DiploFoundation publishes a series of papers called Diplo's Policy Papers and Briefs. In our policy papers, we give concrete policy recommendations in areas related to diplomacy and Internet governance. In our briefs, we provide overviews of recent and historic developments with relevance for Internet governance, diplomacy, and international relations in general.
If you have any questions or would like to contribute to our series, contact Katharina Höne at KatharinaH@diplomacy.edu
On this page:
DiploFoundation Policy Paper 4: April 2017
Promotion methods in foreign ministries
By Kishan S Rana
Ambassador Rana looks at promotion methods in foreign ministries around the world. He introduces the distinction between merit-based, seniority-based, and ad-hoc promotions and highlights the different exam methods in foreign ministries.
He makes three policy recommendations:
- Often, countries that do not have a promotion system are also countries that appoint a large proportion of political ambassadors; this demoralises their career diplomatic personnel, and undermines professionalism. It is thus useful to establish a proper method for promotion.
- Seniority is a poor basis for promotion, because it neither takes into account performance, nor rewards merit. Countries that rely on seniority often tend not to have a mechanism to monitor performance. While assessment of merit may have flaws, it is vital to shift to performance-based promotions, again to strengthen professionalism.
- Promotion methods are rooted in the tradition and ethos of each country. Despite this, it is useful for countries to identify best practices, and to look to the experience of other foreign ministries. About a dozen-odd major Western countries hold annual meetings of their heads of human resources management, to share their experiences. It is useful for developing countries to consider such a method. This can also be attempted on a regional basis.
DiploFoundation Policy Paper 3: March 2016
Namibia's digital foreign policy and diplomacy
By Katharina E Höne
This policy brief emerged from Diplo's participation in Namibia's Foreign Policy Review Conference (July 2016). Dr. Höne suggests a three-pronged approach to Namibia's digital foreign policy and diplomacy and looks at the discourse on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and development.
She makes five policy recommendations:
- There are notable policy initiatives in Namibia, the SADC region, and at the level of the African Union that have the potential to address the digital divide and promote ICT development.
- A three-pronged approach to Namibia’s foreign policy, consisting of Internet infrastructure and digital geopolitics, digital policy and Internet governance, and digital diplomacy is recommended.
- Despite advancements in connectivity via undersea cables, mobile access is the most important factor to connect the unconnected in Namibia and Africa as a whole. Further national infrastructure development and the promotion of greater cross-border connectivity in the region remain crucial infrastructure challenges.
- Policies and regulatory frameworks are key in order to fully benefit from ICT possibilities. ICT policy needs to be approached as a cross-sectoral issue and cannot be treated in policy silos. It will be important to ensure a ‘whole-of-government’ approach to manage the digital impact on economic development, security, culture, education, etc.
- ICT is crucial for achieving the ambitious SDG agenda. By aligning ICT-related foreign policy explicitly with the SDGs, additional momentum can be gained and international co-operation can be fostered.
DiploFoundation Policy Paper 2: February 2015
The MIKTA way forward
By Barbara Rosen Jacobson
Ms Rosen Jacobson assesses the potential, risk, and future of MIKTA, a co-operation scheme comprised of Mexico, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, and Australia, which was officially launched in September 2013.
She makes five policy recommendations:
- After the initial brainstorming phase, MIKTA needs to generate concrete initiatives with appropriate visibility.
- MIKTA’s initiatives should be broad enough to ensure support (or at least no opposition) from all members and be focused enough to have practical relevance and impact.
- MIKTA should use its flexible organisational structure to move quickly in areas of international concern and focus. In addition to the five key areas identified by MIKTA’s permanent missions in Geneva, MIKTA should consider areas of growing concern, such as cybersecurity.
- In order to generate broad visibility, MIKTA countries need to co-operate in the MIKTA framework at key events, including G20 summits and important conferences in MIKTA’s key focus areas.
- MIKTA’s small size has the potential for great efficiency. Nevertheless, in order to avoid losing out on inclusivity, MIKTA members could provide mechanisms that allow regional actors to provide input to MIKTA’s proposals.
DiploFoundation Policy Paper 1: January 2014
Global inviolability of the Internet root zone
By Jovan Kurbalija
Dr Kurbalija explains the Internet root zone and highlights the context and controversy of questions about its inviolability. Possible solutions identified by him include legal elements (customary law, diplomatic law, common heritage of mankind), 'software' inviolability, and 'hardware' inviolability.
He makes four policy recommendations:
- The Internet root zone should be inviolable at any time, wherever it may be located.
- The Internet root zone may only be modified through existing procedures or new ones that might be introduced in September 2015.
- No state should have the jurisdiction to prescribe, adjudicate, or enforce policy over the Internet root zone.
- The inviolability of the Internet root zone should be based on customary law that recognises the consistent practice of no unilateral interference by the US authorities in the content of the Internet root zone.