In spite of the wide range of activities that took place during last year, for APC, 2003 is memorable for one particular process that galvanised our efforts – the World Summit on the Information Society which took place in Geneva in December 2003. WSIS was a watershed in public participation as information and communications policy shifted from the obscure world of techno-jargon to be recognised as social policy that affects everyone. From APC’s perspective as a network of ‘social techies’ this was a major break-through.
APC’S latest annual report includes APC’s advocacy work for WSIS and other major highlights as well as achievements from APC members on five continents building of a better world for all through technology. Find out more about it and then download the full report!
longtime APC collaborator is localising OpenOffice.org and other open software to Swahili, the lingua franca of East Africa, spoken by almost 100 million people. The software has just been released.
Using RSS technology, it’s now possible to get news headlines from APC and APC member websites direct to your desktop. News feeds available cover a rich variety of civil society concerns –from the environment in Bulgaria, to human rights in Spain, to peace campaigning in the USA, to monitoring aid agencies in Australia. But what is RSS? Read our easy-to-understand feature.
APC endorses open letter to the European Parliament, asked by EU governments to vote on mandatory finger-printing and biometric
Privacy International (PI), alongside with Statewatch and European Digital Rights, called to endorse an open letter to the European Parliament. The submission will be made on Tuesday 30 November and PI are accepting signatures until Monday 29 November. The European Parliament will most likely vote on Wednesday 1st. December.
In 2003, together with more than 300 local partners, Alternatives launched a portal in the Democratic Republic of Congo . The project empowers local civil society groups to present and promote their activities and perspectives, which is particularly important in the current period, where civil society is taking an ever-increasing role in defending the principles that can support long-term peace in the region.
Together with a collective of twenty organisations and networks working to protect Peru’s wildlife and flora, CEPES developed the Peruvian Environmental Portal. The portal systematises information to really take advantage of the information available and improve dissemination.
The Gender and ICTs Network came about following a workshop on the gender dimensions of ICT policies in Senegal, held in November 2002. Regentic, as the network is also known, is working to promote gender analysis of the ICT sector in Senegal and initiate a dialogue process between the regulation authorities, women’s organisations and civil society working for gender justice in Senegal. ENDA Synfev is one of the network coordinators.
In Italy, APC member Unimondo was particularly active in promoting the CRIS (Communication Rights in the Information Society) Campaign and in trying to get as many organisations and people as possible involved in the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process.
In 2003, WomensHub developed a draft policy framework document entitled Gender and ICT in the Philippines: A Draft Policy Framework. The paper covers the emerging digital and gender divides, the national ICT situation in the Philippines, including the current national ICT policies.
In line with its goal of helping empower communities through information and communications and advancing the agenda for Communication Rights, the Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) has joined some of the most active NGO stakeholders in Philippine mass media to launch a campaign for reforms in governance within and through media and communications.
D3 – a prototype public multimedia interactive created by APC member in Melbourne, c2o- is a storytelling engine which explores a sense of place by mapping trails through a city.
A project using wireless technology to link small-scale farmers in a desert valley in Peru is helping farmers by providing and generating local information online. The living conditions of more than 6,000 rural workers is being directly affected. APC member in Lima, CEPES, is providing technical support for the project and the content exchange software used is APC ActionApps.
Women’s organizations are dealing with so many priority issues, it’s hard to see information and communication technologies (ICT) as anything more than a tool to facilitate their work. For this reason 16 members of the APC Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP) came together in early November in Cape Town, South Africa, to map out key gender and ICT issues for the APC WNSP’s upcoming Gender and ICT Policy website.
London-based NGO and APC member, Computer Aid International recenlty launched a new partnership with APC member ALIN in Nairobi. “Computer Aid has already provided over 2,500 quality refurbished PC to non-profit organisations in Kenya”, commented Tony Roberts, Computer Aid Founder and Chief Executive. “However with the help of the Baobab initiative we plan to provide 5,000 more computers in the next few years”.
Progressive technology organisations all over the world met in Cape Town to discuss the future of the free content management system – ActionApps. ActionApps is a software that makes websites easier to manage and more dynamic and facilitates the creation of portal sites, improving the visibility of civil society information. Almost 40 developers from as far afield as Egypt, Cambodia, Spain, Peru and the Philippines debated future plans, sustainability, documentation needs and a new online campaigning action kit for activists which will come to life in 2005.
“People won’t benefit from improved access to digital networks, if the necessary capabilities to select, apply and interpret the available information are not better developed”, says Arnold Pietersen of CECS. With oversight from ICT NGOs from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia, CECS designed an ‘ICT Literacy’ programme.
APC member Computer Aid International will officially launch an exciting and innovative new partnership with a Rwandan not-for-profit, E-ICT. By providing an affordable solution to high cost computers, the partnership aims to increase access to ICT for schools and not-for-profits.
The Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA), together with key free and open source software (FOSS) advocates in the country organized a training-workshop for Philippine non-government organizations (NGOs). Held on 28-29 October 2004 and attended by 30 participants from 18 organizations, the learning activity sought to impart not only with the necessary skills and knowledge of FOSS but more importantly, to provide the trainees with the confidence in using FOSS-based applications.
Arid Lands Information Network – Eastern Africa (ALIN-EA) has successfully completed a one-year pilot phase of the Open Knowledge Network (OKN) East Africa project. OKN is a global initiative linking marginalized communities and facilitating information sharing through Information Communications Technologies (ICTs).
APCmember SANGONeT launched a new joint venture, called NGO.ZA. The overall aim of NGO.ZA is to meet and respond to the South African NGO sector’s connectivity, hardware and e-business infrastructure requirements, and as a result, transform the information and communication technologies (ICT) usage, capacity and infrastructure levels of the sector.