Wow! 2009 was such an intense year! We are almost done with January and we cannot let go the opportunity to make a retrospective of significant events on Diplo Internet governance.
We asked some of our friends and here is what they replied:
"Diplo always succeeds to make a difference on all the thematic areas it chooses to take part. This year, Diplo's encouragement was fundamental for the Remote Participation Working Group
to continue its activities towards the improvement of remote attendance in the IGF. Diplo´s experience in fostering fructuous online interactions among participants of the Internet Governance Capacity Building Program
and its belief on the importance of the inclusion of a broader scope of people in the Internet Governance process has made it one of the great supporters of this initiative.
Diplo not only offered important insights and helped the RPWG to get in contact with key-people; it has also proposed a workshop about remote participation
in the IGF. This debate has been very important to evaluate what has worked well and also the shortcomings of remote participation, pointing to a way forward. It has successfully brought a multistakeholder group of people and the IGF Secretariat together to discuss the role of remote participation and the ways to improve it."
The point on remote participation was also reinforced by Jean Paul Nkurunziza
"For me, the most special action within the Internet Governance area in 2009 was the IGF Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt and its remote participation hubs. The positive impact of remote participation hubs is that the local communities around get aware about what is happening in IGF.
I have just made a small research about the eleven remote participation hubs officially registered
. It’s good to notice that almost 50% of the contact persons are Diplo community members. So, for me, DiploFoundation is playing a very important role in community awareness about the IG issues.
, Romania, has chosen to highlight her takeaways from EuroDIG
, and here are some of the reasons:
"First, because I was happy to meet in person the participants of Diplo's first IG Capacity Building Programme dedicated to Europeans, and most particular to Central and Eastern European countries.
And then because of the very presence of the Diplo fellows at this second EuroDIG meeting
: their participation brought a fresh perspective to the debates, owed to their youth and enthusiasm and national experiences."
, Kenya, chose the initiative of social reporting as a relevant one on the Sharm El Sheikh meeting:
"The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has become a significant event for ICT experts worldwide, that provides opportunities to share new knowledge and ideas through open multistakeholder dialogue. A significant highlight of the 4th IGF held in Sharm El Sheikh for me was the use of social media
; flickr, twitter, blogs, for reporting of events.
I was part of a group of Diplo Foundation alumni that used social reporting to provide real time updates on various events expanding the scope of information and knowledge sharing beyond the physical location of the forum. I enthusiastically used ‘Twitter’ to share highlights of discussions at various workshops with national IGF counterparts who were unable to attend the Sharm El Sheikh meeting. Apart from being a comprehensive record of events the results of social reporting will for a long time continue to be used as reference in numerous features on websites and am extremely humbled to have been part of this initiative."
highlighted how 2009 was a significant year for DiploFoundation since it gained a global recognition of its effort
in spreading the culture of capacity development in IG. She says:
"The Arab region has a lack of expertise in this field and also needs more engagement and dedication from the government and civil society to finally raise the issues specific to the region.
Being a Diplo research associate I used the skills and expertise gained from my work with Diplo in highlighting the needs of the Arab region by decoding diversity issues in a publication of UNESCWA
about the challenges and opportunities of Internet Governance (issues related to diversity), drafting a regional report
about access to information in the MENA region for GisWatch and country report about Morocco
I also organized a workshop about the use of Internet in the Arab region for the IGF Sharm El Sheikh. Various stakeholders were invited to debate the importance of having online content originally in Arabic since the meaning could be lost in translation to encourage more access to the Web in the Arab region, launching initiatives that are compatible with the cultural backgrounds of Internet users in the region, highlighting initiatives which components include developing search engines, automatic translation, linguistic tools, a digital library, book translation, an open content project, an Arabic interactive dictionary, and an Arabic corpus, decoding why there is an increase in Arab users but significant increase is noticed as far online Arabic content is concerned and finally discussing the role of research and ICT capacity building in the region and its importance in bridging the knowledge gap and other issues. For more info, please refer to the following link
Last, but not least, Marsha Guthrie
, Jamaica, is enthused about many activities and the Diplo spirit:
"There were so many great things about 2009 and my continuing, deepening "love affair" with Diplo and Internet Governance but what always stands out for me is the way Diplo's team (past and current, alumni, tutors, etc.) came together and worked so well together at the fourth IGF in Sharm-el-Sheikh.
The launch of the booklet on
Identifying the Impact was so well received at the IGF along with Diplo's other publications and programmes. This may not be considered a random event but what was especially heartening for me was to be at the IGF and be so highly regarded when you identified yourself as being affiliated with Diplo, which shows that Diplo is definitely fulfilling its capacity building mandate. I do not know whether the role that Diplo has played in Internet Governance can even begin to be measured!
Note that I am saying we are perfect (but we are close!) and people do not and will not always agree. This is one of the things that make Diplo different. I do not think that I have had the opportunity to work with a more engaging, open, dedicated group with such great karma and camaraderie. A "can do" and non-defeatist attitude by all of Diplo's associates who were willing to be involved in any way that was necessary to help in Internet Governance capacity building made the year, all of the activities and the IGF memorable.
On a side note I still do not know where people like Jovan and Ginger get the energy! They're like my role models!"
What about you? Want to share your insights and memories of 2009 in this retrospective? Join the conversation!