IGF 2018 Workshop Review Process and Criteria


Stage 1: Initial Screening by IGF Secretariat                             

Why:    To remove any proposals that do not satisfy minimum criteria

Who:    IGF Secretariat

When:  Completed within 6 days after proposal deadline

All proposals must meet the minimum criteria listed below. Proposals that do not objectively satisfy minimum criteria will be declined.

  • MAG members may not themselves submit workshop proposals, but their institutions may do so;
  • The subject matter of the workshop proposal must be of direct relevance to Internet Governance
  • Proposal must be complete and ready for consideration, with all fields of the proposal submission form completed;
  • Every proposed session should have at least 3 provisionally confirmed speakers. A provisionally confirmed speaker is defined as “a speaker who has been contacted, and expressed interest and intent to participate”. The Secretariat and MAG understand that at the early proposal stage, it is difficult for most speakers to confirm their attendance at the IGF and participation in a given workshop. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure proposers are in contact with the speakers they include and have some preliminary consent from the speakers to list them in their proposal;
  • Proposers who held a workshop at previous IGFs were required to have submitted a workshop report after the meeting. The proposer must provide a link to this workshop report in their new proposal for IGF 2018. Proposals submitted by those who held workshops in the 2016 or 2017 IGFs, but who failed to file a workshop report afterwards, will be declined;

There will be an assessment of how many sessions a speaker is listed on after the final selection is made. In order to encourage the inclusion of a greater number of speakers at the IGF, any given speaker will only be featured in a maximum of 3 sessions. If a speaker appears on more than 3 accepted sessions, the Secretariat will ask them to choose 3 and relinquish their speaking roles in any others. It is therefore recommended that workshop proposers ask their speakers if they are speaking in other workshops, and if so, how many, at the time they invite speakers and seek confirmations.

MAG members will have the opportunity to review and discuss declined proposals.

The initial screening will be completed by: 12 June 2018, 6 days following the close of the Call for Proposals.


Stage 2: MAG Evaluation

Why:    To select a subset of the proposals according to the number of session slots available during the IGF event, the finalization of which will take place during an in-person MAG meeting

Who:    Individual MAG members

When:  Completed by 27 June 2018, Synthesis/analysis document prepared by Secretariat and Preliminary Thematic Track Formation done by 4 July 2018

Following the initial screening, the IGF Secretariat will circulate the workshop proposals to MAG members for individual evaluation, according to their indicated subthemes or themes. Each proposal will be evaluated by a group of MAG members focused on a theme or set of subthemes, with members in the group representing different stakeholder communities. The MAG’s workshop evaluation process should be: fair, transparent, inclusive, practical, and efficient.

In evaluating workshop proposals, each MAG member will grade the proposal on the following criteria, giving each criterion a score from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest):

  1. Relevance: Does the proposal respond to a concise policy question, in line with the recommendations in the outcome document of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD)'s Working Group on IGF Improvements (paras 1, 16, 17, 53)? Is it clearly spelled out? Is the proposal building on previous IGF sessions or other work to advance the issue? Resource links or background papers on the prior work are strongly encouraged, but not a screening requirement.
  2. Content: Is the proposal well thought-out and does it cover enough aspects of the issue(s) of interest? Are the main Internet governance theme and subtheme clearly spelled out? Background papers with the aim of informing the content are strongly encouraged, but not a screening requirement.
  3. Workshop Organizing Team and Speaker Diversity: Are the organizers first-timers? Do they come from a developing country or under-represented region? Is the list of organizers diverse (in terms of gender, geography, stakeholder group, policy perspective, and/or persons with disabilities)? Is the list of speakers diverse enough (in terms of gender, geography, stakeholder group, policy perspective, and/or persons with disabilities)? Are the speakers qualified to tackle the topic? Are there speakers from developing countries?
  4. Format: Is the session description consistent with the format listed (for example, if the format is Debate, then does the proposal describe how the debate will be set up, with timings, etc., indicated; are all sides of the issues represented)?

MAG members who do not have expertise in a particular field or who feel they may have a conflict of interest are not obliged to rate a proposal, which will then be re-routed to another member. If a MAG member rates a proposal 3 or below, he or she must provide a reason for doing so, as feedback for the workshop organizers whose workshops are declined. Organizer names will not be given to MAG members when evaluating (they will be anonymized), but indication will be provided if they are first-time proposers or from a developing country, as well as their respective genders, regional and stakeholder groups.

The overall average score from 1 to 5 should mean the following in terms of ranking the session:

  • 5: An excellent proposal.
  • 4: A good proposal overall, although could be enhanced.
  • 3: An average proposal.
  • 2: A weak proposal.
  • 1: Does not meet criteria.

Upon receiving the MAG member scoring, with a target date of 27 June 2018, the Secretariat will prepare a synthesis of the evaluation by 4 July 2018. Tentative thematic tracks for the schedule may also be formed by the MAG and Secretariat also by 4 July 2018, in preparation for the in-person meeting on 11-13 July 2018. The total score for each proposal will be the mean average of the grades received by MAG members. Proposals will be rank ordered and accepted according to available space.


Stage 3: MAG discussion, identification of merger candidates, and finalization

Why:    to determine the final programme

Who:    MAG members and IGF Secretariat

When:  MAG Meeting on 11-13 July 2018

Before and during the July meeting, MAG members will look at the results to ensure an overall balance of the topics within thematic tracks. It is possible that for certain proposals, which scored just below the threshold of space and availability, the MAG will discuss whether to ask the proposers to make improvements to overcome deficiencies. Proposers will then be contacted and asked to submit a revised proposal.

In some cases, the MAG will receive workshop proposals that propose the same issues, topics and format. Due to constraints in space, these similar workshops will be invited to collaborate and “merge” together. In this case, the workshop proposers will be contacted by the IGF Secretariat. In the event that the proposers decline to collaborate the workshop slot can be lost.

Following the merger process and other necessary arrangements, the IGF programme will then be finalized. 












Open call inviting workshop proposals

30 April-6 June

38 days


Secretariat groups MAG evaluators, then screens, organizes and sends proposals to MAG for evaluation

7-12 June

6 days


MAG workshop evaluation

13-27 June

14 days 


Secretariat synthesis and analysis of workshop results; possible thematic track formation

28 June-4 July

7 days


MAG review of results

5-10 July 6 days


MAG meets to select final workshops at Second Open Consultations and face-to-face Meeting

11-13 July

3 days