In some of the countries in which we conducted research we already had some existing contacts, and advisory board members (e.g. The Philippines and Pakistan). As an international organisation, over the years we have been contacted by civil society organisations and experts from a number of countries seeking our guidance and assistance on local developments. We were able to establish contacts in India, Malaysia, and Nepal through these methods.
In other countries we had to conduct extensive networking exercises to identify stakeholders. We began with human rights organisations and consumer rights organisations, as they tend to be part of international networks. Though we were able to establish some communications with these groups, it proved unsuccessful without a local point of contact to help us orient ourselves.
Through our existing networks we were able to get recommendations and introductions to experts and individuals in a number of countries. In particular, our relationships with industry organisations were helpful in identifying government officials and some consumer advocates, as multi-national companies' had legal offices in a number of the countries in our project. International law firms were also of assistance, as they guided us through the legal situations in a number of these countries.
Finally, the Association for Progressive Communications and the Open Net Initiative were integral to our work. Through their existing members and partners we were able to meet new researchers, groups, and experts. They were then able to advise us on the best strategies for taking our work forward.