16 February, 2015

ETNO Response to the NETmundial Initiative Consultation for the development of the Terms of Reference of the NETmundial Initiative

Questions Relating to the NETmundial Initiative’s Purpose, Scope and Organisation

1. Substantive Focus

1.1  Please identify the top issues (up to five) addressed in the NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement on which you believe further multistakeholder work could be undertaken via the NETmundial Initiative:

  • Improving communication and coordination among technical and non-technical communities to better understand the implications of their actions in the working fields of their respective counterparts
  • Need for mechanisms to consider emerging topics and issues not adequately addressed by existing Internet Governance arrangements.
  • Creation of participation and coordination tools for forums, task forces and organizations in the IG ecosystem, particularly with a view to facilitating the needs of developing countries
  • Development of benchmarking systems, progress trackers and related indicators regarding the application of IG principles

1.2  More broadly, which challenges facing the Internet could the NETmundial Initiative help to address?

  • Confidence: building digital confidence
  • Inclusiveness
  • Security, stability and resilience of the Internet
  • Enabling environment for investment in growth of Internet networks

2. Functions

2.1 What activities would you like to see take place on the NETmundial Initiative that would serve as an effective follow-up on the principles, proposals and issues contained in the NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement?

  • Creation of participation and coordination tools and mechanisms
  • Act as a reference point for evidence-based studies and commission objective research on IG issues and the multi-stakeholder model of governance
  • Track and map in coordination with the IGF and others the key policy issues related to Internet Governance

2.2 How can the NETmundial Initiative best contribute to strengthening regional, national and global IGF processes? (Options provided below are only suggestive).  Select as many as you wish.

  • Expand international support 
  • Operationalise ideas and proposals 
  • Other options:

Provide a platform for benchmarking and information sharing. Develop mechanisms for improved co-ordination and communication between the national, regional and global forums and mechanisms to track issue/conversation progress.

2.3 What should be the main deliverables of the NETmundial Initiative? (Options provided below are only suggestive). Select as many as you wish.

  • Provide a neutral ‘connection platform’ on which diverse actors can solicit partners in and share the results of voluntary projects.  ✔
  • Serve as a neutral clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information about developments in Internet governance, (ADD NOTE: while recognising the possible roles of other entities in this field, such as the European Commission’s GIPO project).  ✔
  • Actively assist with broadening the participation of developing country governments and stakeholders in networking with relevant organizations and processes in order to address gaps in policy development.  ✔
  • Monitor and report annually on progress made in implementing the recommendations of the NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement.  ✔
  • Enable communities of expertise and practice.  ✔
  • Facilitate knowledge support to national and regional-level multistakeholder initiatives, e.g. institutional models and experiences, good practices, etc.  ✔
  • Other deliverables: NOTE: We select the above option "serve as a natural clearinghouse" with the added proviso: "while recognising the possible roles of other entities in this field, such as the European Commission’s GIPO project"

3. The Coordination Council

3.1 What should be the roles and responsibilities of the Inaugural Coordination Council? (Options provided below are only suggestive). 

  • Promote global support for the Initiative through outreach activities and liaising with other relevant organizations and initiatives.  ✔
  • Establish a framework for open, global participation in the Initiative’s work, including online consultations, inputs, teams, or other mechanisms; ensuring that all Initiative discussions and decision making are transparent and accountable.  ✔
  • Direct the work of the Secretariat.  ✔
  • Review and approve progress reports and other information outputs for dissemination.  ✔
  • Other roles and responsibilities: Set the agenda of the NMI, while endeavouring to reach broad consensus on same with the global IG community, and oversee its projects and activities.

4. Other Considerations

4.1 Please convey any other thoughts on the scope and conduct of the NETmundial Initiative that may be helpful as we draft initial Terms of References for public review and comment:

It is critical that there is regular reporting and updates on the work of the NETmundial Initiative, particularly in the early phase when scope and remit is being defined. Regular consultations with the global Internet governance community should be used as a means to ensure the broadest possible buy-in. The NETmundial Initiative should conduct itself with the maximum transparency. Meetings should be as open and easy to follow as possible, and funding of the Initiative and its projects should be disclosed.

It will be important to clarify the NMI’s role as one actor of many in the global IG ecosystem and its interaction with other fora, including the Internet Governance Forum. 

ETNO's response was originally published on the NETmundial website.

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