IGF Capacity Development

The IGF Secretariat, supported by generous contributions from its donors, supports community-centred processes in developing Internet governance capacity.

A number of activities focus particularly on developing countries. These range from: substantive support to community engagement in Internet governance, financial support given through grants to national and regional IGF initiatives (NRIs) to strengthen their IGF-like processes, to individual stakeholders enabling them to take active in-person participation in annual IGF meeting, and youth engagement and newcomers to the IGF support.

Why developing capacity?

Developing capacity across the multistakeholder spectrum is one of the key mandated objectives of the Internet Governance Forum. The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society mandates the Forum, amongst other matters, to:

'' Contribute to capacity building for Internet governance in developing countries, drawing fully on local sources of knowledge and expertise. '' 

The Commission on Science and Technology for Development’s (CSTD) Working Group on Improvements to the IGF recommended that it should support the participation of stakeholders from developing countries, in particular, the least developed countries (LDCs). Also, the community expressed the need for the IGF to invest efforts to balance the participation of stakeholders from ‎developing countries compared to those coming from developed countries, during the IGF Retreat for advancing the Forum's 10-year mandate.

In order to achieve this goal, the third phase of the IGF's Project Document calls specifically for achieving increased understanding through multistakeholder dialogue on key elements of Internet governance, as defined in the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society. The Project Document sets an expectation to accomplish a strengthened capacity of developing country stakeholders to participate effectively in Internet governance arrangements. Achieving this requires the IGF to engages in capacity building and capacity development activities, aimed at fostering a better understanding of Internet governance issues among different stakeholders.

Our approach to capacity development in 2021
Stakeholders, countries and regions often have different priorities when addressing issues ‎related to the use and evolution of the Internet. They also have different capacities for discussing such issues and closely engaging in national, regional and international Internet ‎governance processes. This is why it is critical to support and strengthen local processes established within a bottom-up, multistakeholder, open, transparent and inclusive work framework. These values are the core operating principles of the IGF, as well as of the national and regional IGF initiatives (NRIs), that in an organic manner, have enshrined and implemented them into their own local communities. In addition to a broad support to the NRIs and collaboration with the NRIs, the IGF Secretariat also facilitates support directed toward individuals, young people, newcomers to the IGF and other target groups it may map.

In supporting and cooperating with communities, the IGF Secretariat builds capacity through several focus activities. Click on each type to learn more.

The goal of these activities is to: 

  • ‎Enhance global understanding of Internet governance issues, by ‎strengthening bottom-up and multistakeholder NRIs processes. Of particular interest are local communities ‎in less developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states; ‎
  • Strengthen the global Internet governance framework, by raising awareness on ‎the importance of more active and consistent engagement of local and regional ‎communities in the IGF intersessional collaborative work. ‎

In support of