution and use of the Internet has impacted equally on the development of the IGF.
  • 11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 3
  • A number of participants identified the influence of the IGF’s multistakeholder composition and culture on wider ICT decision-making processes as one of its major legacies. Many expressed that the IGF provided a space in which multistakeholder discussion could take place before decisions need to be taken in other fora.  Participants suggested that it has contributed thereby, for example, to greater clarity of understanding and improved decision-making on a wide range of public policies related to the Internet.
  • 12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 2
  • The IGF was felt by participants to have built a community of expertise across stakeholder communities, enabling more effective discourse between those responsible for technical and public policy aspects of the Internet. In doing so, it was said to have developed a culture of inclusion and participation, with a ‘common language’, engaging sections of the community that would not otherwise have been involved in Internet governance discussions. Participation in the IGF, and particularly the emergence of national and regional IGFs (NRIs) was said to have provided a stronger framework for participation by developing countries in Internet governance at both national and international levels, building the capacity and confidence of developing country stakeholders.  Also important is the role of the IGF in launching coalitions and spurring international cooperation on specific areas.
  • 13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 4
  • However, a number of ongoing challenges were also identified. Aspects of the mandate for the IGF which is set out in the Tunis Agenda, it was suggested, remain unfulfilled or only partially fulfilled. Some participants expressed that some stakeholders are under-represented in the IGF, including demand-side businesses such as those in financial services and manufacturing. While it was noted that the IGF has extended its range of thematic content to include once-controversial issues such as critical Internet resources and human rights, some said that it is not always quick enough to pick up on emerging issues (though there was a comment that it is able to address timely issues in the annual forum), address the anxieties which many people have about the Internet, or engage effectively with those concerned with other public policy issues with which the Internet now intersects.  There is a risk, some suggested, of it becoming a forum for Internet insiders rather than reaching out, as it should, to stakeholders that currently do not participate in it.
  • 14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 1
  • It was generally recognised that the Internet has changed very substantially since 2006, and that it will change even more substantially between the renewal of its mandate in 2015 and the end of that mandate in 2025. Change during this coming period will be unpredictable, with many developments in Internet governance that are not yet anticipated.  Participants considered how to ensure that the IGF could remain fit for purpose in this time of rapid change.
  • 15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 2
  • Some suggestions in this context built on existing work to fulfil the mandate set out in the Tunis Agenda. Suggested examples of this included continued work on ‘connecting the next billion’, awareness-raising and capacity-building, and the defence of human rights online.  Issues such as sustainable development and human rights, it was noted, are not specific to the Internet, but are established public policy areas which are substantially impacted by it.  It was felt that this raises issues of intersectionality: more should be done by the IGF to engage with institutions and fora concerned with public policy fields, such as these, with which the Internet now intersects.  The IGF has not, it was said by some, been sufficiently effective in reaching out to them to date.
  • 16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 1
  • It was noted by many that it was particularly important that the IGF engages users of the Internet, who have actually generated the huge changes that have taken place in the Internet.
  • 17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0
  • There was agreement that the pace of change that is now taking place in Internet technology and markets requires a growing focus by the IGF on what have been called emerging issues and on issues that will emerge in the next few years.

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 II. Ways to improve the overall preparatory process and intersessional activities of the IGF

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 What are some ways to:

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 – Improve the overall preparatory process of the IGF?

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 – Improve the nomination process and make-up of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) and the appointment process for the IGF-MAG Chair?

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 – Strengthen the IGF support structures?

  1. 23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0
  2. Improving the overall preparatory process of the IGF

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 2 It was noted that more could be done to take a strategic, long-term view of the role and activities of the IGF, such as through a predictable multi-year programme of work.  Even if not undertaken generally, it might be possible to reinvigorate the IGF by taking a longer-term view of particular issues, dedicating time and resources to progressing discussions and achieving concrete outcomes on these over time.  A longer time horizon such as this could help to bring in new collaborators, including international agencies, and new funders.

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 1 Alongside this, it was suggested, it might be possible to move towards a continuous, predictable process for programming the work of the IGF.  Working groups of the MAG, for example, could address particular themes year-round.  Mechanisms could be put in place to identify and address new or emerging issues, and the annual renewal and selection of MAG Members could be done earlier each year in order to provide a longer annual planning cycle.

  • 26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0
  • It was suggested that the MAG have a more holistic mandate for supporting the preparations of the IGF and focus more on broader policy questions rather than the minutiae of workshops and IGF session selection each year.
  • 27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 1
  • There were several suggestions for a strategic approach to the IGF meetings with different pillars (established for the next 3, 5 or 9 years), guiding each year’s work, themes, and policy discussions.
  • 28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 2
  • It was suggested that the workshop selection process be improved, streamlined, and more transparent. There can be more work done prior to the selection discussion, and the selection processes started much earlier. It was discussed that if the MAG can establish more concrete and concise criteria up front, these can be reflected more clearly in all subsequent steps, e.g., call for workshops, proposal templates, clustering, etc. This will enable an improved Secretariat pre-screening process, including better evaluation of the proposals at the time of submission, suggested actions such as possible merges, and more effective clustering.
  • 29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 1
  • Regarding themes, it was suggested that there could be outreach to other organizations, institutions, venues where governments gather, NRIs, to gather input from different communities on issues of interest, not just at the time of workshop proposals, but continuously, and use this to strengthen the IGF as a common platform for these discussions.
  • 30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 1
  • It was mentioned by some that the knowledge of the process for selecting workshops by the MAG seems to be lost each year. The selection of workshops and other sessions for IGF annual meetings processes need to be more consistent year by year. It was recommended to ensure continuity between IGF annual meetings., and to avoid the current practice of reinventing the process every year.
  • 32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 2
  • There is not a very good understanding across the MAG and the community on the workshop selection process. It was suggested that this opacity be resolved and clearer guidelines, including a timetable of expectations for proposers, be provided. An E-tool for connecting proposed events with similar themes, functioning along the same lines as dating apps, could be used.
  • 33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 1
  • A proposal was also made to adopt the so-called “EuroDIG model” in which themes are not predefined and sessions are selected based on ideas expressed at planning meetings by those willing to contribute.
  • 34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0
  • It was suggested that the IGF Secretariat set the timeline for community contributions, and not according to the MAG schedule, in order to structure the process with advance notice and allow sufficient time for each step.
  • 35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0
  • There was general agreement that there needs to be more prioritization of human resources and technology to support the workshop proposal and evaluation process. Many felt that greater efforts are also needed on the communications fronts – for better outreach to the community and better dissemination of IGF documentation and information.
  • 36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 1
  • With improvements in place, it is suggested that the IGF can be a true convener for other organizations and processes to utilize, and even a tool to reduce duplication across the Internet governance sphere. Among ideas put forward, one was that National and Regional IGFs be strengthened, and another that perhaps the IGF should only be held every other year to enable more robust relationships and communications with the National and Regional IGFs.
  1. 37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 2
  2. Improving the nomination process and make-up of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), and the MAG Chair

38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 1 It was brought up several times that with the evolution of the IGF there is a need to review the role of the MAG, for example whether it is a program committee or an executive/steering committee for the IGF and/or  related intersessional activities. It was suggested that the MAG have a more holistic mandate than merely  supporting the preparations of the annual IGF. In its preparation of the event it could focus more on broader policy questions rather than the minutiae of workshop and IGF session selection each year.

39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 1 There was general agreement that there is a need for a more transparent selection process across the different stakeholders groups and clearer criteria and priorities to enable more consistent candidate selection processes across the different stakeholder communities. At the same time, many expressed that it should ultimately be the prerogative of the UN Secretary-General to exercise his or her final judgement in selecting MAG representatives having flexibility to ensure appropriate diversity.

40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 2 A need was also expressed to have greater awareness and transparency in the selection processes used by the different stakeholder groups. Some felt there should be a set of specific criteria and priorities for nominations. Others felt that it is difficult for the communities to identify, target and come up with adequate candidates with insufficient information on what the UN Secretary-General is looking for.

41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 0 It was suggested that information on MAG Members’ tenures be published so it is known  who are rotating out each year ahead of time. There was also a discussion on whether expertise or experience was a more appropriate criterion, and whether candidates with experience in more than one stakeholder community – or the ability to work across stakeholder communities –  would be preferred so as to prevent silos among constituencies, while bearing in mind the need for ensuring regional and other balance and the Secretary-General’s role in this regard.

42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 1 It was requested that there be full feedback on how the UN assesses the candidates, and why some are selected and some are not. This information is indeed crucial to allow stakeholder groups to select and put forward the best candidates possible. The possibility of having an apprenticeship programme to develop future MAG candidates was raised.

43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0 Setting up an induction and mentoring process to better integrate new MAG members was also discussed. It was suggested that it would be useful to have an induction or onboarding process for the new MAG members. The suggestion to reconsider the timing was made, in terms of the MAG members possibly being appointed before the new cycle, so they can sit in and understand their roles before taking them on.

44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 0 A number of suggestions were brought up regarding the MAG Chair:

  • 45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 2
  • One suggestion was for the MAG Chair to have a mandate for more than one year. Another suggestion was to consider aspirational and not prescriptive rotation of the MAG chairmanship among the stakeholder groups, and that the IGF should move away from the default that Chairs are government representatives.
  • 46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 1
  • Yet another suggestion was to have one Chair with three Vice Chairs representing the other stakeholder groups following the bureau model as used in traditional UN meetings.
  • 47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 1
  • There was also a suggestion on having two co-chairs – one chosen from non-governmental stakeholders and the other selected from governments.
  • 48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 0
  • There were suggestions about the selection of the MAG chair, including calls for increased transparency about criteria for the MAG chair and consultation with the stakeholder communities about possible candidates.
  • 49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 1
  • The suggestion to reconsider the appointment timing was made, so that the MAG members are appointed before the new cycle, so they can sit in and understand their roles before taking them on.
  1. 50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0
  2. Strengthening the support structures of the IGF
  • 51 Leave a comment on paragraph 51 0
  • There was general agreement on the need for staff resourcing, in line with leveraging the quality and contract support for specific project needs. Technology and technological resources were raised as potential means to also help support the work that the Secretariat does. If these resource gaps could be better communicated to donors more funds could be raised.
  • 52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0
  • There was general agreement that increased outreach was an overall need, including additional community engagement and solicitation of community inputs. Better-quality outreach and documentation of the IGF could also lead to more high-level/political interest in its processes and the annual meeting.
  • 53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 0
  • Secondments could be explored as an alternative to enhance the Secretariat, as is done elsewhere in the UN. Some entities could provide financial support. The seconded staff could help to make progress on strategic issues; open communications; and documentation related to the IGF.
  • 54 Leave a comment on paragraph 54 0
  • It was discussed that the IGF could benefit from the expertise of the community, other organizations in the UN, the NRIs, and others, through MAG working groups and intersessional work to address specific needs.
  • 55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 1
  • There was a suggestion to appoint a Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Internet governance to act as the “political face” of the IGF. Governments react to seniority levels, and some felt that having this type of appointee to represent the IGF would attract more high-level engagement. It was noted that having such a person attached to the Secretary-General had worked well for the first five years of the IGF (2006-2010), where the function allowed raising the profile of the IGF within and beyond the UN.
  • 56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 0
  • A general comment was made that the IGF community, MAG and Secretariat, may not be taking sufficient advantage of its link to and support from the larger UN system and various institutions to provide more information to the UN constituencies .

57 Leave a comment on paragraph 57 0 It was highlighted that the role of the MAG needs to be clarified in order to pursue significant innovations in the IGF.  It was suggested, in this context, that some additional functions relating to the programming of the annual IGF could be undertaken by the Secretariat rather than the MAG.  Some participants felt that it would also be beneficial to clarify other aspects of the governance structure of the IGF, including the roles and responsibilities of the UN Secretary-General, of UN DESA under him and of the IGF Chair.  Others stressed that the IGF mandate from the Tunis Agenda is clear as are the roles of other actors.   All participants were committed to respecting the Tunis Agenda and the direction established in the WSIS + 10 Outcome Document from December 2015.

58 Leave a comment on paragraph 58 0 In any case, it was noted that any change to the overall set of IGF related activities would place an additional workload on the MAG and on the Secretariat .  It was generally felt that the IGF Secretariat is under-resourced and hence lacks capacities for its current responsibilities, let alone additional activities.  Clearly, these resourcing challenges need to be addressed if the expectations expressed during the retreat and by the community at large are to be fulfilled.

59 Leave a comment on paragraph 59 0     III.     Ways to engage those stakeholders who are currently unengaged, with a view to expand and diversify physical and virtual participation and increase the engagement of underrepresented segments

60 Leave a comment on paragraph 60 0 -What measures can be taken to engage those stakeholders who are currently unengaged, with a view to expand and diversify physical and virtual participation and foster increased capacity-building opportunities for stakeholders?

61 Leave a comment on paragraph 61 0 -What new types of stakeholders should be engaged in the IGF that may be currently under-represented?

62 Leave a comment on paragraph 62 1 -How can the IGF better attract policy-makers and high-level participants from Governments and other stakeholder groups to engage in IGF activities and annual meetings?

  1. 63 Leave a comment on paragraph 63 0
  2. Overall Stakeholder Engagement

64 Leave a comment on paragraph 64 1 It was emphasized that both physical and virtual participation are important and should be regarded as necessary and complementary types of “engagement”. Several categories of stakeholders to be reached were mentioned, including different sectors – both from industry, government (e.g. parliamentarians, law enforcement agencies, different Ministries, etc.) and civil society groups. Developing countries were also mentioned as a specific category to take into consideration. High-level participants (VIPs) are needed to give visibility while expert participants enhance the quality of discussions. Proper consideration has to be given in finding the right mix of knowledge, commitment, influence, representation and communication. Cross-sector interactions should be encouraged.

65 Leave a comment on paragraph 65 2 Some felt that participation from stakeholders is not as balanced as it needs to be. In this regard an analysis of who is engaging with the IGF might reveal interesting elements and help prioritise on key missing stakeholders. It was suggested that NRIs could play an important role in this context, although it was noted by some that not all NRIs have the same degree of maturity.

66 Leave a comment on paragraph 66 0 There was general convergence that the following principles could be applied:

67 Leave a comment on paragraph 67 0 – Relevance:

68 Leave a comment on paragraph 68 0 Many expressed that relevance helps to focus attention and create demand from stakeholders. Some practical suggestions include to make more explicit the “value proposition” or “return on investment” for the different stakeholders. Positive incentives should be highlighted. Some felt that the IGF does not need to cover “all” issues and that discussions could happen when needed. A 2-3 year work plan identifying a roadmap with more concrete outputs at the end might help in bringing in new stakeholders.

69 Leave a comment on paragraph 69 1 What specific types of new stakeholders need to be brought into IGF processes?

70 Leave a comment on paragraph 70 0 This should still allow for enough flexibility to adapt it to new and emerging situations. Such a process would need to be communicated clearly and widely. A communication strategy needs to be combined with a stakeholder outreach strategy. Predictability in the process is required. Some participants mentioned that a possible lightweight structure could be defined along the SDGs.

71 Leave a comment on paragraph 71 1 – Accessibility:

72 Leave a comment on paragraph 72 1 It was said that information about the IGF, its processes and its discussions could be made more accessible and understandable. Some feel that there are currently high-entry barriers for newcomers. Possible improvements include: capacity-building at NRI level; specific workshops/webinars; involvement of Internet governance schools and programmes; enhance the IGF Secretariat’s general communications and outreach capacities; improve the website and make full use of different online tools.

73 Leave a comment on paragraph 73 0 – Sustainability:

74 Leave a comment on paragraph 74 0 Many felt that efforts to engage new stakeholders (and keep the ones that are already there) need to be sustained and nurtured. Adequate resources need to be allocated to outreach and engagement efforts. The work done in one year should not disappear in the next one; a plurennial programme of activities could help in this regard. Some felt that while the “spontaneity” of the IGF engagement processes has worked well, time might have arrived for the IGF to address the issue of engagement in a more results-oriented, structured and focused way.

  1. 75 Leave a comment on paragraph 75 0
  2. Roles of the IGF in Internet governance capacity development
  • 76 Leave a comment on paragraph 76 0
  • It was recalled that the MAG has a mandate for capacity building and that efforts towards building an IGF programme which provides capacity building opportunities should increase.
  • 77 Leave a comment on paragraph 77 2
  • Similarly it was noted that the programme of the annual IGF itself provides technically expert workshops and orientation and newcomer sessions. In line with the “train the trainer” approach, those who have benefitted from these sessions have gone on to take this knowledge back to their countries at the local level (for instance by providing workshops at home, e.g. on IPv6). Travel funding support to attend the annual meeting and MAG meetings is given to some eligible participants from developing countries, funding permitted. In doing so, it was suggested, IGF plays a “knowledge transfer” role and of dissemination of “best practices”. Observatories, summer schools and network review centres that have emerged as a result of being inspired, guided or directly influenced by the IGF, – were cited as good examples of the IGF building capacity. Also it was noted the NRIs provide concrete capacity building opportunities at the regional, country and local level. They were said to organize capacity building efforts for themselves and as IGF-associated entities, attract funding independently.
  • 78 Leave a comment on paragraph 78 0
  • BPFs, workshops and other existing IGF mechanisms could be used as a  vehicle for providing toolkits and resources for the people who come to the IGF.
  • 79 Leave a comment on paragraph 79 0
  • It was suggested to use the know-how from the BPF, DC and other intersessional activities to produce tools that can be reproduced and used, for instance through building partnerships with governments and with regional groups using the NRIs, and the global IGF.
  • 80 Leave a comment on paragraph 80 1
  • A proposal was made that Day Zero of the IGF annual meeting be dedicated to capacity building. Drawing on recommendations, a structured track on capacity building could also be adopted.

81 Leave a comment on paragraph 81 1 What other forms of capacity building could be enhanced or introduced at IGF annual meetings and/or intersessionally?

  • 82 Leave a comment on paragraph 82 1
  • Some suggested that more capacity development efforts should be addressed at meeting governments’ needs. It was noted that currently there are no IGF-based dedicated capacity development initiatives for governments. Their potential should be explored with proposals adapted to the local environment, to ensure continuity over time and to make needs and ideas are locally conceived.
  • 83 Leave a comment on paragraph 83 0
  • ‘Disruptive’ thinking was suggested to get the IGF out of its comfort zone and to encourage a more a proactive approach to capacity development, which has not been the most visible aspect of the IGF’s activities.
  1. 85 Leave a comment on paragraph 85 0
  2. Addressing Gaps
  • 86 Leave a comment on paragraph 86 1
  • It was said that there are some “academic” gaps in the IGF’s coverage – the IGF’s work could be supplemented with some conceptualization of Internet governance work. It is a new field of study and research. For instance there is not a common inventory of what IG is even within the IGF, and there is a lack of structured curricula for IG, but IGF could support officially the work done by specialized initiatives in order to better develop these skills and competences. A gap in the documentation of the IGF, which could be better structured, was also noted, suggesting that IGF should document all its activities and make this information more accessible.
  • 87 Leave a comment on paragraph 87 0
  • It was also suggested that relationships and partnerships with other institutions who are involved in capacity building, or in playing information clearing house roles, be emphasized as a means of increasing resources and impacts.

88 Leave a comment on paragraph 88 0 What more could be done?

  • 89 Leave a comment on paragraph 89 0
  • It was pointed out that cross-fertilization often happens inadvertently. However, the current impact and influence at the local level is more incidental. A proposal for having a more structured approach was suggested.
  • 90 Leave a comment on paragraph 90 0
  • One of the gaps identified was the lack of certain users not coming to the IGF, such as those in health and education, because their fields were not specific enough to Internet governance, as cybersecurity and cyberterrorism are seen to be. It was said that these areas are where there are not enough capacity building activities and where specific action could make IGF more useful to the community and produce a lot of benefit.
  • 91 Leave a comment on paragraph 91 1
  • Another gap mentioned was the lack of available information on how stakeholders could start a national IGF. It was noted this is not evident for those in developing countries, so there would be a need for more  “structural capacity” as part of a larger capacity gap in finding workable solutions at national and local levels.

92 Leave a comment on paragraph 92 0 What additional users/communities could benefit by engaging with the IGF and vice versa?

  1. 93 Leave a comment on paragraph 93 0
  2. Resources and Partnerships
  • 94 Leave a comment on paragraph 94 0
  • It was noted as important to make sure IGF content is rich and diverse enough and to keep it the best place for people to stay informed on IG matters.
  • 95 Leave a comment on paragraph 95 0
  • It was cited as important to keep in view the audience for capacity building efforts and that there should be a variety of topics to offer, ensuring they are relevant for regional and local needs and sustainable in the longer term.
  • 96 Leave a comment on paragraph 96 0
  • Suggestions included making it clear that IG was a central issue for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The link between Internet governance and development was noted as needing to be made clearer for IGF capacity building efforts to be valued, properly understood and funded. The legitimacy of the IGF – as a UN-supported entity – also needs to be leveraged to these ends, it was said.

98 Leave a comment on paragraph 98 0 What organizations/institutions would be valuable?

  • 100 Leave a comment on paragraph 100 0
  • Recommendations 47 and 48 of the group for the improvement of the IGF were cited in this context, taking into account that the IGF is no longer seen as only an annual event.
  • 101 Leave a comment on paragraph 101 0
  • Some called for additional incentives for cooperation and leveraging off of what is being done in this field. Also suggesting that the legitimacy gained by IGF be used to obtain support from IGOs and develop partnerships with those interested in capacity development.
  • 104 Leave a comment on paragraph 104 1
  • It was suggested the IGF eventually try to gather donors and become a specialized centre of expertise in a matchmaking session, for instance on topics such as cybercrime. In doing so, it was said that this could bring a lot more attention to the IGF itself and would be beneficial on both sides.
  • 105 Leave a comment on paragraph 105 0
  • It was suggested to increase the firm establishment of partnerships with regional organizations, academic institutions and Internet governance “think tanks” . This process would need to be formalized and more structured and incentives for cooperation would need to be provided. Support was expressed for these existing specialized bodies to give visibility in the global IGF programme and creating open educational resources out of the IGF (MOOCS and similar) making them available free to use for individual use and for a fee for commercial re-use.
  • 106 Leave a comment on paragraph 106 1
  • There was a need expressed for more participation of UN agencies, particularly development agencies (like UNCTAD), and regional commissions (UNESCAP, ESCWA etc.) in the IGF’s meetings and processes, while encouraging partnerships. A similar call was made regarding  development banks (not just the World Bank and regional development banks), which were said to have been under-engaged or hardly engaged in the IGF.
  • 107 Leave a comment on paragraph 107 0
  • Relationships among stakeholder communities were cited as important for assuring success in capacity building, in particular when it comes to exploiting “network effects”.

109 Leave a comment on paragraph 109 1     IV.     Funding

110 Leave a comment on paragraph 110 1 -What modalities should be put in place to ensure sustained funding to support the IGF process and the IGF Secretariat?

  • 111 Leave a comment on paragraph 111 0
  • One participant suggested that to ensure the sustainability of the funding for annual meetings, the Secretariat should make increased efforts to line up host countries as far in advance as possible, especially in light of the new ten-year mandate.
  • 112 Leave a comment on paragraph 112 0
  • It was generally agreed that the current funding model should be continued but with renewed and strengthened efforts to increase voluntary contributions. This includes the option to explore ways to accept small contributions beyond the usual bilateral agreements, and recognition of donors wherever possible. The Internet Governance Forum Support Association (IGFSA) was mentioned in this context and it was noted that the UN is currently clarifying whether contributions to the IGFSA could be channelled into the IGF Trust Fund. It was noted that dedicated human resources and capacity could be devoted to stepping up these funding efforts.
  • 113 Leave a comment on paragraph 113 1
  • Funding and delivery were noted as problematic. Funding was cited as one of the major issues in preventing many individual from participating, as well as for the programme to be more complete and inclusive. On this note, it was noted the necessity of  finding other alternatives to increase funding.
  • 114 Leave a comment on paragraph 114 0
  • Some participants felt that rather than requesting the central UN Secretariat Trust Fund to support other activities such as the NRIs, that “working from the edges” and collaborating with UNDP, which has impressive local-level connections in countries across the world, could be a viable solution for cost-sharing and capacity building at the local levels.
  • 115 Leave a comment on paragraph 115 0
  • Some participants emphasized that there needs to be a systematic approach with a clear strategy and supporting activities for fundraising. Capturing, documenting and messaging could be the first steps.
  • 117 Leave a comment on paragraph 117 0
  • Should the IGF adopt multi-year programme or streams on topical issues, it could enable donors to support IGF with explicit aims and longer term orientation.
  • 118 Leave a comment on paragraph 118 0
  • There could be some efforts to position IGF funding alongside with stakeholders’ requirements and priorities, e.g. with the sustainable development agenda.
  • 119 Leave a comment on paragraph 119 0
  • Greater transparency and better reporting vis à vis the Trust Fund should also be considered. It was noted that closed donors’ meetings have led to insufficient awareness of the IGF’s financial needs.
  • 120 Leave a comment on paragraph 120 0
  • It was remarked that it would be an opportune moment at the start of this 10-year mandate of IGF to reach out to potential senior officials including Secretaries-General of international organisations to raise the general profile of the IGF.

121 Leave a comment on paragraph 121 1     V.     Ways to better capture and shape the outputs of the IGF, including outputs of IGF community intersessional activitivies, and increasing their visibility and impact

122 Leave a comment on paragraph 122 0 What are the ways we can better capture and shape the outputs of the IGF and increase their visibility and impact?

123 Leave a comment on paragraph 123 0 -How can the IGF website be better used to capture and promote IGF outputs and reports, etc.?

124 Leave a comment on paragraph 124 0 -What measures can be taken by the UN Secretariat, the MAG, and the broader IGF community to better disseminate IGF outputs to other relevant fora?

  • 125 Leave a comment on paragraph 125 1
  • The general remark was made that in order to improve the IGF’s outputs, it should be determined first what the purpose or purposes and “target audiences” of these documents are and what types of documents would be most useful to the different user groups and their specific needs.
  • 126 Leave a comment on paragraph 126 0
  • While narrative reports are good – and it was noted by several participants that these continue to be appreciated by those who cannot attend the IGF in person – papers with clearly stated issues that constitute more of a quick snapshot (or a “cheat sheet”) would be more useful.
  • 127 Leave a comment on paragraph 127 0
  • Data mining, search tools, multimedia (photos, videos), multilingualism and taxonomy (tagging) are all elements that should be incorporated into the IGF website to enhance the accessibility, readability and attractiveness of the IGF’s documents.
  • 128 Leave a comment on paragraph 128 0
  • Recommendations 12, 13, 14 of the CSTD working group on IGF improvements were also recalled and cited. In this context it was suggested IGF documents map out converging and diverging issues. There should also be some indication for each output of who the interested stakeholders are. Also in line with the recommendations, a baseline should be applied to make improvements properly, and a survey should be taken of existing documents.
  • Some suggested that social media and website analytics could also be used to measure how much the documents are used, their viewership, what users are looking for from them. In general user metrics of IGF outputs would be useful.
  • 129 Leave a comment on paragraph 129 0
  • It was said that documents should be produced not just for existing IGF participants but potential ones. They should be as readable as possible for capacity-building purposes and engaging the unengaged.
  • 130 Leave a comment on paragraph 130 0
  • It was stressed by some participants that there should be more of an effort made – not just by the IGF Secretariat or the MAG, but by engaged IGF community members and stakeholders wherever possible – to carry IGF outputs into other international and intergovernmental fora.
  • 131 Leave a comment on paragraph 131 1
  • Given that the resources of the IGF secretariat are limited, it was proposed the IGF work on forming partnerships to address various aspects of improving outputs (e.g. with the Friends of IGF website to adapt some of their archiving and presentation of materials; Diplo/Geneva Internet Platform, which produces briefs on many IGF meetings and events that help people finding their way through the vast amount of sessions and documentation). Similarly, the point was raised by many that better document platforms be used to support the work of NRIs, BPFs and DCs.
  • 132 Leave a comment on paragraph 132 1
  • In order to translate the outcomes of the discussions into other languages than English and to spread them in all regions of the world, partnerships could be sought e.g. with UN specialized agencies that have translation and outreach resources and/or with private sector actors that may offer software tools e.g. for automated translation or other supporting services.
  • 133 Leave a comment on paragraph 133 1
  • Many emphasized that outputs are critical for attracting funding. It was suggested that they should be concrete, identify trends within the IGF, and give a forecast or sense of where the IGF is going.
  • 134 Leave a comment on paragraph 134 0
  • Applying a rating/review system for sessions was proposed; this could generate inputs for session reports. To address the issue of multilingualism crowd-sourcing could be used for translation of IGF documents, perhaps even engaging the NRIs and the Friends of IGF collaborators.
  • 135 Leave a comment on paragraph 135 0
  • It was mentioned by many that it would be worthwhile to include photos and other visual elements in at least some of the outputs. A suggestion was also made to include reports that capture success stories, as a specific addition to the IGF’s published material.
  • 136 Leave a comment on paragraph 136 0
  • It was said that there should be a certain degree of increased formal communication before and after the IGF annual meeting in order to ensure the level of representation/commitment to engage IGOs, the private sector and others at the highest levels.
  • 137 Leave a comment on paragraph 137 0
  • Other approaches, such as hackathons taking place during the IGF event, could be used to see what interested parties could do with the IGF datasets – such activities have yielded innovative tools and approaches in similar circumstances.

138 Leave a comment on paragraph 138 0 Other observations

  • 139 Leave a comment on paragraph 139 0
  • More clarity in defining the scope of the role of the MAG and the Secretariat in the production of outputs was called for by some participants. The information should be made publicly available.
  • 140 Leave a comment on paragraph 140 0
  • There are many valuable raw materials coming out of the IGF. It was said that UNESCO, for instance, uses the IGF’s outputs for various purposes. Outputs by BPFs and DCs were also described as generally well-written and results-oriented. The IGF’s Chair’s Summary is also a document that has been a consistent and immediate output of every annual IGF. One participant remarked that often issues covered in IGF outputs are ahead of the curve. It should be remembered that a document produced within the IGF context confers a sense of legitimacy.
  • 141 Leave a comment on paragraph 141 0
  • Participants from the private sector, IFLA and UNESCO would be ready to support any needed improvements to the outputs (concerning multilingualism, taxonomy, document management), in particular where the IGF website is involved.
  • 142 Leave a comment on paragraph 142 0
  • The session produced a number of ideas about how to improve communication and reporting of the outcomes and the value added of IGF debates. In order for this to be implemented and to have an actual effect, it will be of key importance that responsibilities are clearly defined and that persons and/or organizations are identified that will actually lead the various efforts to further develop communication and the different types of outcome and reporting documents.

143 Leave a comment on paragraph 143 0     VI.     Intersessional Work (NRIs, DCs, BPFs, etc.)

144 Leave a comment on paragraph 144 1 -How can the IGF better support the work of NRIs, DCs, BPFs and other intersessional groups?

145 Leave a comment on paragraph 145 0 It was stated that the IGF has evolved over the years and is now seen by many as much more than an annual forum. Increasingly, it is seen not just as an event which takes place once a year, but as an ecosystem including national and regional IGFs, intersessional work, best practice fora, dynamic coalitions and other activities.  This ecosystem offers a wider range of ways to engage stakeholders, including under-represented stakeholders, through which its role and impact could grow. It was also said that at the same time, the organizational modalities sometimes do not fully recognize this, resulting in some operational complexities and role confusion in the IGF community, IGF secretariat, MAG, and UNDESA.

  • 146 Leave a comment on paragraph 146 0
  • It was suggested that an enhanced strategic multi-year action plan could be developed, outlining resource implications and objectives of intersessional work activities.
  • 148 Leave a comment on paragraph 148 0
  • The work plans of the IGF intersessional activities should be reviewed and improved accordingly. Improvements or new modalities for any intersessional work should in turn be transparent, following the multistakeholder, open and inclusive process of the IGF.
  1. 149 Leave a comment on paragraph 149 0
  2. National and Regional IGF Initiatives (NRIs)

150 Leave a comment on paragraph 150 0 Alignment to the IGF and global agenda related to Internet governance

  • 151 Leave a comment on paragraph 151 0
  • It was suggested that there could be a clear and close alignment of the NRIs to the global IGF and the Tunis Agenda. At the same time, governments could consider utilizing or leveraging on the work of the NRIs to implement outcomes of the WSIS Action Lines.
  • 152 Leave a comment on paragraph 152 2
  • Some suggested that the NRIs should stay independent and unique, as they are organic in their creation, while others suggested incorporating the NRIs more tightly into the overall IGF work processes. One concern was raised that NRIs do not have mandates provided for in the Tunis Agenda, and another concern questioned what closer affiliation with the global IGF would mean. Some noted NRIs are diverse, complex, autonomous and bottom-up, and should remain independent from the IGF. There was a general reticence to imposing any strict control over them. At the same time, engagement with NRIs who wish to be more closely involved in the IGF’s work should be strengthened.

153 Leave a comment on paragraph 153 0 Visibility and Access to Information

  • 154 Leave a comment on paragraph 154 0
  • It was suggested that the IGF website and NRIs mailing list could be improved to help with information exchange. Other tools such as social media could also be used as collaborative platforms between the IGF and the NRIs.
  • 156 Leave a comment on paragraph 156 0
  • Where resources are available, any content on the IGF website could be available in multiple languages (i.e. 6 UN official languages) for content to be accessible to non-English users.
  • 157 Leave a comment on paragraph 157 0
  • In addition to increased communication efforts with the NRIs, some suggested that a collaborative and bilateral relationship might be initiated, where the global IGF could reach out to the NRIs more systematically and with established guidelines. Tighter, more specific guidelines could be developed for the establishment of NRIs. This perspective shared that NRIs could be more functionally involved in the IGF work. On this note, it was called for NRIs to further integrate their work into the IGF annual programme, in alignment with its themes.
  • 158 Leave a comment on paragraph 158 0
  • It was suggested that a stronger connection between the global IGF and the NRIs could also be created through capacity building activities. In this suggestion, one of the work streams of the IGF Secretariat could be in these capacity development efforts and within the MAG, there could be dedicated working groups for this. It was noted the NRIs may also need more financial support.
  • 159 Leave a comment on paragraph 159 0
  • It was suggested there could be a more systematic and analytical approach toward the engagement of the work of the NRIs. For instance, it would be a useful exercise to evaluate the extent of the multistakeholder process within each of the initiatives.
  1. 160 Leave a comment on paragraph 160 0
  2. Dynamic Coalitions (DCs)
  • 161 Leave a comment on paragraph 161 0
  • It was noted that a more specific charter with terms for establishing the DCs, with clearly defined objectives and measures of achievement could be developed.
  • 162 Leave a comment on paragraph 162 0
  • It was noted that the DCs had agreed to abide to some basic principles, such as open mailing lists, open archives and open membership. In response to a request made at the IGF open consultations in April 2016, they also agreed to include dissenting opinions in their reports. It was suggested  that this was a first step in the right direction towards developing a more specific charter with clearly defined objectives and measures of achievement.
  • 163 Leave a comment on paragraph 163 0
  • The DCs could be better recognized and utilized as a strategic tool for reaching stakeholders who are not currently participating in other IGF processes (e.g. business users such as banks and other unengaged communities).
  • As there are different peak periods for DCs, their dynamic work programme could be supported dynamically.
  • 164 Leave a comment on paragraph 164 0
  • Some felt that closer monitoring and evaluation of the DC’s could be done on a needs basis, taking into account their adherence to the guidelines for establishing a DC and the principles as spelled out in DC’s own terms of reference. They could be more actively disbanded when they become inactive (i.e. dynamic versus “static” coalitions).
  • 165 Leave a comment on paragraph 165 0
  • It was noted that the DCs serve a purpose for people of like-minded views to gather. For them to be integrated into the IGF, and especially, to present as a main session, it was noted that their process needs to comply with the basic principles of the IGF: multistakeholder, inclusive, transparent discussion and reports that reflect the viewpoints of all stakeholders.
  • 166 Leave a comment on paragraph 166 0
  • It was suggested, albeit without consensus, that the Dynamic Coalitions’ requests to hold individual sessions at the annual IGF meetings be subject to a review process similar to workshop proposals. Currently these are granted automatically provided that the DC has filed an annual activities report.
  • 168 Leave a comment on paragraph 168 1
  • There is a need to strengthen the work of the Dynamic Coalitions for the purposes of producing consistent outputs. DCs’ work could be periodically reviewed by the MAG and supported by the IGF Secretariat.
  1. 169 Leave a comment on paragraph 169 0
  2. Best Practice Forums (BPFs)
  • 170 Leave a comment on paragraph 170 0
  • It was suggested that some form of liaison could be set up between the BPFs working groups and the MAG. It is also suggested that BPFs work groups could submit their annual work reports for review by the MAG supported by the Secretariat.
  • 171 Leave a comment on paragraph 171 0
  • Some suggested that BPFs could better reflect the multi-year thematic focus areas of the IGF (should there be one). This could be a more effective way in determining resource implications and end objectives. It was also recommended to continue the practice of  having a neutral third party to support the logistics and writing components of the BPF work.

173 Leave a comment on paragraph 173 0      VII.      Ideas to support, collaborate and enhance communications and cooperation between other Internet Governance related entities and the IGF and leverage the synergies with the IGF.

174 Leave a comment on paragraph 174 0 -How can the IGF better support, complement and feed into other Internet Governance related entities, and vice versa?

  1. 175 Leave a comment on paragraph 175 0
  2. Who to Engage
  • 176 Leave a comment on paragraph 176 0
  • It was suggested there could be more effective and targeted outreach efforts to increase engagement with Governments, given their roles to champion some processes of Internet governance.
  • 177 Leave a comment on paragraph 177 0
  • While it was noted that IGF engagement with many relevant IG related entities and organizations from the Private Sector, Technical Community and Civil Society were considered to be positive, there was agreement that such engagement should be broadened and strengthened.
  • 178 Leave a comment on paragraph 178 0
  • A proposal was made to strengthen the relationship with the UN’s Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) including the Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Forum.
  • 179 Leave a comment on paragraph 179 0
  • The IGF could engage more effectively with those organisations that have roles in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. There could be an alignment of implementation timelines through 2025.
  • 180 Leave a comment on paragraph 180 0
  • The UN Development Programme (UNDP) could bring IGF issues to the local authorities including those that are in post-conflict situations. It is important to understand how the Internet can play a critical role in the rebuilding process of countries in post-conflict situations.
  • 181 Leave a comment on paragraph 181 0
  • It was noted that for some specific subject matters, that the IGF could engage organizations that have clear leads on specific issues (e.g. with the World Trade Organisation on IG related issues in trade)) or robust activities on specific issues (e.g. with IETF, APWG, ISOC, etc.).
  • 182 Leave a comment on paragraph 182 0
  • It was suggested that a stronger relationship be sought with decision-making processes in the UN General Assembly, notably the First, Second and Third Committees on issues relating to security, development and human rights respectively, including primarily by sharing more information about the IGF (i.e. how to engage throughout the year in IGF processes and sharing output products).
  • 183 Leave a comment on paragraph 183 0
  • It was noted that some UN regional commissions have good involvement with the IGF and this should continue. Links with institutions such as the Council of Europe, European Commission, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), among many other similar organizations, should continue and be further strengthened.
  • 185 Leave a comment on paragraph 185 0
  • It was suggested that stronger links and partnerships should be sought out with non-governmental organizations that have specific SDGs-related projects.
  1. 186 Leave a comment on paragraph 186 0
  2. How to Engage
  • 187 Leave a comment on paragraph 187 0
  • It was suggested that a Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, if appointed by the Secretary-General, could engage missing actors at the senior level, including Governments.
  • 188 Leave a comment on paragraph 188 0
  • Some noted that there should be increased outreach to both the Secretariat’s and/or member states of intergovernmental and major international organizations working on issues related to IG.
  • 189 Leave a comment on paragraph 189 0
  • Relations with Governments and organizations should be a shared responsibility of the UN Secretariat, MAG Chair and Co-Chairs (if appointed), and/or Special advisor to the SG on Internet Governance (if appointed). Special attention should be paid to entities that do not have current representation in the MAG.
  • 191 Leave a comment on paragraph 191 0
  • There was a suggestion that the MAG could increase its outreach efforts to other relevant IG entities. If a multi-year work programme were developed (i.e. annual or 3-year/5-year programme with specific themes), there could be an opportunity to strengthen and promote the sustainability of relations with other organizations.
  • 192 Leave a comment on paragraph 192 0
  • It was proposed that better communication packages, capturing and presenting the outcomes of the IGF could be shared with various organizations at opportune occasions, so that representatives can duly inform their stakeholders and communities.
  • 193 Leave a comment on paragraph 193 0
  • There should be better outreach efforts during the annual IGF meetings. The IGF is an opportunity for participants to get to know one another and to bring back valuable experiences and outputs to their respective organizations.
  • 194 Leave a comment on paragraph 194 0
  • It was noted that the CSTD mapping chart captured a large number of organizations that are doing work on any number of IG-related issues that could engender some kind of linkage, including intergovernmental and non-governmental, global, regional, etc. Some said that the IGF could utilize this chart in their outreach and communications efforts.
  • 195 Leave a comment on paragraph 195 0
  • Some participants stated that given both the relevance and possible vulnerability of the IGF, it was noted that its work should be ‘future proof’. Some said that this is not simply a matter of resourcing, but also of ensuring that its institutional structures and capacities are able to respond to changing contexts for Internet and Internet governance.
  • 196 Leave a comment on paragraph 196 0
  • The IGF’s innovative and unconventional multistakeholder structure and culture, compared with other UN processes, was generally felt to be one of its strengths. However, some said that also made it more difficult to integrate it with other UN processes.  And the same is true with respect to integrating the IGF and its institutional arrangements comfortably into expectations of multistakeholder processes.  One of the challenges therefore is how to reconcile its bottom-up approach and stakeholder expectations with other multilateral processes within the UN system.

197 Leave a comment on paragraph 197 0 Suggestion for how to reconcile its bottom-up approach and stakeholder expectations with other multilateral processes within the UN system?

198 Leave a comment on paragraph 198 0   VIII.      Taking stock: ensuring the continuity and relevance of the IGF

199 Leave a comment on paragraph 199 0 It was noted that renewed attention could help in accelerating implementation of the recommendations of the CSTD Working Group on Improvements to the IGF which reported in 2012. Some stressed that to do so effectively would require development of an implementation plan for some of the recommendations, with clear targets established for achievement of recommendations, linked where necessary to fundraising or identify support required from existing resources.  This implementation plan, it was suggested, should be capable of adapting to changes in the IGF environment, moving out of  ‘comfort zones’ which may cease to be relevant as the environment evolves.  A similar approach could be appropriate for capacity-building.

200 Leave a comment on paragraph 200 0 It was suggested that additional resources would have to be mobilized in order to allow the IGF to further deliver on its mandate.  In particular, many felt that resourcing for the secretariat would need to be enhanced if it were to undertake additional responsibilities to analyse current or emerging issues, reach out to underrepresented stakeholders and international entities and un-engaged countries that are concerned with related policy areas, and develop future thinking. It was noted that UNDESA is in the process of strengthening its support to the IGF, and many participants suggested additional possibilities for increasing support from the community.

201 Leave a comment on paragraph 201 0 The ideas and suggestions from the retreat were felt to have been valuable, in beginning to frame what could be done to address many challenges, including through augmenting available resources and capacities, better planning for and preparing meetings, adapting institutional frameworks and rallying various stakeholders.  The scope and scale of the challenges identified should not be underestimated, and some participants felt that the retreat could have identified even bolder actions.  At the same time, participants felt that there was much that could be done through collective efforts, and that significant advancements could be achieved relatively quickly.

202 Leave a comment on paragraph 202 4 What additional suggestions would you like to see considered?

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Source: https://www.intgovforum.org/review/igf-retreat-proceedings-ideas-and-suggestions/?replytopara=91