architecture, Diplomacy

Internet governance and digital policy

Internet governance, also referred to as digital policy, deals with the policy issues associated with digital technology.  

Diplo has been providing capacity development support to digital policy practitioners for almost 20 years. This includes online and blended courses, policy research, policy immersion, and community support. Since many small and developing countries have limited resources and institutional capacity in this sector, Diplo provides special assistance to practitioners from these countries.

What is internet governance?

Internet governance refers to the shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet. Governments, the private sector, and civil society each contribute to developing these principles, rules, and processes, in their respective roles. (WGIG, 2015)

The book An Introduction to Internet Governance (7th ed.), by Dr Jovan Kurbalija, is one of the most widely-used books by digital policy professionals and across universities. It has also been translated into 10 languages. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the main issues and actors in the field through a practical framework for analysis, discussion, and resolution of significant issues. Download the latest edition, or any of the translated versions.

The internet governance taxonomy: 7 baskets, 40+ topics

Diplo classifies the main issues in internet governance and digital policy into seven categories, or ‘baskets’. These are Infrastructure, Cybersecurity, Human Rights, Legal and regulatory, Economic, Development, and Sociocultural. Many of the digital policy topics falling under each area are cross-cutting.

Diplo’s executive director Dr Jovan Kurbalija developed the taxonomy in 1997, and then introduced it in his book An Introduction to Internet Governance. Diplo later adopted it in its internet governance courses.

Diplo’s digital policy experts review the taxonomy regularly to account for emerging trends in this vibrant process. Today, the Digital Watch observatory uses the taxonomy as its underlying structure. 

The Digital Watch observatory

The Digital Watch observatory is a comprehensive internet governance and digital policy observatory which serves as a one-stop shop for ongoing developments and overviews of the main issues. It also provides an up-to-date calendar of global events, an overview of the actors active in each field, just-in-time event reports, and other resources related to every topic and process in internet governance and digital policy. 

Homepage of the Digital Watch observatory

The observatory includes quantitative research (e.g. data-mining of open data, topic profiling), and relies on a team of 30+ digital policy experts from around the world, for digital policy research and analysis.

Our monthly internet governance briefings

The online briefings provide a zoomed-out update of the major  developments. Every month, the briefings provide a much-needed space to discuss the main trends, and highlight key developments from previous weeks, all in a neutral way. The briefings are held on the last Tuesday of every month. Access the archive of recordings, digests and other resources.

The monthly Digital Watch Newsletter

The monthly Digital Watch Newsletter provides in-depth analysis of digital policy developments taking place each month. It is published on the first week of every month (excluding July and December).

Since 2015, the newsletter has been providing digital policy practitioners a regular round-up of global developments. It also provides analysis on the most topical issues of the month. The barometer measures the prominence of policy topics compared to the previous month. Updates on events help practitioners keep track of events that may impact digital policy in one way or another. Read or download the latest newsletter.

Front cover of one of the monthly Digital Watch Newsletters

The Digital Watch weekly digest

The weekly digest is a subscription-based newsletter, published every Friday. Since 2020, the digest has been providing practitioners with the latest updates on global policy developments. Subscribe for the weekly digest.


What’s next?

Diplo has been providing online and blended courses, policy research, policy immersion and community support in internet governance and digital policy for many years. We invite you to:

  • Read the book An Introduction to Internet governance or the translated versions.
  • Enrol in courses on Internet governance, cybersecurity, infrastructure, and more.
  • Visit the GIP Digital Watch observatory, for the latest updates on developments, explanatory texts, events, instruments, resources, and more.
  • Attend our monthly webinar briefings.
  • Subscribe to our weekly and monthly digital policy newsletters.
  • Get in touch with Diplo’s digital policy team.

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Data Tour | 12 Tours to Navigate Digital Geneva

24 Jun 21 - 24 Jun 21

Switzerland, Online

#MeetingTomorrow: Digital Geneva 2040

07 Dec 20 - 07 Dec 20


RightOn #14: Our Future, Our Voice

25 Nov 20 - 25 Nov 20


Launch of the Geneva Digital Atlas

30 Nov 20 - 30 Nov 20


Digital Security and Economic Recovery

26 Nov 20 - 26 Nov 20


Start of contemporary diplomacy courses

05 Oct 20 - 05 Oct 20


Launch: Digital Watch weekly digest

28 Sep 20 - 28 Sep 20


Launch: humAInism Speech Generator

21 Sep 20 - 21 Sep 20


Launch: New Digital Watch observatory

14 Sep 20 - 14 Sep 20


July 2020 online courses

20 Jul 20 -


May 2020 online courses

04 May 20 -


Data 2025 – Conference

19 Mar 20 -


DataGovAI Summit & Awards 2019

06 Nov 19 - 08 Nov 19


Indonesia Lokadata Conference

28 Aug 19 -


Diplo at the APrIGF 2019

16 Jul 19 - 19 Jul 19


But first, privacy!

14 Jun 19 -


Diplo at AI for Good Gobal Summit

31 May 19 -


Diplo at STI Forum 2019, New York

14 May 19 - 15 May 19

United States

7th EAPTC: Technology and peacekeeping

16 Apr 19 - 18 Apr 19


2nd Western Balkans Digital Summit

03 Apr 19 - 05 Apr 19


Business-Policy Roundtable

02 Apr 19 25 Mar 19 -

AI and diplomacy

19 Feb 19 -

United States

Public International Law Day 2018

27 Nov 18 -


The UN World Data Forum 2018

22 Oct 18 - 24 Oct 18

United Arab Emirates

The Battle for the Global Internet

27 Sep 18 -

United States

Diplo & GIP at EuroDIG 2018

05 Jun 18 - 06 Jun 18


Invest in Cybersecurity workshop

05 Jun 18 -


Exhibition – Inside Internet corridors

07 May 18 - 11 May 18


Diplo & GIP at RightsCon Toronto 2018

16 May 18 - 18 May 18


Diplo & GIP at the UNCTAD E-commerce Week

16 Apr 18 - 20 Apr 18


Geneva Internet L@w Summer School 2018

18 Jun 18 - 29 Jun 18


Diplo at State of the Net Conference

29 Jan 18 -

United States

Joint Civil Society Meeting 2017

16 Dec 17 -


Half-day course: Cybersecurity in Practice 2017

01 Dec 17 - 07 Dec 17


Diplo & GIP at the WTO Public Forum 2017

26 Sep 17 - 28 Sep 17


Governing the Future of the Internet

25 Sep 17 -

United States

Diplo at MyData 2017

30 Aug 17 - 01 Sep 17

October 2017 Online Courses

07 Oct 19 -


Balkan School on Internet Governance 2017

21 Aug 17 - 25 Aug 17

Bosnia and Herzegovina

July 2017 online courses

22 Jul 19 -


Diplo at Brandsand.Domains Conference

02 Oct 17 - 03 Oct 17


Diplo at Cyber Week 2017

25 Jun 17 - 29 Jun 17


Diplo & GIP at WSIS Forum 2017

12 Jun 17 - 16 Jun 17


Diplo at RightsCon Brussels 2017

29 Mar 17 - 31 Mar 17


MAPPING Second General Assembly

31 Oct 16 - 02 Nov 16

Czech Republic

Diplo at IGMENA Summit

30 Sep 16 - 02 Oct 16


ISOC – GIP Digital Watch Webinar

09 Feb 16 -


Cybersecurity: a Strategic View

15 Jan 15 -


Global Conference on Cyberspace 2015

16 Apr 15 - 17 Apr 15


Cybersecurity 2014 Winter School

01 Dec 14 - 05 Dec 14


Jurisdiction in the Internet era

06 Nov 14 -


PRAU Roundtable on Cyber Security

23 Sep 14 -

South Africa

Diplo @ African Internet/ICT Week

04 Dec 13 - 06 Dec 13


Summer 2013 online courses

22 Jul 13 -


Online Learning Day

17 Apr 13 -


Arab Internet Governance Consultations

05 Mar 13 -

United Arab Emirates

Training Workshop in Internet Governance and Diplomacy

27 Jun 12 - 28 Jun 12

Bosnia and Herzegovina

ICANN43 Costa Rica

10 Mar 12 - 17 Mar 12

Costa Rica

IG Workshop at IDLELO 5 Abuja, Nigeria

22 Mar 12 - 24 Mar 12


EuroDIG meeting takes place in Belgrade

30 May 11 - 31 May 11


EuroDIG kicks off in Belgrade

30 May 11 - 31 May 11


ICT policy and IG workshop in Addis Ababa

06 Apr 11 - 08 Apr 11


ICT policy and IG workshop in Pretoria

12 Apr 11 - 14 Apr 11

South Africa

Workshop on Internet Governance

12 Nov 10 - 13 Nov 10

Trinidad and Tobago

Workshops on Internet Governance

25 Aug 10 - 02 Sep 10


EuroDIG 2009

14 Sep 09 - 15 Sep 09


3rd Global Knowledge Conference, GK3

10 Dec 07 - 13 Dec 07


Online Learning in Diplomacy

29 May 06 - 30 May 06



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UNCTAD Digital Economy Report 2021

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Addressing the Digital Divide in the Joint Statement Initiative on E-Commerce: from enabling issues to data and source code provisions

This paper examines the evolution of the ‘digital divide’, especially in the context of the WTO Joint Statement Initiative on Electronic Commerce. As an integral part of its analysis, the paper examines textual proposals raised under the current Joint Statement Ini... Read more...


Sustainable Capacity Building: Internet Governance in Africa – An Action Plan

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Mediation and artificial intelligence: Notes on the future of international conflict resolution

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Internet Governance Acronym Glossary

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