Core principles of the IGF
The IGF Initiatives should be organized in accordance with five core IGF principles, which are:
1) Open and transparent,
4) Multistakeholder, and
Below section presents description of each of the five IGF principles, in the NRIs context.
1) Open and Transparent
IGF initiatives are open to all relevant stakeholders interested in contributing to the organization of
the meetings. It is the responsibility of the multistakeholder organizing teams to ensure that all
interested stakeholders, both individuals and organizations, are invited to participate in the IGF
It is important that the IGF Initiative’s work is conducted in a transparent manner. This means that
wider relevant communities, beyond the organizing team, need to be properly informed about the
The best way to inform the community is to regularly send updates to an open mailing list, post them
on the official website/webpage and promote through the social network accounts and other ways of
conducting effective public outreach.
The organizing committee of an IGF Initiative has the responsibility to organize the meeting and
develop the overall program that will encompass the views of the wider community. Conducting
rounds of public consultations on the substantive meeting program, are good practices that can ensure
In particular, the meeting’s program agenda needs to address the views of the wider community. The
core organizing teams need to develop a plan on how they will run the open and public consultations.
Usually, the initiatives either launch a public call for input for topics that should be discussed at the
annual meeting(s), or they propose agenda topics and call for public consultation, potential edits, and
the final adoption of the proposed agenda.
Either way, the organizers have the responsibility to create an effective way of conducting outreach
with the community and seeking input before the final decision is made, which should ideally be
based on consensus to the extent possible, taking into account the available resources to organize the
To comply with the IGF’s main principles, mainly the principals of being open, transparent, and
inclusive, the initiatives should conduct effective outreach toward their respective communities.
The NRIs should undertake efforts to promote the call for input and motivate the wider community to
In order to inform community and conduct outreach, supporting mechanisms include the instrument
- Establish a dedicated website or webpage5;
- Create a mailing list and/or an open website platform;
5 In case of lack of resources, the IGF Secretariat will help temporarily facilitating a dedicated page on its website, as well
as a mailing list.
- Create dedicated social media accounts and official hashtag(s)6.
The decision-making process of the IGF initiative should be bottom-up, where the substantive
organization of the annual meeting(s) should reflect the needs of the respective community the NRIs
are acting within.
This is why the NRIs are encouraged to run public consultations, in order to ensure that the
community is aware of the initiative’s work, uphold the importance for engagement, and encourage
involvement to the extent possible. In particular, it is importnat to ensure that the program agenda
reflects the need of the respective community. This is why the initiatives are running specific public
call for inputs, where the program agendas are developed according to received substance.
All annual meetings of IGF initiatives are non-commercial (not-for-profit). The annual NRIs’
meetings are not organized for the purpose of gaining profit.
This means that the attendance at the annual meeting as well as the cost of participation for all
interested stakeholders during the preparatory process and the meeting day(s) need to be free of
However, this does not mean in any way, that the initiatives are not free to have donors and sponsors
that will support the organization of their annual meetings. In fact, donors and sponsors provide the
majority of the funding and resources needed for the organization of the NRIs annual meeting(s).
The IGF initiatives need to respect the criteria of being multistakeholder in its organization. The
multistakeholder approach refers to collaboration between all stakeholder groups on an equal footing
(private sector, civil society, government and technical community), around development and
implementation of an array of Internet-related principles, norms, rules, decision making procedures,
and policies and programs.
Additionally, the multistakeholder component is also very important in regards to the meeting. In
principle, organizers must ensure that the session speakers and presenters reflect stakeholder diversity,
as this will add to the session being inclusive of different views.
If asked, the Secretariat is available to assist in sharing information and good practices about
successful approaches used by fellow NRIs.
The nature of the multistakeholder organizing team is explained in the following section.
- a) Multistakeholder Organizing Teams
In the context of an IGF Initiative, “multistakeholder” means that the organizers of the IGF Initiative
have to maintain a multistakeholder composition, where the members initially come from at least
three different stakeholder groups, with the intention of eventually evolving toward the inclusion of
all stakeholder groups.
The initiatives are free to choose the name for their core organizing teams. Usually these are called:
Organizing Committees, Steering Committees, Executive Committees or even national or regional
Multistakeholder Advisory Groups (national and regional MAGs).
7 For consistency, in this publication, the term “Organizing Team” (OT) will be used when referring to the
multistakeholder organizing teams.
Additionally, besides the multistakeholder nature of the Organizing Teams, the membership
composition also needs to reflect the regional and gender diversity. The regional diversity means
primarily that the membership composition involving members from more than one city/town/village
or country, depending on the environmental structure of the community.
- The main tasks of the multistakeholder Organizing Teams
Among the main tasks of the multistakeholder organizing teams are usually the following ones:
- To coordinate the preparatory process for the annual meetings, especially in regards to planning
the program, overall logistics and finances;
- To initiate and coordinate outreach toward the wider community, with goals of informing the
community about the existence of the initiative, thus raising awareness on the importance of the
NRIs and ways of engagement.
- In this regard, its task is to streamline the outreach activities toward bringing new stakeholders
into the initiative’s process, either as members or as partners/supporters;
- To actively explore sponsorship opportunities for supporting the organization of the NRIs
- In regards to the annual meeting program agenda and major decision making processes, to
coordinate the public consultations, call for inputs and proper classification of received inputs;
- To prepare an annual meeting report in (one of the) official national language(s) of the
respective communities the NRIs act within, and to ensure the report is made publicly available
and presented to the concerned stakeholders, at-large community, the global IGF, and other
organizations, fora, and processes within the global Internet governance ecosystem;
- To ensure consultation with concerned stakeholders on all important matters related to local
and/or regional Internet governance processes, and that the input received is integrated into the
NRIs’ decision-making processes; and
- To represent the initiative at all relevant events, particularly the IGF and the NRIs.
- Mandate of the multistakeholder Organizing Teams
The initiatives are free to decide on the mandate of the Organizing Teams. To be fully inclusive, it is
recommended that the Organizing Teams establish an open and inclusive approach to engagement
while respecting the geographic, stakeholder, and gender balance. Over time, this may lead to
rotations or it may result in increased membership in an Organizing Teams.
iii. NRIs Contact Points
For the purposes of having continuous and effective communication between the IGF initiative, other
NRIs, and the global IGF, it is recommended to have a dedicated point of contact within the initiative
that will act as a liaison between the initiative and other relevant groups, including the IGF
From the practice so far, this can be one or more persons, the NRIs Secretariat, NRIs chair or cochair(
s), or member of the Organizing Team, all depending on the final decision of the initiative’s core
The IGF Secretariat keeps the list of all these contact persons, giving them a technical term of a
coordinator, which is a functional term used within the planning processes of the NRI’s collaboration.
It is not intended to replace any official terms or appointments by the NRIs for their own operational
As emphasized above, the NRIs coordinators act as liaisons between the global IGF, the NRIs
network and their initiatives.
This means that all updates about the individual NRIs are being regularly sent to the Secretariat and to
the NRIs by the Coordinator. Also, the Secretariat is communicating with the NRIs through their
Coordinators, that are responsible for communicating the messages further to their community.
After being established, the initiatives are advised to decide among their Organizing Teams who will
be assigned with this role and inform the IGF Secretariat to update the database of all NRIs