Brief substantive summary of the workshop and presentation of the main issues that were raised during the discussions
Internet Governance Forum 2014: Istanbul, Turkey
Global Public Interest of the Internet (WS159)
September 4, 2014, 11:00am-12:30pm
Host Organizations: ICANN
The workshop on the Global Public Interest of the Internet, moderated by Pierre Dandjinou, Vice President of Stakeholder Engagement at ICANN, was very well attended. Panelists included Nii Quaynor from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana and Chair of the ICANN Strategy Panel on the Public Responsibility Framework, Nevine Tewfik from the Egyptian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Rinalia Abdul Rahim the Managing Director of Compass Rose Sdn Bhd and ICANN Board Member, and Titi Akinsanmi, Public Policy and Governments Relations Manager at Google.
Panelists shared their experiences in regards to the global public interest of the Internet. Nii Quaynor discussed the ICANN Strategy Panel on the Public Responsibility Framework, which lay the foundation for the Development and Public Responsibility Department (DPRD) at ICANN. The DPRD’s strategic framework is currently oriented towards outreach and capacity building, to address gaps in participation in policymaking, as well as to inform and encourage the next generation to participate in the Internet governance process. Nevine Tewfik also shared her experience in Egypt working to create the Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) Trust Fund, a mechanism and platform that allows suggestions for projects to be proposed, and to facilitate collaboration between government and different organizations.
Titi Akinsanmi discussed and highlighted three key issues to keep in mind when looking at the public interest of the Internet: transparency, simplicity for participants, and avoiding replication of existing projects. Rinalia Abdul Rahim also drew from her experiences, stating that firstly, the “public interest” is a challenge to define, as it should take into account the consultation of all affected stakeholders. She also spoke about how organizations in the Internet governance ecosystem can forge better partnerships to address the global public interest agenda by sharing goals, recognizing roles and mandates of partners, effective communication and knowledge sharing, and shared measures of success between partners.
A lively discussion followed on the scope of the public interest of the Internet, accountability and transparency, the financing of public responsibility as a whole, and the development of partnerships.
Conclusions drawn from the workshop and possible follow up actions
Participants requested that social responsibility programs be more collaborative, and embedded in other programs with regional or international organizations. Additionally, financing should not be considered a limitation when catering to important initiatives in the name of the public interest. With diversified high level partnerships with external organizations and governments, the risk and cost of deliverables should be shared between various organizations in the Internet governance ecosystem.