IT for Change at the 2007 Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

The 2007 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil, 12-15 November) and its overall theme was 'Internet Governance for Development'. IT for Change was part of several panels and workshops.

Anita Gurumurthy intervened at the plenary session on 'Access'. In her presentation, she posited that ICTD models for poor people could not be driven by financial considerations, nor could they be demand-driven. She argued that progressive ICTD models had to be embedded in social institutions and sectoral agencies, such as health, education, governance. She advocated that technology governance had to be rooted in development imperatives with a public access approach in order to ensure engagement with ICTs be guided by development values.

In the paper 'Critical issues for the Internet Governance Forum', IT for Change provided its inputs regarding what the key issues for the IGF could be from a Southern perspective: (1) development agenda in Internet governance; (2) public domain and the Internet; (3) governance of critical Internet resources, and (4) role of the IGF. The paper outlined a possible framework for building the development agenda in Internet Governance.

IT for Change organised a workshop on 'Governance framework for critical Internet resources - Exploring commons and public interest based frameworks'. The purpose of the workshop was to examine some of the key issues regarding the governance of Critical Internet Resources (CIRs), such as (1) the resources critical to the working and growth of the Internet and its appropriation by all individuals and groups, including the disadvantaged; (2) the level and means by which CIRs are governed/should be governed; and (3) the normative basis of different approaches to the governance of CIRs. More information about the workshop is available here.

IT for Change, in partnership with the Information Network for the Third Sector (RITS, Brazil), the Internet Governance Project (USA), the Panos Institute, West Africa – CIPACO project, the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST, China), Alfa Redi (Peru) and the International Disability Caucus organised a Dynamic Coalition to build a ‘Framework of principles for the Internet’. The Dynamic Coalition seeked to understand, influence and contribute to the processes of making international laws, conventions, treaties, etc. in the area of Internet Governance, both soft and hard laws, incorporating the multistakeholder principle. For this purpose, the coalition also seeked to explore the possible role of civil society organisations in developing collaboratively overall normative principles for the Internet. Such principles could underpin international processes such as the IGF, and/or be directly adopted through a framework convention process.

Prior to the 2007 IGF, IT for Change had submitted a detailed feedback to the IGF stocktaking meeting held in February 2007 in Paris by assessing the effectiveness of the 2006 IGF meetingin Athens, and suggesting changes in structures and format for the next meeting in Rio (2007).

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