IGF 2023 Open Forum #65 Effective Governance for Open Digital Ecosystems

Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 (00:45 UTC) - Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 (01:45 UTC)
WS 8 – Room C-1

Harmonising Global Digital Infrastructure

Panel - 60 Min


Background: To fully leverage the transformative power of digital technologies on societies, it is crucial to strengthen digital cooperation across all levels. Few, if any, approaches hold more potential for transformative and accelerated actions across the SDGs than that of digital public infrastructure (DPI). Faced with recurrent shocks and crises, advanced and emerging economies alike are looking to employ digital tools in order to build out more resilient and inclusive economies. The decisions made by countries on how to structure their digital transformation efforts will have lasting consequences on their opportunity to grow, innovate and create public value at scale. With conscious planning and design there is potential for the world’s poorest countries to build out transformative public and private services and ecosystems that have hitherto only been available to advanced economies. This unique chance should be actively supported by the international community. However, the need for an effective governance framework for open digital ecosystems is increasingly evident. The growing emphasis on these digital assets has sparked numerous new initiatives, but greater complementarity and coordination are urgently needed. Open digital ecosystems require robust governance to offer credible alternatives to proprietary solutions often provided by big tech firms. To develop, adapt and adopt safe, inclusive and equitable digital public infrastructure, countries across all income levels and geographies need to implement appropriate policies and safeguards. This open forum aims to address the challenges posed by the governance gap, fostering connections among stakeholders and contributing to the development of a Global Digital Compact. Objective The primary objective of this open forum is to discuss good practices of DPI country implementation that help to advance the discussion around standards and safeguards for responsible DPI. These solutions may focus on aspects such as policies, institutional capacity development, common design principles, and information sharing. By highlighting these country cases, we aim to shortening the DPI learning and adoption journey for countries across all income brackets and enhance coordination of the DPI ecosystem. Expected Outcomes The open forum seeks to contribute to a deeper understanding of the current state and governance of DPI and DPGs at the multilateral level. By identifying opportunities to address existing gaps through collaboration and coordination among various stakeholders, the forum aims to foster a more coherent and effective DPG/DPI ecosystem. The outcomes will be shared with relevant UN bodies and international organizations to inform their work on DPI and DPGs, ultimately supporting the achievement of the SDGs.

To facilitate seamless interaction between online and onsite participants, we will appoint an online moderator. This moderator will act as the link between both sets of participants, ensuring that all voices are heard. We respectfully request the IGF organizing team to streamline the process for online participation. During IGF 2022, online participants were required to register on the conference website, add the session to their schedule, and have a Zoom account registered with the same email. As Zoom doesn't comply with most public sector entities' protocols, this process posed a significant barrier to participation. We strongly recommend simplifying this process to boost participation. We are committed to creating an inclusive and balanced session. Both online and onsite participants will be given equal opportunities to contribute to the discussion. Our objective is to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their mode of attendance, feels heard and included in the session. Depending on the technical setup provided by IGF, we plan to employ interactive tools like Slido or Mentimeter for real-time polling and Q&A. These tools can stimulate active participation, create a more dynamic environment, and ensure the session is engaging for all.


Amandeep Singh Gill, UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Technology Lea Gimpel, DPGA Jon Lloyd, DPGA Moritz Carl Fromageot, Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Technology


• Amandeep Singh, UN Tech Envoy, Intergovernmental Organization Group • Robert Opp, Chief Digital Officer, UNDP (tbc.) • Yodahe A. Zemichael, Executive Director, National ID Program Ethiopia, African Group (tbc.) • Cina Lawson, ICT Minister Togo, African Group (tbc.)

Onsite Moderator

Lea Gimpel, DPGA

Online Moderator

Moritz Fromageot, OSET


Lea Gimpel, DPGA , Jon Lloyd, DPGA, Moritz Fromageot, OSET


1. No Poverty
2. Zero Hunger
3. Good Health and Well-Being
4. Quality Education
5. Gender Equality
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
10. Reduced Inequalities
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) plays an instrumental role in enabling and accelerating the achievement of nearly all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). DPI, consisting of digital services and systems that are open and accessible to all, forms the backbone for a connected, inclusive, and sustainable digital society. It fosters quality education (SDG 4) through digital learning platforms, supports decent work and economic growth (SDG 8) by enabling digital economies, and promotes reduced inequalities (SDG 10) by providing equitable access to digital resources. DPI's role in promoting sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11) is evident through intelligent urban planning and digital governance. It can facilitate responsible consumption and production (SDG 12) by promoting transparency and traceability in supply chains. DPI can also bolster partnerships for the goals (SDG 17) by enhancing international cooperation, data sharing, and innovation in digital technology. Thus, DPI is not just a contributor but a catalyst for the achievement of the SDGs, underscoring the urgency for its development and widespread adoption.