What is Point Conference- Iraq?

In cooperation with the association of citizens “Why Not” from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and “ActionSEE” network from South East Europe region, Point conference- Iraq will be held in its 1st version in Baghdad for the period 10-11/ 8/2018. In parallel with its peer that would be held in Sarajevo as an annual tradition.

Point conference- Iraq is a unique event that sheds the light upon the importance of using technology, media, and communication technology in enhancing Democracy and active citizenship. A number of NGOs, in partnership with the-Station Building, during a one -year program, and which would be launched in the conference, would convey a set of expertise and tools in the field of modern technology, to enhance the role of NGOs, and youth activists, in mentoring and observing governance indicators, and the evaluation of House of representatives and Provincial Councils.  At this point it would offer an opportunity to work together with international and local partners, to design and implement programs that would take part and increase social engagement in public policies issues, through E- platform discussions (webinars) and launching advocacy campaigns that would support the correction of the legal and political tuning of democracy in Iraq. Especially those related to the freedom of expression in Iraq and the right to access information.

Institutional and social media would play a major role in this distinctive event, and for the first time  fact- exposing initiatives and programs and revealing fake news  are supported , the discussion would be held about the possibility of giving the chance for independent and professional media bodies to take part through E-media to be an active partner in strengthening the Principles of democracy in addition in being an active tool for spreading accurate information, enabling them to function in all conditions especially the turbulent political ones and struggle torn areas.

The conference at its first year would be held on national level, and most of the foreign speakers are hosted online. According to assessment of the outputs and results, the founding organizations would discuss the capability of holding the conference on regional level for the next year and hosting the participants from Baghdad. This would enhance the process of exchanging expertise and networking between activists and organizations that function on regional and international level and the active working groups in Baghdad (NGOs, working groups, activists and young leaders).

A big portion of the conference would be the share of the activists and young leaders in Iraq. The event would host more than 100 young activists from 18 Iraqi provinces as speakers, taking part in panel discussions, and as volunteers in programs and initiatives, that would be triggered by the conference. 

The participation would be organized through special forms, and the space is open for them to present speeches and PPTx, that relate to the importance of technology in society -serving activities and initiatives. Provided services should be of high quality and cover large populations. The conference would also refer to the technology teams’ initiatives that took part in decreasing joblessness in Iraq, improving education, conveying expertise and the possibility of partnering with international expert sides to exchange knowledge and experience.

In what ways can technology serve civil society?

The use of technology, multimedia and modern communication would play a role in developing the delivery status of civil society in the areas of enhancing democracy and active citizenship in Iraq during the four coming years in the following:

Data transparency and information dissemination:  cooperation of NGOs in using modern technology in enhancing the process of detecting, observing, and providing access to information and indicators to all, in addition to daily update of information would provide a space for the public to engage in observation processes and circulating information.

 Enhancing society participation in public policy: through interactive discussion platforms, it is easy to engage the targeted audiences in the issues that matter to them. Also it is an active tool in carrying their voices to the decision-makers, where their responses and approvals would be evident to all.

 Technology at service of society:  technology and its applications hastens the delivery of services provided by voluntary working teams and different organizations. Apps and programs secure easy access to those services, and ensures prompt response to humanitarian calls.

Enhancing accountability and transparency:  mostly, politicians and governments do not keep promises to people, nor do they adhere to their political programs, especially when their acts are not controlled by accountability, transparency nor integrity standards. E-observation centers can track and observe any improvement in governance indicators, conveying them to public, and thus enabling them to judge delivery status of those representing them.

Advocacy and active citizenship: modern communications and developing the skills of benefiting from social media, would empower the society and advocate public opinion and attract support for the important issues that destabilize democracy, rights, freedoms and other rights of citizens. These actions enhance the engagement of public and transform them into active citizens in building a state that meets their needs in realizing rights and future. 

Using technology for peace:  technology plays a vital role in enhancing peace and facing radical mentalities and ideas and fabricated news. Youth are the most active sect that use technology as a directed tool to expose facts and eliminating hate speech and violence encouragement.

Supporting media to enhance democracy: E-media is promising; independent journalism and the break through from political power is a major aspect. Mostly, if communication and media technology are exercised they would track and bind directed media, disseminates facts, exposes corruption and provide access to facts for public.