One hundred institutions in rural areas of Paraguay with access to the internet. Poor indigenous communities experiencing contact with the world beyond their local surroundings for the first time ever. These are just a few snapshots of the outcomes achieved by Oportunet, a project launched in 2007 in Paraguay that has demonstrated the potential of the internet as a door to economic and social development in the poorest communities.
Late 2008, Open Spectrum Australia (a kind of ‘think tank’ for community media) decided to bring together community media groups from both platforms to discuss the issue of media convergence. In order to provide a focus for the day, we came up with an information rights ‘campaign’ of our own and asked for feedback. This article reports on outcomes of the symposium, Quality/Control .
South African tech site, ITWeb, interviews APC’s Willie Currie on the forum being convened by APC and SANGONeT along with South Africa Connect and the Shuttleworth Foundation with the aim of drawing up a framework for a national broadband strategy.
The APC women’s programme looks at the current climate internationally regarding “harmful content” on the internet and explains the raison d’etre of their current exploration into the world of sexuality online.
Innovative micro-docs series produced by apc.au / Toy Satellite in association with Rengah Sarawak seeks support towards its completion. Sarawak Gone explores four remote Bidayuh communities accessible by foot within an hour’s drive from Kuching, capital city of Sarawak, Malaysia.
Facebook is not just a way to get back in touch with old classmates from school or see what your “friends” are up to. Activists around the world are taking advantage of this new virtual space to expand their reach and establish more immediate and interactive contact with individuals and organisations from an ever wider range of backgrounds. ITeM, an APC member in Uruguay, talked with APCNoticias about how it is using this web-based tool, and shared some practical advice for others who are experimenting with social networks and other Web 2.0 tools.
In the recent years, APC’s francophone community has grown significantly, and with this growth also came an interest for Gender Evaluations Method (GEM) training in French. Requests for the workshop have not gone unheard, and the GEM Francophone Workshop, co-organised by the Women’s Networking Support Programme (WNSP), APC-Africa-Women (AAW) and Afriklinks officially began today in Bamako, Mali. The small group of fifteen people is comprised of participants from all over Africa, including two GenARDIS grantees. The workshop, which is coordinated and facilitated by APC’s Dafhne Plou and Sylvie Niombo, aims to build capacities in gender evaluation, integrating a GEM practice in Africa, and other challenges related to gender and ICTs in Africa. Additional information and impressions can be found on the Afriklinks webiste (in French).
APC member Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) has been running satellite ground stations in its community of Entasopia, Kenya, as part of a project that has recently been featured in the International Herald Tribune and reprinted in the New York Times. In November 2008, three engineers from the University of Michigan (USA) set off to Kenya, to install a small solar-powered satellite dish to connect a few computers in the community. Chris Nicholson of the International Herald Tribune reports on the project and explores how this new connection has changed life in the community: “When Internet connections arrive in small towns like Entasopia, they put new tools into the hands of people hungry to use them, and for some there, that has had wide repercussions.” Read the article
The Family Alliance for Development and Cooperation (FADECO) has come a long way since 1993, when Joseph Sekiku and friends formed an alliance to help overcome poverty in north-western Tanzania. Starting as a network of people sharing an internet connection, the small telecentre eventually became a computer literacy training station, an internet café, and has expanded to an informative radio station reaching two million listeners, many of whom are farmers. Radio France International interviewed Joseph after his story was featured in an APC study called Unbounded possibilities: Observations on sustaining rural ICTs. Listen to the interview (off-site).
Back in 2007, when APC members and staff got together to translate and print the APC internet rights charter in twenty languages, campaigners in Asian countries in particular pointed out that information about information and communications technologies (ICT) is usually only available in English. “In Pakistan, not even the government provides basic ICT policy information in Urdu,” Bytes for All’s Shahzad Ahmad told APC. Now APC’s latest annual report is available in Urdu, a language spoken by 265 million people. Shahzad Ahmad talked to APCNews about the importance of this publication in his part of the world.
Carlos Afonso, Executive director of APC member Information Network for the Third Sector (RITS), has recently been awarded the ARede 2008 award for digital inclusion. Carlos was named Personality of the Year, for his dedication to promoting social inclusion through the internet.
APC member Open Institute in Cambodia was recently involved in a forum dedicated to ending violence against women. The “Women Forums on reclaiming ICTs to end violence against women” was held on December 26th and united over 120 individuals from the government and non-profit sector. Together, they discussed the vital role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in helping build awareness regarding violence against women.
Video, native title and the internet provides outlet for communities affected by the development of the second of twelve dams proposed for Sarawak, the second largest state of Malaysia on the island of Borneo.
“I am leaving Hyderabad tomorrow with a longer list of friends, but I know that philosophy of connecting people goes far beyond having the added names in the list. It has a deeper philosophy: connecting people for bringing changes into their lives.” The APC Women’s Networking Support Programme (WNSP) sponsored Dr. Anupama Saxena to attend this year’s Internet Governance Forum in Hyderabad India. Throughout the event, she wrote about her thoughts on this global meeting and process from the perspective of a woman researcher from a small project in India. She now shares her thoughts and personal experience at the IGF.
In recent years, Kerala India has come forward in the international free and open source software (FOSS) community for its use and promotion of free software. As an emerging FOSS user, Kerala will host the second international conference on freedom in computing, development and culture: Free Software, Free Society. From December 09 – 11, APC staff member Cheekay Cinco will be one of five women speaking at the conference, among a list of 50 prominent speakers. APC is also working with experts on free software Aslam Raffee and Sunil Abraham, who will be speaking at the conference about implementation of pro-FOSS policies in South Africa and on the topic of open information sharing/licensing. Find out more about the programming and how to watch a live video stream of the events as they unfold.
Alice Munyua, of APC member Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) spoke at the IGF opening ceremony. In her speech, she highlighted the East African Internet Governance Forum (EAIGF) held in early November as the first of its kind in the African region. “[The EAIFG] was initiated from the realisation that there was a need to address very limited participation by Africa stakeholders in not only the Internet Governance Forum but also in other global ICT policy processes.”
“Throughout history, humanity has been able to challenge the most rigid power structures with its creativity and with the urge for freedom that is inherent to the human spirit. This has brought us here – we’re a result of human hope, solidarity and tenacity. We’re here to discuss internet Governance structures and policies and, in this third meeting of the IGF, we must move forward, building upon the relevant work that has been done by this forum so far,” explained APC member RITS’ Graciela Selaimen at the opening ceremony of this year’s IGF in Hyderabad on December 3rd. As a part of the inaugural panel discussion, Graciela stressed that the IGF can also be a space for deliberation and participative decision-making.
Watchdog report tackles the issue of unequal access to the internet and the information society in 2008
How do we ensure access to the internet is a human right enjoyed by everyone? This is one of the critical questions asked by an annual publication that highlights the importance of people’s access to information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure – and where and how countries are getting it right or wrong, and what can be done about it.
At the first Internet Governance Forum (IGF), “access to the internet” emerged as an issue of common concern and priority to all stakeholders. At the second IGF the business, civil society and technical communities worked together to reach a consensus on what should be done to increase access to the internet across the world. “Reaching the next billion” is now one of the priority themes for the upcoming third IGF – with participants working together to move from debate and discussion to a manifesto for action. Find out more and where APC will be.
Going to the IGF? APC staff and members will be there, busy participating in workshops and panel sessions. Here you’ll find a ready-to-print list of events in which APC staff and members will be speaking and APC-organised or co-organised events. We look forward to meeting you face-to-face.