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A Framework for the DOT Force consultation process
Author:
Secretariat DOT Force
Publication date:
4/12/2000
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Secretariat draft, December 4, 2000

Introduction

Both in the Okinawa Charter on the Global Information Society, and in planning meetings and the first plenary meeting of the Digital Opportunity Task Force (DOT Force), considerable emphasis has been placed on the importance of a broad, participatory approach to the DOT Force's deliberations, securing the views, participation and consensus of a wide range of stakeholders on a global level. The presence of representatives of several key constituencies on the DOT Force itself facilitates the consultation process. However, in order to maximize effective outreach in the short time available, and to assure coordination and synergy among the outreach efforts of DOT Force members and the Secretariat, this paper suggests a framework, division of labor, and process for organizing the consultation process.

 

Basic Principles

The proposed approach to DOT Force consultations is rooted in several basic principles:

  • DOT Force members should have a lead role in planning and organizing outreach efforts to their own constituencies, and should commit time and resources as appropriate to organize such efforts, in coordination with the Secretariat;
  • in order to facilitate aggregation of the inputs from the full range of consultations, the Secretariat should develop, in cooperation with DOT Force members, a suggested common template of issues and questions for these consultations;
  • the Secretariat should focus its own consultation efforts in those areas where there are particular gaps, as identified in the attached matrix;
  • the Secretariat may, in consultation with DOT Force members, accept offers from other networks or organizations to organize, at their own expense and initiative, further consultations that would provide input into the DOT Force process, particularly to fill the gaps discussed above;
  • within the existing time and resource constraints, the consultative process should be as broad and participatory as feasible, reaching out to a wide array of stakeholders in both developed and developing countries;
  • particular efforts should be made to secure the participation of those, especially in developing countries, who traditionally have limited access to consultations of this sort, especially the poor;
  • clarity about the objectives, scope and limitations of the consultations is paramount; it should be understood by all that these consultations are inputs into the DOT Force's deliberations, but that the conclusions and recommendations from any particular consultation will not automatically be included in the DOT Force's report;
  • the consultation process should take advantage whenever possible of already-scheduled meetings and conferences rather than devoting time and resources to organizing new meetings for this purpose;
  • this consultative process should make maximum feasible use of information and communication technologies both to increase scope and participation and to reduce the need for specially-convened face-to-face consultative meetings.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Secretariat is responsible, in consultation with the G8 Presidency, for overall coordination of the consultation process and for sharing information among DOT Force members about consultation activities. The Secretariat should begin consulting immediately with DOT Force members about their own plans and priorities for consultation within the framework of the attached "consultation matrix", and the resources (human and financial) that they are able to mobilize to carry forward these consultations. The Secretariat should also prepare a draft "template" of questions and issues for consultations, for comment and review by DOT Force members by December 15.

DOT Force members will be expected to keep the Secretariat informed of their own consultation activities, so as to maximize synergies among the various consultations and reduce overlap and duplication of effort, given the severe time constraints faced by the Task Force. DOT Force members are free to define the scope and nature of the consultations they will conduct within their areas of lead responsibility in the attached matrix, with the understanding that the Secretariat and other DOT Force members may, in consultation with the relevant member, organize other consultations that fill gaps in the consultation process.

The Secretariat will focus its own consultation efforts in those areas identified in the attached matrix where there are no DOT Force members in a lead role. The Secretariat should report back to the DOT Force by January 5, 2001 with a detailed matrix of those consultations being organized by DOT Force members and by the Secretariat. At this point, the Secretariat may, in consultation with the Presidency, suggest additional "gap-filling" consultation activities that the Secretariat or DOT Force members may wish to organize, or that other organizations or networks might be invited to organize on behalf of the DOT Force.

Information about all DOT Force-related consultations, including written reports/summaries as available and the archives of all public electronic consultations, should be available in a timely manner on a public DOT Force website maintained by the Secretariat.

 



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