RIGF 2014


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THE 2ⁿ REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WWW.RIGF.AZ ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This report by the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Baku Secretariat is intended to help facilitate informed, strategic, long-term ICT development in Azerbaijan. We have undertaken this study because of our commitment to better understand how even in times of iscal constraint governments can improve their ability to deliver high-quality public services, and engage in government-citizen collaboration to stimulate innovation across all sectors of society. We would like to acknowledge the panelists, participants, experts, civil servants and practitioners who shared their insights and experiences during interviews and correspondence for this report. Special thanks go to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Of ice in Azerbaijan, in collaboration with Ministry of Communications and High Technologies (MoCHT) of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), IGF Geneva Secretariat, Azerbaijan Internet Forum (AIF), as well as sponsor companies-SINAM, APRIL UV, NEURON Technologies and MyVideo.Az, in addition to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for their high interest in regular convening of the relevant event. All content and any remaining errors are the sole responsibility of the organizers.


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THE 2ⁿ REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WWW.RIGF.AZ “The ICT sector in Azerbaijan has been on the cutting edge of economic innovation. These innovations have spread across nearly every industry, increasing ef iciency and driving change in the way they operate, and the goods and services they produce.” Prof. Dr. Ali Abbasov, Minister of Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan


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THE 2ⁿ REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WWW.RIGF.AZ “We closely follow the socio-economic reforms carried out in the country and are pleased with the inclusion of information and communication technologies as one of the priorities in economic development of the country. We highly appreciate the work ongoing in the area of high technologies as one the important ways to diversify the economy of Azerbaijan.” H.E. Antonius Broek UN Resident Coordinator UNDP Resident Representative in Azerbaijan


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THE 2ⁿ REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WWW.RIGF.AZ TABLE OF CONTENTS A Perspective on Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships The Opening Ceremony Session 1 - Trends in Open Government Data (OGD) Session 2 - e-Participation in Post-Soviet Societies Session 3 - Innovation in ICT Session 4 - The Promise of e-Education Session 5 - Applying ICT to Achieve Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection Conclusion 9 16 18 26 34 41 48 53


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THE 2ⁿ REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WWW.RIGF.AZ Jā nis Kā rklin̦ š Ambassador of Latvia Chair of the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group I would like to welcome the participants of the Regional Internet Governance Forum of Azerbaijan and to thank the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Nations Development Programme Country Of ice in Azerbaijan for convening this event. Regrettably, I cannot be with you today, as this forum is taking place in parallel with the IGF Open Consultations that are de ining the outline of the IGF 2015 meeting. After hosting the successful seventh meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in Baku, in November 2012, Azerbaijan is now receiving a regional Internet Governance Forum that aims at furthering a multistakeholder debate on the role of information and communications technologies, and, in particular, the Internet, in promoting freedom of expression and free low of information, economic growth and cultural diversity within the region. Countries and regions of the world face different challenges concerning Internet deployment and use. For some, bridging the digital divide is still the main concern, access is not ensured and knowledge on how the Internet should be run is incomplete. For others, the focus is on issues such as IDN deployment, network neutrality, big data or privacy and data protection. Open, inclusive and multistakeholder regional dialogue allows stakeholders to better understand complexities of such issues that are particularly relevant at a regional level. It can also inform the decision making processes within governments and regional organisations and lead to partnerships between different stakeholders. The Internet unites people and creates links where they couldn’t have otherwise existed. Some have described it as a public good, others have argued that Internet access should be considered a basic human need. We have all seen how the Internet can give voice to previously voiceless, help information low seamlessly over national borders, provide remote education and medical services in isolated areas, contribute to disaster prevention and promote freedom of expression. Evidently, Internet is a driver for economic, social and cultural development. If we want to maximize opportunities presented by the Internet, we need to make sure it is accessible and affordable.


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THE 2ⁿ REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WWW.RIGF.AZ But we also need to understand the challenges and risks associated to its use. And we need to make sure that the views, needs and interests of all the existing and future Internet users are taken into account when decisions are made and policies are developed that frame the way in which the Internet is run and the direction it evolves. To sum up, there is an imperious need not only to build infrastructures, but also to develop local content and build capacities for the users of these infrastructures – the capacity to use the Internet in a safe and secure way and the capacity to actively participate in the governance of the Internet. The role regional IGF initiatives, such as the one hosted by Azerbaijan, can play in building such capacities should not been underestimated. These initiatives give participants the possibility to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Internet governance issues and to build the skills needed to facilitate their involvement in existing multistakeholder Internet governance processes. The IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group and the IGF Secretariat are strong supporters of regional and national initiatives and we are continuously looking to strengthen the interaction between these fora and the global IGF. The IGF 2014 Chair’s Summary indicated that IGF initiatives could be used as channels for bringing forward inter-sessional work leading up to the IGF 2015 meeting. As we are now starting preparations for next year’s IGF, scheduled to take place on 10-13 November 2015 in Joã o Pessoa, Brazil, I would like to invite you all, as a regional IGF initiative and as individual stakeholders, to contribute to this preparatory process and to, later on, participate in the meeting. I also encourage you to use the following four days of debates to build a message to be delivered at IGF 2015. And if you have further ideas and suggestions on how to strengthen our interactions, please share them with us. In closing, I would like to thank you all for being part of an IGF initiative and to wish you a fruitful meeting and an enjoyable time. I hope to see many of you at the next global IGF, in person or remotely.


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THE 2ⁿ REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WWW.RIGF.AZ A PERSPECTIVE ON MULTI-STAKEHOLDER PARTNERSHIPS Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a broad category that includes everything from computers to telephones, television to the Internet, satellite-based navigation and other innovative technologies. These technologies have become increasingly important in daily life and throughout business and education. Universal access to the latest ICT is essential for social and economic development. In the ICT sector it is especially important that products and services are mutually compatible and interoperable, so that information can be shared over the Internet, and people can communicate with each other using different devices. Telecommunications and software standards help ensure that products such as computer peripherals and other electronic gadgets made by different companies are able to work together seamlessly. Multi-stakeholder ICT partnerships: alliances between parties drawn from government, business and civil society that strategically aggregate the resources and competencies of each to resolve the key challenges of ICT as an enabler of sustainable development, and which are founded on principles of shared risk, cost and mutual bene it. Achieving greater ICT access in the developing world, and the harnessing of these technologies to reduce poverty and improve the lives of peoples presents many challenges. Ineffectiveness in the regulatory regime to attract new investment; public-private ICT transactions that fail to deliver affordable solutions; unpro itable business models for rural ICT access; ICT strategies that fail to exploit the diversity of available technologies; and production of content that is irrelevant to the livelihood of poor communities – all are signi icant challenges. Multi-Stakeholder Platforms (MSPs) offer a means to achieve these objectives. They are about partnerships focused on creating lasting and meaningful impact of ICT at all levels of society. They are meant to promote a more holistic approach to national development and better governance of the process. The MSP is an instrument that helps stakeholders with unique competencies pool their resources so as to add value to development efforts. While many laud the virtues of MSPs, most are struggling to make them work. Stakeholders from each sector bring their own organizational mandates, interests, competencies and weaknesses to partnerships. The central challenge is building a working relationship between stakeholders based on trust, mutual respect, open communication, and sensitivity to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Without processes to facilitate negotiations among ICT stakeholders, effective MSPs are unlikely to emerge.


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THE 2ⁿ REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WWW.RIGF.AZ Multi-stakeholder partnerships are unique in both character and substance. They are generally directed at the problems and challenges of sustainable development – from environmental protection and management, to social inclusion and sustainable growth. They are about sharing not shifting risks; inding innovative ways to pool resources and talents based on each party’s core strengths; and delivering mutual bene its for all collaborating parties. Multi-stakeholder partnerships tend to pursue a shared vision, maintain a presumption in favor of joint problemsolving, promote a work ethos that exploits mutual self-interest, and add value beyond that achievable without intelligent cooperation. In the same way that ICT is an enabler of sustainable development, multi-stakeholder ICT partnerships that entail strategic compacts between companies and user communities assist in assimilation of new technology. Various groups of stakeholders from government, business and civil society can work together to design solutions to the complex challenge of maximizing the effectiveness of ICT in development. In so doing, networks of local communities and organizations can be empowered to create, synthesize, adapt and exchange information leading to wealth creation. Multi-stakeholder ICT partnerships are therefore both about modeling the requirements of ICTbased solutions and inding the right partners for implementation. Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships should: Aid in building the consensus necessary to realize Millennium Development Goals; Maintain a priority on achievement of sustainable development and poverty reduction; Have the characteristics of being voluntary in nature, and self-organizing; Work in a way that each stakeholder shows mutual respect for the values and opinions of others, and accepts the shared responsibility in policy making; Uses cultural diversity as a strength, not as a potential source of con lict between values; and Works above all to bring together governments, regional groups, local authorities, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), international institutions and private sector partners on an equal footing so that opinions can be shared openly.


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THE 2nd REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN THE 2ⁿ REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WWW.RIGF.AZ WWW.RIGF.AZ COMPONENTS OF MULTI-STAKEHOLDER ICT PARTNERSHIPS Multi-Stakeholder ICT partnerships involve at least ive dimensions of technology, organization and policy making. These include (1) Human Resources; (2) ICT Infrastructure; (3) Business Enterprises; (4) The Policy & Regulatory Environment; and (5) Informational Content and Supporting Applications. Human Resources Merely providing the society and its various organizations with an ICT infrastructure is inadequate. Instead, appropriate human resources must be available throughout society to effectuate growth based on utilization of ICT. At the most basic level, a cadre of trained engineers, systems analysts, design specialists, security experts, and others with technology training must be freely available to all organizations so that the ICT infrastructure can be made to work effectively. These technicians must be available not only inside the government, but also in private enterprise, and in any company or organization that is either providing ICT products or services, or simply making use of them. These human resources need to be available at a price that is affordable, and there should be a lourishing market for technical services. Next, throughout the society everyone must be made more aware of how ICT can be a source for innovation. The bene its of ICT must be appreciated and understood at all levels. This awareness comes about gradually, but can be accelerated through the educational system, through outreach programs with professional associations and trade groups, and through advertising and promotion by vendors of ICT services. In addition, it is crucial that the government work to ensure that there is ample encouragement and support for entrepreneurs in the ICT sector. Experience has shown that much innovation cannot be programmed or designed in advance, because most true inventions are novel and non-obvious. As a consequence, any organization that is involved with the human resources dimension – educational institutions, labor organizations, technical organizations, and scienti ic societies – should be invited into the multi-stakeholder process. ICT Infrastructure Planning around deployment of ICT infrastructure also is a crucial component of a multi-stakeholder partnership. It is fortunate that almost all of today’s infrastructure operates around a set of agreedupon technical standards that are de ined through international organizations such as the ITU, through the private sector in the form of proprietary software and applications, and through the powerful open source movement, which is the engine behind most of the Internet’s technology.


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THE 2ⁿ REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WWW.RIGF.AZ A key challenge for many countries is providing adequate infrastructure across all parts of society, and in particular in extending fast and reliable telecommunications services into rural areas, where the Internet in some ways can have the greatest impact. It is dif icult to strike a cost-bene it balance for many infrastructure projects, because signi icant investments are needed, but their payoff is expected over a number of years. Universal access throughout society – individuals, small associations, businesses, educational establishments, government bureaus, even in the mobility sector, such as in transportation and logistics, is essential. The most important goal is to treat infrastructure as a platform upon which any number of applications and innovations can lourish. The underlying technologies and standards of ICT infrastructure need to be carefully managed, but the greatest of all possible lexibility should be given to the applications riding on top. Stakeholders from the infrastructure area include vendors of ICT services and products, trade associations, government planners, ministries that are charged with national development and contractors that are hired to actually build-out the technology. Business Enterprises In every society, business enterprises, either completely private, parastatal, or government owned, are the largest users of ICT. In addition, the providing of ICT products and services almost always is done through business enterprises. The practice of government manufacturing of ICT is long past. On the other hand, government policy can do much to stimulate demand, particularly through purchasing and procurement policies. It is not uncommon to see large government programs actually result in the creation of entire ICT industries, complete with businesses and trained human resources. Stakeholders from business enterprises are important players in any national ICT program, and they should be included in any national effort. The stakeholders range from large organizations to start-ups and beginners, but all should be included. Policy & Regulatory Environment Government policy is one of the most important levers that can be used to stimulate a national innovation program for ICT. So much depends upon the regulatory environment. For example, laws that protect intellectual property, mediation and arbitration mechanisms for the settlement of commercial disputes, policies that encourage liberal access to inance and credit for organizations, including start-ups, and tax policies that are geared to innovation, such as providing tax credits for R&D – all are important dimensions. By reducing the barriers to entry for start-ups, making government policy-making transparent and easy to understand, thus reducing uncertainty, and by encouraging the adoption of open standards that give all players an equal chance to participate in ICT innovation, government policies can serve as an important stimulus to national development. The goal of government policies and regulations should not be to protect special interests, but instead to lower barriers to entry, and to make it easier for innovators to create and commercialize new ideas of bene it to society.


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THE 2ⁿ REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WWW.RIGF.AZ As a consequence, those who make laws and regulations are crucial parts of any multi-stakeholder process. Lawmakers need to have access to the latest information regarding ICT trends, and the potential for innovation in their country, and the consultation inherent in a multi-stakeholder process has been shown to be the most effective way to accomplish this. Informational Content & Supporting Applications Content providers including applications and software vendors are essential players in any national ICT program. This is the area with the fastest rate of innovation. Particularly in the area of the mobile Internet (data communication services provided via mobile telephones), the rate of innovation is staggering. It is important, however, that a balance be struck between creativity and a free market on the one hand, and the need for security and protection of individual and group freedoms on the other. All governments face a challenge in attempting to ind universal computer security, and leaving the ICT infrastructure open enough to support innovation. For example, freedom of communication is important, but what if some parties engage in religious intolerance, or spreading of false information? It is the dif iculty in Internet governance in this area that is the driving force for the multi-stakeholder approach, because much consultation between parties and interest groups on all sides needs to be facilitated. As a consequence, content providers, legal organizations, security professionals; representatives of social networks, content providers, and important institutions such as national libraries and scholarly associations all should be part of the multi-stakeholder process. It is though interchange of views and priorities between all of these different parties that a clear and workable ICT policy will emerge.


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THE 2ⁿ REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WWW.RIGF.AZ HOW MULTI-STAKEHOLDERISM WORKS Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships operate in at least two different orientations: (1) design; and (2) implementation. Partnerships that work with a design orientation focus on the rules that enable a robust ICT environment. Examples of these rules include public policy, national strategy, enabling laws, and the regulatory regime. Partnerships with an implementation focus tend to work on training, and the development of speci ic platform applications such as e-Health, e-Education, and eCommerce. There also is a hybrid form of partnership that combines the development and deployment of new forms of ICT with the social design and challenges of implementation. There is a calculus that determines the decision making of any stakeholder as regards entering into a partnership arrangement. For example, a social organization may enter into a partnership arrangement if it expects to secure more positive gain than what it could achieve alone. Businesses in the private sector such as ICT companies, service providers, manufacturing concerns, contractors and consultants may be attracted by better business opportunities, the potential to enhance their reputation, the desire to gain more market share, or the prospects of potential access to better inancing. Working in a multi-stakeholder partnership also is a way to show corporate social responsibility in a positive light. A government agency may bene it from participation because the information that it gains from the other members may help it to assess the potential effects of regulatory policies in areas such as taxation, foreign direct investment, tariff levels, environmental safeguards, and the general effects of contemplated policies on civil society and business. Likewise, local governments usually see working with a partnership as a means to attract scarce resources to its region thereby improving how it delivers public services to its citizens. Local governments also tend to be highly concerned with the potential of ICT to improve education, to speed delivery of health care services, to increase local employment and to foster regional development in general. Various groups from civil society see partnerships as a means to have their voices heard regarding public policies and priorities for ICT development. Civil society groups span across a wide range of domains including those concerned with the environment, groups hoping to improve social inclusiveness and access, those interested in the political process and how it can be improved, those interested in economic development and the alleviation of poverty, and any number of other areas of concern. Ultimately the success of a multi-stakeholder partnership depends on how well the interests of various stakeholders are kept in balance. For some, progress may not be as quick as they wish; for others, they may not get everything they are hoping for; but the successful partnership provides an important communication platform that enables exchange of information and views. This, in turn, tends to lessen the uncertainty of all parties involved, and this leads to a better chance that expectations will be reasonable and balanced. Effective partnerships cope with cultural differences, manage to build trust and to the fullest extent possible, satisfy underlying interests. In order to accomplish this, a premium is placed on design of a process that supports multi-stakeholder communication, collaboration, and decision making.


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THE 2ⁿ REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WWW.RIGF.AZ THE CHALLENGES OF ICT FOR DEVELOPMENT Information and communications technology can make a signi icant contribution to poverty reduction and development in the developing world and there is a large and growing literature on this subject. ICTs can improve the effectiveness of disaster relief, for example, through speeding procurement of the more urgent types of humanitarian assistance; enhancing the ef iciency of health services, in the form of improved record keeping, more accurate diagnosis and information exchange on prevention; and by providing access to educational services, for example through distance learning. ICTs are also a means of improving the responsiveness of government to local priorities, disseminating information and opportunities for rural producers and poor urban dwellers to tap into new markets or ind employment, and for engaging civil society and business in the reform of public sector institutions. Beyond these more obvious applications, there is growing interest in the value of ICT in international development for two additional reasons. The irst is the sheer diversity of technologies on offer. The range of communication types available should mean that different technologies can be strategically selected to offer the closest it with the needs of poor communities. For example, communities within microwave radio reach of iber optic cable links can make use of a range of Wireless Local Loop (WLL) technologies. For those more distant from the countries’ infrastructure backbones, or in hilly terrain, VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) satellites are now available and actively promoted by some international development agencies. Connectivity based on VHF or UHF wireless technology is another, narrowband, option. The second is concern over the low level penetration of ICT in the poorer regions of the world. Some interpret this as a future opportunity for business, namely that the mass of rural populations offers an as yet untapped market. Hewlett Packard, for example, is promoting its ‘e-Inclusion’ initiative: a strategy for achieving long-term business growth by deploying its core business and research and development resources to develop new products and services, often in partnership, in order to serve the needs of low-income customers. The stated mission of the initiative is to “close the gap between the technology-empowered communities and the technology-excluded communities on the planet by making it pro itable to do so”. Others view the lack of ICT penetration less as a business opportunity and more as a moral imperative for poverty reduction. Either way, the contradiction between the potential for ICTs to address the challenges faced by rural and urban development, and the current failure to harness them for this purpose, is striking.


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THE 2ⁿ REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WWW.RIGF.AZ THE 2ND REGIONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM AZERBAIJAN RIGFAZ 2014 BAKU, AZERBAIJAN, 2-3 DECEMBER 2014 OPENING CEREMONY Mr. Nariman Hajiyev, Project Manager, UNDP Azerbaijan Mr. Vyacheslav Cherkasov, Senior Governance and Public Administration Of icer, UNDESA Mr. Elmir Velizadeh, Deputy Minister of Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ms. Natalia Alhazishvili, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Azerbaijan Mr. Patrick Jones, Senior Director, Global Stakeholder Engagement, ICANN Mr. Osman Gunduz, President, Azerbaijan Internet Forum RIGFAZ opened with recognition that tremendous progress is being made in development and deployment of ICT, and the effects are being felt globally. It is now general recognized that ICT contributes directly to a nation’s social and economic growth. It has the potential to provide citizens with more direct access to vital information, and allows a type of low cost international communication that never before existed. The Deputy Minister of Communications and High Technologies-H.E. Mr. Elmir Velizadeh, Senior Governance and Public Administration Of icer of the UNDESA-Mr. Vyacheslav Cherkasov, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Azerbaijan-Ms. Natalia Alhazishvili, Senior Director Global Stakeholder Engagement ICANN-Mr. Patrick Jones, the President of AIF-Mr. Osman Gunduz and Project Manager as well as Event Coordinator-Mr. Nariman Hajiyev each presented policy oriented comments to of icially open the forum.



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