IGF 2018 WS #24
Schools of IG: Towards a model for IG Capacity Building

Organizer 1: Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 3: Civil Society, Eastern European Group

Speaker 1: Glenn McKnight, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Olga Cavalli, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Lianna Galstyan, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 4: Babu Ram Aryal, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 5: Sarah Kiden, Civil Society, African Group


Panel - 90 Min


The Session will see the following presentations:

1. Introduction & Session Objectives, Mr. Satish Babu, Moderator (APSIG & India SIG)

2. Experience-sharing by Regional and National SIGs
* Ms. Olga Cavalli (South SIG)
* Mr. Glenn McKnight (North American SIG)
* Ms. Lianna Galstyan (Armenian SIG)
* Mr. Baburam Aryal (Nepal SIG)
* Pakistan SIG (TBC)
* Sri Lanka SIG (TBC)
* DC-SIG (Ms. Sandra Hoferichter, TBC)

Ms. Sarah Kiden (Africa) will be the Rapporteur.


The session will encourage participation from the organizers of a number of national and regional SIGs which will be represented at IGF 2018, as well as the representatives of DC-SIG that was constituted at IGF 2017 at Geneva. Among the speakers and organizers, there are four women and three men.

The overarching question that the session will address is: How can SIGs be made into effective community-driven capacity building mechanisms that will help broaden Stakeholder Participation in Internet Governance?

Answers to this question will be brought out through experience-sharing from amongst SIGs representatives, as well as through discussions with the community members present and remote participants.

The session will be organized as a 90-minute Panel with the following structure:

1. Welcome & Objectives (Moderator, 5 min)
2. Experiences of Regional and National SIGs (35 min)
- APSIG, South SIG, North American SIG
- India, Nepal, Armenia, Pakistan (TBC)
3. Open Discussions (45 min)
5. Conclusions (Moderator - 5min)

The onsite moderator is a veteran of 8 IGFs (2009, 2011-2017), and has organized several workshops in the past. The moderator's role will be to ensure:

a. No speaker speaks for more than 5 minutes continuously and over 10 min in the whole session
b. Remote participants get priority over onsite participants
c. Gender and Geographical diversity will be kept in mind while allocating speakers
d. The time for participant discussions will not be cut (even if some speakers' time has to be cut)

While the Multistakeholder Model has demonstrated its utility as an appropriate structure for Internet Governance, it has some weaknesses that must be addressed in order for it to function effectively. One of the most challenging aspects of the global Internet Governance practice has been the steep learning curve for newcomers to the domain. While many approaches exist to train newcomers for a future in Internet Governance, one of the most visible--and successful--models for capacity building for Internet Governance has been Schools of Internet Governance (SIGs).

Although some of the SIGs have been in existence for over a decade, it is in the last 3-4 years that several national SIGs (Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, for instance) and regional SIGs (such as South SIG, Africa SIG, and APSIG) have begun to operate. It is also noteworthy that the IGF has launched the DC-SIG at Geneva during IGF 2017. These developments signal the maturity of the SIG model for capacity building.

While SIGs are a popular way by which communities can take up their own capacity building, there are several limitations that need to be addressed. There is wide variability between SIGs on various aspects: Structure, Governance, Topics, Faculty, Duration, Quality, Funding, Sustainability and Alumni & Community activities. There is also inadequate sharing of experiences between SIGs that would have helped in refining the model and making it more effective and responsive to community concerns.

This session will line up SIG organizers from different country and regional SIGs (South SIG, APSIG, India SIG, North American SIG, Nepal SIG and Armenia SIG) in order to share experiences and discuss ways of making SIGs effective, responsive, and sustainable. It would be also an opportunity for DC-SIG to launch its activities at the IGF.

Online Participation

Remote participation will be facilitated and encouraged. The services of a trained and experienced online moderator (who has been associated with the organizers for several workshops in past IGFs) will be used this time as well. Care will be taken to ensure that remote participants are accommodated and specially provided for, even if network disruptions occur.

All speakers are part of multiple communities involved with Internet Governance, including ICANN, IGF and Internet Society. Other community members in different parts of the world, from Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe and North America will be informed through email, and where possible, remote hubs will be set up (for instance, at ISOC Chapters).

On the whole, remote and online participation will be taken up as an essential aspect of the workshop.