IGF Calls for Public Inputs for Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billion


igflogoThe Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Multi-stakeholder  Advisory Group (MAG) is soliciting inputs from all stakeholders in order to develop the IGF intersessional work on the fourth phase of the Policy options for connecting  and enabling the next billion(s).

While this year policy option will build on the past three years of important work on the theme of promoting ‎meaningful access, the objective of this year is to collect concrete stories showing how connecting the nest billion(s) will help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in paticular SDG 7 – ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable  and modern energy for all, SDG 8 –Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (particular linkage with internet access), and SDG 17 – partnerships for the goals.

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.

Given the successful results of this trend, the IGF MAG 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.

In 2017, Phase III focused on  SDGs 4, 5, and 9 that are impacted by ICTs and dived into ‎collecting and analyzing case studies worldwide to complete phase I and II with ‎concrete local experiences and community-level projects.‎

In the past three years, over 200 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 in Phase I, Phase II, and ‎Phase III.‎

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 multi-stakeholder collaboration towards expanding ‎meaningful Internet access is a shared goal that remains at the core of Internet ‎governance.‎

Contributions are expected to demonstrate through case studies how ICTs can enable SDGs 7, 8, 9 or 17. They ‎can come in various formats: links to publications, reports, references, statistics, ‎stories, etc and be of reasonable length in order to maximize readability. ‎

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

The first phase (2015) and the second phase (2016) of Connecting and Enabling the ‎Next Billion 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 realising the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals ‎‎(SDGs).  The third phase (2017) gathered concrete examples of how these policy options ‎have been implemented in relations to SDGs 4, 5 and 9.  The fourth phase (2018) aims ‎to collect concrete stories showcasing how connecting the next billion(s) helps achieve ‎SDGs 7, 8, 9, and 17.