Presentation of GIP Digital Watch: A practical tool for navigating the complex field of digital policy

16 Dec 2015, 11:00h - 12:30h

Event report

GIP Digital Watch should be placed somewhere between ‘Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica’. On the ‘Wikipedia’ side, the platform uses crowd-sourcing and the wisdom of many, while the ‘Encyclopedia Britannica’ side uses the knowledge of experts, who can provide authoritative inputs in their issue areas. With these two metaphors, Jovan Kurbalija initiated the discussion.

Constance Bommelaer, Senior Director of Global Internet Policy at the Internet Society (ISOC), explained that ISOC joined this initiative in order to address the growing needs of communities worldwide to receive professional, simple and easy access to timely and useful information on digital policy.  She also indicated that within only a few months since its launch, the GIP Digital Watch has already made many achievements. 

Ambassador Frédéric Riehl, Head of International Relations Service of OFCOM-Switzerland, stressed Switzerland’s support for the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP) and Digital Watch, in order to support inclusive and effective digital policy making. An immediate aim is to assist diplomatic missions, in particular from small and developing countries, to participate effectively in digital policy discussions in Geneva. In addition, through an impartial and professional approach, the GIP has gained high prominence worldwide as a just-in-time provider of relevant policy information and insights. Switzerland will continue to support the GIP as an important contribution to capacity development and informed global digital policy making.

After Dr Kurbalija’s presentation of the main features of the GIP Digital Watch, the lively debate triggered the following points:

  • The possibility of using the GIP Digital Watch methodology for other policy areas, in particular related to the SDGs
  • Creating a smart interplay between quantitative information analysis (data mining) and qualitative input (by the platform’s curators)
  • Dealing with controversial issues as the major challenge to the impartial approach of the GIP
  • Initiating the worldwide GIP Hubs around monthly digital briefings (taking place every last Tuesday of the month)
  • Customizing information to needs of local communities (digital policy is often very local)
  • New features of the GIP Digital Watch in the planning for 2016 (country focus, deadliners, etc.)
  • Ensuring sustainable funding for such a complex project
  • The recruitment and involvement of curators of knowledge
  • Providing information in other languages than English
  • Links to other platforms and portals.