[IRP] IRP Statement to Open Consultation for IGF 2010

Lisa Horner lisa
Thu Jan 14 14:11:45 EET 2010

Hi Marianne and all

Thanks for this -I think it's great - really concise and clear.

My main suggestion is to bring point 3 up to the top, and make our call
for more focus on human rights and development a bit more explicit....as
the Irp, that should be our main focus I think.

In our call for more focus and specificity, could/should we perhaps
suggest what kinds of issues we think could (realistically) be focused
on?  E.g. Promoting access to knowledge for the public good; The
liability and responsibilities of internet service and application
providers; expanding media and communications literacy for all;
grassroots connectivity solutions; Privacy and expression on social

Could we also say that the coalition would like to contribute
productively to discussions about how better to incorporate
consideration of human rights into the agenda of the IGF, and would like
to feed into the planning process for relevant main sessions.

Thanks and all the best,

-----Original Message-----
From: M I Franklin [mailto:cos02mf at gold.ac.uk] 
Sent: 13 January 2010 18:10
To: Lisa Horner; irp
Subject: Re: [IRP] IRP Statement to Open Consultation for IGF 2010

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
Time is short so the plan is to have the penultimate version out
tomorrow afternoon..........



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
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
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
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
d.	Some panels in main sessions were overloaded with panellists.
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
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
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
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
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
Practically there is a need to
a.	Setting up coherent - vertical and lateral - links between
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
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

More information about the IRP mailing list