Moving towards a developing agenda for Internet Governance

[Editor's note: Maxwell graduate student Sonia Arenaza joins us today as a guest IGP blogger. Sonia is working towards a degree in International Relations and Public Administration, with a concentration in International Development and Information Technology for Development. After graduating from the Entrepreneurship Development Institute in India, the Business School of the Peruvian Pacific University, and from the Systems Engineering School of the Peruvian National Engineering University, Sonia worked as a Strategic Planning Manager at the General Secretariat of the Andean Community, from 2004 to 2006; and as an Information Technology Project Leader at ACCION International where she worked in the microfinance fields for developing countries, from 2002 to 2004. In addition she worked as a microfinance and information technology professor in Peruvian and Bolivian universities. She speaks Spanish, English and French.]

The Second IGF meeting held in Rio raised, in one of its workshops on last November 13th, a latent and to-date crucial issue, a Development Agenda for Internet Governance.

Panelists and participants discussed about the importance of considering a development perspective into internet governance mechanisms, institutions, principles and initiatives; and also offered a brainstorming of possible approaching ways. Some of those ideas were to follow a top-down approach considering what some international organizations like the World Intellectual Property Organization and World Trade Organization have done, that is taking development as part of their objectives and decision making processes; to move towards a national consolidated coordination lead by actors of the society; to analyze the impact on development some controversial issues of internet governance such as freedom of expression, privacy, intellectual property among others have on development, and the way they interact to each other; to take into account existing differences in markets, decision-making processes and regions; to consider development as a cross-cutting issue among the Internet Governance themes -access, openness, diversity and security- and as a way to evaluate their performance; to take into account not only implementing businesses practices in the community but also empowering ICT to ordinary people because they know how to use it for development and reducing poverty; and last but not least to build a development agenda by the aggregation of related issues or by a horizontal approach considering how key Internet Governance principles of multilateralism, transparency and democracy impact on development.

While building a developing agenda, it might be important also to consider the Millennium Development Goals; to identify and analyze the relevant themes and issues in the development agenda and how they facilitate development; to keep a multi-stakeholder participation; and to analyze the way internet governance institutional framework impact on development.

Internet Governance keeps its own, in some cases debatable and scattered, character and nuance. Thus, it makes appropriate -and as people in the event considered- to follow a cross-cutting and systematic approach and also to pursue a framework that be not only conceptual but also able for implementation, measuring and continuous improvement. In this context, the Internet Governance Forum characteristics of openness and multi-stakeholder participation appears as the appropriate scenario for this discussion.

Rio de Janeiro set the ground for this discussion; although there is work to be done and some issues to be worked out, especially those related to how to take advantage of current best practices from some international organizations, countries; to evaluate potential synergies in working with other institutions and defining appropriate mechanisms within Global Governance; to avoid overlapping and repetition of efforts and to enhance cooperation.
Delhi will show up the work done during this current year through for example a dynamic coalition, open consultations meetings, and the way to move forward in order to get consensus among the different multi-stakeholders and appropriate deliverables and outcomes e.g. an action plan, a road map.

As a whole, the inclusion of a development agenda is looking forward to emphasize development topics into global governance decision-making processes of the internet governance arena.

2 comments

  1. Anonymous

    This seems an odd account, as the people whose ideas are being recounted here are not identified. I presume this means it was not organized by IGP?

  2. Anonymous

    This workshop was organized by a multi-stakeholder coalition, composed of the office of communications of the federal government of Germany, the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, consultative committee on U.N. technology, the China Association of Science and Technology, the Internet Society of China, the Association of Progressive Communications (APC), and the Center for Global Communications at the International University of Japan.
    The speakers included Cristiano Berbert, Second Secretary, Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Brazil; Olga Cavalli, Advisor to the Argentinean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and representative to the Governmental Advisor Committee of ICANN; Raul Echeberria, Executive Director, LACNIC (Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean); Anriette Esterhuysen, Executive Director, APC, South Africa; and Peter Hellmonds, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Nokia Siemens Networks, Germany.