At a Glance

Current Status:

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is the world’s premier Internet standards organization. They help make the Internet run smoothly.

Policymaker Program

Want to develop sound policies for a better and more resilient Internet? The Policymaker Program offers training to policymakers on the Internet’s operations.

Understanding the Internet is essential to keeping it open, globally connected, secure, and trustworthy. And sound policies can help preserve the Internet’s technical infrastructure, which enables our digital economy and society to thrive.

What Is It?

The Policymaker Program offers training to policymakers on how the Internet works. It also provides visibility into the Internet’s standards development process. 

When policymakers understand how the Internet works, how it’s evolved, and the standards that underpin it, they can develop better policies that support the Internet as a resource to enrich people’s lives.

This program focuses on the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the premier standards development organization (SDO) for the Internet. 

Since 2012, more than 300 government officials from 110 countries have participated in the IETF Policymakers Program.

What You’ll Learn

In this four-day program, you will engage in discussions with technical experts on leading-edge technical and policy issues. 

You will get a view into how the technical standards underpinning the Internet are developed, learn how these standards have been implemented to help meet the challenges facing the Internet, and discuss how the standards and the technical community can help them meet the digital policy challenges facing their countries. 

This program is held on-site at the IETF and takes place three times a year.

Which Will We Cover?

  • The development process of Internet standards
  • The IETF’s history, organization, and operations
  • Current IETF working groups and hot topics
  • Internet technical operation and architecture 
  • Policy roundtables on relevant topics
  • How to implement the Internet Society’s Impact Assessment Toolkit to create sound policies
  • You will attend IETF Working Group sessions and immerse yourself in the open standards development process
  • You will understand how the IETF addresses technical issues to keep the Internet reliable and secure.

Who Should Participate?

Officials from all levels of the government have responsibility for guiding the development of national Internet policy. Policymakers who participate in the program are generally from the following agencies or organizations:

  • National Telecommunications/ICT Regulatory Authority
  • Ministry/Department of Telecommunications/ICT
  • Foreign/International Affairs
  • International/Regional Organizations


26-29 March 2023

IETF 116, Yokohama, Japan

23-26 July 2023

IETF 117, San Francisco, USA

5-8 November 2023

IETF 118, Prague, Czechia

Frequently Asked Questions