[IRP] IRP Statement to Open Consultation for IGF 2010

Graciela Selaimen graciela
Thu Jan 14 12:26:01 EET 2010

Dear all,

Thanks a lot, Marianne.
I totally support the statement.


M I Franklin escreveu:
> Dear All
> See attached. I've pasted in this first version below for those who 
> prefer it (but its a long email!).
> Please keep comments brief. Any additional ideas and suggestions 
> welcome. Time is short so the plan is to have the penultimate version 
> out tomorrow afternoon..........
> yours
> MF
> *******************************************
> Open Consultation IGF 2010
> The IRP Dynamic Coalition would like to contribute to the Open 
> Consultation for IGF 2010 in two areas: observations for taking stock 
> of IGF 2009 and suggestions for the format and agenda of the Vilnius 
> meeting. The comments below are organised under [..] themes, under 
> which we take stock of IGF 2009 and then offer practical suggestions 
> for the format and planning of IGF 2010.
> 1)    General Organization: Generally speaking coalition members found 
> the meeting to be well organised, with signs of continued progress in 
> all aspects. Coalition members who were participating in or who 
> organised workshops would like to commend the organisers for their 
> good work in this regard, particularly given the relatively limited 
> budget and resources available to the IGF. Some specific concerns 
> include:
> a.    Discussions, especially in plenary sessions tended to become 
> diverted into the issue of whether the IGF should continue, and if so, 
> how. We think it is time to move on and to keep these issues from 
> overwhelming the topics in hand.
> b.    Continuity and more explicit links between the main sessions and 
> the workshops could have been stronger. Clear links in the program by 
> cross-referencing of session/workshop themes and titles is one way to 
> create these links before the meeting. During and after the meeting, 
> we would like to see formal feedback opportunities put in place and 
> integrated into the stocktaking; from organizers and/or moderators of 
> both main sessions and workshops.
> c.    Main sessions based around the "traditional" themes of openness, 
> diversity, and such like started to feel a bit repetitive particularly 
> in relation to the freshness of new themes introduced onto the 
> program. The need for continuity and depth needs to be balanced by new 
> themes as well
> d.    Some panels in main sessions were overloaded with panellists. 
> This always means less time for a wider plenary discussion. Moderators 
> of larger sessions need to find ways to ensure that discussion 
> actually takes place and when it does it dynamic and inclusive. To 
> this end we would suggest that there is an upper limit set on the 
> number of panellists and/or length of formal presentations. Moreover 
> that enough time is set aside for discussion. It is important that 
> contributions from the floor, and remote participants get enough time 
> to have their say and be adequately responded to by panellists and 
> other participants.
> e.    Rather than having main sessions based around broad themes, we 
> think this year is the moment to broach more specific questions or 
> policy dilemmas. These can be proposed in advance with an eye to 
> opening up the discussion about specific solutions before the actual 
> session.
> 2)    Remote Participation: On the whole the facilities for remote 
> participation seemed to work well. However, there are some specific 
> issues that we think need to be attended to this year to ensure fuller 
> and more diverse participation in the IGF.
> a.     Workshop organisers were not given enough support in good time 
> or enough information on how to use the technology provided properly. 
> When technical hitches did occur, there were not enough technicians on 
> hand so many moderators found themselves doing DIY instead. This is 
> unprofessional and causes delays and loss of focus for everyone.  More 
> information in advance from IGF HQ would be useful. But also during 
> the event, and given the importance of enabling remote participation 
> but also having it run smoothly, the need for more dedicated staff in 
> this respect is indispensable.
> b.    We would also suggest, in line with suggestions from the Remote 
> Participation Working Group (RPWG), that Workshops include both a 
> moderator on-the-ground and an online moderator in their planning. 
> Some-one needs to monitor remote participation, in partnership with 
> the workshop moderator, in order to streamline, filter and facilitate 
> remote participation in the proceedings; e.g. by gathering text-based 
> comments, setting up a queue for spoken interventions, or having 
> remote participants be given the floor en bloc if this is more 
> practicable. We would also urge all moderators to understand the many 
> remote participants are doing this at difficult times of their 24 hour 
> day and that time-lags require careful attention be paid to timing 
> responses and requests by moderators on the ground.
> c.    The above points underscore our support for proposals to 
> organise adequate guidelines as well as a brief training 
> session/module/virtual tour for all moderators before the IGF meeting. 
> During the meeting is not the time to experiment.
> 3)    Emerging Key themes: A wide range of stakeholders in the plenary 
> sessions reaffirmed the importance of upholding human rights in the 
> internet age. However these sentiments tended to be expressed in 
> general rather than specific terms.
> a.    The challenge for this coming year is to focus on how upholding 
> human rights can be achieved in practice; what roles different 
> stakeholders can or should play in this regard, and how these play out 
> more specifically in different Internet governance issue-areas.
> b.    With this in mind we would like to see not only workshops but 
> also main sessions that look more closely at what a "human rights 
> agenda" or "development agenda: for Internet Governance might actually 
> look like. Discussions around broad themes such as openness and 
> diversity have already taken place. It is time to get down to 
> specifics and we do not see why these specifics always have to be 
> covered in workshop sessions.
> 4)    Participation: Increasing diversity in terms of cultural, 
> regional, and linguistic representation remains a core issue for a 
> number of dynamic coalitions. Our comments and suggestions about 
> continuing to improve remote participation technically and 
> organizationally relate to these concerns. Practically there is a need to
> a.    Setting up coherent - vertical and lateral - links between 
> discussions and themes from national, regional and international IGFs 
> better, during the meetings as well as in the record of these various 
> meetings. At present the public record is piecemeal and not easily 
> accessible. We recognise that this is process that needs dedicated 
> time and resources to do so and urge the IGF to put aside some 
> resources for this.
> b.    Find more ways to open up the meetings to lay-participants. By 
> this we mean that preparatory consultations, main sessions, and 
> specialised workshops need to be more accessible not only to 'everyday 
> internet users' but also for any communities or groups from areas 
> where the Internet is either less extensive or who have other 
> communication priorities.
> ********************************************************************88
> Dr Marianne Franklin
> Reader
> Convener of the Transnational Communications & Global Media Program
> Media & Communications
> Goldsmiths, University of London
> New Cross
> London SE14 6NW
> United Kingdom
> Tel (direct): #44 (0)207 919-7072
> Fax: #44 (0) 207 919-7616
> email: m.i.franklin at gold.ac.uk
> http://www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/media-communications/staff/franklin.php
> http://www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/pg/ma-transnational-communications-global-media.php 
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