IGF 2018 WS #36
A multi-sectoral approach to expand critical public access


Organizer 1: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 3: Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: Janet Sawaya, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Dudley Stephen Wyber, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Jane Coffin, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Panel - 60 Min


Each speaker will share how public access is critical to their respective areas of expertise and knowledge, and how it supports access to the internet (e.g. physical access to device and internet, building skills for meaningful use), reaching populations who might otherwise not get online (e.g. rural, women, the poor).

Janet Sawaya, EIFL - will focus on how libraries, unlike other public access venues, provide digital skills for their users
Stephen Wyber, IFLA - will focus on the regulatory and practical challenges libraries may face in giving access to users, and how to overcome them.
Jane Coffin, ISOC - will focus on funding and financing of local access networks and capacity development for local and regional experts
Mei Lin Fung, PCI -
Don Means, GLN - will focus on libraries and other community hubs as natural demo sites and test beds for emerging access tech


The session will be composed of 4 women and 2 men, 1 European and 4 Americans. Speakers are from different policy arenas: access & connectivity, libraries, and digital capacity building. Speakers represent NGOs and membership organizations.

In the first 30 minutes, each speaker will give a brief overview on their area of policy expertise/focus and how a comprehensive public access offer that integrates different aspects of internet access is critical to achieving their broader goals. In this, they will highlight a practical case study of where this approach supports expanding access, and draw lessons which could be applied elsewhere.

The last 30 minutes will engage participants to elicit further ideas on how public access supports reaching the next billion and what support - legal, financial, technical - is needed in their country to expand this. The aim will be to build up a stronger idea of the different scenarios which can exist a national level, and how this may shape the development of strategies for comprehensive public access.

Discussion amongst speakers, audience members, and online participants will be facilitated by a moderator who will use a participatory approach that will in part depend on size of the group. The goal would be to have table discussions based on different interest areas, with speakers joining tables, and facilitating the discussion.

What role can public access play in ensuring that no-one is left behind, and through what package of measures can governments deliver this? This workshop builds on previous workshops by the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries.

Online Participation

Online attendees will have a separate queue and microphone, which will rotate equally with the mics in the room; the workshop moderator will have the online participation session open, and will be in close communication with the workshop’s trained online moderator, to make any adaptations necessary as they arise, etc.