In analyzing Multistakeholder Internet Governance and its connection with Sustainable Development, we learn about the Internet Goverannce Forum, a multistakeholder platform which serves as a technological platform to facilitate discussions on public policy and the internet. We are provided more information on the international connectivity this platform provides in the publication, Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multistakeholder Internet Governance. The publication discusses the 9th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held in Istanbul, Turkey from September 2-5, 2014. Leaders at the forum looked into “how providing access to information and communications technologies, including the Internet, could improve people’s lives and develop their capacity” (5). I found the sub-themes of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2014 interesting as they included:
- Content Creation, Dissemination and Use
- Internet as an Engine for Growth and Development
- IGF and The Future of the Internet Ecosystem
- Enhancing Digital Trust
- Internet and Human Rights
- Critical Internet Resources
- Emerging Issues
In addition to these sub-themes, I felt it was important to look at the makeup of the forum participants. There were a total of 2,403 onsite participants, 1,291 remote participants, 60 remote hubs with an estimated 1852 participants and 144 total countries represented (12). In terms of onsite participation, looking at the regional makeup is also important. Africa had a total of 190 participants, second least behind Eastern Europe with 133. In terms of onsite participation by stakeholder group, 779 participants were from civil society, with the unanimous majority. The private sector had 581 participants while the Government had 571 total. Interestingly, intergovernmental organizations had only 96 participants, the least out of all onsite stakeholder groups.
Assessing these statistics in the context of my project helps me look in particular at the regional representation of Africa and all relevant stakeholders. In comparison to the 780 participants in Western Europe, 745 participants from the host country and 405 participants from Asia Pacific really minimizes the significance of the 190 onsite participants from Africa. In terms of stakeholder participation, I found civil society’s significant majority interesting and reemphasizing the importance of this forum on providing information access to collective communities.