APCNews No. 76 June 2007

—- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- *APCNews, the monthly newsletter of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC)* June 2007 No. 76
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BLUELINK, Bulgaria: Local and international freedom of expression networks turn up the heat

Amendments to Bulgaria’s Access to Public Information Act were passed by the National Assembly at
the first reading. Many of the proposed changes breach established international standards on the
right to information and appear specifically designed to hinder access to public records. – APCNews

C2O, Australia: 33 hours of video slam

Ever heard of the Open Channel Video Slam? You say no? Here is the answer. It boils down to 22
filmmakers locked up in a Melbourne bar for 33 hours to produce a ten minute film. The challenge?
Use only Creative Commons material. – APCNews

INSTITUTE FOR POPULAR DEMOCRACY, Philippines: Taking a Sri Lankan disaster solution to another level,
via Philippines

The Institute for Popular Democracy is one of the APC’s newest members and its current concerns with
shaping an open source disaster management software reflect only a tiny but emblematic part of what
IPD does. – APCNews

FANTSUAM FOUNDATION, Nigeria: Technology provides vulnerable children with a support line in Nigeria

In 2006 Fantsuam Foundation launched a vulnerable children’s service as part of its rural HIV/AIDS
programme. This innovative project addresses the growing problem of orphans and vulnerable children
in the rural communities where Fantsuam works. ICT is a central part and has proved an effective way
of getting access to vulnerable children who are coping with poverty and hunger as well as
life-threatening diseases. – APCNews

FOUNDATION FOR MEDIA ALTERNATIVES, Philippines: From the Philippines, a digital arts contest with
social dimension

WebSining is the Filipino name for a web-art contest, and this is what has been keeping the Manila-based
Foundation for Media Alternatives busy of late. With its goal of encouraging artistic innovations in the
intersection of art and technology, websining this year introduced a new category: software art. – APCNews

JINBONET, South Korea: Poisonous articles on IPR in Korea-US FTA

The full text of the Korea-US free trade agreement (FTA) was made public last Friday. “It has many poisonous
articles in there,” argues PatchA of APC’s Korean member Jinbonet. Especially the chapter on intellectual
property rights worry people working on copyright issues. This could set a precedent for many other
countries. The far-reaching consequences are now clearer than ever. – Jinbonet

STRAWBERRYNET, Romania: Open technologies can bring government transparency, development

Technology put in the public information and communication domain (internet) can bring transparency to
government behaviour, argues a high-profile forum that has just come to a close in Brasov, Romania.
eLibretica, organised by the Romanian Open Source and Free Software Initiative and Agora Media did not
go unnoticed in the new European Union member country, reports Mihály Bakó of APC’s Romanian member
StrawberryNet Foundation [in Romanian]. – StrawberryNet

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APC PUBLICATION: “Global Information Society Watch” a new report from APC monitors political will to
make the information revolution reality for all

A new watchdog report from APC and the Third World Institute monitoring promises made by governments
and the United Nations to ensure that information technology is used to benefit millions of people,
will be launched in Geneva on May 22. Studies of the ICT policy situation in twenty-two countries
from four regions are featured: Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria,
South Africa and Uganda); Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Philippines); Latin America (Argentina,
Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru); and Eastern Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia and
Romania), with one report from a Western European country (Spain). – APCNews
Global Information Society Watch: http://www.globaliswatch.org

APC ANNOUNCEMENT: APCNews will next be published in August 2007. APC is currently focusing on revamping its
flagship website APC.org. There will therefore be no newsletter in July. In the meantime, we are interested
in hearing from you. Please send us your comments and stories for APCNews 77. Please also note that starting in
August, APC will also produce APCNouvelles, alongside APCNews and APCNoticias.

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GENEVA MEETINGS: UN World Summit on the Information Society: What’s going on in Geneva right now?

A cluster of World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) implementation meetings is taking place in Geneva
from May 14 to 25. Part of the APC crew is there, ensuring that “the strong development orientation” promised
by organising agencies goes beyond paper. Themes and action lines stemming from agreed-upon documents are being
discussed. Read APC’s input to three action lines that took place as part of a meeting on May 16. – APC

GENEVA MEETINGS: Tenth Session of the Commission for Science and Technology for Development: APC’s proposals

The Commission for Science and Technology for Development is one of a few UN bodies that coordinate the
World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) follow-up. The tenth session of the Commission was held
from 21-25 May 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland. It focused on “the follow-up to the outcome of WSIS at the
regional and international level, to identify achievements, gaps and challenges, as well as future action
needed to further implementation”. APC was there, and submitted concrete proposals to ensure meaningful
inclusion of voices of the people most impacted by the digital divide. – APC

GENEVA MEETINGS: The future of the Internet Governance Forum: APC speaks out

Read the APC input to the Internet Governance Forum open consultation meeting held on 23 May in Geneva,
as well as reactions from different stakeholders. APC makes practical recommendations to ensure the
accomplishment of the IGF’s mandate and to strengthen it as a truly space for multistakeholder dialogue. – APC

EVENT REPORT: Autonomy, security, identity: Beautiful words, worrying ties in the electronic world

What does identity have to do with security? This question and many more affect everyone on the face of
the earth. Many might not know this or are too busy dealing with other less ‘virtual’ problems of everyday
life. The seventeenth edition of the Computer, Freedom and Privacy conference held in Montréal, Canada,
from May 1 to 4 2007, brought together many experts in order to tackle these questions. – APC blog

EVENT REPORT: OURMedia, looking at media alternatives and beyond

OURMedia calls itself a “network and forum” and is made up of engaged academics and media practitioners,
activists, artists and policy-makers who support the growth of what they term the “democratic potential of
community, alternative and ‘citizens’ media”. APCNews and several APC member groups attended OurMedia 6 in
Sydney, Australia, in April 2007. – APCNews

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LOW-COST TECHNOLOGY SERIES: Every month until year’s end, APC offers an insight into strategic use aspects
of technology. The use of low-cost technologies in developing countries should be promoted and implemented
as a matter of priority. Low-cost technology can be backbone or light-weight infrastructure, hardware and

APC concentrates its policy advocacy work and strategic use efforts on the infrastructural challenges facing
‘developing’ countries. But, this does not mean that hardware and software issues are not important. For this
reason, we aim at providing you with a comprehensive picture of all the facets that enter into play when we
talk about low-cost technology.

To explain the different aspects of low-cost technology, we continue the series with a special coverage of wireless
technology in both ‘developing’ and ‘developed’ country contexts. Going wireless in Canada’s second city, Montréal,
and APC’s Venezuelan member Eslared’s long distance internet connections in Venezuela are the themes of the month.

INTERVIEW I: The sky’s the limit: new wireless connection record – 382 kilometres

“This is a technology that works, a proven technology, and what it needs is a bit more promotion,” said Ermanno
Pietrosemoli just days after reaching a new wireless connection record of 382 kilometres. The president of
Venezuelan APC member EsLaRed spoke with APCNews by conference call about this low-cost solution that is
impacting the world’s rural communities. – APCNews

INTERVIEW II: We killed the previous business models that tried to charge for WiFi

With about 90 active volunteers over the years, Île Sans Fil now has managed to install some 130 hotspots
all around town, using a nice piece of software. Wifidog is an open source solution designed primarily for
wireless community groups, it is now in use in more than 36 locations, including at the municipality of
Rosario (Argentina), the Tegucigalpa Technical University (Honduras) and libraries in Hull (United Kingdom).
Can Wifidog work in the developing world? Interview with the key figure of the group, Michael Lenczner. – APCNews

WIRELESS SURVEY: 53% of participants installed a wireless network

Fifty-three percent of participants to wireless internet trainings in Africa have installed one or more wireless
networks since the training. This is what a survey about the impact of the APC-led ‘Capacity Building for
Community Wireless Connectivity in Africa’ project reveals. – APCNews

>>Access previous stories in the low-cost technology series here:

Gold in the mud unleashed through ‘inclusive’ capitalism?
“IT spreads at all levels and is not concentrated in the hands of a few”

INTERVIEW: Taking training online: Computer and internet help in cyberspace

What happens when eight progressive information and communication technology organisations come together
to share their expertise in computer and internet training in the so-called ‘developing world’? It results
in the ‘ItrainOnline’ initiative, a web-based training resource centre. – APCNews


Harambee (pronounced haram-BAY) means “pulling together” in the most widely spoken language of sub-Saharan
Africa: Swahili. The word Harambee captures the efforts invested to build and maintain communities.

The Association for Progressive Communications not only uses the term, it also celebrated it in March 2007.
In releasing the list of successful applicants in one of its small grants initiatives, APC’s women programme
in Africa injected some real-life into the motto online. Harambee small grants are offered to better equip
Africa-based networks to play a lead role in development dialogues and actions affecting them. Six applicants
out of the original 200+ walked away with a grant that highlights their networking activities.

APC’s writers offer you the profiles of the six Harambee grantees of 2007 over a period of three months.
This month, APCNews completes the Harambee series by zooming in on the Mekelle Child Centered Forum in Ethiopia
and Viva Network Africa of Kampala, Uganda.

MEKELLE CHILD CENTERED FORUM, Ethiopia: A little goes a longer way with ICT-based networking

In the former Ethiopian capital of Mekelle, the Mekelle Child Centered Forum (MCCF) reaches approximately
5,840 disadvantaged children, youth, and women living in the city. The winner of one of this year’s Harambee
awards, MCCF will use its grant money to expand its reach of service towards its target of 20,000
individuals. – APCNews

VIVA NETWORK AFRICA, Uganda: Harambee small grant helps Viva Network Africa put the net into networking

Viva Network sees effective networking among Christian organisations as a stepping-stone to making a difference
for the children of the world. Its focus on networking training, governance, and facilitation makes Viva Network
a perfect example of the benefits of collaborative effort – just what the Harambee Small Grants Facility was
founded to support. – APCNews

>>Access previous stories in the Harambee series here:

Fighting HIV/Aids with blogs, wikis and electronic mail in Congo
Ever heard of soil health? If not, networking is taking it to you in South Africa
Overcoming the orphan curse with ICTs in Uganda
Getting Nigerian women hooked on technology

BOOK REVIEWS: New titles take a serious look at the ICT-for-development world and beyond

From ‘cyberprotests’ to debates about whether cyberspace can be controlled or censored. From studying the
long history of the collaborative creation of knowledge to looking closely at the social impact of mobile
communications. These themes are all the focus of new books that have been published in recent months. – APCNews

ARTICLE: Telecentres reject sporadic development in Congo Brazzaville

The first telecentres in Congo with internet access date back to 1999-2000, also offer a range of other
services such as computerisation of documents, printing, photocopying, document scanning, CD burning,
telephone calls and training in various areas. – APCNews

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ARTICLE: Putting on a gender lens and keeping it on, GEM 2 goes to Kathmandu

The PAN Localization Network pursues a difficult but important cause, building local language computing
capacity in Asia, the region with the most internet users in the world. This group is an ideal partner for
deepening gender evaluation practice using GEM, an ICT for social change evaluation methodology developed by
the Association for Progressive Communications’ women programme. Both groups are partnering for phase two of
the highly successful GEM project. – APC WNSP

ARTICLE: Women in local government: “Broadening minds” with technology

“The enthusiasm in various government sectors about information and communication technologies is incredible,
as is the way it is getting onto the agenda of women in politics,” remarked Dafne Sabanes Plou, of the APC
women’s programme, commenting on a national gathering of Argentine women mayors and councilwomen held in
Buenos Aires at the end of April. – APCNews

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Upcoming events in the information and communication technologies for development field. This group was
started by APC collaborator and ICTD consultant Rolf Kleef and more and more people are joining daily.
Please add your events.

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JUNE 6: Some people think the internet is a bad thing
Webcast organised by Amnesty International

JUNE 18: Knowledge management for development
Utrecht, The Netherlands

JUNE 21: Seventh European conference on e-Government
The Hague, The Netherlands

JULY 30: eINDIA2007
New Delhi, India

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You can meet up with APC and/or APC WNSP (APC women’s programme) representatives at the events below
during the next two months. Write to events@apc.org to obtain contact information. See you there!

JUNE 5-6: Global Knowledge Africa meeting III
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

JUNE 7-9: ICT best practices forum
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

JUNE 11-12: Knowledge Management conference: Influencing policy and practice
Cairo, Egypt

JUNE 15-17: i-Commons second annual conference
Dubrovnic, Croatia

JUNE 24-28: Communication public policies and community radios in Latin America, followed by Communication
and the constituent process in Ecuador (organised by ALER and APC)
Quito, Ecuador

JUNE 25-29: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers meeting
San Juan, Puerto Rico

JUNE 28-30: Civil society forum
Geneva, Switzerland

JULY 1: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers Nomination Committee meeting
Toronto, Canada

JULY 4-7: Society for International Development 50th Anniversary World Congress
The Hague, The Netherlands

JULY 4-8: World association for community radios (AMARC) Women’s network workshop
Managua, Nicaragua

JULY 15-19: New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development ICT conference
Nairobi, Kenya

JULY 16-19: Freedom of expression: An exploration of the networked communications environment in Africa
Nairobi, Kenya

JULY 17-18: Sangonet ICT conference 2007
Johannesburg, South Africa

JULY 19-20: APC Africa member project management training
Johannesburg, South Africa

JULY 21: APC Africa member meeting
Johannesburg, South Africa

JULY 23-25: International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) 50th Anniversary conference
Paris, France

JULY 22-24: APC WNSP gender evaluation methodology facilitators training
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

JULY 25-27: APC WNSP gender evaluation methodology adaptation workshop
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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APCNews, in English, and APCNoticias, in Spanish, are distributed monthly by APC — a worldwide network
supporting the use of internet and ICTs for social justice and sustainable development since 1990.

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