Reflections from APrIGF 2017 (Bangkok)

Reflections from APrIGF 2017 (Bangkok)

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Umar Khan and Sahar Habib from Code for Pakistan participated in the Asia-Pacific region Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) 2017, which took place in Bangkok, Thailand on 26 – 29 July 2017. Discussions were held on human rights issues online with our fellow civil society organizations, the technical community, government, as well as the private sector. We were able to build several new connections, for future potential collaboration on internet governance and Human rights issues, especially in the South Asia region. APrIGF session topics this year covered Datamining & Intellectual Property, Open e-Governance, Internet Governance, Cybercrime Laws, Innovation and Trust in Cyber Economy, Gender Expression, Human Rights online, CERT for Improving Cyber Security, Multilingual Internet, Sustainable Development, Tackling Online Violence, Surveillance from a Feminine Perspective, Internet Shutdowns, and Blockchain,. We co-organized a session, as well as participated in a couple of other sessions on hacking during APrIGF, and Youth IGF. Here, are highlights about the sessions we organized and participated in.

Push back on cyber-bullying and online harassment towards women and minority groups

We were co-organizing a session ‘Hack to fight online violence’, together with Media Matters for Democracy. After introducing MMfD and Code for Pakistan, we unveiled a proof of concept of a mobile app Muaavin, which enables victims and witnesses of online harassment to instantly report incidents to a trusted network of friends/allies. Cyber violence is a global issue and people in the Asia Pacific are no less affected by it as compared to any other region. We used this interactive session to pick brains of people belonging to different walks of the society including human rights activists and feminists. Recommendations and concerns raised during the session were then addressed by the technical group from CfP and MMfD and a lot of good feedback was gathered which could possibly help improve the platform we are building to support the motion.
We also participated at the hack night organized by BBK/Hack Code, Construct, Learn, Share, to seek help in improving upon the concept app, and possibly build the same for the iOS platform. It was a good mix of aspiring coders to programmers who wanted to build apps for a good cause. Our principal technologist shared details about the app with participants and how to access the source code from GitHub repository etc. (Here is the presentationfrom the session)
The following day we participated at g0v's hackathon, which was the first of its kind event organized by g0v; which is a decentralised civic tech community from Taiwan. g0v is a big advocate of transparency of information and building tech solutions for citizens to participate in public affairs from the bottom up. The hackathon was well attended with a mix of enthusiastic hackers, activists, designers and social innovators. While sharing ideas with Code for Pakistan g0v showed great interest in the Muaavin app which is built to push back on cyber bullies, and also in the proof of concept of KehDo, an app designed to connect citizens with their local representatives in the government. g0v also shared details about “g0v News”; a platform for civic tech communities across the globe to be able to shared updates and innovative ideas so others can leverage of existing tech solutions.
A couple of great concepts were created as a result of this hackacthon. One of the projects was on environmental statistics, based on Sustainable Development Goals on Clean Water and Sanitation that uses it map based interface to allow users to monitor water situation in their locality. Another good project was Budget Expenditure Visualization web based analytics solution, which uses an interesting concept of using bag(s)-of-sugarcane as comparison metric/unit.

Key Outcomes from APrIGF 2017

Participants highlighted key challenges and policy issues related to digital rights and internet governance that they are most concerned about in their respective countries, and the projects that they are working on to tackle these issues and for capacity building. There, we were able to pitch a demo of Muaavin to other groups working in this region such as Association for Progressive Communications, g0vetc. We also mapped out possible collaboration with respective organization.

Side Meetings

There were several new possible opportunities for collaboration at APC and CERN.
Ebtihaj
Ebtihaj
Program Manager KP Civic Innovation Fellowship Program.