Media@McGill would like to congratulate Professor Becky Lentz (Art History and Communication Studies) on receiving one of ISID’s International Development Faculty Research Awards for her project entitled: Building Capacity in the Global South for Policy Advocacy on Internet Freedom. A summary on her project can be found below.
How do “Internet freedom” advocates in the Global South define ”effective” policy advocacy? What types of challenges do these advocates face that diminish their efforts and effectiveness at national and global governance levels? Finally, what are the benefits and drawbacks of donor-driven programs using intermediary organizations to address capacity-building challenges? This project involves early-stage case study research on these questions, featuring a primarily donor-driven transnational capacity-building initiative launched in summer 2012 called the “Internet Freedom and Human Rights (IFHR)” program. Coordinated by Global Partners & Associates based in London, with assistance from a team at The New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) in Washington, DC, the IFHR program seeks to strengthen NGO capacity, particularly in the Global South, for “effective” policy advocacy on Internet freedom issues at both national and international levels. The IFHR program enjoys support from the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Media Democracy Fund, and the U.S. State Department. The research examines the opportunities and challenges in seeking to expand policy expertise and strategic advocacy that enhance civil society interventions in global discussions about current and future approaches to Internet regulation.