Global Partners Digital (GPD) works with a global community of partners and allies to facilitate strategic, informed and coordinated engagement in internet-related decisionmaking processes, and to make these processes more open, transparent and inclusive.
We do this in four ways.
1. Strategic advocacy
The digital policy space is already complex, and is becoming more so. New issues are emerging, new actors are getting involved, and the debate is becoming increasingly securitised. At the same time, civic space is shrinking in many parts of the world, making advocacy more challenging.
At GPD, a key focus is on developing and sharing resources and tools to make advocacy in this environment more effective, impactful and strategic – like the global framework for inclusive policymaking we’ve developed as part of our work on cybersecurity.
But we’re also working to shape the norms that underpin the digital policy space itself – from intervening in discussions and debates in forums including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Internet Governance Forum Multistakeholder Advisory Group, Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation and the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise, to developing a major report on future trends for the Ford Foundation. Across the policy space, we work directly with decisionmakers to make a case for a digital environment underpinned by human rights and democratic values.
2. Building capacity and sustainability
Engaging effectively in the digital policy space requires specialised knowledge, skills and capabilities.
To address this, we work closely with public interest groups around the world to increase their capacity for strategic, targeted engagement with decisionmakers – through providing financial and organisational development support, as well as tailored training, guidance and strategic advice. Over the years, we’ve facilitated engagement by a range of civil society actors, particularly from the global South, in key international policy spaces, while our cyber capacity building programme aims to radically increase civil society’s influence on cybersecurity policy at the national, regional, and global levels.
And our work with partners doesn’t end when projects finish. We always aim to leave a legacy of sustainable impact by training new local trainers and experts, facilitating durable networks, and helping partners develop long-term strategic work plans.
3. Making issues accessible
Structures and policies within the digital environment can be complex and technical – with authority often distributed, and issues interlinked and cross-cutting. All this can be intimidating – and an obstacle to engagement.
Reflecting this, one of the key pillars of our work is making the environment more navigable and accessible. We do this in a number of ways – from creating travel guides to demystify key internet policy issues, supporting innovative mapping projects like the NETmundial Solutions Map, to delivering public webinars, scoping reports, research, events, and targeted in-person trainings. We work closely with our partners and allies globally to make these tools as inclusive, relevant and user-oriented as possible.
4. Forging collaboration
A range of different stakeholders are involved in the digital environment – from businesses and governments to civil society, technical community and, indeed, end users. Its future will depend on the relationship between these groups.
Our inclusive approach, strong global networks and trusted reputation help us bring these groups together. In multilateral spaces like the ITU and the London Process, we work to build spaces for joint initiatives and constructive dialogue among and across stakeholder groups. Our partners do the same – whether that’s coordinating a major regional consultation and joint statement on the WSIS+10 process, or maintaining an information-sharing platform on surveillance in South America.
And as the Secretariat of the Freedom Online Coalition, GPD facilitates a unique partnership of over 30 countries, committed to furthering internet freedom.