I&JPN hosted Workshop on Leveraging Sustainable Digital Transformation at IGF 2021

Published on
December 17, 2021

On Thursday, December 9, 2021 in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network organized a workshop at the Internet Governance Forum. 

The workshop gathered regional stakeholders from the Global South to share initiatives leveraging sustainable digital transformation. Participants discussed how to advance global digital cooperation as well as the different instruments and tools stakeholders need to effectively cooperate around internet governance challenges.

In the first part of the session, stakeholders shared views on how to promote a free, secure, and open internet to enable (digital) participation and make use of/benefit from the potentials of digital transformation. Speakers shared examples of needs including access to broadband, innovative financing to scale up the digital economy, the need for content in local languages, and digital literacy. Given the global nature of the internet, it was pointed out that there is a need for coordination between national and global regulatory efforts.

In the second part of the session, participants discussed the role of data and data governance in development. Interventions underscored the necessity to recognize the value of data, and the need to create a data marketplace to enhance competition and data interoperability. Speakers shared updates on data governance and data protection frameworks in Africa and Latin America and also highlighted the need to reduce barriers to the free flow of data across international borders, and trust to ensure important policy objectives such as privacy and data protection continue to be addressed.

Key takeaways from the session included:

• Multiple different actions are needed to boost inclusivity not only through internet access but also in developing ways to fight against illiteracy in the global south.
• There is a need to improve coherent use of terminology which can impact the accessibility of internet policy debates. For example, there needs to be better translation between languages but also knowledge silos, schools of thought, and within and between regions.
• Interoperable frameworks for cross-border data flows are important to address the lack of trust and support sustainable digital transformation.