The ongoing uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa have unsettled the social and political situation in what was already a fragile region. There is an urgent need to circumvent the constraints that young people face when utilizing the Internet and enlighten the wider Internet governance audience on how to think analytically about local Internet issues from the grassroots. This can be done by assembling evidence, facts and write-ups and communicating a better advocacy strategy.
The project will initially cover five countries: Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and Iraq and will expand at a later stage to include more countries from the region. Other authors who would like to publish their research on this theme or would like to investigate a specific topic are encouraged to join this initiative.
The Internet Policy Analysis initiative is designed to meet the increasing demand and expertise on Internet Governance and policy in the MENA region specifically on issues such as freedom of expression, data protection and privacy, censorship and surveillance. The intention is to expand to other relevant themes to the Middle East in the future.
Freedom of expression and the free flow of information are essential to democratic societies. The (IPA) represents a unique form of progressive activism that empowers authors as leaders to promote their ideas and source a focused youth-led opinion as part of the wider Internet mandate in MENA region beyond an arena for dialogue, collaboration and online action-research.
Hivos Programme Internet Governance (IGMENA) is taking the lead in bringing civil society voices together to enhance the knowledge and advocacy for better policies and meet the vital interest to harness freedom of expression and freedom of information at a time of major changes with a substantial youth engagement in the policy process who aspire to make the Internet in the Middle East and North African region an unrivaled space for free speech, civic participation, innovation and opportunity.
The Internet Policy Analyst (IPA) project is a grassroots initiative featured in a new section of Internet Governance Program (IGMENA) website www.igmena.org. The project is lead by a new generation of authors from the MENA region who will report current developments specific to Internet policy and governance in their respective countries.