Improving Internet Governance: Support to the Global Commission on Internet Governance
This project provides continued support to the Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) to engage the developing world in important Internet governance discussions. The funds will allow the GCIG to conduct research on the Internet-related dimensions of public policy to inform recommendations for the future of Internet governance. Why it matters The Internet is a critical tool for democratic engagement and development around the world. But keeping it open, free, and accessible is increasingly challenging. Current trends in the Internet's evolution are threatening to fragment its infrastructure. For instance, "walled gardens" - the practice of directing users to particular areas of the Web, like social media sites - can limit how users benefit from the wider Web. Certain governments have also threatened to create their own national Internets following revelations of mass government surveillance. This would limit the benefits of the free flow of information. Improving Internet governance Collectively, these challenges point to the need to refine mechanisms for Internet governance: the principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures that shape the Internet's evolution. The Internet is an important economic growth and innovation driver for developing countries, so a responsibly governed Internet is an important development and policy priority. Yet international negotiations around Internet governance are usually fraught, and often end in deadlock between competing interests. About the Global Commission on Internet Governance The GCIG was formed in January 2014 and announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to respond to these challenges. Carl Bildt,the former Swedish prime minister, chairs the Commission. The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), a Waterloo, Canada-based think tank, coordinates the GCIG. IDRC's support will enable the Commission to provide high-level strategic policy recommendations to address current and future Internet governance challenges. These will be developed during a series of meetings. The policy recommendations will be informed by research on Internet governance issues undertaken by a research advisory network.