Author Archives: Maiko Nakagaki

IGF 2017 Recap: Why Open Internet Matters for Democracy

CIPE, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) launched a framework for internet openness at the 12th annual United Nations Internet Governance Forum. (From left to right: Mark Nelson, CIMA; Sarah Moulton, NDI; Daniel O’Maley, CIMA; Chris Doten, NDI; Morgan Frost, CIPE; Anna Kompanek, CIPE; and Maiko Nakagaki, CIPE.)

In snowy, cold mid-December, my colleagues and I found ourselves in Geneva, Switzerland attending the 12th annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a United Nations-sponsored global multi-stakeholder forum on internet governance. This was the second time CIPE attended the conference (read a recap of last year’s forum), and we were very busy at this year’s forum. Over 1,000 attendees representing governments, the private sector, civil society, and media gathered to discuss the current state of the internet, and what the future holds.

Over the course of four days, sessions covered trending issues like cybersecurity, data privacy, emerging technologies (Internet of Things, blockchain, artificial intelligence, fintech), digital economy, and the challenges of tech and human rights. Above all, many of the sessions highlighted the need to keep or make the internet more inclusive and reflective of our rich cultures and societies. CIPE and its sister organizations, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), articulated exactly this point throughout the conference.

For the past year, CIPE, NDI, and CIMA have been leading a joint initiative to identify and promote internet norms and principles essential to democratic governance.

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Empowering Inclusive Civic Engagements through Tech-Enabled Approaches and Tools in Kenya

Staff of CIPE partner organizations participate in training in April 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya. They acquired knowledge and skills in areas such as monitoring and evaluation, communications/social media, and digital security.

The enactment of the new Constitution in Kenya in 2010 was a historic moment for the country’s democratic development. At the heart of the new Constitution was devolution, creating 47 new county governments so that authorities can enhance the efficiency of public services, improve transparency and accountability of the government by being closer to citizens, and increase citizen participation in the overall governance process. As a direct result of the decentralized government system, citizens now have more incentives to be involved in the county budgetary oversight to ensure that resources are transparently and responsibly allocated.

Empowering citizens to participate in local governance is an important step for Kenyans to hold elected officials accountable and to ensure that public services are delivered. For this reason, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) is partnering with local civil society organizations (CSOs) throughout Kenya to take an active role in the regional budget creation and monitoring processes. It quickly became evident to CIPE that it was fundamental to support these organizations to improve how they monitor and evaluate their processes in order to engage effectively and efficiently with decision makers.

CIPE partners receive training in Kenya.

CIPE and Panoply Digital—an information and communication technology (ICT) for development consulting firm—led a tech-enabled training workshop to teach strategies and introduce tools that could help build the capacity of partners to capture their efforts and self-evaluate how they can improve their approaches and activities moving forward. Read the “Empowering Inclusive Civic Engagements through Tech-Enabled Approaches and Tools in Kenya” case study to learn more about the common technology-related issues faced by CSOs, what tools and strategies they learned, and how they are using this knowledge to improve their programs, including taking proactive steps for cybersecurity.

Maiko Nakagaki is a Program Officer for Global Programs at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).

Highlights from the 11th Internet Governance Forum

Maiko Nakagaki with Anna Kompanek at IGF.

Maiko Nakagaki with Anna Kompanek at IGF.

My colleague and I recently attended the 11th Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a United Nations-sponsored global multi-stakeholder forum on internet governance hosted this year in Guadalajara by the Government of Mexico. The four-day event attracted over a thousand government, media, civil society, and private sector attendees from around the world to discuss current trends and the future of global internet governance.

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CIPE Endorses Principles for Digital Development

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CIPE recently endorsed the Principles for Digital Development, a living guideline to help international development practitioners incorporate best practices into tech-enabled programs. CIPE is joining leading development and democracy strengthening organizations, including the World Bank and NDI, to learn from each other how to implement more human-centered, inclusive, and collaborative projects using information and communications technologies (ICTs).

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Why is Data Important for Social Good?

social_goodData for social good: it sounds nice, right? But what do we really mean when we talk about data and social good? Join CIPE, Data2X, the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, +SocialGood, and TechSoup as we unpack why data is important for our common social good.

Our Twitter chat will focus on the obstacles and opportunities found in the sharing of data. We will pay attention to the need for gender data. We will share tools. We will explore examples of where data has made a direct, positive impact on communities. There has never been a greater emphasis on the sharing of data. Likewise, there has never been a need for greater coordination and collaboration.

Join us for this live Twitter chat on September 22, 2016 at 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EDT as we examine what steps are needed to move the data for social good project forward.

Tune in by following the conversation at the hashtag #NPTechChat.

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CIPE 2016 Photo Competition Now Open

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The 2016 CIPE Photo Competition is now open! CIPE invites photo submissions from CIPE partner organizations from around the world to submit a photograph that captures the theme:

Leaders standing up for freedom and democracy exist in communities throughout the world

This competition seeks to highlight creative and inspiring visuals that demonstrate democratic leadership or individuals advocating for democratic values and reform, along with a caption that explains the impact this individual or organization has played in expanding freedom and democracy in their communities.

The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2016.

For more information on competition guidelines and to submit your photo, check out the official competition page.

Safety First: Secure Communications and Storage Tools for Reducing Risks

Secure messaging apps like Telegram have become an increasingly important part of NGO and civil society work in many countries.

Secure messaging apps like Telegram have become an increasingly important part of NGO and civil society work in many countries.

What makes CIPE’s programs stand out is the caliber of our partners. From developing the first ever local business agendas in Ukraine, sparking economic policy debates for the first time in Nepal, to leading the private sector cooperate with local governments and security forces to combat insecurity in Tijuana, Mexico, CIPE partners around the world are doing tremendous work to create a more sustainable democratic and economic communities.

During this process, however, many of them face risks while operating in challenging – and sometimes dangerous – environments. It may be because they exist in countries where civil society is facing a challenge; or it might because powerful companies are closely tied with the ruling political party. Whatever the reason, CIPE understands that all our partners take risks by challenging the status quo. To this end, CIPE has supported our partners to maneuver in difficult environments by equipping them with mobile or online tools that could lower their risks.

NOTE: As you explore the tools, please keep these points in your mind.

  • Despite the sophistication of the tools mentioned below, organizations should not rely solely on digital security for their safety, even if they are being careful. Many authoritarian governments are digitally savvy, so in some environments it is impossible to be 100% secure. Organizations should make sure they are following all the laws and regulations (even if they are burdensome), and that they are not communicating in ways that would put individuals at risk, even if they were compromised.
  • Carefully review and understand the privacy policies of any tools before using them.
  • Adopting new technology is like a behavior change – it takes time and effort, so be patient if your organization decides to adopt and use one of the tools for your organization.

The following are some suggested tools and strategies that CIPE has shared with our community. They are common threats and risks associated with using certain ICTs, as well as possible products and strategies to consider using to improve your organization’s security measures.

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