[discuss] My current understanding of scope and why

Jeremy Malcolm jeremy at ciroap.org
Thu Jan 9 06:17:25 UTC 2014

On 08/01/14 22:03, Nathalie Coupet wrote:
> From a logistical point of view, and this also goes back to the
> situation highlighted by Jorge, it looks like we might not be able to
> move things in the right direction without structures that can
> represent CS's views and insure a continued presence to pursue the
> dialogue with other stakeholders (lobbying, for example)
> Why was the possibility of a Secretariat and/or a permanent CS
> Umbrella organization never implemented?

It was.  At WSIS there was the Civil Society Plenary (and virtual
plenary, which still exists dormant), and under it a Content and Themes
Group (dealing with substantive issues), and a Civil Society Bureau
(dealing with procedural issues), as well as many thematic caucuses and
working groups.

Nowadays, we no longer have that (except for the Internet Governance
Caucus), which is why the main civil society networks in the Internet
governance space have been moving to fill that gap:

  * On the procedural side, they hastily formed a civil society Internet
    governance coordinating group, to fill the most basic immediate need
    for a group to appoint representatives to processes like the Brazil
    meeting committees;
  * For forming substantive joint positions, we now have the Best Bits
    network, which was meant to be an action-oriented platform for
    participants to engage in coordinated action, bridging global North
    and South.

So it is much looser than we had before, but also the funding is a lot
less than we had before.  Neither of the above two groups (nor the IGC)
have ever received institutional funding (except a token amount for the
two Best Bits meetings).

1net, as you noted in another thread, is in a different position, being
tarred by its association with the I* organisations.  Whilst this
association is nice to have in terms of funding, it was obvious that
eyebrows would be raised over the ease with which such a nascent
organisation has securing a privileged place in the organisation of the
Brazil meeting.

Note: this email is not sent on behalf of Best Bits or represent the
views of its steering committee or other participants.


*Dr Jeremy Malcolm
Senior Policy Officer
Consumers International | the global campaigning voice for consumers*
Office for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East
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