Unlike last year, the GWG has set more modest goals for the annual Broadband Commission NY which usually precedes the opening of the UN General Assembly. This is probably the result of two things: 1. The upcoming change of the USG that heads the ITU and the resulting uncertainty as to the future of the Commission; and 2) Declining interest on the part of GWG members who so far have been much less enthusiastic in supporting the elaboration of yet another report – do we really need one?
The first issue above is having both staffing and financial implications as ITU has told us, in no uncertain terms, that they have no new resources to support the work. In addition, ITU is suggesting that staff allocated to support the Commission might not be available after September. The enthusiasm issue has translated into a lack of interest of GWG members in working together with ITU and UNDP to develop any sort of report. My initial proposal to the group was to prepare a series of short cases studies in the three areas of work we identified last year (policy, skills, and affordability) which we could then put together into a 10/15 page report, glue together and derive some policy and programme gaps.
ITU then came up with the idea having a forward looking report in which we would ask gender and ICT experts specific questions which we could then put into a report, etc.
It seems that a combination of the two proposal will be taking place. Here is an early concept note initially drafted by ITU.