Organizer 1: Daniel OMaley, Center for International Media Assistance
Organizer 2: Sarah Moulton, National Democratic Institute
Organizer 3: Morgan Frost, Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)
Speaker 1: Constance Bommelaer, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Mira Milosevic, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Paola Galvez, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 4: CATHERINE WANJIRU MUYA, Civil Society, African Group
Daniel OMaley, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Morgan Frost, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Sarah Moulton, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Round Table - U-shape - 60 Min
This session will address the question of what processes and mechanisms need to be created so that diverse stakeholder groups can efficiently provide input on the growing array of digital policy being proposed. It will also explore the different modalities that might be employed to make sure that different stakeholders are able to provide meaningful input that can strengthen responses to complex policy issues. A specific policy angle this session will address is how to make sure that stakeholder groups that are typically under-represented in digital policy discussions such as news media, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and human rights advocates are able to engage meaningfully. Participation in policy dialogue can be challenging for these groups as they are often under-resourced for this particular type of engagement. However, their input is vital to make sure digital policy is both effective and is beneficial to broader social progress. Key policy questions for this session include: - What processes and mechanisms need to be created so that diverse stakeholder groups can efficiently provide input on the growing array of digital policy being proposed? - What can be done to ensure the perspectives of under-represented stakeholders are included in digital policy discussions? - What skills or knowledge are essential in order to meaningfully engage in conversations around the development or implementation of new legislation impacting the digital space? - What practical tools and tips can help digital rights advocates be better prepared to proactively advocate for digital policies that respect human rights and democratic values?
Connection with previous Messages:
Targets: The topic addressed in this workshop is directly applicable to SDG #16, which aims to promote sustainable development through effective, accountable, and transparent institutions. Identifying best-practices and effective models for localization of emerging global digital norms is one way to ensure that countries around the globe are developing strong institutions that protect international protected human rights. In particular, this session will help advance targets 16.6 (Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels) and 16.7 (Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels) by promoting mutlistakeholder governance at the regional and national levels.
Over the past year alone at least 48 countries have proposed laws or new policy directives aimed at regulating social, economic, and political engagement online according to research from Freedom House. These include laws related to content moderation, data protection, and disinformation among other topics. Change in the digital policy landscape appears to be accelerating as governments and policymakers feel compelled to develop and implement laws as quickly as possible. However, the rapid pace of change can pose challenges to robust multistakeholder engagement and input as it has become increasingly difficult for diverse stakeholder groups to provide meaningful input at the national, regional, and international level quickly. This is exacerbated by the growing range of digital policy proposals as well as the fact that even small changes in one policy area can have ripple effects in other, seemingly distant areas. Moreover, policy discussions are often dominated by just two stakeholder groups–government and “Big Tech.” Without broad-based multistakeholder engagement there is a higher chance that new policies will be poorly conceived or, in a worst-case scenario, infringe upon internationally recognized human rights. This workshop will examine how to adapt and strengthen digital rights advocacy tactics in a context of rapid digital policy change. It will bring together advocates from diverse stakeholder groups (media, the technical community, civil society, and the business sector) to discuss how they are grappling with this challenge. In particular, it will focus on how to make sure that often under-represented stakeholder groups such as news media, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and human rights advocates are able to provide meaningful input. The speakers will share concrete examples of what specific strategies and tools they have used to quickly provide input on a broad array of policy proposals. They will also discuss what steps governments need to take to facilitate broader multistakeholder input. The end result will be a set of strategies to address the challenges as well as recommendations for civil society, governments, and the local business community to productively undertake multistakeholder governance.
The expected outcome of this session is a better understanding of how stakeholder groups–particularly ones typically underrepresented in digital policy development–can provide meaningful input on the vast array of policy proposals currently being discussed. This is important in order to make sure that new digital policies are effective and that they also uphold internationally recognized human rights guarantees. Knowledge on how to do this is particularly important in countries which have had traditionally less digital policy expertise and engagement. The insights gleaned from the roundtable discussion will be captured and incorporated into a forthcoming policy paper developed by the session organizers, the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to help build capacity among policymakers and other stakeholders to assess the human rights implications of technology-related laws and legislation (e.g., 5G, data privacy, digital content moderation). CIMA, CIPE, and NDI collectively facilitate the Open Internet for Democracy Initiative (https://openinternet.global/) which seeks to build the capacity of digital rights advocates to effectively advocate for digital rights that are essential for democracy to flourish online.
Hybrid Format: The session will be designed so that participants both on-line and in-person can participate on equal footing. We will have an on-site moderator and a couple on-site speakers, as well as speakers who are participating virtually. We will also have a virtual moderator who will be assisting the main moderator so that any engagement online can be acknowledged. The hybrid nature of the event is important to us because it will result in a more diverse pool of participants from around the globe. We will also be using social media to promote the session and broadcast learning from the session to a wider audience, including those who might not be able to participate at the time of the session.
Usage of IGF Official Tool.