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Monday, December 18 • 09:00 - 10:30
What digital future for vulnerable people? (WS157)

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Proposer's Name: Mr. Enrico Calandro
Proposer's Organization: Research ICT Africa
Co-Proposer's Name: Ms. Chenai Chair
Co-Proposer's Organization: Research ICT Africa
Ms., Anri, VAN DER SPUY, Private Sector, Independent Consultant

Session Format: Debate - 90 Min

Country: South Africa
Stakeholder Group: Civil Society

Country: South Africa
Stakeholder Group: Civil Society

Speaker: Wakabi Wairagala (Director at CIPESA)
Speaker: Alexandrine Pirlot de Corbion (Advocacy Officer, Privacy International)
Speaker: Ursula Wynhoven (ITU Representative to the United Nations in New York)
Speaker: Yatanar Htun (Director at Myanmar ICT Development Organisation)

Content of the Session:
Despite the technological advancement and the reduction of the digital divide in many African countries, the increased level of connectedness brings about new challenges for the vulnerable of society. Not only a considerable portion of the population in Africa is still disconnected or is connected to an expensive and poor quality network, but also their rights online such as freedom of expression, privacy and security, might be totally neglected, making them even more vulnerable in the digital space. Therefore, a new divide is emerging between those who are aware of their digital rights (including how they are regulated in their jurisdictions and how to protect themselves against digital rights violation) and those who are unware of what their digital rights are and do not have resources – skills, means and capabilities - to enforce these. We refer to this phenomenon as “digital rights divide”.

The proposed debate is about the “digital rights divide” and discussants are invited to share their views on what digital future is expected for vulnerable people. The focus of the debate is on Africa and research findings from the Beyond access surveys conducted by Research ICT Africa in 2017 in selected African countries will be shared.

Specifically, the debate seeks to answer to the following questions:
1) Who are the vulnerable of society? 2) What is their level of access to ICT? 3) What type of access to they have to ICT? 4) Do they contribute to "shaping their digital future"? How? 5) Are they aware of their digital rights? 6) If so, how do they enforce their rights (or defend themselves) from threats on digital rights violation? 7)Do different stakeholders engage with them and how?

The debate has the following intended agenda:

- Brief introduction on the topic of the debate and on the discussants
- Presentation on vulnerability and digital rights, based on the Research ICT Africa Beyond Access surveys conducted in 2017 in selected Africa countries
- Debate on research findings moderated by an expert on digital rights in Africa;
- Open microphone for online and offline interventions and questions from the public;
- Answers from the discussion;
- Wrap up and take aways.

Relevance of the Session:
The debate is a contribution towards the achievement of the 10th Global Goal for Sustainable Development which aims at “Reducing inequality within and among countries”. In this instance our focus being on digital rights inequality. The debate on the digital future for vulnerable people will tackle cyber policy and regulation that might not be communicated in a relevant way for vulnerable groups of society as these people not only are currently excluded from any debate on digital rights, but also because they might be unaware on how – or not have the resources - to defend themselves from digital rights violation. Therefore, the debate will seek to provide recommendations towards progressively achieving greater equality on digital rights awareness and enforcement. Issues on how to ensure enhanced representation and voice for vulnerable people in decision-making of digital rights in order to deliver more effective, credible, accountable and legitimate cyber-policies will also be discussed.

Tag 1: Digital Rights
Tag 2: Digital Future
Tag 3: Internet Inclusion

The speakers to the panel belong to different stakeholders groups – civil society, academia, technical community, and private sector. In this way, different perspectives on how digital rights enforcement, and fighting against digital rights violation, is addressed by different stakeholders groups. The discussant, based on their experience, will be challenged to discuss issues on digital rights violation within vulnerable groups, and how their expertise can contribute towards bridging the “digital rights divide”.

Diversity is taken into account in the selection of discussants, moderators, and organisers. Gender balance is respected and preference is given to women in the panel. Discussants work in developing countries and belong to different stakeholders groups.

Onsite Moderator: Enrico Calandro
Online Moderator: Anri Van Der Spuy
Rapporteur: Yolanda Mlonzi

Online Participation:
In order to ensure equal offline and online participation, online attendees will have their own interventions and questions queue and microphone, which will rotate equally with the microphone in the room. The moderator of the debate in the room will work closely with the online moderator in order to balance online and offline participation during the debate. The remote moderator, who has been selected based on her expertise in communications, journalism, new media and ICT policy, will be trained on how to engage the online community to participate to the debate and on how to feed the offline debate with online contributions. On the other hand, the moderator in the room will be trained on how to alternate offline contributions and online contributions from the remote public. The moderator of the debate in the room and the online moderator will meet before the debate to organise modalities of interventions of the offline and online public.
Last but not least, in order to engage more and new participants in the session, remote hubs for participation in the session will be organised in the study's target countries - i.e. South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya. The organisers will identify iHubs, Incubators or other ICT centres who will set up remote hubs and invite local participants to remotely participate to the discussion.

Discussion facilitation:
The moderators (offline and online) supported by the workshop organisers, will involve discussants and the public in the debate, and will facilitate the discussion on the topic of the workshop. Specifically, in order to optimise the time and to assure fair participation of both online and offline participants, the debate will unfold in the following way:

1) The moderator will introduce the discussants to the offline and online public and will briefly introduce the topic of the debate: 3 minutes

2) The moderator will then invite a researcher from Research ICT Africa to present findings from the Beyond Access surveys on how vulnerable people use ICT and on their awareness on issues related to digital rights: 10 minutes.

3) Afterwards, the moderator will invite discussants to comment on the research results and to share their own experience on digital rights and vulnerable people: 5 discussants, 5 minutes each = 25 minutes.

4) After all discussants have expressed their opinions, the moderator will invite the offline public and the online public to make interventions or to ask specific questions. A maximum of 3 offline interventions/questions and 3 online interventions/questions will be placed in a queue and will have the microphone: 12 minutes.

5) Questions will be answered, and additional comments will be made by the discussants: 15 minutes.

6) The moderators will open up the microphones to a second round of online and offline interventions/questions: 12 minutes.

7) The debate will end with a final round of answers and additional comments by the discussants: 10 minutes.

8) The moderator will wrap up and close the debate: 3 minutes.

TOTAL: 90 minutes.

Conducted a Workshop in IGF before?: Yes
Link to Report: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/wks2014/index.php/proposal/view_public/118

Additional Speakers: 

Jorge Vargas (Head of Strategic Partnerships - LATAM, Wikimedia Foundation)
Elloani Hickok (Co-Director, Centre for Internet & Society)


Suggested Agenda (90 minutes):
a. Introduction to the workshop topic by Anri Van Der Spuy, workshop co-organizer

b. Presentation of the RIA Beyond Access research (indicators on digital rights awareness) by Chenai Chair (5 minutes)

c. Panelist remarks (5 minutes each: 20 minute in total)

d. Open Discussion (35 minutes), facilitated by on-side moderator, including comments and questions from remote participants

e.  Closing remarks from panelists (5 minutes each: 20 minutes in total)

f.  Wrap-up of the discussion (10 minutes)


Session Organizers
avatar for Enrico Calandro

Enrico Calandro

Research manager, Research ICT Africa
Enrico Calandro (Ph.D.) is a research manager at Research ICT Africa, an ICT think tank based in Cape Town. Over the last eight years, Enrico has been exploring the relationship between digital access and development, and his research has been published on peer-review journals and... Read More →

Monday December 18, 2017 09:00 - 10:30 CET
Room XXVII - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)