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Tuesday, December 19 • 10:40 - 12:10
Fast Tracking Digital Dividends for Women in CASA (WS251)

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Proposer's Name: Ms. Maria Beebe
Proposer's Organization: TechNation Afghanistan, Global Networks
Co-Proposer's Name: Ms. Shabana Mansoory
Co-Proposer's Organization: TechWomen Afghanistan
Co-Organizers: Ms. Maria Beebe and Ms. Shabana Mansoory

Session Format: Panel/Break-out Group Discussion - 90 Min

Country: Afghanistan
Stakeholder Group: Private Sector

Country: USA
Stakeholder Group: Civil Society

Ms. Maria Beebe, Co-founder at TechAfghanistan 
Mr. Omar Mansoor Ansari, President at TechNation (Afghanistan)

Online Moderator:
Sidra Jalil

Shabana Mansory

Country Speakers:
Tajikistan - Zuhra Halimova, Visiting Scholar at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, andMavzuna Abdurakhmanova, Program Coordinator, Open Society Institute (OSI) Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan - Zarina Chekirbaeva, Executive Director at American Chamber of Commerce in the Kyrgyzstan
Afghanistan - 
Shabana Mansoory, TechWomen Afghanistan
Pakistan - Sidra Jalil, Program Manager, Code for Pakistan
Nepal - Dikchya Raut
India - Amrita Choudhury

Resource Speakers: 
mCade Strategies - Marilyn Cade
Ustad Mobile - Benita Rowe
Microsoft/Telecommunications and Internet Governance - Melissa Sassi
TetraTech - Nilmini Rubin
CLDP/ DoC - Joseph Gattuso
Facebook - Ankhi Das
Digital CASA - Rajendra Singh and/or Digital CASA resource speaker  
EMPTREC - Fiorina Mugione/Lorenzo Tosini
IBM - Cathey Rogers (invited)
MasterCard Foundation - Manu Bhardwaj (invited)
USAID - Jordan Sellman (invited)
DotAsia - Jennifer Chung (invited) 
Internet Society (ISOC) - Jane Coffin/Joyce Dogniez (invited)
IEEE - Karen McCabe (invited)

Content of the Session:
This proposal is made by TechNation, a Kabul-based technology and entrepreneurship support company, with the support from its programs, TechWomen Afghanistan, and TechWomen.Asia. “Fast Tracking Digital Dividends for Women in Central Asia and South Asia (CASA)” workshop. The workshop explores digital solutions shaped for and by women in the CASA region that already show initial impact on economic growth, creation of paid work (jobs), new kinds of services (such as, e-health, e-agriculture, other socially relevant applications), and that have potential for scalability to broaden impact to benefit women in the CASA countries. Country speakers will present case studies that examine the link between (a) quality of access to the Internet and related technologies and (b) quality of foundations for a digital economy, including (1) regulations and publicpolicies of national governments that allow firms to connect and to compete, (2) digital skills that are needed to leverage uses of technology, and (3) institutions/organizations that are capable and accountable. Moreover, the country speakers will examine the level of digital development of their country (emerging, transitioning or transforming) and determine whether policies match the needed progress and the level of achievement. 

The session will open with an introduction of the concept of “digital dividends,” based on the World Bank report and other research, with a focus on women. An “expert” speaker will be invited to “set the stage.” Country speakers will present case studies that examine the link between (a) quality of access to the Internet and related technologies and (b) quality of foundations for a digital economy, The speakers and general participants will then break into small groups (by sectoral interests) to brainstorm and highlight digital development strategies that are broader than ICT strategies that could be scaled within and between countries. Rapporteurs will be assigned to each breakout group, as recording and real time transcription is not available to breakout groups. A template approach will be used to capture each group’s ideas and suggestions.

At the end of the session, the groups come back together to summarize their small group discussions and the invited “resource speakers” will suggest ideas for next steps in the scaling up of the case studies or pilot projects, as a way of shaping women’s digital future in CASA and accelerating progress. The workshop participants will further explore the link between the workshop topic about fast-tracking digital dividends for women and by women to the overall IGF2017 main theme of Shaping Your Internet.

Background: Women make almost half of the population in CASA (49.8%). In Central Asia, the percent of female population is: 48.46% in Afghanistan, 49.39% in Tajikistan, 50.83% in Uzbekistan, 50.84% in Turkmenistan, 51.72% in Kazakhstan, and 50.53% in Kyrgyzstan. In South Asia, the percent of female population is: Pakistan: 48.63, India: 48.16, Bangladesh: 49.51, Sri Lanka: 51.75, Nepal: 51.54, Bhutan: 46.26, and Maldives: 49.85. Majority of these women live below the poverty line, do not have access to education, sustainable livelihoods, and technologies. Access to internet is considered a luxury, rather than a basic human right. Issues such as digital literacy, local technologies, local content, poor infrastructure, cost of bandwidth, quality of service and inadequate policies are shared problems in the region. Yet, pilot programs and initiatives abound for discussion, information exchange, and sharing good practices, even lessons learned from failures. Thus, the workshop objective of sharing good practices across CASA in fast tracking digital dividends is consistent with the IGF’s commitment of bringing a diverse group of stakeholders from a geographic region to discuss shaping your Internet.

Relevance of the Session:
The workshop objective of sharing good practices across Central Asia and South Asia (CASA) in fast tracking digital dividends is consistent with the IGF’s commitment of bringing a diverse group of stakeholders from a geographic region to discuss shaping your Internet. The workshop will explore policies that are matched to the level of digital development: at the emerging level where foundations are laid for digital adoption; at the transitioning level where everyone is enabled to take advantage of new technologies; and at the transforming level where digital dividends are shown in faster growth, more jobs, and better services.

Tag 1: Gender Issues
Tag 2: Digital Future
Tag 3: Enhanced cooperation

The Overview of the Workshop and Introduction of Digital Dividends Framework (5-10 minutes). Speakers will frame their discussion on the link between (a) quality of access to the Internet and related technologies and (b) quality of regulations that allow firms to connect and to compete, skills that leverage technology, and institutions that are capable and accountable. And then they can drill down on their specific project or initiative that focused on (a) skills that leverage technology and the impact on job creation OR (b) institution building and the impact on service delivery OR (c) advocating for regulation (if NGO) or regulatory policy (if govt) and the impact on productivity, etc. (Each speaker will have 5 minutes each x 4 speakers = 20 minutes) then participate in one of four break out groups by sectoral interest (30 minute in depth discussion). Virtual break our groups as well. Report back and recommendations = 30 minutes). Total time = 90 minutes

Diversity is reflected as follows: The speakers are all female, geographic diversity - speakers are from Afghanistan, UAE, Pakistan and the U.S. representing civil society, technical community, public policy from a private sector perspective, with some wearing multiple stakeholder hats. 

Online Participation:
We will use Webex provided by the IGF secretariat. The online moderator will participate in the training to be provided by IGF and facilitate remote participation. Prior to the actual session at IGF, we will host online sessions and promote the workshop via social media so additional people can join in. We will ask the remote participants to add to the knowledge base. We will select a few venues in several of the Central and South Asian countries where people can have access and connect with the session online in real time. The illustrative venues are: Kabul at TechNation’s office, Pakistan’s Code for Pakistan facility, Facebook India and World Pulse. At each of these venues, the participants will be provided with a moderator who can set the stage and facilitate the group’s remote participation, including their own break- out session or remote participation in one of the break-out groups. The remote participants will share the recommendations arising out of their break-out session for inclusion in the action planning discussion.

Discussion facilitation:
Effective facilitation of a discussion involves the recognition and employment of different perspectives and different skills to create an inclusive environment. Discussion is a powerful mechanism for active learning; a well-facilitated discussion allows the participant to explore new ideas while recognizing and valuing the contributions of others. Discussion facilitation will include: 1. Creating an inclusive environment; 2. Keeping discussions constructive and positive; 3. Encouraging participants.



Session Organizers
avatar for Maria Beebe

Maria Beebe

Advisor, TechNation
Maria Beebe, Ph.D. is an applied sociolinguist whose research interests include critical discourse analysis, women’s leadership, and information communication technologies (ICTs) for development. She acts as advisor to TechNation to develop new initiatives in ICTs. As an outcome... Read More →

Tuesday December 19, 2017 10:40 - 12:10 CET
Room XI - A United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)