Friends of the IGF
DescriptionThe Friends of the IGF project (FoIGF) is a grassroots effort aiming to increase public access to the important discussions that unfold at the IGF, thus encouraging more diverse and informed participation by all stakeholders.
Before FoIGF, it was difficult for any given user – e.g. an academic, policymaker, or prospective IGF participant – to search and locate IGF session content; many of the recordings from IGF sessions were scattered across a number of different online locations, or otherwise had not been published at all. A number of recordings remain missing still.
A living archive, FoIGF attempts to solve this problem. Its core element is the friendsoftheigf.org archive website, a searchable database of transcripts, video, agendas, and reports from IGF events stretching back to the first IGF in 2006, in Athens. Those involved in FoIGF have gone to great lengths to locate these informational artefacts and to organise them in one place, in order to make it easier for the general public to access IGF discussions. The archive website allows the user to search the content of 1,036 IGF sessions by speaker name, keyword, meeting, day, and other criteria, empowering the user to research previous IGF discussions for whatever purpose, including the crafting of workshop proposals for the IGF2015.
Our proposal is to improve, maintain, and expand our pilot project into the truly accessible, global resource that the Internet community deserves, built upon open source software. On behalf of the project, Chalmers & Associates has already administered a public RFP process. Spanish joint-team Simbiosys (http://simbiosys.es) and UbiqWare (http://ubiqware.net) were selected. They are ready to engage pending funding availability.
Eighty percent of funding requested would go towards development, in order to 1) build the new site, transfer friendsoftheigf.org to a more reliable CMS, and import existing content; and 2) develop an interface allowing IGF initiatives to contribute their own content to the platform
We will work with our developers to: 1) add a front-end information correction mechanism for names of speakers and organizations in the transcripts, and 2) develop a strategy for translating content, exploring, inter alia: crowd-sourced content translation tools, automated content translation technologies, and/or a program for manual translation.
In an ideal world, the content of all IGF discussions - global, regional, and national - would be available in all languages. Part of the project will be dedicated to exploring various approaches (manual and automated) to content translation.
Finally, we will seek to collaborate with the IGF Secretariat to develop an automated content loading process for IGF2015 content.
To maintain the archive website, we will provision development funds for one year. This will be included within the 80% allocation.
The remaining 20% of funding requested will cover project administration costs, with a portion earmarked to assist the contribution of content from national and regional initiatives.
Our vision is to offer regional and national IGFs the ability to contribute videos and transcripts from their IGF events to the database, to enrich the exchange of information on Internet Governance and policy at the national and regional levels. We thus propose to: 1) Reach out to the conveners of national and regional IGF initiatives, and explore opportunities for content contribution to the archive database, and 2) Explore local translation options.
Every Internet user should be able to access IGF discussions. By supporting the FoIGF project, funders located via the NMI platform will help this become a reality.
Alignment with the NETmundial PrinciplesThe FoIGF Project aligns with the NETmundial Principles
We envision the archive database to include national, regional and global IGF discussions, *supporting cultural and linguistic diversity in Internet Governance*; All content will be loaded into the archive database without substantive editorial intervention, preserving the *freedom of expression* of those who speak at the various IGFs; the FoIGF project will *increase access and lower barriers to participation within IGF discussions*, and thereby enable meaningful participation; Finally, the project will support a collaborative, multistakeholder, and distributed approach to preserving the historical record of Internet Governance Forum discussions.
The FoIGF Project constitutes a capacity-development enabler
The Ilves' Panel Report explains that: "Capacity development is required in order to enable more people to participate meaningfully in broad or expert based engagement opportunities. This is particularly true of those who will be new to IG discussions...The incoming wave of new users will come mainly from less-developed and developing countries where capacity building and toolkits can play a major role in empowering and strengthening use and engagement...Training and toolkits may be made available for existing or emerging stakeholders as shared resources, in multiple languages, to enable effective administration and collaboration."
The FoIGF resource will enable capacity development by increasing the accessibility of IGF discussions to the Internet community, and the general public. A searchable, living archive of IGF discussions, this online resource can inform and otherwise complement other developing projects, for example GIPO and the Solutions Map. Further, Part 1 of the project, described above, includes a plan to assess translation options, with the ultimate aim of providing the friendsoftheigf.org site and its content in multiple languages.
Alignment with NETmundial Initiative's Mission & ScopeThe FoIGF Project assists recommendations of the Ilves' panel (non-exhaustive)
Recommendation 1.c: To promote capacity development that facilitates (or enables) broader representation and participation in a collaborative IG ecosystem;
By making IGF proceedings more accessible, FoIGF enables broader participation in IGF discussions.
Recommendation 1.d: To operationalize the Enablers outlined in section III (forums and dialogues, expert communities, capacity development, and toolkits);
We propose to operationalise a capacity-development enabler by maintaining, improving and expanding the friendsoftheigf.org archive website.
Recommendation 2.e: To encourage the development of sustainable, searchable databases and observatories so that existing processes and potential partners are more easily discoverable by those seeking to address a problem.
Friendsoftheigf.org is currently a searchable database of IGF discussions, but it would become sustainable with support via NMI platform.
Recommendation 2.f: To embrace NETmundial recommendations to enhance the IGF.
By supporting FoIGF, NETmundial would be enhancing the IGF by increasing accessibility to IGF discussion content.
Project's #hashtag#a2K, #capacitybuilding, #archive, #IGF
Funding requirementsUS$ 100000
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