(No.68) Multi-stakeholder Internet Public Policy: Toolkit for internet public policy practitioners

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

Security, Openness and Privacy Q5; IG4D, Enabling Environment Thematic Cluster: Q2, Infrastructure Cluster: Q1

Concise Description of Workshop: 

At the “Multi-stakeholder Internet Public Policy Dialogue: Lessons Learned and Best Practice Examples of Local to Global Policy Making” organized by IISD at the Nairobi IGF, and involving a rich panel consisting of coordinators of the Canadian, UK, Brazilian/South American, East African, Togo National IGFs, and the UNDP, certain key messages emerged that recognized:
• the relationships between global and public spheres in policy making
• The importance of awareness raising, representation, partnership, auditing and tracking of the policy making process
• The need for evidence and consent in public policy
The outcome from this session, and other national and regional process that IISD has been involved with has helped to shape the production of a toolkit that is about supporting and building the capacity of stakeholder dialogue and engagement. The toolkit is a subset of what might constitute a much broader range of activities related to internet public policy development. Elements in this toolkit will be used to guide the discussion at this workshop which aims to:
• Build and support stakeholder dialogue and engagement, and of public consultation forums and the various processes for developing public policy as a shared responsibility.
Through a well moderated panel dialogue and broad open discussions, experts, practitioners and stakeholders will engage on the good practices and lessons learned at various national and regional public consultations forums and how the tools in the toolkit can be adopted and adapted for their own use.
The project specifically falls within the IGF theme of Internet Governance for Development because it equips local practitioners especially those in developing countries to better engage in global public policy spaces.
The workshop intends to address the “Internet Governance for Development” main theme question that explores the kinds of support needed to help communities, NGOs and businesses from the developing world to participate in the IG process. It also explores the security, openness and privacy question on policies and practices that can assist in making the internet and effective multistakeholder model for national and regional issues that developing countries can benefit. The discussion will be guided by other sub questions in each of the following thematic areas:
Internet Governance for Development Question:
• Enabling Environment Thematic Cluster: Question 2: What does it take in terms of IG policy, legal and regulatory approaches? What are the challenges to and opportunities for participation of stakeholders from developing countries with a special focus on increasing participation by youth and women participation in IG from Least Developed Countries?
• Infrastructure Cluster: Question 1:What are the key concerns regarding Internet infrastructure from developing countries' experiences and how can new technologies and the Global Internet Governance mechanisms address limitations, offer opportunities and enable development?
Security, Openness and Privacy Question:
• Question 5: What policies and practices that can assist in making the Internet an effective multistakeholder model to discuss national & regional issues and what best practices developing countries can benefit from.

Backgroung Paper: 
Organiser(s) Name: 

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Nominet

Submitted Workshop Panelists: 

• Alice Munyua, EAIGF
• Sheba Mohammid, Caribbean IGF
• Nnenna Nwakanma, WAIGF
• Heather Creech, IISD
• Martin Boyle, Nominet/UK IGF
• Towela Nyirenda, Southern African IGF

Name of Remote Moderator(s): 
Ben Akoh
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 mentioned briefly in the presentations and discussions
Please include any comments or recommendations you have on how to improve the inclusion of issues related to gender equality and: 

Participation by women stakeholders is important for their voice to be included. However, their participation must be encouraged through the provision of funds.
Secondly, women stakeholder participation should not be limited to women's organization that are technically oriented, but to those who ordinarily and traditionally would not be involved in internet policy dialogue but on whom such policies will affect regardless.

Report
Reported by: 
Ben Akoh
A brief substantive summary and the main issues that were raised: 
  • Debates on the Internet and its potential impact are beyond mere dialogue on critical internet resources, and mostly about public policy that govern their use and their impacts on wider society. Sustainable development as the theme of this year’s IGF bolsters this point.
  • Public policy should be all-inclusive; even those who for whatever reasons decide not to participate.
  • Therefore sustainable Internet public policy dialogue should take cognizance of future societies and contexts. The UNESCO session on global citizenship involving young persons aged 14 to 17 indicates a growing shift in global culture and perceptions of citizenship held by youths in relation to Internet Public Policy.
  • Subsidiarity principles should be recognized such as supports local policy impacts of global policy dialogue and vice versa. An outcome is the need for firm support of developing country participation.
  • Certain approaches or tools (some discussed in the toolkit written for the workshop) have been employed in various countries. The workshop elicited what worked and how they can be improved.
Conclusions and further comments: 
  • Public policy dialogue done right has resulted in increased policy making in areas in which ICTs may be perceived to have no direct influence such as in agriculture, health, and Education as has taken place in the Pacific region.
  • Public policy dialogue calls for a broader stakeholder participation through the use of various other tools of engagements. For instance, social media and mobile devices proves to be powerful media for engagement in policy dialogue in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the way that it increases access to Diaspora Liberians and those physically indisposed to traditional means of face to face engagement. Similarly, broadened participation makes it possible for Southern African stakeholders to engage in policy dialogue beyond the state to broader regional levels in the Southern African Development Corporation region. The UK parliament has increased access to other members of parliament in Scotland and Wales. 
  • The influences of public policy participation can be felt in how government and governance function are carried out. Such as the case of parliamentarians in the UK, Cote d’Ivoire, and Liberia where public policy dialogue has been able to influence laws and discussions on child pornography, budgeting, access to official government information, and transparency and accountability of government actions. 
  • While process is important, the elaboration of tools within a toolkit addresses the immediate concerns of the absence of a set of “how to” process tools that leads to effective public policy making allowing budding national or regional IGFs to focus more on the substantive elements of policy dialogue such as building awareness, raising and capturing policy concerns amongst a widespread of stakeholders, and mapping out possible policy options.
  • Standard IGF issues are not the only policy issues that are important and that brings together stakeholders using a multistakeholder paradigm. The case of "TV spaces" in South Africa for instance has resulted in multistakeholder dialogue that is not euro- or us- centric but focuses on purely African issues of concern.