An Interview for the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Newsletter #2 [PDF File 582KB]
Published in July 2002
The multi-stakeholder approach of the DOT Force
-- a view from an NGO/NPO (Not-for-Profit Organization) participant
I think the DOT Force experience is extremely valuable for the WSIS process, said Izumi Aizu, Principal of Asia Network Research (ANR) and participant at the DOT Force meeting in Calgary, May 5-7, 2002.
At first, people were a little skeptical about the multi-stakeholder approach (government + private sector + NGOs) and the ability of representatives from developing countries and international organizations to work together.
In essence, they spoke different languages and it was difficult to figure out exactly what they meant, hence it was difficult to understand each other. However, as we discussed the issues and drafted the action plans through several challenging rounds of collaboration, it became clear that this new and unique approach (at least in the G8 context) was proving valuable and productive. In fact, this multi-stakeholder approach was the reason we were able to produce quality recommendations from what was really a small, lightly resourced and hurried process.
According to Mr. Aizu, there was strong agreement among all DOT Force members that one of the real successes of the process, and a pleasant surprise, was that all parties worked as part of a team.
NGOs were able to participate as equals and brought a diverse set of views, skills and experiences. In particular they were looked to for their knowledge of the Internet and use of ICTs. NGOs seemed to have been able to consult more widely among their peers in their own countries and regions, as well as in the developing countries, than other stakeholders. This diversity and breadth of knowledge was valuable in forming the DOT Force report and in identifying action areas. The importance of the nongovernmental role in the DOT Force process was also clearly illustrated in the way NGOs were asked to take the lead in chairing or co-chairing many of the implementation actions over the past year.
For Izumi Aizu, the multi-stakeholder approach was also one of the most important outcomes of the DOT Force process, a fact that was confirmed at the Calgary meeting.
At Calgary, the consensus was made to maintain and develop, if possible, the momentum of this team spirit and synergy into implementing future ICT projects. It was also agreed that the implementation teams continue to network amongst each other, an activity that can work with the UN ICT Task Force as well as with WSIS.
Izumi Aizu, Principal, Asia Network Research Inc.