Mexico: The National Digital Strategy and the MSH model

12 November 2015 - A Workshop on Other in João Pessoa, Brazil

Also available in:
Full Session Transcript

>> MODERATOR:  Hello, everyone, I'm the head of the Digital Government Unit in the Ministry of the Public Administration in Mexico.  We are part of the national digital strategy coordination office and we are happy to have the opportunity to share with you what we are doing in Mexico.  And I'm so glad to see many familiar faces.  Thank you so much for joining.  I would like to present to you some of the key people that participate very actively in the Internet Governance ecosystem in Mexico.

So here is Israel Rosas.  He is the sub-Director for Internet Governance within the IT office of the President and to my right is Leon Felipe who is an independent consultant who participates actively in international issues related to Government and the Internet Governance system in Mexico.  I would like to thank you so much for being here. Rodrigo De La Parra is the VP for ICANN Latin America and thank you all of you Civil Society, people from Mexico joining the youth IGF programme, people from ELAC, from Latin America, thank you for being here.  To get started, I would like to see if the Internet helps us and we can show an intro video.   Chengetai, welcome.

>> MODERATOR:  Whoa, Mexico!  Thank you so much!  We are so happy to be your host next year if the mandate is renewed.  So we are working very hard to make a new era for IGF really amazing in 2016.  And with this in mind, there are three things that are shaping our society these days, Internet, innovation, and technology.  And as most of you know, every second, every second, you know, many people is changing millions of emails having more than 1700 Skype calls, they are making more than 40,000 search in Google and we need to make sure that the benefits that innovation, and technology is available to everyone.  In Mexico we take that very seriously, and I want to give you an insight of what is the current situation.  We have 47 Internet users currently.

Remember that we are a big country, we have 122 million population.  We have more than 100 million mobile phone users.  So mobile policies are very important for us.  We have 31 million households with access to the Internet, and for those Internet users in Mexico, we have a very highly used, 94% use Facebook account.  We have a lot of promotion of eCommerce, 64% of Internet users use credit card to do eCommerce transactions and we want these numbers to grow, and in terms of eGovernment, we have a national digital strategy which is managed and directed from the President's office.

We have an official one‑stop shop portal which is GovMX which is our major digital channel to communicate with citizens.  We have an eParticipation platform we are pushing into using Internet, innovation and technology have an open and continuous dialogue with the citizen.  We have a very strong policy of identity using the signature for a lot of Government services.  And we have a very strong policy also for accessibility especially in digital channels for those people with disabilities.

We also are promoting a lot of Government initiatives with more than seven Government applications available to our open data portal.  And one of the most important things we have been working on is structural constitutional reforms can help us democratize access to better developing opportunities.

During the first year of President Enrique Nieto's Government, we made eleven constitutional reforms and one of the most important, one is telecommunications reform.  The telecommunications reform sets a new era in Mexico for taking advantage of digital technology.  First of all, we make Internet a constitutional right for every Mexican in the country and this is a huge change for our citizens.  That means that we as Government are obligated to provide Internet access to every Mexican in the country and that's a huge challenge.  That implies we need to do a lot about the legal framework to make sure we have an autonomous institute of telecommunications which is responsible for doing all of the regulation within the sector, increasing competition and promoting the prices of telecommunication services.

Also that Constitution mandates to have a universal digital inclusion policy, and that digital inclusion policy ask a national digital strategy and its mandated in the Constitution we have that policy in place to make sure that people take advantage of Internet and really use it so change and to have a better development opportunity.  We also have a very aggressive programme in terms of boosting coverage in infrastructure.  It is run by the Ministry of the Telecommunications and it's called Mexico Conectado.  The national digital strategy Action Plan put in place in order to deal with digital Mexico in which technology and innovation will continue to achieve major development goals.  It is managed under the President's office.  It is transversal it is within the national development plan and that's important for us because Mexico everything that is within the national development plan has budget allocated to make that plan a reality.

So those action lines within the national development plan related so the national digital strategy have budget in each of the ministries dedicated to digitizing Government services and to making the Government more efficient.  What are the priorities within the National Digital Strategy?  We have five main objectives and five enablers.

Our five priorities is to use technology, Internet and innovation to transform the Government, to dim ties our economy, to transform our ‑‑ to make more effective health services to promote civic participation and we have five enablers that are go transversal to these objectives.  Connectivity is our priority.  We still have a lot of people without access to the Internet and we are working aggressively in making sure that all public spaces provides free access to Internet.

We have a lot of programs related to inclusion in digital skills.  We promote a lot of interoperability to make sure that we save time to our citizens and provide better services without having to ask for the same information that a Government already has.  We have a very strong legal framework to provide security and legal certainty to all transactions and we have a very aggressive open data policy.

Within our policy of Government transformation, our major project is called GovMX and this is to put in one place all governmental information related to more than 278 Government agencies to provide access to all federal services on line and to promote citizen participation through electronic platforms.  This very important change of paradigm in public sector because having digital services is the most effective way to democratize process.  So every Mexican in the world no matter what it is no matter the time, the device is able to access Government services using digital channels and the Government is very cheap.  Providing digital services is 95% cheaper than providing services on regular offices.

So we are really putting a lot of effort in making the digitization of services have priority.  According to last year's inventory of Government services we have more than 6,000 in which we selected 100 for this year digitization programme, and within that digitization programme, we standardized house we provide services to citizens making it more accessible.  We put a lot of effort in standardizing how people are using online services.

We promote the use of electronic signatures so people don't have to go to Government offices to do and to access Government services, and we are working very strongly with all Government agencies in making these services better.  As I mentioned before, we have more than 1700 mobile applications available for citizens where they can do a lot of Government services online, and the benefits that Internet, innovation and technology provides to the Mexican population is amazing.  And we are going to keep having these aggressive digitization programme during the last three years of this Government.

What are priorities looking ahead?  We increase interoperability of services.  The less people need to go to offices, the better and the Internet is a great tool to make that a reality.  We encourage a lot of simplification of services using digital technology.  We promote the use of reusable components of eGovernment.  We are looking into increasing transparency, reduce corruption and making sure that everyone can access free digital services on line anywhere in the country thanks to the Internet.

We also believe in the Open Government Partnership.  We were the President of the partnership for the 2014‑2015 period, and for those of you who do not know what is Open Government Partnership, this is a partnership that was created in 2011 with eight countries.

And by the end of this year, we are 69 countries who believe that an open Government is capable to be more transparent, to promote access to information, more accountable, and more open to have citizen participation and innovation.  Those are the principles of the Open Government Partnership, and countries participating in this initiative are obligated to have an Action Plan that reflects that they are committed to these principles and in the case of Mexico, we decided to have governance body with the national institute to access information participates very actively.  Civil Society for the last Action Plan related to open Government, we had 26 commitments that were fulfilled 100%.  And all of those 26 commitment have to use Internet, open information, open data, and it's very relevant for us that we can also promote open Government at the national level.

We were very active the last UN General Assembly since we promote the OGP member countries join the declaration in order to use open Government principles to implement the 2030 agenda.  We also presented to have Sustainable Development Goals indicators available online at national levels and we have the platform made in open and public software and it's available for other countries to use that platform to able to report on the commitment for the 2030 Development Agenda.

I'm just going to keep talking because if I wait for the presentation ‑‑ and one of the other initiatives we are really working on is on Internet Governance, and with an Internet Governance we have national level an ecosystem and an initiative where we see it with academia, with Civil Society, with Government and private sector, and so far we had two national IGFs, one in 2013, one in 2015.  We were the host for the regional IGF that we put together with the ELAC meeting and the ELAC meeting is regional mechanism where countries before the Latin American and Caribbean get together to have consensus agreement of what you are our bright priorities for the Latin American and Caribbean digital agenda.

And since here we have people from the Internet Governance initiative, I would like to share with them what is their experience of that group in promoting Internet Governance in Mexico, so Leon.

>> LEON FELIPE:  Hello, everyone.  This is Leon Sanchez.  Some of you know me.  Many of you know me.  And as Joanna was saying we have begun working on setting up a group, multistakeholder group that is beginning to try to create awareness and consciousness at Civil Society level and an academic level, and, of course, technical community level of the Internet Governance movement around the world, and for this, we have already organized two events, one on 2014, the second one on 2015, and we have been partnering with different sectors, of course.

We have been holding meetings between this group that encompasses members from the academic grounds.  We have also partnered with some companies like Google, Microsoft, we have been partnering with universities as the national university in Mexico, we have been partnering with NIC Mexico.  We have been partnering with ICANN and ISOC.  And, well, of course this group began as an exercise to try, as I said, to create awareness on how Internet Governance actually works around the world, and since we are hoping to actually hold or to host the IGF in 2016 it seemed like a good idea to try to bring more people into the debate because we have very important basis of activists around Mexico that have been able to achieve a lot of goals in regard to Internet and some initiatives that, have been presented in a let's say not the best way and that have been perceived as to ways to regulate Internet.

So taking advantage of the network that exists, the intent of this work is to actually bring those people, those activists into the conversation and try to create a very inclusive and very open and diverse Forum in which we can all, of course, sit at a table and exchange our views and try to achieve bottom up and consensus driven resolutions that could guide not only the efforts from Civil Society, academia, technical community, but also with the aid of work who has been very helpful in trying to facilitate all what is needed for us to actually get together and discuss this initiatives.

So I think that we are still in baby steps maybe in Mexico, but as you look at the initiative, I think that it's already blossoming because we were able to have this first Forum in 2014 and I think it was attended by maybe some 100 or 150 people and then we held the second Forum in 2015 which had far more participation and I think that it was attended by maybe 200 or in between 200 and 300 persons and we are continuing to go to the universities, speak about Internet Governance.

We are trying to get young people involved.  We are aware that we need a new generation of leaders that should come to these Forums and also ICANN meetings, IETF meetings.  We are trying to create awareness that there are scholarship programs that people could use and could be taken advantage of, so, of course, our intent is to build upon the multistakeholder model in Mexico and try to bring as many people into the conversation as possible.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR:  I would like to ask Rodrigo De la Parra to share with his insights on how the Internet Governance initiative is working in Mexico.

>> RODRIGO DE LA PARRA:  Thank you very much, Yolanda, and good afternoon, everyone.  I have had the opportunity to attend several of the events and being witness of the creation of the recent initiatives in the Latin American Caribbean region the multistakeholder dialogues, movements, platforms, whatever you like to call them.  Of course, in this region we have Brazil, the CGI which is a model, just one model of a very institutionalized platform for dealing with Internet Governance.

But the important thing is that these platforms can come in different shapes and forms according to each of the country's own reality and how the different key players they want to have this kind of dialogue.  The example of Mexico I am an active participant of the initiative group in Mexico.  Although it's informal in the way that it's not formally body, formally constituted body, it's based on these volunteer work of all of the different key players.

And I think this can, I mean, there is not a recipe of how to make national multistakeholder model as long as it is precisely multistakeholder where you can have people from Government, Civil Society, technical community, private sector participating in this.  And this is the case also in Mexico and also it has an open platform.  You can invite more people to join.

So I see that, well, as Yolanda and Leon mentioned, this is already showing some interesting results to additions of the dialogues or national IGFs in Mexico, plus there are now some capacity building initiatives as well happening in different universities of the country where the members of the group and others are now teaching Internet Governance in different universities in Mexico.  So I think it's a very good effort going in the right direction, and I'm sure it's going to continue maturing.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you, Rodrigo.  And I think one of the most innovative initiatives this year in the global IGF is the youth programme, and since we have two members from Mexico with us right now, I would like for them to share their views and their experiences so far in this IGF.  Iana?

>> Hi, everyone.  The youth IGF programme is a proposal that looks for involvement of young people in the Internet Governance debate.  And in this programme, there are four Mexicans that we are participants in this programme, and this is a great experience because what the young has seen is we are not involved in these kinds of things and we don't know about Internet Governance, so we have the opportunity to know, to start now and start debating and start working in this kind of topics.  That's why we want to the young people, all of the young that are participating in this Forum are proposing to create an observatory and young observatory in order to bring this debate, this information, this knowledge to all of the regions in Latin America.  So that's our job here.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you, girls. Israel, would you like to share some of the work and maybe talk about the manifest which is ongoing work of the Internet Governance initiative now.

>> ISRAEL ROSAS:  Thank you.  Here in Mexico, well, in Mexico we have a lot of work on Internet Governance.  We have the initiative group on Internet Governance, and part of the work that we have done is, for example, the digital, the manifest on Internet Governance is a document.  It's an ongoing process that talks about the consensus that we reached in the local ecosystem.  We talk about the multi‑stakeholder model, about Human Rights, about Net Neutrality.  It's a document with far reaching approach, I think, because the participation of the community is open to comments and we, we will be happy if you can share with us your comments, your points of view because it's an ongoing process.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you, and since we are very sensitive of the time, just to summarize Mexico is very committed to youth Internet innovation and technologies to really foster the development of our country.  We are very proud to have the opportunity to host IGF 2016 if the mandate is renewed, and we definitely believe that these type of conversations add a lot of value to the process, and we should be, we need to include more people, make it more open, invite more Civil Society, more Developing Countries into that conversation, indigenous communities, elder, youth, everyone should be part of the benefits of Internet.  And all of us are responsible to make that happen in each of our countries and in the world.  Thank you so much for joining this workshop. 

(Concluded at 1434).