[IRP] Text of IRP Statement to Open Consultation for IGF 2010: Call for IGC consensus about support--please opine!

Ginger Paque gpaque
Thu Jan 14 13:33:13 EET 2010

Hello all: this is the current draft of the IRP contribution, which is 
up for Consensus for IGC support. There will be a "tightened" draft 
later, probably this afternoon, but this appears to be the essence of 
the statement.

Please read it carefully, and advise whether the IGC should sign on in 
support of this statement. This is independent of any IGC statement.

We need to do this quickly if we want to ask the IRP to add our 
signature to their written contribution. Please post.

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 
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.


Dr Marianne Franklin
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

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