Building capacity or providing training in Internet Governance (IG) is critical to enabling stakeholder groups to participate fully in all IG-related processes. Schools on Internet Governance (SIGs) were created specifically to support this objective.
The first SIG emerged in 2007, a couple of years after phase two of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and just one year after the first Internet Governance Forum (IGF). SIGs continue to grow, and today there are close to 20 initiatives such as Nigerian School on Internet Governance around the world, some global, some regional, and some national.
ICANN has played a key role in SIGs and related initiatives as a partner, sponsor, faculty member, and/or student. ICANN’s role as the coordinator of the Domain Name System (DNS) and facilitator of the multistakeholder approach, as well our position as a leading global IG institution, are important topics in many SIG’s curriculum. ICANN’s rationale for supporting these initiatives includes awareness-raising, capacity development, an obligation to explain how the DNS actually works, outreach and engagement, and internal training opportunities.
The ICANN community has devoted significant resources to developing ICANN’s Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2021-2025, which in part focuses on building capacity for technical and operational objectives. To ensure alignment with the goals in the Strategic Plan, ICANN has conducted a review of SIGs around the world and identified a set of good practices to guide our future support of these initiatives.
ICANN engages with current SIG partners to share their thinking about how they can align ICANN participation in individual schools that share ICANN’s core objectives. ICANN also plans to simplify how new school organizers can engage in the future.