Mr Peter Major (Deputy Chair, UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development) asked representatives from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to share information on current projects and initiatives that they undertake for increasing capacity development in Internet governance issues.
Mr Mike Nxele (Senior Human Capacity Building Officer, ITU) took the floor first. He spoke about capacity building activities and partnerships that ITU offers in the field of Internet governance. Major delivery channels are the ITU Academy platform and face-to-face meetings and workshops run by the Center of Excellence (CoE) network. ITU put a lot of efforts in producing standardised training materials and certified training courses in partnership with governments, the private sector, academic and research institutions, CoEs, and international organisations. Nxele then elaborated more on ITU’s CoE network. Globally, the network has 31 centres in all 6 regions, and the list of topics they work on is broad, from spectrum management to big data and statistics, including Internet governance.
In 2017, in collaboration with DiploFoundation, ITU produced a Global Assessment Report on Internet governance (IG) capacity development that identifies the existing skills gap in IG based on DiploFoundation’s taxonomy. The main focus of ITU in providing capacity development is infrastructure, security, and legal and economic baskets of Internet governance. In conclusion, Nxele provided several examples of recent project and events for capacity building where ITU, together with partners, holds trainings and workshops targeting policymakers, regulators and tech staff. In the future, ITU plans to undertake events in the remaining regions.
Mr Laurent Ferrali (Government and IGO Engagement Director, ICANN) talked about the importance of capacity building activities for ICANN since its community is vast and with diverse backgrounds, so tech and policy people sometimes do not understand each other. Ferrali then spoke about the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) work arrangement within ICANN and outlined the support ICANN offers to government representatives in facilitating their work, including working on language diversity, offering travel support to attend ICANN meetings and a secretariat for administrative issues. Capacity building initiatives for GAC stems from the ICANN56 Helsinki communiqué that, among other things, aimed to lower barriers for the participation of government representatives form underserved regions. The capacity building programme began in January 2016 and GAC determined the agenda and locations of trainings. Also, ICANN used pre and post surveys to work better and meet the demands of the audience. The common themes were the Internet ecosystem, the operation of ICANN, the operation of domain name systems, personal data protection and WHOIS, and security and stability. Since ICANN used a regional approach to the events, some of them addressed disaster preparedness and resilience topics. Ferrali shared plans for the upcoming year: to conduct five more workshops by June 2020 and to develop specialized online courses.
By Ilona Stadnik