(No.119) Defining the Successful Factors of Different Models for Youth Participation in Internet Governance

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Status: 
Accepted
Workshop Theme: 
Internet Governance for Development [IG4D]
Theme Question: 

Question 2 of IG4D (Cluster 2 “Enabling Environment”)

Concise Description of Workshop: 

With the introduction of various programs and approaches for Youth Participation in the past IGF workshops, now is the time to evaluate the effectiveness of them and how they have or have not be able to enlightened or created a youth Internet leader. In short, our proposed workshop aims to map out a set of common factors of the successful models from different region by real case sharing and discussion. To develop a guidebook from the collaborative ideas based on the experiences around the world is our ultimate goal. Our focus on the practical sustainability of youth participation sets us apart from other conventional youth engagement workshop.
 
Proposed Structure of the workshops:
The workshop will mainly be divided into 3 parts which features experience sharing, discussion and implementation plan.
 
1. Exploring the Impact on Youth themselves from their Participation
 
To set the start of the session, there will be experience sharing from various organizations. Representatives from those aforementioned youth programs introduced in IGF 2010 or other relevant entities will be invited to share their different models and format of activities for Youth Participation in IG, which includes:
- Training Camp (e.g. YIGF Camp in Asia, IG Summer Camp in Europe)
- Competition (e.g. NetY – Essay Competition)
- Ambassador Programs ( e.g. NetMission Ambassadors Program)
- International Conference Opportunities (e.g. APNG)
Through the case studies, we try to analyze the successful stories on the following aspects:
- Progress of the program/model
- Impact to the Youth Involved, any positive changes?
- Specific examples of youth with active contribution
- Sustainable development of the program/model
 
2. Looking for the Common Successful and Failing Factors
 
Following the experience sharing, the panel will be open for discussion which aims to find out the similarities and differences between the various programs and models. This helps to identify some common successful or failing factors for the future references. We will try to find out the answers to the following questions:
- Any common characteristics/backgrounds of the active youth?
- Any common elements of those programs?
- What are the key attractions/rationale for Youth to participate in IG?
- What are the key resources needed?
- Any common challenges faced by youth/organizations?
- What format/activities draw the most interest from youth?
 
3. Developing the Relevant Materials for Youth Participation
 
In order to enable more organizations around the world in facilitating youth participation, we hope to develop relevant materials or guidebook. Therefore we will moderate a discussion on how the valuable experiences and collaborative ideas deduced in the workshop be consolidated and shared with the public. We hope to generate suggestions on the implementation plan and inspire post-IGF follow-up work among the workshop participants themselves.

Organiser(s) Name: 

- NetMission Ambassadors, Asia (Youth Stakeholder Group)
- NetY Ambassadors, Asia (NGO)

Previous Workshop(s): 

If so, please provide the link(s) to the report(s):
http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/component/chronocontact/?chronoformname=W...

Submitted Workshop Panelists: 

Moderator:
Ms. Bianca Ho, NetMission Ambassador  (Confirmed)
Ms. Desiree Ho, NetMission Ambassador (Confirmed)
Panelists:
Paul Muchene, Returning IGF Ambassador, ISOC Fellowship Programme, US - Civil Society(Confirmed)
Emilar Gandhi, IGF Ambassador, ISOC Fellowship Programme, US - Civil Society(Confirmed)
Nabil Benamar,IGF Ambassador, ISOC Fellowship Programme, US - Civil Society(Confirmed)
Ms. Siranush Vardanyan, ICANN Fellowship Program Alumna, ICANN 2012 Nomination Committee member, Republic of Armenia (Remote - Confirmed)
Mr. Jack Passmore, Childnet International, UK (Confirmed)
Ms. Rebecca Cawthorne, Childnet International, UK (Confirmed)
Ms. Nicola Douglas, Childnet International, UK (Confirmed)
Mr. Matthew Jackman, Childnet International, UK (Confirmed)
Representatives, NetY Amabassadors, Asia (Confirmed)
Mr. William J. Drake, International Fellow & Lecturer of Media Change & Innovation Division, IPMZ, University of Zurich, Switzerland – Academic (Confirmed)
Mr. Edmon Chung, DotAsia Organisation, Asia (Confirmed)

Name of Remote Moderator(s): 
Ms. Yannis Li
Gender Report Card
Please estimate the overall number of women participants present at the session: 
The majority of participants were women
To what extent did the session discuss gender equality and/or women's empowerment?: 
It was not seen as related to the session theme and was not raised
Report
Reported by: 
Reporter
A brief substantive summary and the main issues that were raised: 

The panel tried to analyze youth participation from 2 different perspectives - both the organizers' and participants point of view. The floor were being actively engaged by putting up small cards with different smiley faces on to indicate whether they agree an argument or not. The panel consisted of a wide variety of youth delegates from different region and also who are with experience on youth engagement within or out of the Internet Governance field.  
During the discussion the below issues are being explored and discussed:
For Organizers:  
- How shall the format of the programmes look like?
- What sort of trainings shall be given to the participants?
- What are the critical resources needed?
- How to frame IG to young delegates?
- How to select the participants? 
- What are the possible channels for outreaching?
For Youth Participants:
- What are the incentives for joining?
- Why do they stay involved?
- Why do they drop out?
A sustainability issue also being raised about the extent of how the youth are being engaged and where they eventually goes to.
 

Conclusions and further comments: 

Consolidating the panels and the attendees opinion, below are some common factors or conclusion that we find prominent in youth engagement.
From Organizers
Format
Different format/programmes can help acheive different purpose of engagement. For example, a competition model would be effective in mass education and it is also a good way for selecting candidates, especially among the younger target group say like secondary students. However, an ambassadorship will create a higher level of participation of the youth by more in-depth training and empowerment. Youth-led approach is also more encouraged which gives higher flexibility to the youth for their open discussion.
Partnership
While youth may not be familiar on IG field at first, it is important to partner and collaborate with some reputable NGOs in doing outreach to students so that it enhances the overall attractiveness of the programme. Also by partnering with multi-sectors of organisations would help give the participants different perspectives. 
Resoures
Since engaging youth is a long process and not-an-easy task, it is critical to have a specific coordinator or full-time staff to communicate with the youth constantly and build up relationship with them.
Training
All of the youth and organizers all raised out the importance of prior preparations before letting the youth to attend actual UNIGF or International meetings. The youth or newbies are always confused or overwhelmed with the jargons and find it difficult. Therefore pre-meetings or buildling up a dictionaries for them would be essential. It is preferred to expose them to a wider scope of topics of IG instead of just going down to a specific theme to them which allows them to have a big picture. On the other hand, especially on younger groups, training on public speaking would also be needed. 
Outreach
Social media is a good way to engage the youth as it is where they go on a daily basis. On the other hand, a post-conference or programme sharing by the participants to their own community should be one of the requirement to them. 
From Participants
Below are an array of the incentives and factors that increase their motivation in participating on IG discussion:
- International opportunities is a very high incentive for young people to engage in IG. Ambassadors are subsidized to attend international meetings like ICANN, IGF or IETF, etc which gave them a good exposure. Young delegates also found the opportunities to speak in public is a rare and valuable experience to them.
- The way and the level of participation is another key issue which having a clear influence in the policy decision process would certainly be a motivator. Also one main difference of Internet industry is that the confereneces usually allow remote participation that enables youth to easily participate. 
- A peer network and the connections among people who share the same values provide a supporting drive for the youth to continue their engagement. They can know and find somebody that can collaborate and work with for future initiatives.
- A highly autonomous environment gives youth a higher sense of ownership on the stake. Also they like to really implement and contribute to the community that they are in. Therefore a higher flexibility and youth-led approach shall be adopted to give them a higher sense of ownership. 
Other issues being raised
Some other relevant issues being raised were the diversity of the youth engaged at the current status. Since most of the youth participants are recruited through schools, they are those who are relatively educated. Some attendees raised that it is important for us to really engage a more diverse background of youth from the public community e.g. those with criminal records, school drop-out kids or those from developing countries. Therefore the youth engagement should be regardless of background as long as the youth is interested in Internet.