Programme Overview

Diplo’s Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme (IGCBP) is a comprehensive set of activities, interactions and engagements aimed at supporting small and developing countries’ effective participation in the policy processes which determine the future of the Internet.

Although training and research are very important components of this programme, Diplo recognised early that these activities alone are not sufficient to ensure broader impact in the sector. This is why the IGCBP also includes close collaboration with many actors in this policy process, from all stakeholder groups.

More than training...

In order to enable capacity development in IG, Diplo is a participant in the process, playing an active and enabling role. Diplo works with and supports the international institutions, governments, civil society and academic participants active in the IG process.

Diplo also recognises the unique nature of the IG policy process stemming from the particular bottom-up way the Internet developed and supports an inclusive, participatory approach. Recent events (for example, Internet users rejecting new Internet regulations in the USA and Europe) have shown clearly that without an inclusive and transparent process, there is little chance of implementing and enforcing new regulations.

Over the years the IGCBP has evolved to include:

  • Engagement with the policy process (including practical support for it).
  • Formal training, research and participation phases (see more under ‘Structure’).
  • Support for communities of practice.
  • A network of partner organisations and ministries for collaboration on projects conceived and emerging from the formal part of the programme.

Through this comprehensive, systemic and long-term work Diplo empowers participants and partners, creating a ripple effect across the whole sector and the global policy process.

Programme Structure

The Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme includes five phases. Some of the phases include online courses; others offer ongoing support for the projects and activities.

Internet Governance Building Under ConstructionThe Foundation Phase introduces the main Internet governance issues through the course Introduction to Internet Governance. The issues are organised in seven thematic areas (also called 'baskets'): Infrastructure and standardisation, cybersecurity, legal, economic, development, sociocultural, and human rights aspects, and also covers Internet governance processes and actors. This course is recommended for newcomers to IG, or for experts in only one specific area, who would like to obtain an overview of IG issues and observe how they work together. Every year, participants from all over the world enrol for this phase.

Advanced CoursesThe Thematic Phase offers in-depth courses that provide deeper understanding of a particular issue: either a specific professional area, or an area outside of one’s expertise that one needs to learn more about. The topics include Cybersecurity, E-participation, History of Internet Governance, ICT Policy and Strategic Planning, Infrastructure and Critical Internet Resources, Intellectual Property Rights, and Privacy and Personal Data Protection.

Research PhaseThe Research Phase offers valuable techniques for those who are planning to undertake academic or policy research and writing. The Policy Research Methodology course addresses IG issues of relevance to their respective countries and regions, and introduces action policy research with the aim of helping participants develop solutions which they can apply in practice. The course is designed as an introduction to the principles and practices of policy research, development and implementation.

Policy Immersion PhaseThe Policy Immersion Phase is aimed at successful participants of the Foundation and Thematic Phases, and invites them to apply their knowledge and skills in the real-life policy space. During this phase, participants are invited to attend regional IG and ICT policy-related meetings, or to undertake internships with the secretariat of international organisations dealing with Internet governance (for example, the Internet Governance Forum). Over the years, Diplo has provided the most promising programme participants with practical experience in dealing with Internet governance issues. For many of them, it was the first step towards representing their countries and communities in IG meetings and policy processes.

The Community of Practice Phase is an ongoing networking phase in which participants gather, work and network together around concrete projects in order to link the global policy process with local policy needs. Projects include organising regional policy initiatives, running new IG training programmes, advancing pressing policy issues, and organising remote hubs during major meetings in order to link the global policy process with local policy needs. As an enabler of action-driven communities of practice, DiploFoundation offers many networking resources, including an online community, a blog dedicated to IG, month webinars, and other activities and events.

Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy with Internet governance as an area of specialisation

Introduced in 2013, Diplo offers an online Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy with an Internet Governance specialisation, accredited by the University of Malta. This programme introduces current and future Internet policymakers to key issues in Internet governance and policy-making.

Candidates for this area of specialisation will attend several required courses in the area of Internet governance (Introduction to Internet Governance, eDiplomacy, Cybersecurity, and Infrastructure and Critical Internet Resources) and select their remaining courses from the wide list of diplomacy topics. Candidates will write their dissertations on Internet governance-related topics.

More information, including a provisional schedule for the next intake, is available here, by clicking on the Course Details tab.

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