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[EuroDig Interview] David Kavanagh, Ireland

David Kavanagh is from Ireland and now based in France, where he collaborates with UNESCO. He is part of the team coming to the EuroDig in Geneva and tells his experience with the European Capacity Development in Internet Governance, as well as the current challenges for Internet governance in different political environments.

DIPLO IGCBP: David what can you tell us about the eLearning experience?

DAVID: Having previously completed other Diplo courses, I was very comfortable with the platform, which is very easy to use. It allows the participants to contribute at their own pace and at a time that suits them. This eLearning method ensures that you learn as much from the experience from your fellow participants, as while as from the guidance of the tutor and course texts. The level of interaction allows you to express your opinions, ideas of issues and situations, while understand other participants perspectives. The course was very informative and has a solid base from where I could develop my understandings, especially in areas that I had not been previously exposed too.

DIPLO IGCBP: Tell us more about the current situation in your country: what do you see as the main challenges ahead?

DAVID: Ireland, like all countries have come to the realisation that they can not act in isolation to resolve issues, standards, content, as well as continuous development of the internet through legislation. Ireland has a strong history of multi-stakeholder involvement and this is seen in the Office of Internet Safety (OIS), which is not only made up of various stakeholders in government, industry, NGO's and other advisory members, but it is governed by co-regulation with the use of a clearly set out Code of Practices. This allows for a quick response to issues raised, especially in the areas of terrorism, child pornography and breaches of IPR's. This Executive Body also works in partnership with INTERPOL, WTO, INHOPE and INSAFE, in order to react to issues outside of it's jurisdiction that affect it's nationals.

DIPLO IGCBP: What are the main topics of interest for you in Internet governance? And how do you expect to touch these issues on the EuroDig?

DAVID: My own interest lies on a global scale, with concern for the representation of underdeveloped and developing states. The area of guidance to empower these states to protect their interests while encouraging development.

Often many states can not provide representation to so many international events or have a lack of resources to participate meaningfully on an international scale. These states need clear and open support, with advice that empowers them to make meaningful and appropriate decisions for themselves. This is not just on a political level but also on a social level, including cultural, language, well being and access issues.

These states also require a platform that will voice their concerns and support equal development that will help to bridge the digital divide. This platform will not just have to present their concerns but more importantly, present solutions and imaginative new ways to overcome these issues.

DIPLO IGCBP: What are the professional and research projects you would like to continue over the next years? What type of people would you like to be connected to for these goals?

DAVID: My interest for future projects lies in assisting and supporting the representation of underdeveloped and developing states to future developments and negotiations on various levels to ensure that a full evaluation of short, medium and long term outcomes of various decisions could have. To work at promoting the expertise and resources of these states to work in collaboration to empower these states to become equal stakeholders in future policy and developments.

DIPLO IGCBP: This is so important, David - thanks a lot for being part of this facilitation for developing states participate on an equal level. We would like to suggest that our friends - particularly those from developing countries seeking such assistance - get in touch with you for discuss how you can join forces together.


This interview is part of a series with participants from the European Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme. Diplo IGCBP stands for Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme and you can find more on our Facebook profile, the Internet Governance Capacity Building page on Facebook or the Twitter for Internet Governance

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The full text of the book An Introduction to Internet Governance (6th edition) is available here. The translated versions in Serbian/BCS, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, and Portuguese are also available for download.


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