Accelerating Digital Rights in Dublin: the First Steps

Earlier in May, representatives from Dublin City Council (DCC) and Smart Dublin took part in a high level announcement for the Digital Rights Governance Framework – a UN-Habitat initiative developed as part of the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights. Dublin was selected as one of four pilot cities to pilot the implementation of the framework, and will collaborate with digital rights experts at the UN-Habitat to place transparency, community participation and accountability at the forefront of the city’s digital transformation.

This week marked the first steps in advancing citizens’ digital rights in Dublin with a two-part workshop facilitated by representatives from the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights. With a diverse range of participants from local authority, higher education, community groups, and academia, the workshops identified the key challenges for Dublin while creating concrete solutions and deliverables based on prior problem identification.

The Workshops

Following a welcome and introduction from Pontus Westerberg (Programme Manager Officer at the UN Habitat), Jamie Cudden (DCC’s Smart City Programme Manager) kicked off the first workshop with an overview of Dublin’s primary challenges in developing the necessary tools for governing digital rights, particularly with regards to the digitalisation of municipal services. The remainder of the workshop was led by Milou Jansen (Coordinator at Cities Coalition for Digital Rights) and Florencia Serale (UN Habitat). Through hands-on activities, group discussions, and collaborative brainstorming, participants mapped existing initiatives advocating for citizens’ digital rights in Dublin while drawing up a list of key priorities as the city adopts the framework. Building on the success of the first workshop, participants regrouped in a follow-up workshop to define a concrete timeline and deliverables for the upcoming pilot.

What’s Next for Dublin & Digital Rights?

Over the next few months Dublin will continue working with the UN Habitat and the other pilot cities to advance digital rights in the city, with a central goal of developing a foundational education and training module for students and local authority staff through our smart cities education and engagement programme Academy of the Near Future

As part of this collaboration, we worked with the experts at the UN Habitat to create an educational video focusing on ethics and privacy in the city. Click on the video below to learn more about digital rights and the ethical challenges cities across Europe face as we undergo a digital transformation.