Earlier this month, the Annenberg School for Communication’s Internet Policy Observatory teamed up with Citizen Lab, ASL19, Social Media Exchange, 7iber, and Kadir Has University’s New Media Department to host an Internet Policy Research Methods Workshop focused on policy development in the MENA region. The program brought together young scholars and activists working in digital rights and the internet policy space in an intensive four-day practicum that provided a survey of both qualitative and quantitative, online and offline research methods with the goal of enhancing and advancing their advocacy efforts.
[pdf-embedder url=”https://news.cyrilla.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/SMEX_Prez_IPO_Workshop.pdf” title=”Advancing Policy Advocacy for Digital Rights in the MENA Region”]
SMEX had the privilege of framing the workshop by outlining the current state of digital rights in the MENA region in our session “Advancing Policy Advocacy for Digital Rights in the MENA Region (embedded above).” Through recent research and the Arab Digital Rights Datasets, which we had recently visualized using the Silk.coo platform, we focused on emerging legal and social trends and how civil society and citizens-at-large are responding to them.
We also highlighted several recent advocacy initiatives, their successes and failures, and explored how the availability—or lack thereof—of Internet policy data enhances (or prevents) advocacy efforts to protect free expression and privacy online.
In advance of the workshop, we shared the following briefing materials with participants:
- Getting a Grasp on Laws Governing Online Speech in MENA Countries and SMEX blogpost series on the context of the emerging legal framework
- Local Internet Policies in the Arab Region
- Infographics from 7iber.com on the Road to Internet Censorship in Jordan and Legislative Limits on Freedom of Expression in Jordan
- Digital Citizen/Muwaten Raqamy Newsletter
- Columbia’s Global Free Expression Case Law Library (filtered for Middle East and North Africa and Digital Communications/Electronic Publishing)