Moving Beyond the Talk: Partnerships in Practice

13 November 2007 - A Best Practice Forum on Multistakeholderism in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



ISOC, infoDev, the Government of the UK and PANOS London

Additional Information
How this Session Links to the Priorities of IGF:
IGF is a forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue and has capacity building as a cross cutting priority for this second forum. There is a lot of talk about multi-stakeholder partnerships and their potential. However for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue to be successful it is important to go beyond the hype and look at some of the key questions such as:

What are the key challenges for multi-stakeholder partnerships and what are some of the strategies for overcoming them?

Where have multi-stakeholder partnerships made the most impact and why? Where have they failed and why?

Where should multi-stakeholder partnerships be promoted/strengthened?

What is needed to enable partnerships to develop and be effective?

This session addresses the capacity building priority - it will enable IGF participants to benefit from learning from the experiences and insights of those who are actively engaged in multi-stakeholder partnership processes in the internet governance arena. It will address the questions above and provide participants with increased understanding of strategies and challenges when undertaking the multi-stakeholder collaboration encouraged and fostered by the IGF. Developing countries will be able to explore the value of multi-stakeholder partnerships within their own domestic contexts as a means of addressing the unique Internet development challenges they face.

Session Focus and Structure

This session will look at multi-stakeholder partnerships on internet governance related issues specifically in the area of policy and strategy development and implementation.

This session will present the practitioner view on the questions outlined above. By doing so the session will pull out the challenges addressed, the strategies developed, mistakes made, impact, unintended consequences and lessons learned.

The session will enable participants to benefit from the experiences and perspectives from different stakeholders groups. The session will present experiences and lessons, drawing out the challenges and strategies for addressing these challenges in through assessment of specific national case studies where APC and ISOC have supported the establishment and activities of national multi-stakeholder networks addressing ICT policy issues. To ensure a continued and sustained dialogue on this important issue, the session will also explore the need for analytical work on specific issues relating to multi-stakeholder partnerships that could be commissioned and presented in time for the next IGF.


APC: The Association for Progressive Communication (APC) is an international network of civil society organisations dedicated to empowering and supporting groups and individuals working for peace, human rights, development and protection of the environment, through the strategic use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), including the internet. APC has supported the establishment and activities of multi-stakeholder ICT policy networks in a number of countries. APC has also been involved in many multi-stakeholder activities and networks in the internet governance arena global.

ISOC: The Internet Society was founded in 1992 to promote the evolution and growth of the Internet as a global communications infrastructure, to provide support for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and to encourage the responsible and effective use of the Internet through education, discussion, and advice to public policy makers. ISOC's activities--particularly in developing countries-- have helped expand the reach of the Internet, bringing benefits to people around the world. The mission of the Internet Society is to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world. Operating both on a local level and in the global arena, ISOC works with a range of stakeholder partners to promote the formulation and adoption of policies that make the Internet accessible to everyone. Through it's membership, Chapters and education and outreach activities, ISOC has been involved in encouraging and supporting multistakeholder efforts around the globe.

infoDEV: infoDev is a global partnership of international development organizations. It is housed at the World Bank, which is itself a founder of and a major donor to infoDev. infoDev's mission is to help developing countries use information and communication technologies (ICT) effectively as tools for poverty reduction and sustainable development. infoDev provides insights into ICT for development (ICT4D) issues, to help developing countries, donors and development practitioners make more informed choices. infoDev provides advisory services on ICT4D, undertakes capacity building programs, pilot-testing and trials and also generates best practices guides on a range of ICT4D issues.

PANOS London: Panos London stimulates informed and inclusive public debate around key development issues in order to foster sustainable development. We are working to promote an enabling media and communications environment worldwide. Our aim is to ensure that the perspectives of the people whose lives are most affected by development (mainly the poor and marginalised) are included within decision-making and that decisions are subject to their scrutiny and debate. Panos London maintains that the success of inclusive communications policies depends on mobilising commitment from all actors involved in communication processes, including business people and policy-makers from the private and public spheres. Panos London has supported these types of initiatives in Africa and South Asia.

BERR, UK Government: The UK Government Department for Business leads work to create the conditions for business success through competitive and flexible markets that create value for businesses, consumers and employees. It drives regulatory reform, and works across Government and with the regions to raise levels of UK productivity.

Contact Information:

Karen Banks