IGF 2018 WS #146 Hidden aspects of digital inclusion

Salle IV

Organizer 1: Lena Nitsche, DW Akademie
Organizer 2: Leidel Steffen, Deutsche Welle Academy
Organizer 3: Julius Endert, Deutsche Welle Akademie

Speaker 1: Sarah Kiden, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: Daniel OMaley, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Talal Raza, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Rachel Sibande, Technical Community, African Group
Speaker 5: Osama Manzar, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Additional Speakers

Rose Ofianga, Women Empowerment Foundation (Technical community, female)


Steffen Leidel, DW Akademie

Online Moderator

Lena Nitsche, DW Akademie


Lena Nitsche, DW Akademie


Break-out Group Discussions - 90 Min


Speakers will play an active role during the entire workshop: Following a short presentation of every panelist on one specific thematic area, every speaker will have the chance to engage the audience with his or her specific questions/views on the topic. Participants will then divide into smaller groups for intense discussions for 35 min. The groups will constitute a stakeholder balance and will be guided by one of our speakers. They will be asked to answer a specific question related to one thematic focus related to digital inclusion. At this point, panelists will act as moderators stimulating and steering the discussion. In the final segment (30 min), a nominated participant from each group will report back to the plenary to kick-start a collaborative discussion on the way forward. Speakers will at this point act as experts and get involved in the discussion.


Speakers have been chosen on the basis of geographical, gender, sector, and stakeholder representation. Each speaker brings a unique personal background and perspective to the issue of digital inclusion thereby ensuring that diverse views on the concept of digital participation are included. Speakers are from Africa, Asia, America and Europe (two female, three male) and represent civil society as well as the technical community with experiences in Internet governance, Internet infrastructure, digital rights advocacy, media and journalism, as well as entrepreneurship and business solutions.

The workshop will invite five experts from different countries and industries representing the five thematic areas of DW Akademie’s model on digital participation (access, digital rights, media and journalism, innovation and society) to present hidden aspects of digital inclusion. The goal is to come up with aspects that enable or prevent digital participation of users in a country. We also want to look ahead and highlight solutions and ideas that will help to overcome challenges and promote digital participation. The workshop will enable participants to share challenges and personal experiences from their countries and shed light on often neglected aspects that keep people from participating in the digital sphere. Points for discussion are: - Explore: Perspectives on digital participation and Internet Governance - Enrich: Digital Participation with a regional / national focus - Engage: Leaving no one behind in diverse societies - Encompass: Delve into the role of media as a participatory space. Agenda: After a 25 minute presentation from the panelists about hidden aspects of digital participation in five thematic areas, participants will divide into smaller groups for 35 minutes of focused exchanges on one specific thematic area. Each group will be lead by the panelist who is representing the specific thematic area. To deepen discussions panelists will ask participants one specific question related to their thematic area and the overarching issue regarding Internet Governance. In the final segment (30 min), panelists as well as a nominated participant from each group will report back to the plenary to kick-start a collaborative discussion on possible future steps.

To enable an inclusive and fluid discussion, the room should be set up with chairs for the opening speakers/discussants dialogue in the front row and round tables or groups of chairs to facilitate the group work and enable participants to exchange views. We will explore the use of visuals to animate the session and aid non-native English speakers. We will provide paper and pens for the group work to facilitate reporting. The moderator is well informed and experienced in animating multi-stakeholder discussions. Questions and input for speakers will be prepared in advance to help stimulate interactive, dynamic dialogue. Care will be taken to ensure the discussion groups have a balanced stakeholder representation by a simple polling at the beginning of the session. The remote moderator will have a key role as facilitator to the online participants. During the group activity, remote participants will also be given a question to answer related to the overarching IG question under discussion. The remote moderator will moderate the discussion between online participants. If, for some reason, a remote participant is unable to take part, the remote moderator will report the views of the remote participants to the plenary during the final segment.

The workshop will provide an opportunity to evaluate and discuss the concept of digital inclusion regarding the perspective of five different thematic areas: Access, Digital Rights, Media and Journalism, Innovation and Society. IGF participants are able to gain a wider understanding as well as a deep insight into the thematic fields and hidden aspects that prevent digital inclusion. The workshop will also examine ways to overcome digitization challenges in the future. The workshop format will enable IGF participants to incorporate their experiences, discuss and further enrich the discussion.

Online Participation

A remote moderator will be involved throughout the workshop planning to advise on the facilitation of remote participation. This remote moderator will lead the group of remote participants to ensure the incorporation of as many diverse views as possible. The remote moderator will have a key role as the group facilitator of the online participants. During the divided group activity, remote participants will also be given a question to answer related to the overarching Internet Governance question under discussion. The remote moderator will also moderate the discussion among online participants. If, for some reason, a remote participant is unable to take part, the remote moderator will report the views of the remote participants to the plenary during the final segment. We will ensure that the workshop is advertised in advance to the wider community so that remote participants have the opportunity to prepare questions and interventions in advance and possibly generate more interested parties. We will also promote the workshop on the DW Akademie website and via social media.

Session Time
Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

Date & Time:
November 12th, 2018; 10:40-12:10
Steffen Leidel (DW Akademie)
Lena Nitsche (DW Akademie)
Julius Endert (DW Akademie)

Steffen Leidel (DW Akademie)
Julius Endert (DW Akademie)
Lena Nitsche (DW Akademie)

List of speakers and their institutional affiliations (Indicate male/female/ transgender male/ transgender female/gender variant/prefer not to answer):
Osama Manzar (Digital Empowerment Foundation),male
Sarah Kiden (Mozilla Foundation), female
Mary Rose Ofiango (Women Empowerment Phillipines, technocal community, female
Talal Raza (Media Matters for Democracy), male
Daniel O'Maley (Center for International Media Assistance), male

 Digital inclusion & Accessibility

Digital Capacity Building
Please state no more than three (3) key messages of the discussion. [150 words or less]
- Digital inclusions means more than technical access to the Internet. In order to understand the barries and drivers for citizens participating in the digital spehere, you need to gain deep insights into various fields influencing digital inclusion.
- DW Akademie developed a model of digital inclusion consisting of five thematic fields: Access, Digital Rights, Media and Journalism, Society and Innovation that describes more than 100 attributes to assess digital inclusion on a country basis.With the help of the model, we can highlight challnges to digital inclusion in the five respective fields.
- Points for discussion: What are approaches to overcome challenges regarding digital inclusion in the future? What are the neglected aspects that keep people from participating in the digital sphere?


- Please elaborate on the discussion held, specifically on areas of agreement and divergence. [150 words]

There was a broad support of the view that it is not enough to support access to the Internet, people need to have a meaningful access that can change their life for the better. Meaningful access is seen as being connected to media and information literacy, quality content and a free media environment. Panelists also noted that digital inclusion can lead to exclusion and mentioned that when digital literacy programmes are being introduced, those who haven’t got access already, won’t benefit from it. 


- Please describe any policy recommendations or suggestions regarding the way forward/potential next steps.  Promising solutions included community networks, public broadband access, flexible spectrum allocation, consumer focused initiatives, capacity building, universal design and multistakeholder approaches.  Participatnts discussed that issues influencing digital inclusion are mutually influencing each other, for example in some countries aspects of media sustainability - for example special licensing fees for bloggers - could cut down independent voices and lead to self-sensorship of users. That is why the multi-stakeholder model was agreed to be the most promising solution to discuss issues of digital inclusion. 


- What ideas surfaced in the discussion with respect to how the IGF ecosystem might make progress on this issue? [75 words]

Digital inclusion is multifacted, it involves many stakeholder and the issues that lead to digital inclusion vary between countries. With regards to the many overlapping issues and thematic fields involved, panellists and participants agreed that the multi-stakeholder model should be the method to be followed. Short-sighted solutions for digital inclusion might lead to digital exclusion in the end.


- Please estimate the total number of participants.

Around 80 participants


- Please estimate the total number of women and gender-variant individuals present.

50 % women, 50% men


- To what extent did the session discuss gender issues, and if to any extent, what was the discussion? [100 words]

In the topic of digital inclusion, gender-related issues were seen as a cross-cutting issue relevant to issues such as internet access, digital security – especially for female journalists. Also cyber mobbing was discussed as an important barrier towards more digital inclusion of women.

Relevant links:

DW Akadmeie project #speakup barometer that assesses aspects of digital participation and digital inclusion worldwide: www.dw.com/barometer