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DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), in co-operation with the Republic and State of Geneva and the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva, will organise the Geneva Engage conference on 27‒28 January 2016 with the aim of addressing online participation as a way to contribute to more effective, inclusive, and innovative policy processes in International Geneva. The conference is also supported by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

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The availability of the Internet in conference rooms introduces the possibility of more inclusive and open international negotiations. It also offers locally organised events the potential to have a wider outreach and a greater impact. E-participants enrich discussions taking place physically in the conference room, and at the same time, the event enjoys global exposure and, more importantly, fosters greater inclusion in global policy processes. E-participation does not replace in situ meetings; it supplements them and also creates new possibilities and relevance.

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The diversity of organisations based in Geneva is reflected in the diversity of e-participation in the wide range from UN intergovernmental organisations and diplomatic missions to grassroots movements and civil society. As their context and goals are often different, so are their approaches and needs when it comes to e-participation – from broadening their communities, to increasing transparency, to enabling full remote participation of specific groups.

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METHODOLOGY

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This Interim Report presents summary of the findings based on the following inputs:

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  • Research on e-participation and e-diplomacy conducted by Diplo’s researchers and staff (based on two decades of investigation in this field).
  • Interviews with Geneva-based actors involved in e-diplomacy and e-participation (the main focus was on institutional event organisers).
  • Data-mining of data about the use of Twitter by Geneva-based permanent missions to the UN, inter-governmental, and non-governmental organisations.
  • Usability and technical analysis of e-participation tools by Diplo’s Creative Lab.
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This Interim Report will be the basis for discussion during the Geneva Engage Conference. You can add your comments here: (URL will be included)

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The final version of the Report will summarise discussions from the conference and will be submitted by the end of February.