iGmena Summit 2016: Together for a free and open Internet  

Update: see the iGmena Summit 2016 press release here!

Since its inception in 2012, iGmena has been on the forefront of developing and reinforcing knowledge as well as building capacity on Internet governance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Over the course of four years, iGmena has successfully implemented a range of projects, including the Internet Policy Analyst program (IPA), the Internet Legislation Atlas (ILA), the Click Rights initiative, regular iGmena Hangouts with policy experts, iGmena alumni, and grassroots activists, and local roundtables throughout the MENA region. In order to accomplish this, the iGmena team has received tremendous support from a range of stakeholders since the start of the program, which culminated in iGmena Summit 2016 – held at Cogite Coworking Space in Tunis, Tunisia, from 30 September – 2 October 2016.

We invited these stakeholders, which includes our alumni, local partners, program contributors, and other regional collaborators, to the Summit in order to take stock of the work we have done so far, reflect on iGmena’s achievements, and learn from their experience with the program so we can create a more effective and sustainable program. Over three days, more than 75 human & digital rights activists, journalists, technical experts, nongovernmental organizations, Internet governance professionals, and other stakeholders came together – many meeting for the first time in person – to share their work with the community, reflect on the achievements of the program, and formulate relevant steps and strategy for the next four years. This included sharing their perspective about the program openly with the community, discussing how iGmena can support them in the future, and how to strengthen Internet governance as well as civil society in the MENA region.

The Summit covered the following themes (the official Summit schedule is available here):
  • Transparency and inclusiveness of the decision-making process
  • The legal framework of human rights in the digital sphere: online privacy, data protection, and freedom of expression
  • Quality of service: Internet infrastructure, penetration and access, speed and bandwidth, VoIP, and zero rating
  • Internet and sustainable development
  • ICT-related tools for the MENA region

All of the photos taken during the Summit are located on the iGmena Facebook page. We also produced a video with highlights from the Summit (link):

Summit schedule and session reports

The Summit featured many engaging and informative presentations and sessions from across the iGmena community. Many community members shared challenges they face in their respective countries (as well as solutions to address them), and provided updates about their work to the community. Below is the outline of the Summit schedule with the session reports and presentation slides where available, which are linked to the session names below. Note that some slides and/or reports have not been published due to privacy concerns. Please email us if you have any questions or notice any errors.
Day 1: September 30
Time Organization (if applicable) Session
09:00 - 09:30 Welcome, iGmena program mission, & Summit objectives (iGmena team)
09:30 - 10:10 N/A Inclusive decision-making in the MENA region (slides)
10:10 - 10:50 N/A Data protection & privacy at the regional level: The case of Morocco and Algeria (panel session)
10:50 - 11:05 Break
11:05 - 11:35 N/A The right to privacy in Oman (slides)
11:35 - 12:05 7iber The relationship between journalism & surveillance
12:05 - 12:35 N/A Net neutrality & zero rating: How it impacts the MENA region (slides)
12:35 - 13:35 Lunch
13:35 - 14:15 Access Now & ASL19 Rapid response to breaches of cybersecurity, online privacy, & digital rights
14:15 - 15:05 Association for Progressive Communications (APC) Civil society participation & the MENA region: What can be done?
15:05 - 15:20 Break
15:20 - 15:50 Alexandria Media Forum Media, Internet, & citizen journalism
15:50 - 16:20 iGmena Internet Policy Analyst (IPA) (slides)
16:20 - 16:50 N/A Internet service provider policy in Jordan
Day 2: October 1
09:10 - 09:40 ATA ATA policy advocacy in Jordan (slides)
09:40 - 10:10 Global Voices Surveillance, data protection, & national security (slides)
10:10 - 10:40 Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GC4HR) Legal frameworks for human rights in the MENA region
10:40 - 10:55 Break
10:55 - 11:25 N/A A Legal framework for the information society in Mauritania
11:25 - 11:55 N/A The Iranian Cyber Army
11:55 - 13:25 Lunch
13:25 - 14:05 Psiphon Circumvention tools
ASL19 Local circumvention tools (slides)
14:05 - 14:35 DiploFoundation DiploFoundation & iGmena: Two examples of global-to-local support projects
14:35 - 15:05 Front Line Defenders Internet surveillance & the role of data protection
15:05 - 15:20 Break
15:20 - 15:50 Ushahidi Map it, change it: Crowdmapping as a tool for digital advocacy (slides)
15:50-16:20 iGmena Click Rights
16:20 - 17:05 N/A Freedom of expression & hate speech in Jordan
17:05 - 17:35 Iraqi Network for Social Media (INSM) Cybercrime law & policy in Iraq
17:35 - 18:05 iGmena Crowdsourcing Internet policies in the MENA region (slides)
18:05 - 18:25 Open Tech Fund Lightning talk
Day 3: October 2
09:10 - 09:40 iGmena Internet Legislation Atlas (ILA) (slides)
09:40 - 10:10 GC4HR Freedom of expression & human development (panel session)
10:10 - 10:25 Break
10:25 - 10:55 Maharat Foundation Toward a better Internet governance ecosystem in the MENA region (panel session)
10:55 - 11:25 ARTICLE 19 Civil society & freedom of expression
11:25 - 11:45 Break
11:45 - 13:30 Open mic
13:45 - 14:45 Lunch
14:45 - 16:15 International ICT expert Panel I - The future of Internet governance in the MENA region: What to expect?
Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI)
Internet Society (ISOC)
Internet Corperation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
16:15 - 16:30 Break
16:30 - 18:00 APC Panel II - The role of civil society in strengthening citizen engagement in the MENA region
Index on Censorship
18:00 - 18:15 Closing remarks & Summit wrap-up (iGmena team)