Core principles of the IGF

Core principles of the IGF

The IGF Initiatives should be organized in accordance with five core IGF principles, which are:

1) Open and transparent,

2) Inclusive,

3) Bottom-up,

4) Multistakeholder, and

5) Non-commercial.

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

work plan.

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.


2) Inclusive

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

actively participate.

In order to inform community and conduct outreach, supporting mechanisms include the instrument

listed below:

  • 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.

3) Bottom-Up

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.

4) Non-commercial

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).


5) Multistakeholder

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

annual meetings;

  • 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.
  1. 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

Organizing Team.

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