A "Cantenna"? What’s that? It’s a solution that comes out of using empty tin cans and other simple tools that a lot of communities can afford. "Cantenna" technology can make wireless connection cheaper for poorly served rural areas and economically disadvantaged African people who do not have access to Internet connectivity. This is what emerges from a report on an APC-run series of capacity-building workshops in Africa.
A mobile help-line service that takes information to the poor in Bangladesh, an information and communication technologies (ICT) centre that shares skills with marginalised women in India, and a venture that encourages home-based careers for Malaysian women won this year’s Gender and Information & Communication Technology (GICT) Awards sponsored by the Association for Progressive Communications Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP) and the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP).
On June 17, 2005, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, approved .xxx as a global top-level domain for sexually explicit material on the internet, after five years of negotiations. Jac sm Kee from APC WNSP uses this peg to point out that the issue goes much further. Women have to demand their right to freely move, create knowledge and represent their diversity, communicate and form networks with each other and be safe from harm. Can information and communication technologies help to truly transform socil relations, instead of just amplifying inequalities?
APC member Ungana-Afrika has won this year’s Dirk Award, given annually to circuit or eRiders making an extraordinary contribution. eRiders are ICT capacity-builders for development organizations, and work in a movement which spans over 20 countries.
Want to develop a quick Web campaign? Are you a conservation activist that needs technology assistance? Any tricks for non-profits to make the most of the Internet? Can non-governmental organisations benefit if they have a better idea of consultants around? For this, and more, information check out the Institute for Global Communications (IGC) online resources put out as part of their "commitment to helping nonprofits working on advocacy campaigns get the most out of the internet today".
The IFIs Latin American Monitor — http://ifis.choike.org/ — aims to contribute to the global and Latin American follow-up campaign to promote reform of the international financial institutions. It is an initiative of the Instituto del Tercer Mundo (Third World Institute), with financial support from the Mott Foundation. The Monitor selects, produces, translates and disseminates information and analysis about the Bretton Woods institutions in Latin America. Dialogue and collaboration is thus promoted among key actors, contributing to an enhanced North-South interaction. Since September, the Monitor publishes a monthly bulletin that contains the main news and the most outstanding reports, produced for our team, centers of research, non-profits, press, and expert in these subject. To receive a free bulletin, fill in this form after clicking here.
It is free, open-source, contains no advertising and runs online so there is nothing to download. Loband works by displaying any website with the original text and layout but with after removing un-necessary adverts, images and web objects such as Flash animations. Its promoters call this a "unique simplification and compression process (which) can reduce access time by up to ten times". Loband is perfect for speeding up browsing and searching on the internet, making it cheaper and less frustrating. It potentially allows internet access where it was impossible before. The newly released v2.0 supports more websites, including ones featuring international character sets. Send feedback to email@example.com For a demo of APC’s Spanish homepage through Loband, see this link.
On Monday 29 August 2005 the APC network lost someone who was a colleague, a leader and a friend. Chris Nicol, member of the APC council and also of the APC executive board, died in Barcelona after more than a year of struggling against cancer. For much of the time during this battle Chris was winning, continuing to work, travel and network when the difficult cycle of surgery and treatment left him with any spare time.
U ponedjeljak 29. kolovoza 2005., mi u APC mreži izgubili smo osobu koja je bila kolega, aktivist i prijatelj. Chris Nicol, član APC Savjeta kao i APC izvršnog odbora, preminuo je u Barceloni nakon što se više od godinu dana borio s rakom. Većinu tog vremena Chris je pobjeđivao, nastavljao raditi, putovati i povezivati se s ljudima kad god je imao vremena s obzirom na težak proces operacija i liječenja.
The First International Symposium on Women and ICT took place in Baltimore, Maryland, USA in mid-June. There are different priorities coming up. For instance, the US is concerned about support for women in the information technology sector, the need for attracting more women to higher education, and having better slots open to them. From the South, the priority is still infrastructure and access. At Baltimore, meanwhile, the APC’s WNSP shared experiences in its Gender Evaluation Methodology for information and communication technologies (ICTs), to shared tools for participants to measure progress achieved on the gender front.
What do you do when challenged with difficult conditions that make your computer repeatedly crash in rural, tropical conditions? Fantsuam Foundation of Nigeria simply converted this into an opportunity. Computers in wooden boxes, minus spinning disks that get clogged in dust and crash in high temperatures, and desktops that consume a fraction of power other computers need are some of their solutions. Read on for some unusual and interesting ideas from West Africa.
Being the world’s "largest non-profit supplier of computers" to the South may not rake in the millions; but APC member Computer Aid International’s chief executive Tony Roberts believes it saves millions.
Albania’s national ICT (information and communication technologies) strategy is one of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe, with a marked effort to include women’s needs and views. Gender incorporation in ICTs was part of Albania’s attempt to address growing disparities in income, gender and geographical location. What can we learn from their experience for future gender-sensitive ICT policy framing?
There’s a contradictory silence surrounding Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action that relates to issues of women and the media at this year’s Beijing + 10. What are the possible reasons for the lack of vocalisation on this issue, even as women’s movements working on various issues recognise the impact and power of the media in their work?
Two APC members in Africa — Women’sNet and Ungana Africa — have shared resources and skills to work in the area of technology planning for non-profits. They are shortly expected to share their work with other APC members.The process aims to enable organisations to make better-informed decisions about technology, and thus promote their organization’s mission and objectives through its use.
APC, the network of civil society organisations pushing for a pro-people thrust to the internet and ICTs (information and communication technologies), is gearing up for participation in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). This UN-sponsored conference about information and communication gets underway later this year.
Just after the United States made clear it intention to retain control over the internet’s root-servers, an ICANN meeting took place in Luxembourg. ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is a California-based non-profit corporation created in 1998 to take over a number of Internet-related tasks earlier performed on behalf of the US Government by other organizations, notably the IANA.
When civil society from Brazil and France got together recently, they focussed on exchanging "experiences in digital solidarity". Their mid-July meet in Paris saw them also look at the possibility of cooperation in fields like Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).
ICTs, or information and communication technologies, offer immense possibilities to reduce poverty, improve governance and advance gender equality in Africa. But, cautions an APC-produced paper on the role of ICTs in the development of African women, this will happen only if these technologies are made more accessible and consciously applied to achieve these objects.
Wireless networks is attracting growing attention across the globe, as a plausible way of providing internet access in marginal areas or in cases where costs are prohibitive. Cristo Redentor Telecentre co-ordinator Cristina Ojeda joined a workshop on wireless networking organized by the Latin American School of Networking EsLaRed) in Mérida, Venezuela and narrates her experience.