Author: Jeremy MalcolmThe Internet Governance Forum provides a venue where stakeholders from government, the private sector and civil society can discuss issues of public policy related to the Internet. It has been widely lauded as a success. Such accolades may be premature, however. Although there is inherent value in a multistakeholder discussion forum, the IGF is also mandated to make progress on the issues that it discusses, including through making recommendations where appropriate. This is a task for which the IGF is neither structurally nor procedurally equipped in its present form. To take on that part of its mandate, issues raised for discussion within the IGF should be the subject of moderated, small group deliberation, both face-to-face and online. Its Multistakeholder Advisory Group should then be charged with assessing whether any consensus on an issue has emerged, and in appropriate cases, authorized to express that consensus in a recommendation.
Suggested citation: Jeremy Malcolm, Appraising the Success of the Internet Governance Forum (November 21, 2008). Internet Governance Project. Paper IGP08-003. Available at http://internetgovernance.org/pdf/MalcolmIGFReview.pdf