IGF 2023 Day 0 Event #49 Advancing digital inclusion and human-rights:ROAM-X approach

Sunday, 8th October, 2023 (07:00 UTC) - Sunday, 8th October, 2023 (10:00 UTC)
WS 7 – Room K
Global Digital Governance & Cooperation



Ms Marielza Oliveira, Director for Division for Digital Inclusion and Policies and Digital Transformation and Secretariat of the Information for All Programme, UNESCO

Ms Tatevik Grigoryan, Associate Programme Specialist

Mr Simon Ellis, Independent Consultant LAC

Ms Maria Fernanda Martinez , Researcher, Center for Technology and Society Studies (Cetys), Argentina

Mr Fabio Senne, ICT Projects Coordinator, CETIC.br, Brazil

Mr Eduardo Carillo, Researcher, TEDIC, Paraguay

Ms Grace Githaiga, Convenor, KictaNet, Kenya

Mr Alain Kiyindou, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, Benin

Dr. Asrat Mulatu, Lead researcher of ROAM-X project, Ethiopia

Ms Anna Amoomo-David, National Chairperson, Internet Society Namibia Chapter, Namibia Asia and the Pacific

Mr Pisal Chanty, Director of Digital and Innovation Policy Research Cambodia Academy of Digital Technology (CADT), Cambodia

Mr Santosh Sigdel, Founding Chair, Digital Rights Nepal, Nepal

Ms L. Ariunzul Ochir, Lead researcher of ROAM-X project, Mongolia

Ms Sadaf Khan – Co-founder - Media Matters for Democracy – Woman, Pakistan

Mr Matthias Ketteman, Head of Research Program, Leibniz Institute for Media Research │ Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI), Germany

Ms Claire Mélanie Popineau, Internet Society, France

Ms Iglika Ivanova, Chief Expert at the Information Technologies, Information Society, European Coordination, and International Cooperation Directorate within the Ministry of e-Governance, Bulgaria

Ms Swaran Ravindra, National University of Fiji    

Onsite Moderator

Tatevik Grigoryan, Associate Programme Specialist, UNESCO

Online Moderator

Karen Landa, Consultant, UNESCO; Camila Gonzalez, Consultant, UNESCO


Xiaojie Sun, Junior Professional Officer, UNESCO


4. Quality Education
5. Gender Equality
10. Reduced Inequalities
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: This IGF session will highlight the significance of indicators in equipping stakeholders across various sectors with the means to align themselves with the UN SG's roadmap for digital cooperation and the Global Digital Compact, aimed at achieving the SDGs. By providing concrete solutions towards fulfilling Goals 4, 5, 10, 16, and 17 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UNESCO's Internet Universality Indicators framework addresses a global and national standard-setting gap. It serves as a comprehensive research tool to promote Internet policies for sustainable development in all countries.


It will be a 3-hour hybrid session that serves as the annual presentation to the global Internet Governance community, providing updates on the progress and challenges in advancing Internet Universality worldwide. Experts and partners from five continents will be invited to present evidence-based findings, recommendations derived from national ROAM-X Internet Universality assessments, and share best practices and lessons learned during the implementation process.


The global digital communications and information ecosystem should evolve to foster the growth of inclusive knowledge societies, support sustainable development, protect human rights, and promote meaningful access. UNESCO has developed the Internet Universality ROAM-X Indicators as a holistic toolkit for Member States to conduct voluntary assessment of the Internet environment and formulate effective policy actions at the national level to advance digital development, ensure universal access to information, and safeguard human rights and freedoms. The framework is implemented at the national level through a multistakeholder approach, in which various interested, concerned, and impacted parties come together to discuss the various dimensions of the Internet environment covered by the indicators based on the principles of Rights, Openness, Accessibility for All, and Multistakeholder participation (ROAM), as well as a number of X-cutting issues such as gender and environment. Since the launch of the ROAM-X framework in 2018, Internet Universality assessments have been progressing in about 40 countries, including 13 countries in Asia and the Pacific region (Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Tonga, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tuvalu). Following the guidelines of the ROAM-X methodology, each country has established a Multistakeholder Advisory Board (MAB) to oversee the assessments and the implementation of policy recommendations. Since 2019, UNESCO has convened the IGF Day 0 event annually, to encourage the use of ROAM toolkit for policy-making in the digital sphere. In IGF 2020, UNESCO created the Dynamic Coalition of Internet Universality Indicators, which serves as a platform of dialogue and collaboration with partners to jointly tackle the challenges of digital transformation in line with UN DG’s roadmap of digital cooperation. On the occasion of IGF 2023, UNESCO convenes this day 0 event to achieve below objectives: Bring together key researchers, experts, and partners from five continents, to present the major findings of the ongoing national evaluations based on ROAM-X indicators with an emphasis on how the framework empowers various stakeholders through the testimonies of global experts across 5 continents. Initiate discussions on the follow-up actions of ROAM-X assessments and on how to formulate effective public policies at the national level to promote digital inclusion, human rights, and freedoms. Trigger pioneering discussions on the implementation of evidence-based policy recommendations emerging from Internet Universality ROAM-X assessments at national level.

This session will feature an interactive panel discussion, where the moderator will allow brief statements from both on-site and remote national leading experts to initiate discussions on the national Internet Universality ROAM-X Indicators assessment in their respective countries. An online moderator and an on-site moderator will be appointed to coordinate interactions between online and on-site participants. Equal time will be allocated to both online and on-site participants.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

IUI remains a unique tool for informing evidence-based, inclusive digital policies. Multistakeholder participation within the ROAM-X framework enhances ownership and collaboration, crucial for tackling complex Internet governance challenges. Given the evolving digital landscape, ongoing revisions of the IUI ROAM-X framework are essential to address emerging challenges and enhance the assessment process.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Stakeholders from the government, academia, civil society, technical community and all the other stakeholders are called upon to actively engage in the IUI assessment process to ensure diverse perspectives are considered in formulating digital policies. Global stakeholders are invited to support the revision of the IUI framework, fostering multistakeholder participation as a driving force for positive change in the digital ecosystem.