[IRP] IRP Statement to Open Consultation for IGF 2010 [v2]

M I Franklin cos02mf
Thu Jan 14 23:29:51 EET 2010

Dear all

In order to allow time for any last input, see below; new order of 
appearance, some rephrasing, and a couple of additional comments (See 1c; . 
2 e)

Last round for comments (inclusions)!


Open Consultation IGF 2010


The comments below from the Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic 
Coalition are our contribution to the Open Consultations for IGF 2010. Each 
of the four themes below take stock of IGF 2009 by offering practical 
suggestions for the format and planning of IGF 2010.

1)	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. 
Whilst openness and diversity continue to be important issues, we think 
this year is the moment to broach more specific questions or policy 
dilemmas within these broader themes
c.	The coalition is ready and willing to contribute to organizing and 
facilitating main sessions along these Human Rights related themes.

2)	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. Aspects that could be paid more attention this year 
a.	Discussions, especially in plenary sessions tended to become diverted 
into the issue of whether the IGF should continue, and if so, how. This is 
a key issue however we think it is important to avoid having these issues 
sidetrack the topics on hand in main sessions and workshops this year.
b.	Continuity and more linking between the main sessions and the workshops 
could be strengthened. 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 'classic' themes of openness, diversity, and 
such like need to be supplemented and reinvigorated by including new themes 
onto the program. The need for continuity and in-depth discussions of 
ongoing themes need to be balanced by new themes as well for this is a 
fast-moving area.
d.	Some panels in main sessions were overloaded with panellists. This 
always means less time for a wider plenary discussion. We realise that 
larger panels allow for a greater diversity in some cases. However we would 
urge moderators of larger sessions to ensure that there is enough time for 
discussion and that when discussion takes place it is dynamic and inclusive 
of panellists and other participants. It is important that contributors 
from the floor as well as from remote participants get enough time to have 
their say and be adequately responded to by panellists and other 
e.	In light of the above we would also like to see more innovative panel 
formats encouraged; modelled on town-hall meetings, brainstorming, and 
other sorts of small-group, or interactive forms of discussion for 
instance. Formal panels have their place but good work is also done in 
small groups/break-out sessions as well.
f.	Rather than having main sessions largely 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.

3)	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 in the role of do-it-yourself technical 
supporters. This causes delays, frustration and a loss of focus for 
everyone.  More information in advance from the IGF in liaison with the 
Vilnius venue organisers 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.

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 to 'everyday internet users', any 
interested 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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