people around table - Intersessional Work during IGF 2015

Policy Options for Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion(s) – Phase III


The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) ‘Policy Options for Connecting and Enabling the Next Billions’ process is a bottom-up, community-driven endeavour to produce a collaborative document to identify ways to connect the four billion unconnected people in communities around the world.

In 2015, the IGF Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) approved the launch of an intersessional program in consonance with efforts made by Dynamic Coalitions (DC), National and Regional IGF initiatives (NRIs), and Best Practice Forums (BPF) to create a continued discussion on critical issues beyond annual meetings at the Internet Governance Forum. Intercessional work furthers the IGF’s mandate to identify key issues, facilitate discourse among relevant stakeholders and to make recommendations, as laid out in the World Summit of Information Society’s Tunis Agenda in 2005.

In 2015, the first phase focused on defining the connectivity challenge, identifying key obstacles, and suggesting concrete policies to achieve increased connectivity, including an emphasis on infrastructure, enabling users, increasing usability and user-friendliness, accounting for affordability and facilitating an enabling environment.

In 2016, the second phase augmented this work by expanding the focus to ‘Connecting and Enabling the Next Billions’ and elucidating local and regional specificities and discussing how ICTs can broadly help make progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over 130 sub

2017 Output Document

Connecting and Enabling the Next Billions - Phase III is a part of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) intercessional work for 2017 that aims to supplement policy recommendations made in the first two phases conducted in 2015 and 2016 with concrete case studies that highlight ways in which community-level projects are progressing on key sustainable goals. This output document is an edited compilation of case studies that show how connectivity initiatives are helping countries and communities make progress on three key sustainable development goals – Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5 and 9 – collected using the IGF’s traditional bottom-up, multi-stakeholder consultative process.

The final document can be found here.

Background | 13 June 2017
1. Introduction

The IGF’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) recently decided to further develop the IGF’s interesesional work, “Policy Options for Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion(s)”. This will, therefore, be Phase III (CENB III). This year’s work on Policy Options will build on the IGF community’s past two years of important work on the theme of promoting meaningful access.

In 2015, the IGF MAG decided to develop the intersessional work under the topic “Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billion” (CNB track), starting a new methodology to build the policy recommendations based on broad consultations, bottom-up crowdsourcing, and cross-engaging the work of NRIs, DCs and BPFs. The discussions were focused on infrastructure, increasing usability, enabling users, entering affordability and enabling environments. The final output document is here.

Given the successful results of this trend, the IGF MAG has continued a second phase of the intersessional work for Connecting the Next Billion, focused narrowly on how ICTs can help reach United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the lens on local and regional specificities. Phase II built on the policy options developed in 2015 during the first phase, which aimed at supporting the creation of enabling environments, including deploying infrastructure, increasing usability, enabling users, and ensuring affordability. The final report is here.

In the past two years, over 130 submissions, including many from national and regional IGF initiatives (NRIs), contributed to the development of comprehensive sets of Policy Options for Connecting and Enabling the Next Billions (Phase I and Phase II).

These Policy Options are already serving as tangible and useful resources for policymakers and other stakeholders, but also symbolise the IGF community’s conviction that the need for multistakeholder collaboration towards expanding meaningful Internet access is a shared goal that remains at the core of Internet governance.

2. Phase III (2017): Policy Options for Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion(s)

For 2017, the recommendation is to focus on a limited number of SDGs that are impacted by ICTs and to do a deep dive in collecting and analyzing case studies worldwide. This approach would complete phase I and II with concrete local experiences.

The proposed focus would be :

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

The IGF community contributions will build a series of case studies and success stories in which the Internet is playing a key role in advancing the selected SDGs, collected notably through the national and regional IGFs. That’s an intertwined approach, emphasizing the tangible work that happens within the IGF community while demonstrating its value in relation to the 2030 Agenda.

3. Guidelines for background contributions

All stakeholders are invited to submit contributions on the theme “Policy Options for Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion(s) – Phase III”.

Contributions from NRIs, best practice forums (BPFs), dynamic coalitions (DCs), and IGF workshops are particularly welcome.

a. What format should my feedback be in?

Contributions are expected to:

demonstrate through case studies how ICTs can enable SDGs 4, 5 or 9. They can come in various formats: links to publications, reports, references, statistics, stories, etc.

be of a reasonable length in order to maximize readability.

Note that various projects already explore the link between ICTs and SDGs (e.g. ITU). The IGF’s added value will be to complement other existing efforts by collecting information in the field, in a bottom-up fashion, the validate existing theories and assumptions.

Contributions are preferred to be in English and to use an editable file, compatible or readable with Microsoft Word. Documents in other languages will be translated using an automated system which might reduce accuracy.

Additional templates may be developed to aid contributions if this is deemed helpful.

b. What will happen to my contribution?

All contributions will be published publicly with contributors’ names on the IGF’s website. As an example, see submissions from 2016 here.

Contributions will be analysed and incorporated into the outcome document for Policy Options for Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion(s) – Phase III, as far as is deemed possible and relevant by an editorial group of volunteers. All contributors’ details will be credited in the outcome document, and contributions may be published on the IGF’s website.

c. What is the deadline for contributions?

All submissions should be made by 31 July 2017.

d. Who do I send my feedback to?

Email contributions should be sent to [email protected]

e. What if I have more questions?

For further queries, or for more information, please contact Constance Bommelaer ([email protected]), Raquel Gatto ([email protected]) or Christopher S. Yoo ([email protected]), the initial coordinators of this initiative.

f. Proposed questions to guide your response:

The third phase(2017) aims at gathering concrete examples of how these policy options SDGs the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (realising have identified a set of policy options aimed at the creation of enabling environments, and investigated the ways in which meaningful Internet access can support and contribute to Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion The first phase (2015) and the second phase (2016) of has been implemented in relations to SDGs 4, 5 and 9

While inputs of any format will be considered for incorporation, the following suggestions that you can tackle in your contribution:

Give examples of how local or regional policies have helped connect and enable users, giving them access to information and communications technology and providing universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries.

Share a story from any region about how connecting people to the Internet has brought quality education for boys and girls.

and technical engineering, as well as qualifying teachers, especially ICTsGive concrete examples showing how access to the Internet has increased higher education, including in least developed and developing countries, and small istand states?

Share concrete examples and stories in which the use of ICTs has empowered women. Explain how specific policies or legislation might have helped promote gender equality?

Give examples of how local or regional policies have helped connect and enable users, giving them access to information and communications technology and providing universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries.

Important dates:
  • May - 31 July: Call for inputs is open to receive any contributions.
  • 31 July: Editorial work to compile version 1.0 of the document, based on all contributions received by the IGF Secretariat.
  • 1 August - 31 August: Launch of the first draft and open for comments
  • 1 September - 30 September: Editorial work to compile version 2.0 of the document, taking into account the comments on the previous round
  • 2 October - 31 October: Launch of the second draft and another round of public comments.
  • 30 November: Issue of the final draft by the MAG editorial group that will be delivered in the IGF Geneva 2017