IGF 2018 WS #355 Empowering Change with Data: Measuring Youth Digital Mobility

Salle IX

Organizer 1: Yannis Li, DotAsia Organisation
Organizer 2: Sherry Shek, NetMission.Asia
Organizer 3: Xianhong Hu, UNESCO
Organizer 4: Guy Berger, UNESCO

Speaker 1: Edmon Chung, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Shanthi Robertson, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Guy Berger, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 4: Malcolm Jeremy, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Sherry Shek, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Additional Speakers

Ms. Angel Ng, Hong Kong Youth IGF Ambassador 2018

Ms. Faith Lee, Hong Kong Youth IGF Ambassador 2018


Edmon Chung (DotAsia)

Online Moderator

Yannis Li (DotAsia) & Hu Xianhong (UNESCO)


NetMission Ambassador (Youth)


Round Table - 60 Min


Since the proposed session is a Round table, it is expected that “speakers” will only be highlighting the topic with some examples to spark the discussion and inviting the participation from the room.

1. Introduction: 15 min

The moderator will start the session with an introduction of the various Internet development indices, inviting specific guests (Guy Berger, UNESCO) to specifically add to the particular index. The floor will then be opened to seek clarification questions about the various indices, and to encourage the audience to think about success cases of using data to support policy changes and to also imagine how the Internet development indices can be used in the future.

2. Round table Discussion: 30 min

Then the moderator will invite the guests (including Prof. Robertson, Jeremy Malcolm and youth representative from NetMission.Asia) to share success cases and thoughts on how data is used for advocacy and to support policy change. The sharing will be kept to 2-3 minutes each, flowing into a round table discussion focused on case sharing. To enhance the discussion, further discussants are identified to facilitate a robust discussion (see X. Diversity) from different view points.

3. Action & Output: 15 min

Finally, based on the collective experience from the room, the moderator will move the discussion towards potential next steps and actions to enhance and/or test out the Internet development indices and identify possible localities for such activities. Together, the action items and the case sharing from the discussion will become the output for the report of the session.


The lead discussants (speakers) identified represents gender, geographical as well as stakeholder group diversity: - Including male (3) and female (2) speakers - From Asia (2), Africa (1), America (1) and the Pacific (1) - Technical community (1), Inter-Governmental Organisation (1), Civil Society (1), Youth (1) and Academia (1) 3 of the 5 identified speakers are experienced IGF speakers, along with 2 first time speakers. Since the proposed session will be a round table inviting all participants to engage in the discussion, further discussants have been identified to help spark discussions from the floor. This should be useful especially to “break the ice”. They include: representative from other Internet development indices (e.g. Sonia Kelly from Freedom of the Net), representatives from the private sector (e.g. Lih Shiun from Google), as well as representatives from regional initiatives such as YMobility and the European Parliament.

Effective policy advocacy and development is supported by actionable data. The Internet has enabled youth to connect people, resources and ideas globally, enriching lives and enhancing opportunities. Increasingly, youth digital mobility determines the economic competitiveness of a locality, especially in attracting talent. Digital mobility straddles infrastructure readiness, openness of the network, social tolerance and effectiveness of mobilizing resources and people online. This session will briefly introduce frameworks and efforts measuring Internet openness and digital mobility across borders:

- Internet Universality Index (UNESCO: https://en.unesco.org/internetuniversality/about)

- Youth Mobility Index (DotAsia: https://www.ymi.asia)

- Freedom of the Net (Freedom House: https://freedomhouse.org/report-types/freedom-net)

- Open Data Barometer (W3C: https://opendatabarometer.org/)

Thereupon to engage in an open discussion about how such methodologies, indexes and data can be used and expanded locally:

1. Inform policy development processes and/or advocacy actions

2. Serve as a foundation for in-depth local studies

3. Improvement of local data and in turn collaboration back to the international frameworks

The goal is to identify concrete action plans from the above discussion areas for one or more (or in combination) of indexes relevant to Internet Governance. For example, potential implementation of the IU framework locally, improvements of the YMI methodology, or local case studies based around Open Data.

Reference Indices:

- Internet Universality Index (UNESCO: https://en.unesco.org/internetuniversality/about)

- Youth Mobility Index (DotAsia: https://www.ymi.asia)

- Freedom of the Net (Freedom House: https://freedomhouse.org/report-types/freedom-net)

- Open Data Barometer (W3C: https://opendatabarometer.org/) Linkage to other Internet Governance initiatives:

- Asia Pacific Regional IGF: http://apps.2018.rigf.asia/submission/proposaldetail?id=257

- RightsCon: https://rightscon2018.sched.com/mobile/#session:2ad5c5f54ada0c30f8bf82f… (included here for more information, as there is no free-form text box for section XVIII.)

XVIII. Connecting with IGF Intersessional Groups & NRIs A preparatory session is being held at the Asia Pacific Regional IGF this year (http://apps.2018.rigf.asia/submission/proposaldetail?id=257), which will feed into this session.

Furthermore, this is a follow on and spin off session from the series of activities for the Internet Universality Indicators from UNESCO, including the session at this year’s RightsCon (https://rightscon2018.sched.com/mobile/#session:2ad5c5f54ada0c30f8bf82f…) The output of the session is aimed at inspiring actions locally and regionally, that is, to spark interest in developing further activities to utilize Internet development indices to support advocacy and policy development, as well as, in the reverse, to inform and enhance international indices. Any connection to grassroots (advocacy) and government (policy) initiatives that focuses on Internet and/or youth development are relevant.

About 70% of the plan is dedicated to interactive round table and output discussion:

1. Introduction: 15 min

2. Round table Discussion: 30 min

a. How can the indexes support local advocacy for policy change? Examples?

b. How can local initiatives expand the indexes/frameworks for local case studies?

c. How can local activities inform the improvement of the indexes/frameworks?

3. Action & Output: 15 min

The session facilitator will start with a 15 minute presentation explaining the broad structure and concepts of the identified indices to spark the discussion. This is followed by a 30 minute roundtable discussion facilitated by 3 starting questions (included above) to identified discussants from different stakeholder groups, and then furthering the conversation around the room, inviting participants to share their experience and thoughts. Towards the last 15 minutes, the facilitator will attempt to summarize and drive the discussion (involving the whole room) towards the identification and development of specific and actionable next steps that could be implemented at particular localities utilizing one or more of the frameworks/methodologies. Throughout the session, the facilitator will work with the remote moderator to facilitate online discussions via text chat. Text chat will be encouraged from remote as well as in-room participants to best engage with the audience.

Data empowers communities and inform policy changes. Comparative quantitative analysis provide important data for communities to champion for an affordable, inclusive, open and secure Internet. There are a number of different efforts to measure the development of the Internet beyond the basic indicators of Internet access and e-commerce penetration. Such indices are important for supporting sustainable development in relation to the SDGs. Building on the CSTD WG Report on Improvements to the IGF, to develop more tangible outputs (I.1.), and to promote and enhance linkages with NRIs (V.3.), this round table explores existing indices that are relevant, and aims to go on to identify possible actions to utilize, expand and improve upon them through local and regional initiatives. In particular the round table is focused on empowerment of effective Internet governance for development (in support of the SDGs) through the utilization of actionable data.

Online Participation

The session will encourage simultaneous discussion online through chat, along with the live discussions at the venue. The online moderator will proactively make observations to stimulate discussions online. Furthermore, because this will be a follow-on session from other events, participants from those events (including Asia Pacific Regional IGF, RightsCon, etc.), will be invited to attend this session remotely even if they are unable to join in person. The NetMission.Asia program along with Fellows.Asia network, which represents the alumni from schools and academies of Internet Governance around Asia as well as fellowship recipients for Asia Pacific Internet Governance related events (including APNIC, APrIGF, APIGA, etc.) will also be invited to participate online.

Reference Document: https://www.ymi.asia

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

Session Type (Workshop, Open Forum, etc.): Roundtable

Title: WS #355 Empowering Change with Data:Measuring Youth Digital Mobility

Date & Time: 13 November 2018, 16:10 - 17:10 

Organizer 1: Yannis Li, DotAsia Organisation (Technical)
Organizer 2: Jenna Fung, NetMission.Asia (Civil Society/Youth)
Organizer 3: Xianhong Hu, UNESCO 
Organizer 4: Guy Berger, UNESCO

Edmon Chung, DotAsia Organisation (Technical) - In Person Moderator

Yannis Li, DotAsia Organisation (Technical)

List of speakers and their institutional affiliations (Indicate male/female/ transgender male/ transgender female/gender variant/prefer not to answer):

Speaker 1: Edmon Chung, Male, DotAsia Organisation, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Chitat Chan, Male, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Academia, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Sherry Shek, Female, Coordinator of Internet Society Hong Kong, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Angel Ng, Female Youth Representative, HKYIGF, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 5: Faith Lee, Female Youth Representative, HKYIGF, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 6: Wathagi Joy Ndungu, Female, Co-Founder of Digital Grassroots/Google Policy Fellow, Civil Society, African Group

Theme (as listed here):
Development, Innovation & Economic Issues

Subtheme (as listed here):

Key issues raised (1-sentence per issue):

  • The overall YMI rankings are closely correlated to traditional simple metrics that shows competitiveness, such as GDP per capita. This correlation reinforces that the YMI methodology is built on a sound basis; greatly deviating results would be a cause for concern.
  • Open data and capacity building effort are important to stimulate more data-driven advocacy.
  • A well-defined objective and goals of data collection is key to success in advocacy.
  • While data-driven advocacy is an effective way to call for changes, the privacy and security of the data collected shall be handled with caution.
  • Many YMI indicators stem from the socioeconomic environments and policies of a locality. It follows that policy makers and governments should use YMI indicators to advise policy change in making their locality more competitive for youth.
  • Youth shall not be underestimated just because of their experience and it is believed that a group of like-minded passionate and determined youth together can bring a very significant change.
  • There is a call for paradigm shift from concerning only Internet connectivity and access to how the Internet and digital mobility is actually supporting or not supporting young people and their development in terms of the competitiveness.

If there were presentations during the session, please provide a 1-paragraph summary for each presentation:

The organizer, Mr. Edmon Chung, has presented an overview of the Youth Mobility Index (YMI.asia) which takes into account the geographical, social and digital mobility across employment, education and entrepreneurship pillars. The index measures how easy it is for young people to move across the region physically and upwardly in social context as well as to mobilise resources and people online. Secondary data was mainly used for calucations such as the public data sets from local governments, UNESCO, World Bank, UNICEF, etc combining in total a 216 different social and econimic indicators as well as technical indicators. Weighing of each data point is also adjusted based on youth-driven mindsets considering that youth might have different priorites than senior professionals. Some interesting highlights of the results are:

  • The overall YMI ranking correlates well with the GDP per capita
  • Japan and Korea actually shows a lower GDP per capita because of their high digital mobility for young people in those regions. How that actually translates into the future competitiveness of those areas versus simply looking at the GDP and the GDP development would be an interesting area to look at.
  • Hong Kong and Singapore have a huge migrant force yet only a small trunk is youth while Japan is the opposite with a large proportion of youth among the small migrants population
  • Japan ranked high overall yet their outbound mobility is indeed relatively low and more investigation on the effect of future competitiveness is to be revealed.
  • Taiwan faces similar situation of low youth outbound rate and raised the question on its influence on social tolerance and diversity.
  • Vietnam has a very high start-up momentum yet low in general mobility indicating that the regulatory framework for allowing young people to move about may need to be opened up further
  • Singapore and Hong Kong are usually very high on happiness index overall in Asia; however, when you divide it by the cost of living, i.e. cost of happiness, they fall to the bottom of the scale

Dr. Chitat Chan introduced the youth-mindsets comparative study as a stem of the YMI project which involves a survey to measure some psychological constructs, including close minded necessary, curiosity, self-esteem, ethnocentric tendency. The study will provide further evidence to policy makers on how socio-cultural conditions correlates and affect young people on their mobility and vice versa.

Please describe the Discussions that took place during the workshop session (3 paragraphs):

Two youth representatives from HKYIGF Angel and Faith of age 18 and 16 years-old respectively shared why mobility is important from their youth perspectives. Angel commented that digital mobility is especially important for education to help eliminate disparity and the anti-globalization movement with the increase access to information and learning materials via the Internet. People in developing countries will have more opportunities to quality education without travelling abroad. Faith agreed that youth nowadays are being brought up in a more international and global context where they are inclined to go abroad for life experience instead of owning tangible goods. Overall, youth mobility helps develop global citizenship and connect people of different parts of the world and help solve global problems.

The importance of data-driven advocacy was raised by Wathagi Ndungu where she had extensive experience with her work at Amnesty International and Digital Grassroots Program. She noted that a nice visualization of data can help to boost interests and tell better stories. She shared a successful case in Kenya which they asked citizens whether they will vote yes for the newly proposed data protection bill and presented the data collected to the government. The government was moved by the data and called for a collaboration with the civil society to improve the bill. It was echoed by another youth representative Faith Lee which she shared about her student-led advocacy work on refugee rights with the data gathered by an NGO showing the astonishingly low refugee acceptance rate of 0.6% in Hong Kong compare to the highest 75% elsewhere. She added that data provides a kind of background and knowledge to public on the need for change.

External factors such as open data availability; capacity building effort; data relevance will affect the ability to empower change with data as suggested by various speakers. For instance, Wathagi reminded that trainings for advocates are required to build their capacity in dealing with a vast number of data as well as handling the privacy and security aspects of the data. It is also noted that the relevance of data and the objectives or goals in collecting such data shall be well defined in the first place to ensure the effectiveness of any indices to inform policy makers’ decisions. However, Sherry indicated that there is room for improvement on open data and the data format from local governments to assist research or studies. She observed a general reluctance of government departments in Hong Kong to open up data or only release them in pdf format which poses difficulties for researchers to extract and analyze them.  


Please describe any Participant suggestions regarding the way forward/ potential next steps /key takeaways (3 paragraphs):

The Youth Mobility Index has planned improvements on incorporating gender and freedom of the internet factors more into the calculations as well as taking the Internet Universality Indicators adopted framework and the ROAM principles.

Other suggestions made by participants are to take into consideration the backgrounds, like cultures and upbringings of the individuals that are being investigated, including their education. It is because the education system differs depending on the country and also depending school by school. Another question raised is whether the quality of the exchange experience has been taken into account.

There is a call for paradigm shift from concerning only Internet connectivity and access to how the Internet and digital mobility is actually supporting or not supporting young people and their development in terms of the competitiveness.


Gender Reporting

- Estimate the overall number of the participants present at the session:

There were around 25 participants

- Estimate the overall number of women present at the session:

Approximately 12 participants were female including 4 on the panel out of the 6 speakers.

- To what extent did the session discuss gender equality and/or women’s empowerment?

- If the session addressed issues related to gender equality and/or women’s empowerment, please provide a brief summary of the discussion:

The session did not address gender issues in specific while there is a mention to include gender aspects into the index calculation.