An Indo-Pakistan encounter, in war or cricket, leaves behind tonnes of bitterness and rivalry. But, in information and communication technology, the main regret facing techies from both sides of the troubled South Asian sub-continent, is why they can’t work more effectively together, to tackle the common problems their people face.
From here to where? And how? APC’s April Bangladesh consultation on communication policy, which brought in diverse people from across South Asia, helped to connect ideas that nudge forward ideals of freedom-in-computing in this populous part of the planet. One of the sessions that participants themselves felt the need to look at, are the critical issues facing free and open source software.
With the objective of producing and disseminating relevant content on the Latin American reality from civil society’s perspective, Rits, in partnership with another eight South American organisations, launched the Social Mosaic information portal on July 5.
AMARC Asia-Pacific is part of an international non-governmental organisation serving the community radio movement, with almost 3,000 members and associates in 110 countries. APCNews met with Suman Basnet earlier this year. The AMARC Asia-Pacific’s regional coordinator talks about his organisation and provides an poignant overview the challenges faced by community radio stations in Asia and the Pacific region.
Gaming is very popular with the children and youth. So what better way is there to introduce computing and free and open source software (FOSS) to kids, than through fun didactic software?
The book “The Gender Digital Divide in Francophone Africa, a Harsh Reality” written by Marie-Helene Mottin-Sylla has just been translated into English by APC, the Association for Progressive Communications. On this occasion, Sylvie Niombo, Deputy Coordinator of APC’s Africa-Women network, interviewed Marie-Helene on the content of the book.
African regulators, policy advisors, operators, businesspeople, civil society delegates, and consumer lobby groups, amongst others, gathered to discuss the issue of Africa’s access to international fibre connectivity in Johannesburg, on 24th and 25th July 2006, have prepared a joint statement. Read the outcomes and the recommendations that stem from this landmark internet infrastructure workshop co-hosted by APC.
APC.org – the bilingual English-Spanish site of the Association for Progressive Communications – currently ranks 15,260 in terms of traffic among sites globally rated by the alexa.com information service. "This is simply extraordinary for a .org site," commented Daniel Pimienta of Funredes.org, an organisation that recently became an APC member.
The Philippine Commission on Information and Communications Technology presented its proposed ICT roadmap last June 5, 2006, in Pasig City, Philippines. Gathering nearly a hundred stakeholders from government, the private sector and civil society, the activity took place amidst strong warnings of what could become a roadmap for navigating an increasingly slippery slope, along the lines of commerce.
APC-member Foundation for Media Alternatives, organised a successful information and communication technology training workshop for Philippine independent organisations and social movements between the 14th and 17th of June 2006 at the National Computer Center in Quezon City.
In July 2006, APC is to hold a workshop at Johannesburg, which will crystal-gaze into the future and discuss the
future of SAT3, a crucial submarine cable on which hinges Africa’s chances to get a smoother ride to cyberspace.
The APC ‘information and communication technology’ policy workshop ended in London with the call for linking national advocacy to global networks through collaboration and information sharing and working together for long-term sustainability. The workshop attended by 18 participants from different countries provided a unique opportunity to the national portal managers to learn from each other and share their experiences.
Between June 7 and 10, a workshop called Transmission.cc took place in Rome. It was "a major gathering of video makers, programmers and web producers developing online video distribution as a tool for social justice and media democracy." Maxigas from GreenSpider and Indymedia Hungary participated in the event and wrote a comprehensive report on it for APC. Australian APC member c2o was among the co-organisations of Transmission.cc.
All online communities are there to connect people who share worldviews and above all, share the need to carry out concrete activities to bring them closer to reality. The environmental movement has been a pioneer in incorporating information and communication technologies (ICTs) for advocacy and as a working method.
As part of APC’s Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP), Colnodo trained 50 teachers belonging to the Colombian Federation of Educators on the use of basic internet tools.
The Cabrati Telecentre is located in Batuco Lampa and administered by a group of women that manages a day-care centre. It has become a pioneer community access point in the country as it uses the advantages of wireless connectivity to access internet economically, while still turning a profit.
Many telecentres are located in Mapuche communities, particularly Pehuenches, and are administered by associations that group these indigenous peoples: Melipeuco, Lonquimay y Villarrica. Until recently, these communities were completely cut-off from ways to access and unable to use these technologies.
The www.telecentroscomunitarios.cl portal is one of the internet-based participatory spaces for content production that the programme offers to the 17 telecentres. This is done through a collaborative publishing platform where organisations find the tools to upload news, activities, product offers, local services and also resources for the creation of their own webpages.
At the beginning, arriving and installing telecentres that use computer equipment that run on an open operating system like GNU/Linux was not a simple process. In Chile, the degree of penetration of the Windows operating system is considerabe, and merely encountering something different often generated great resistance from the organisations and communities. We have observed that ”free software” was associated with cost reduction, hence lower quality. As a result of this, there was a significant investment made in the first phase of the implementation of the project to raise awareness about and disseminate of the use of GNU/Linux and associated free software programmes and applications.
The female telecentre users initially become involved discreetly, they are curious to know what is going on, what the telecentre consists of and the services it offers. This is the first time that many of the women from the communities have access to equipment.