L'approccio multi stake-holder alla internet governance

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Monitoring as an element of democratic multi-stakeholder processes. Towards a framework to design, monitor and assess post-WSIS (starting from the Internet Governance Forum and national follow-ups)

Claudia Padovani claudia.padovani@unipd.it


Building on the WSIS experience and on relevant literature – on global transformations and governance, democratic theory, participatory models in policy-processes - I adopt a realistic and inductive approach that aims at putting specific institutional designs in the context of democratic transformations. The final aim is to elaborate and apply a framework for a monitoring and assessment exercise that could contribute to the evolution of the IGF concept, as well as of national follow ups to the WSIS, as it is being developed within the multi-stakeholder working group of the WSIS civil society constituency (see appendix I).

The basic assumptions leading my reflection concern the fact that multi-stakeholder processes can be seen as a step in the complex process of democratizing global governance. If we think of democratic emancipation as “an open-ended process” (Patomaki 2003), with its potential and challenges, than democratic practice may well develop in the global context. While as far as effective governance, we can conceive it as a set of steering mechanisms “that achieve not only efficiency and order but also public participation and public accountability” (Scholte 2002).

Recognizing the relevance of participatory practices in policy processes, I underline the fact that participation makes sense not as an end in itself but when it “addresses pressing deficits in more conventional, less participatory arrangements… As participation serves three important democratic values: legitimacy, justice and the effectiveness of public action” (Fung 2005).

My presentation focuses on two aspects which I believe should be taken into consideration in designing the IGF (as well as other WSIS follow ups mechanisms and national policies) according to a vision of “democratic emancipation”:

The need to define how the different elements of participatory processes – namely: who participate, how different actors interact and what is the influence of multi-stakeholder processes (MSPs) to political action – can be composed and accommodated to respond to the need for legitimacy, justice and effectiveness in such processes; The need to develop, alongside procedures and structure for the IGF (and other mechanisms/policies), monitoring mechanisms that would allow to: help in the overall design of the Forum (and other mechanisms/policies); calling attention on the participatory dimension of processes; assess consistency between participatory objectives and results; enhance understanding and awareness of processes (learning approach); develop ongoing mechanisms for a refocusing of processes or aspects of them; publicize results and obtain support. �Monitoring as an element of democratic multi-stakeholder processes. A framework to design, monitor and assess post-WSIS (starting from the Internet Governance Forum and national follow-ups)

Building on the WSIS experience and on relevant literature – on global transformations and governance, democratic theory, participatory models in policy-processes (especially as elaborated in relation to the World Summit on Sustainable Development) - I adopt a realistic and inductive approach that aims at putting specific institutional designs in context. The final aim is to elaborate and apply a framework for a monitoring and assessment exercise that could contribute to the evolution of the IGF concept, as well as of national follow ups to the WSIS, as it is being developed within the multi-stakeholder working group of the WSIS civil society constituency (see appendix I).

I start from clarifying the theoretical framework for the reflections and proposal I introduce here. I then proceed by connecting the framework and the very idea of monitoring and assessment to post-WSIS activities, including the IGF. Thirdly I recall former experiences that offer hints and suggestions to develop an ad hoc monitoring and assessment mechanism for multi-stakeholder practices and processes. Finally I introduce a draft framework for monitoring and assessing MSPs in post-WSIS and IFG. These notes are not aimed at drawing conclusions but at offering elements for a multi-stakeholder-oriented debate and approach to post-WSIS.


1 - Basic assumptions and theoretical frame

Multi-stakeholder processes can be seen as a step in the complex process of democratizing global governance. If we think of “democratic emancipation as an open-ended process” (Patomaki 2003), with its potential, pressures, constraints and challenges, than democratic practice may well develop in the global context, as well as in regional and national contexts. Furthermore, as far as effective governance is concerned, we can conceive it as a set of steering mechanisms “that achieve not only efficiency and order but also public participation and public accountability” (Scholte 2002). In recognizing the relevance of participatory practices in policy processes, it should be stressed that participation makes sense not as an end in itself but when it “addresses pressing deficits in more conventional, less participatory arrangements… As participation serves three important democratic values: legitimacy, justice and the effectiveness of public action” (Fung 2005).

Legitimacy relates to the adoption of public decisions on the basis of broad consensus and support Justice refers to overcoming iniquities (of resources, access, knowledge) Effectiveness implies the capacity to respond in appropriate manners to demands and needs

Reference to these values (and goals) should inform the design of institutional arrangements in which multi-stakeholder participation is envisaged. Furthermore, each of these values (and goals) is best addressed by a specific articulation of three relevant dimensions:

WHO participate - Different levels of “inclusion” can be envisaged: from the broad macropublic, or public sphere (where inclusion would mean the possibility to take part in a debate or process for the public at large), to processes that only include state actors (single-stakeholder approach), passing through minipublics, including lay and professional stakeholders selection (in this case expert or interested stakeholders should be identified and invited to take part); HOW participants interact - Different levels of “intensity” can be envisaged: from a very general “sit as observers” (in this case “access” would best describe the level of participation) to actively deliberate (this refers to what some authors define as “full participation”, see Pateman 1972), passing through education and development of preferences (participants are able to develop their understanding of an issue and substantially define their priorities); WHAT is the connection between discussion and action - Different degrees of “authority” characterize actors taking part in the process, and therefore their ability to actually influence final decisions (stemming from general persuasion to partnerships and direct involvement in decision-making)

Archon Fung suggests a framework that takes these different dimensions into consideration – which he calls a “democracy cube” – which can be a useful reference point to address issues, priorities and goals of participatory institutional design.


Fig. 1 - The democracy cube (Fung, 2005)


One of the challenges the IGF needs to address (and participatory processes in general) is to find the appropriate balance between effectiveness – the capacity to respond flexibly to fast changes and pressing issues – and legitimacy – the possibility to develop structures and elaborate proposals that are grounded in broad support and consensus. We suggest that justice, through a specific priority on overcoming existing inequities, should be included as a guiding principle in this effort. Taking into consideration these principles, and acting consistently in considering who participate, how they interact and what is the result of their discussion in terms of influence on the political process is required, will allow the Forum to contribute to a multi-lateral, transparent and democratic governance for the Internet in the future.


2 – IGF, democratic values and the role of monitoring mechanisms

Par. 29 of the Tunis Agenda states that “the international management of the Internet should be multilateral, transparent and democratic”

It should be reminded that reference to multi-stakeholder processes and arrangement can be found throughout the WSIS official documents, from Geneva as well as from Tunis (Geneva Declaration Part A Par. 17, Part B Par. 1 & 11; Geneva Plan of Action Part A Par. 1 & 3, Part C Par. 8, Part E Par. 28, Part F Par. 29; Tunis Commitment Par. 9, 10, 42, 45; Tunis Agenda Par. 3, 4, 5, 7, 18, 19, 21, 23, 27, 29) . The WSIS, as I have suggested elsewhere (Padovani 2004, 2005, Padovani & Tuzzi 2004) carries the responsibility of having explicitly placed the multi-stakeholder approach on the global communication agenda. Reflections in these notes concerning the institutional design for the IGF should therefore be read as a way to address the multi-stakeholder challenge in a specific setting; yet they are also meaningful for a broader understanding of how the multi-stakeholder approach should be realized in the broader context of communication governance.. Furthermore Internet Governance is often accompanied by terms such as inclusive, participatory, non-hierarchical, multi-lateral, collaborative (see texts included in MacLean (ed) 2004, Internet Governance: a Grand Collaboration)

A reference to democratic principles is clearly present in official and unofficial language, though seldom articulated in operational terms. But if we read the IGF mandate from the Tunis Agenda (par. 72) we realize how some of the statements could well be translated into a language that resonates that of Fung’s framework.

Par 72.a) “Discuss public policy issues related to key elements of Internet Governance in order to foster sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet” is basically about EFFECTIVENESS Par 72.d) “Facilitate exchange of information and best practices, and in this regard make full use of the expertise of academics scientific and technical communities” is about EFFECTIVNESS and LEGITIMATION Par 72.F) “Strengthen and enhance the engagement of all stakeholders in existing and/or future Internet Governance mechanisms, particularly those from developing countries” is about JUSTICE and LEGITIMACY (but also EFFECTIVENESS) Par 72.h) “Contribute to capacity-building for Internet Governance in developing countries, drawing fully on local resources and expertise” is about JUSTICE and LEGITIMACY (and EFFECTIVENESS)

We are therefore confronted with a number of questions: How are the democratic issues of legitimacy, justice and effectiveness addressed in current design proposals? What are different stakeholders’ perspectives on each dimension (the who, how and what) and each goal (legitimacy, justice and effectiveness)? State differently: how do governments, international organizations, private sector entities and civil society organizations conceive the balance to be reached in the IGF between participatory dimensions and democratic goals? Do priorities emerge (as far as legitimacy, justice and effectiveness) as main goals for the IGF which would require specific composition of the WHO, HOW and INFLUENCE dimensions?

We leave these issues open for debate and consideration, suggesting that emerging proposals for the IGF could gain from referring to the “democracy cube” as a reference point if they are to harness its potential in terms of democratic emancipation.

Reference to democratic emancipation also justifies our second focus: that of looking at “monitoring” as a way to help identify priorities and challenges throughout the institutional design of IGF and assess their status in the course of the process. We know that monitoring and evaluation are essential elements in any project. They are crucial in terms of:

Assessing consistency between objectives and results Enhance understanding and awareness of the process (learning approach) Develop ongoing mechanisms for refocusing of the process or aspects of it Publicize results and obtain support

Furthermore, monitoring and evaluation should be planned from the very beginning, alongside all other phases and activities of a project in order to:

Make arrangements to organize and collect adequate data through which the monitoring should be conducted Devote sufficient resources (people, time, money) to the monitoring Contribute to a better articulation of the overall project, identifying critical aspects on which on-going collection of information is useful


3 – Monitoring multi-stakeholder practices in post-WSIS (including IGF) building on former experiences

We refer to the work conducted in areas different from information and communication policy, that could support our effort in institutional design for the IGF and post-WSIS activities, allowing us to: a) identify an operational definition of MSPs and their features (3.1), b) refer to an existing framework for the design of effective MSPs and a rationale for monitoring participatory processes (3.2) and c) elaborate an ad hoc framework for monitoring MSPs in post-WSIS (3.3). Following therefore notes builds on:

Work that has been conducted in the field of democratic theory and practice, especially efforts to develop frameworks for the evaluation of democratic quality in contemporary societies (Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, IDEA 2002). Here a number of “mediating values” (through which people have sought to give effect to the basic democratic principles of popular control and political equality) have been translated into indicators for the assessment of democratic quality. In the IDEA concept these mediating values are: participation, authorization, representation, accountability, transparency, responsiveness and solidarity.

Work that has been done on participatory and multi-stakeholder practices with a specific focus on developing methodologies and frameworks for the design and assessment of MS experiences (mainly, but not exclusively, in the context of environmental policy. See www.earthsummitproject.org/msp, The Access Initiative)


3.1 – An operational definition of MSPs

Building on the experience of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the Earth Summit Project, Minu Hemmati offers an operational definition of MSP and their features

It may also be useful to refer to Brian Hockings (2006) effort to schematize the main differences between the traditional state-centred model of diplomacy and the more “modern” stakeholder model, in terms of: forms (governmental-led vs. diffused), participants (professional diplomats vs. multiple participation); roles (diplomats as gatekeepers vs. diplomats as facilitators within a context of multiple roles played by all stakeholders); functions (promoting national interest vs. information exchange, monitoring processes, promoting global interests); location (diplomatic sites vs. sites that cross domestic and international arenas); representation patterns (state-focused vs. variable representation) and rules (sovereignty-related rules vs. openness, accountability and transparency). It is also interesting to recall how Hocking strongly advocates for a network approach to multi-stakeholder processes, which can be interpreted both in terms of the actual conduct of such processes (policy networks formation) and as an indication for a productive research approach (following Reineke 2000). Network approaches to global governance and trans-national mobilizations are in fact developing (Anheir & Katz 2003-4, Padovani & Pavan 2006) and they are promising. I am currently developing a research project specifically devoted to Internet Governance in which a traditional social network approach and a web-based issue network approach will be integrated, with the aim to map interactions amongst relevant actors in the Internet Governance landscape, and respective roles and impact., describing them as processes which: 

“aim to bring together all major stakeholders in a new form of communication and decision-finding (and possibly decision-making) structure on a particular issue; are based on the recognition of the importance of achieving equity and accountability in communication between stakeholders; involve equitable representation of three or more stakeholder groups and their views; are based on democratic principles of transparency and participation; aim to develop partnerships and strengthen networks between and among stakeholders.” (Hemmati, 2002: 19)


3.2 – A framework to design effective MSPs

Hemmati also offers a quite articulated framework for the design of MSPs, considering different phases and activities to be carried out; feedback loops and relation between process and wider context. Below a simplified version is proposed. For a more articulated discussion concerning each phase and single aspects composing different phases, see Hemmati 2002 (Part II, Chapters 7-8)

� context

process design linkage to decision-making issues identification stakeholder identification facilitation back-up funding

framing

group composition goals agenda

inputs

stakeholder preparation agreed rules a and procedures power gaps capacity-building

dialogue/meetings

communication channels facilitation/chairing rapporteuring decision-making closure

outputs

documentation action plan/ implementation ongoing MS processes impact official decision-making

throughout the process

meta-communication relating to non-participating stakeholders relating to the general public

Fig. 2 – Designing MSPs: a detailed guide (Hemmati, 2002: 211)


�4 - A draft framework for monitoring and assess MSPs in post-WSIS and IFG

Building on the above mentioned research and conceptual efforts we

“We” refers to a network of people, both academics and activists, who gathered around the WSIS process sharing an interest for innovative aspects of governance, in the off-line/on-line interactions, and since the WSIS first phase shared spaces for discussion, met and organized events organized on the subject, developed research projects, convened in the msp mailing lists of WSIS (wsis-msp@yahoogrounps.com ).  are elaborating a framework for the monitoring and assessment of multi-stakeholder processes, which I believe should be taken into consideration from the early stages of designing governance mechanisms and policies.

What I introduce relates to an initiative launched at the Tunis WSIS meeting – the MuSt initiative (Multi-Stakeholder Initiative)

For a brief description of the rationale behind MuSt see Annex 1. – which is still “under-construction” and for which we are currently looking for partners. The idea is to further develop and refine this general framework and a methodology
By methodology we mean a set of instructions and questions allowing to assess post-WSIS public participation systems, explaining how to use the framework, how to adapt it to specific situations, what sources of information to relate to. which could then be adapted to specific situations in the post-WSIS period: the IGF, monitor the national level, monitor the international level.

We start by listing a set of elements that inform the framework.

WHY monitor MSPs: to set priorities for changing decision-making in different issues areas find ways to improve public participation systems put public participation on the agenda of policy makers raise public awareness of opportunities to obtain information, participate in decision, and seek redress and remedy build a broad movement among the public for improved access to information, participation and justice in policy making” (TAI, Accessing Access to Information, Participation and Justice for the Environment: a Guide, TAI 2003)

HOW to conduct the monitoring Independent arrangements, involving different stakeholders, with recognition from and appropriate connections to official process

Basic PRINCIPLES for MSPs (that inform the framework – also goals for MSPs) Transparency – Accountability – Responsiveness – Legitimacy – Responsivness - Justice/solidarity - Effectivness

Preconditions/second level principles for MSPs (that inform the framework) Flexibility - Learning approach - Ownership (including in management) - Social capital

Structural elements for MSPs (that inform the framework) Institutional back up - Facilitation - Rapporteuring - Relation to non-participating stakeholders - Relation to general public - Linkage with official decision-making - Funding

Procedural elements for MSPs (that inform the framework) Access to Information Access to Participation Capacity Building The proposed framework is composed of two parts:

A) A set of general questions

For this first part  I elaborate on Hemmati 2002, p. 268-269. to assess (and/or design) different stages of an MSP (with reference to structural and procedural aspects) clustered according to the three dimensions of the “democracy cube”: who participate, how they interact and what is the influence of their deliberation. This should allow an overall assessment of MS processes.

B) A set of specific indicators

For the second part I elaborate on The Access Initiative (2003). that allow to monitor and assess specific categories and subcategories relating to access to information, access to participation and capacity building (for an on-going monitoring or final assessment)


Questions for a general assessment of MSPs design


Structural aspects

Institutional back up

Is there a secretariat, facilitating body, board? Facilitation


Who facilitates the MSP? What is the exact role of a facilitating body? How does the facilitatingorganization work with stakeholders? Rapporteuring


Repporteuring from meetings; summarizing outcomes; publication of documentation: by whom? When and how? Relation to non-participating stakeholders

Do other stakeholder know about the process? Can they feed into the process? And how? Relation to general public


What kind of information about the MSP is available to the public? Via which channels? Who provides that information? Can the public comment/ask questions/feed in? and how? Funding Is the process being funded? By whom? Who fundraises? How much does it costs what impact do funders have on the process, structures and outcomes?

Procedural aspects






WHO Designing MSP


How was the process designed? By whom? Were there consultation with stakeholders on the design?


Identifying the issues

Who identifies the issues and why?

Identifying relevant stakeholders

Who identifies relevant stakeholders? And how?

Identifying participants

Who identifies participants and how?

Setting the goals



Who sets the goals and how? Can goals develop over the course of the MSP – from an informing process into a dialogue/consensus building process? Do participants have chances to check back with their constituencies when changes are being proposed?


Setting the agenda who sets the agenda and how? Do participants have chances to check back with their constituencies when changes are being proposed?


Setting the timetable

Who sets the timetable and how?





HOW Preparatory process


How is the dialogue prepared (consultation within constituencies; papers; initial positions)? Are the preparations within stakeholder groups being monitored somehow?

Communication




How is the communication conducted (face-to-face, telephone, mail, collaborative platforms etc; chairing/facilitation; atmosphere)? Are innovation in the use of on-line communication channels being implemented to allow inclusiveness in the process?

Dealing with power gaps


Are there gaps between participating stakeholder groups? How are they addressed/dealt with?

Decision-making/procedures of agreement Is agreement being sought? If so, how is that conducted? By whom?



INFLUENCE Implementation

How is implementation decided/planned/conducted? By whom?


Closure


How and when does the process conclude? Who makes the decision and how? What is the outcome of the process?

Linkage into official decision-making Is the MSP linked to an official decision-making processes/es? Via which mechanisms? How transparent and predictable are these mechanisms? Can stakeholders impact the mechanisms and how

�A set of specific indicators (Monitoring both legal frameworks & practice) DRAFT

The second part of the framework utilizes categories referring to the three dimensions of: access to information, access to participation and capacity building. Each category is divided in subcategories, considering both the legal framework (which provides support to access principles) and the practice that develop through processes (to evaluate performance in practice: events, processes, institutions). For each subcategory a set of indicators allows to look at specific aspects. The overall framework is presented in Table 1. Each dimension is then articulated in separate tables in the following pages.

Table 1 – The overall framework: three categories (the rationale) and subcategories

1. Access to information Access to information supports meaningful personal and organizational choices and decisions. Different types of information can be relevant to: protect human lives, shape daily decisions, support decision making that has long term impact.

1.a – legal framework 1.b – practice: existence and quality of information systems 1.c – practice: access to information about decision-finding/making 1.d – practice: efforts to disseminate information 1.e – practice: quality of information accessible to public

2. Access to participation Public participation can influence decision-making in many ways. Public input helps decision-makers in: considering different issues, perspectives, options; gather new knowledge; integrate social concern into decision-making; produce decisions that are fair, legitimate and sustainable; manage social conflicts by bringing different stakeholders and interest groups together at an early stage while change is still feasible. Effective results are possible if participation is used to define a problem and determine the outcome of a process.

2.a – legal provisions concerning participation 2.b – practice: selection of stakeholders and participants 2.c – practice: opportunities to participate 2.d – practice: outcome of participation 3. Capacity building Capacity building refers to efforts to enhance social, educational, technological, legal and institutional infrastructure for providing public access to decision-making. Capacity building through training and providing resources encourages governments and other stakeholders to provide information, engage in public decisions, and enforce access legislation. The ability of citizens and public interest organizations must also be strengthened to obtain and understand relevant information and participate in decision-making 3.a legal framework: provisions 3.b practice: efforts of institution/process to build capacity of participants 3.c Practice: efforts to build capacity of the public

�1. ACCESS TO INFORMATION

Different types of information should be identified and their accessibility monitored: provisions for access to information (type 1), info concerning rules and procedures, conditions regarding accreditation (type 2), proceedings, minutes, reports from processes (type 3), documents, working papers, databases (type 4), facilities, communication channels (for manufacturing, processing, recycling allowing timely and accurate information to be available)(type 5)

For each sub-category (1.a, 1.b …) a set of relevant indicators is identified (left column). For each indicator, access to different types of information should be assessed. As in tables below:

Table 2 – Access to information: sub-categories, indicators and types of information

1.a Legal information: mandate to collect, disseminate information

indicators Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4 Type 5 Mandate to disseminate



Claims of confidentiality



Mandate to produce reports



Else … 1.b Practice indicators - existence and quality of information systems


Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4 Type 5 Diversity of information systems provided



Quality of information systems



Regularity in generating information



Else … 1.c Practice indicators – access to information about decision-finding/making processes


Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4 Type 5 Lead time for notification of draft/documents



Quality of info supporting participation



Availability of info supporting discussions/decisions



Else … 1.d Practice indicators - efforts to disseminate


Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4 Type 5 Accessibility of different information on the web



Efforts to reach the media



Free public access



Else … 1.e Practice indicators – quality of information accessible to public


Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4 Type 5 Quality of accessible printed information



Quality of accessible on-line information



Timeliness of different types of information



Else …




2. ACCESS TO PARTICIPATION

Participation can be assessed keeping the “democracy cube” as a reference point, and adopting its three dimensions to define relevant subcategories: who participate and the degree of inclusiveness; opportunities to participate and intensity of interaction; outcome and influence on other decision-making bodies and sites. If the process is structured around different bodies - such as secretariat, steering group or bureau, working groups, plenary sessions - then it would be possible to monitor each of them separately and then compare.

For each sub-category (2.a, 2.b …) a set of relevant indicators is identified (left column). For each indicator, participatory arrangements made in different involved bodies is assessed. As in tables below:

Table 3 – Access to participation: sub-categories, indicators and involved bodies

2.a Legal provisions concerning participation


Secretariat Steering group Working groups Plenary Who is included



How they interact



Functions, roles and responsibilities



2.b Practice: selection of stakeholders and participants


Secretariat Steering group Working groups Plenary Modalities for identification of stakeholders



Modalities for identification of participants



Who set criteria for identification of stakeholders and participants



How are stakeholders and participants invited to participate



Else …



2.c Practice: opportunities to participate


Secretariat Steering group Working groups Plenary Degree of external consultation in defining parameters or scope of decisions



Comprehensiveness of consultation in drafting statements



Consultation with marginalized socio-economic groups



Public participation in implementation and/or review of decisions



Else …



2.d Practice: outcome of participation


Secretariat Steering group Working groups Plenary Timeliness of info given to public about consultation process



Incorporation of public input in decisions



Degree of participation by effected parties or public interest groups in implementation and monitoring



Else…




3. CAPACITY BUILDING

Capacity building should be assessed both in relation to participants in the process and in relation to the general public, and it should refer to appropriate and timely information, specific training activities, translations, support to disadvantaged groups.

Table 4 – Capacity-building: sub-categories and indicators

3.a legal framework: provisions

Legal interpretation of the public and of stakeholders


Modalities for registration of participants


Financial support


Else …


3.b practice: efforts of institution/process to build capacity of participants

Training for participating stakeholders


Specific training for disadvantaged groups/stakeholders


Language and translation of administrative information


Language and translation of other relevant materials


Else …


3.c Practice: efforts to build capacity of the public

Info about mandate & point of contact


Guidelines for public on how to access info


Guidelines to public on how to participate


Languages and translations of administrative info


Language and translation of other relevant materials


Else …



This draft framework certainly needs to be further elaborated: the overall structure be revised and sub-categories and indicators integrated, according to the specific reality of communication and information governance processes (and/or the WSIS follow ups process itself). Furthermore the framework will need to be adapted to specific situations, particularly in the case of application in national contexts.

We believe this framework and the methodology that will be developed, being an articulated yet concrete reference point that composes and connects the different dimensions of participatory processes in governance contexts that are more and more challenged by the presence of different actors, as well as by the networking nature of their respective practices, will help meet the following goals:

to contribute in clarifying, theoretically and substantially, the potentialities and challenges of multi-stakeholder practices (basic values, pre-conditions, resources, learning processes…). to develop an opportunity to design, develop and monitor participatory practices in communication governance at different levels, from the national to the global; to keep the momentum of civil society organizations’ involvement and sustain trans-national cooperation in the post-WSIS phase; to offer a very concrete tool for groups and associations in national contexts to be active and remain connected to the broader global mobilization while developing knowledge that could help them being effective as policy interlocutors at the national level; to give an incentive to governments who seem to be reluctant to any serious commitment to participatory decision-finding and decision-making, showing that civil society organizations are willing to commit to the multi-stakeholder approach and have competence to offer;

The IGF could offer a very interesting opportunity to test the framework as a pilot project, refine and revise to be then applied in other contexts. We welcome comments and cooperation from interested stakeholders in carrying this project forward.


Bibliographical References

ANHEIER, H., & KATZ, H. (2003-4). Network Approaches to Global Civil Society, in The Global Civil Society Yearbook 2003-2004. Centre for the Study of Global Governance, London: Sage. DODDS, F. (2004). “Stakeholder Democracy”, Institution for Sustainable development, workshop, Barcelona, June FUNG, A. (2005). “Varieties of Participation in Complex Governance”, paper prepared for “Theorizing Democratic Renewal” workshop, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, June 2005 HEMMATI, M. (2002). Multi-stakeholder Processes for Governance and Sustainability, Earthscan HOCKING, D. (2006). “Multistakeholder Diplomacy:, forms, functions and frustrations”, in Kurbaljia & Katrandjiev (eds) Multistakeholder Diplomacy. Challenges and Opportunities, Diplo Foundation IDEA (2002).Handbook on Democratic Assessment, Kluwer Law International OECD (2001). Citizens as Partners. OECD Handbook on Information, Consultation and Public Participation in Policy Making, OECD PADOVANI, C. & PAVAN, E. (2006 forthcoming). “The emerging global movement on communication rights: a new stakeholder in global communication governance? Converging at WSIS but looking beyond”. In D. Kidd, C. Ropdriguez & L. Stein (eds) Making Ourmedia: Mapping Global Initiatives toward a Democratic Public Sphere, Hampton press PADOVANI, C. (2005). “Civil Society Organizations beyond WSIS: roles and potential of a "young" stakeholder”, in Visions in Process II: the World Summit on the Information Society and the Road towards a Sustainable Knowledge Society, Heinrich Boell Foundation PADOVANI, C. (2005), “WSIS and Multistakeholderism”, in D. Stauffacher & W. Kleinwachter (Eds), The World Summit on the Information Society: Moving from the Past into the Future , UNICT Task Force publication. PADOVANI, C. (ed) (2004), Gazette 66 (3-4), special issue on the WSIS “The World Summit on the Information Society. Setting the Communication agenda for the 21st century”. PADOVANI, C. & TUZZI, A. (2004), “WSIS as a World of Words. Building a common vision of the information society?”, in Continuum. Journal of Media and Society 18 (3): 360-379. Vol. 18, n. 3 PATOMAKI, H. (2003). “Problems of democratizing Global Governance: Time, Space and the Emancipatory Process”, in European Journal of International Relations, vol. 9(3) REINECKE, W. (2000). Global Public Policy: governing without government? Washington DC: Brookings SCHOLTE, J.A. (2002). “Civil Society and Democracy in Global Governance”, in Global Governance, vol. 8(3) THE ACCESS INITIATIVE (2003). Assessing Access to Information, Participation and Justice for the Environment. A Guide, World Resource Institute WADDEL, S. (2005). Societal learning and Change. How governments, business and civil society are creating solutions to complex multi-stakeholder problems, Greenleaf Publishing


Claudia Padovani is researcher of Political Science and International Relations at the Department of Historical and Political Studies at the University of Padova, Italy. She teaches International Communication and Institutions and Governance of Communication, while conducting research in the fields of the global and European governance of the information and knowledge society. She is particularly interested in the role of civil society organizations and trans-national social movements as “stakeholders” in global decision-making processes. From this perspective she has followed closely the WSIS process and written extensively on the experience. She is a member of the International Council of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), member of the European WACC Council (WACC ERA), member of the European Communication and Research Association (ECREA) and of the international campaign Communication Rights in the Information Society (CRIS).

Annex I MuSt – Multi-Stakeholder Monitor Initiative Working paper – November 2005

Part I – background and rationale for the initiative Part II – elements for the development of the initiative

Part I – background and rationale for the initiative

In the course of the WSIS process cooperation and involvement of all stakeholders have been recognized as crucial aspects in building inclusive and people-centred information societies, as well as in the development of programmes and implementation of actions, and in the follow up to the WSIS itself. Multi-stakeholder processes, partnerships and approaches are opening up concrete possibilities to democratize political processes at all levels, while empowering individuals and communities and making their contribution to policy design and implementation a resource for more effective action. Yet these processes need to be designed, developed and monitored according to basic democratic principles: those of access to information, access to participation and capacity building towards just, equitable and inclusive information and communication societies for the future. The Multi-Stakeholder Monitor Initiative (MuSt) aims at fostering this perspective through concrete actions, contributing to the WSIS living up to the expectations official documents have raised in terms of participatory governance mechanisms in the field of information and communication.

WHY a MuSt initiative? to keep the momentum of civil society organizations’ involvement and sustain trans-national cooperation in the post-WSIS; to offer a very concrete tool for groups and associations in national contexts to be active and remain connected to the broader global mobilization while developing knowledge that could help them being effective as policy interlocutors at the national level; to give an incentive to governments who seem to be reluctant to any serious commitment to participatory decision-finding and decision-making, showing that civil society organizations are willing to commit to the multi-stakeholder approach and have competence to offer; to develop an opportunity to design, develop and monitor participatory practices in communication governance at different levels, from the national to the global; to contribute in clarifying, theoretically and substantially, the potentialities and challenges of multi-stakeholder practices (basic values, pre-conditions, resources, learning processes…); to contribute in clarifying (through practice) the role and potential of ICTs in the conduct of multi-stakeholder processes; to contribute to follow-up of WSIS on MSPs-related aspects.

WHAT would MuSt develop into? MuSt: a framework for the (design and) assessment of participatory practices specifically targeted at information and communication policies and strategies that will emerge from the Tunis meeting. The framework could be applied at the national level by voluntary coalitions and groups of interested stakeholders, in order to closely follow and assess actions developed to respond to the commitment taken by governments to building people-centred and inclusive information and knowledge societies. The framework could also be applied internationally, to closely follow and assess the multi-stakeholder dimension of the WSIS follow up: an ongoing evaluation of laws and practices that would promote a better understanding of the challenges connected to MSPs in democratizing communication and information governance.

HOW could MuSt be conducted? Through the creation of an inclusive, transparent (multi-stakeholder) and multi-disciplinary trans-national advisory group with the following missions: to develop/identify, as a necessary prerequisite to an evaluation of MS processes: the basic principles of effective, equitable, transparent and inclusive multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs); a set of guidelines concerning the ethical standards of MSPs; a template for decision-making and decision-implementing mechanisms for MSPs; assessing the use of the Internet in MSPs and the dynamics between the online and the offline processes to develop a set of indicators – an MSP framework specifically designed for information and communication policies – that would allow to assess the participatory practices in the implementation of WSIS decisions and recommendations at the national level; to develop a methodology for the application of the framework; to prepare every two/three years analytical comparative assessment reports.

The assessment should be based both on an analysis of the pre-conditions for and the factors affecting the successful implementation of MSPs in the perspective of more democratic and legitimate governance mechanisms for information and communication policies and strategies.

The development of an assessment methodology presupposes: identification of policy areas to be assessed (building on action lines addressed in the WSIS documents); identification of a set of parameters and indicators to be used for the evaluation, with possible adaptation for each policy area; development (through cooperation with interested actors) of quantitative and qualitative indicators for each parameter; eventually develop a scale for these parameters that would allow to rank countries’ capacity to implement effective MSPs, proceeding from the indicators’ values. We foresee country reports, as well as an international assessment of WSIS as such. Country reports will be published on the WSIS-MSP web-site (http://www.wsis-msp.org). possible publications will be discussed. The level and modality of interaction of this initiative with WSIS follow-up mechanisms is to be discussed, while the initiative should be developed independently from any such mechanism in order to maintain its independence and autonomy, with a strong focus on national developments. Financial and other needed resources will also be discussed.

WHO would be involved in MuSt? We foresee different levels of organization for the conduct of this exercise: an international advisory group, composed of interested people from the WSIS CS sector, yet open to other interested individuals and organizations (precise criteria to be developed), who will work to elaborate, develop and refine the framework for MSP assessment (on the basis of different inputs from local partners) and guarantee some level of coordination among national teams. National teams to be set up in national contexts, composed on NGOs and other CS groups, in partnership with research institutions and scholarly knowledge (with the involvement of other interested stakeholders as appropriate), who can guarantee a sufficient level of competence, resource and continuity in applying the proposed framework, and willing to cooperate for the comparative analysis. International teams addressing specific aspects of the SIS follow up, such as the IGF.

Expected/possible OUTCOMES Working groups and teams with specific competence on MSPs in different national and regional contexts; An advisory group of experts for international coordination and planning; A framework for the assessment of MSPs in information and communication policies; Set of guidelines and framework for building effective and inclusive multi-stakeholder processes; Strengthening connection among individuals and organization involved in UN and global processes involving MSPs dimension; Resource tools (knowledge base, on-line resources, website, communication channels and networks); ICTs applications for collaborative work in multi-.stakeholder contexts; WSIS implementation assessment reports from national, regional and international contexts; ….

We plan to further develop this proposal, as far as its goals, framework refinement, partners identification, the potentially multi-stakeholder nature of the exercise and follow ups in the coming weeks in order to arrive in Tunis with a more refined draft.

All interested people and WSIS CS participants can join the discussion on the wsis-msp list. The website http://www.wsis-msp.org will be used as a collaborative space, for the archive of relevant documents, the collection of proposals and comments and the elaboration of a final project to be launched in Tunis, where we foresee the possibility to present our initiative in different meetings.

Claudia Padovani – University of Padova (Italy) Tatiana Ershova – Institute for the Information Society (Russia) Bart Cammaerts – London School of Economics and Political science (UK)

�Part II – Elements for the development of the initiative To be discussed as a basis for the development of MuSt, keeping in mind that:

we can build on former experiences (especially the Access Initiative www.accessinitiative.org