For access to the Internet to make a meaningful contribution to improving people’s lives locally, for strengthening national economies, and more broadly to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it has to be approached holistically. While access to infrastructure is critical, without this access being inclusive, useful, sustainable and affordable, and linked to human capacity development and relevant content that can make it so, it will not achieve its positive potential.
Availability of free content and services in local languages offering appropriate services and materials tailor-made on the basis of the needs of local citizens (treated not only as consumers or users, but as informed citizens in their own right) is as important as providing accessible connection. The concept of meaningful access or connectivity has emerged over the last five years in response to the growing body of evidence that even when people have connectivity, they often do not make use of the Internet.
Through facilitation of its dedicated multistakeholder working group of experts, the PNMA provides in-depth look at why achieving meaningful and universal Internet access remains so challenging, in spite of years of efforts by policy makers and other actors from all stakeholder groups. It aims to assess and gather good practices and policy recommendations already discussed at the IGF; identify what the key barriers are to these not being implemented and facilitate networking among actors from all stakeholder groups that are concerned with the topic. It also works toward providing linkages between the existing efforts and the many stakeholders in the IGF who are undertaking related efforts, as well as create opportunities for the voices of those who are affected by the lack of meaningful access to be part of policy debate and development.
To learn more about IGF PNMA and get engaged, please click here.
In support of