Call for Participants: Online Training Programme on Internet Governance and Policy in MENA  

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Deadline is 7 October 2014.

The Opportunity:
Emerging leaders from civil society in the Middle East / North Africa region (MENA) are invited to apply for the second annual online training programme on Internet Governance made possible by Hivos under its programme on Internet Governance in the MENA Region (IGMENA) that aims to improve Internet Governance (IG) and enhance legislation on Internet policies in the region.
The main objective of the programme is to train and equip various stakeholders across the region with the skills and knowledge on IG and policy-related issues in order to prepare them to take the lead in their countries and to engage them in the IG discussions on local, regional, and global levels. The training will feature customised content that was developed to reflect the policy challenges specific to the Middle East and corresponds to the current and evolving context of IG in the MENA region, adding value to the participants and making the content relevant in practice.
The Internet is facing many challenges and threats at the global, regional, and national level with governments pursuing more power and control. As a result, governments are maintaining surveillance, imposing Internet filtering, adopting strict legislation, and using the UN and other intergovernmental processes to curb freedoms on the Internet.

How can civil society cope with the recent developments and understand these issues? Are they empowered enough with the adequate knowledge to share the responsibility? There is an opportunity to fill the gap and be ready to respond to those threats with the appropriate knowledge, skills, and tools!
At the end of the training, participants will have the required toolkits to share experiences with their peers, understand current IG notions and issues, connect to the situations in their respective countries, and influence local policies. Furthermore, the programme will allow successful participants to be involved in several regional and global IG processes, being in touch with experts on IG and joining an extended network of civic actors, policy makers, and corporations in the Internet industry and experts in the region.

Course Description:
The course will be held during 8 weeks, each week focusing on providing solid knowledge on:
  1. The ecology of Internet Governance: how the Internet works, the stakeholders involved, and a brief history of its development since the 1990s.
  2. The status of MENA national and regional IG forums and spaces.
  3. Internet rights: human rights and the Internet, privacy and security, open source and privatization, content regulation and free speech.
  4. Communications and information policy work around Internet rights and its influence on Internet Governance processes.
  5. Empowerment methods to participate actively in national and regional policy-making processes in order to influence discourse and outcomes.
  6. Best practices at the global level and from other country case studies in an effort to apply those to the local context.

General Topics:
Week 1: Introduction to the platform
Week 2: Internet Governance History
Week 3: How the Internet Functions
Week 4: Human Rights and Internet Governance
Week 5: Cybersecurity
Week 6: Mass Surveillance and Internet Filtering
Week 7: Practice Policy-making in nutshell
Week 8: Final Exam

The tuition fees of the training programme will be covered by a fellowship from Hivos.
The course will be hosted and facilitated by DiploFoundation, the global leader of Capacity Building Programmes on Internet Governance. A Hivos/DiploFoundation course certificate will be awarded to successful participants.

We encourage you to apply if you are one (or more) of the following:
  • Public sector employees at the national regulator or the ministry of communication and technology
  • Members of the private sector representing a company operating in the Internet industry
  • Bloggers, journalists, human rights activists, scholars, researchers, students with a legal background, political science or International relations

Additional requirements:
  • Sufficient ability in English (including reading academic texts, discussing complex concepts with other course participants, and submitting essays and written assignments).
  • Regular access to the Internet (dial-up connection is sufficient; although broadband is preferable).
  • Ability to dedicate a minimum of 5-8 hours commitment per week (the time management is flexible and personal).
  • Participate in class discussions and complete required activities, including posting 3-5 comments each week, and completing mid-course and final essay assignments.
  • Available to participate in class online sessions, once a week at specified times.
  • Available to participate in the Arab Internet Governance Forum taking place in Beirut in November 2014

7 October 2014: Deadline for applications
10 October 2014: Selected applicants are notified
13 October 2014: Introduction of the online platform
20 October 2014: Training begins

How to apply:
Interested applicants should complete the application by 7 October 2014 (before 23:59 GMT). Selected candidates will be contacted by 10 October 2014. Related questions and inquiries can be sent to: [email protected]