APCNews No. 73 March 2007

APCNews, the monthly newsletter of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
March 2007 No. 73
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NEWS FROM THE MEMBERS
NEWS FROM APC
ICT POLICY & INTERNET RIGHTS
STRATEGIC USES & CAPACITY BUILDING
ENVIRONMENT & ICTs —
APC IN THE NEWS
ONLINE TOOLS & RESOURCES
COLLABORATING OPPORTUNITIES
SITES OF INTEREST
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS APC
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NEWS FROM THE MEMBERS

ALTERNATIVES, Democratic Republic of the Congo: New report on internet infrastructure in the Congo

Montreal-based Alternatives is in the final sprint to release a report on the development of internet infrastructure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The feasibility report by this APC member focuses on the set-up of a national internet backbone as well as on the content of a national information and communication technology policy for Africa’s third largest country. – APCNews
http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=5058365

BYTESFORALL, South Asia: Bytes for All to review Pakistan’s IT policy

Bytesforall.org, in collaboration with the Association for Progressive Communications is planning to conduct “Review of Pakistan’s IT Policy and IT Action Plan”. This brand new initiative by APC’s member in South Asia will be undertaken from a civil society perspective in order to identify the gaps and analyse their implications on community use of information and communication technology. – Bytes for All
http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=5058583

FUNREDES, Dominican Republic: Funredes redefining its action lines

Funredes, APC member in the Dominican Republic, is in the process of transition towards work which, in its words, “will involve more reflection than action.” APCNews spoke with Funredes’ director Daniel Pimienta about the new focus of the organisation.– APCNews
http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=5058586

UNGANA-AFRIKA, South Africa: Ungana-Afrika connecting paralegal centres in rural South Africa

APC-member in South Africa, Ungana-Afrika, is in the middle of a rural connectivity initiative that targets paralegal advice centres. Communication capacity is being beefed-up in the rural area of South Africa. Ten advice centres are already on Ungana-Afrika’s eRiders roadmap. And they’re moving fast. – Ungana-Afrika
http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=5058594

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NEWS FROM APC

APC CHRIS NICOL FOSS PRIZE 2007: Last chance for nominations

The nominations for the prize will be collected until the end of March 2007. The APC Chris Nicol FOSS Prize recognises initiatives that are making it easy for people to start using free and open source software (FOSS). The prize will be awarded to a person or group doing extraordinary work to make FOSS accessible to ordinary computer users.

The APC FOSS Prize has been established to honor Chris Nicol, a long time FOSS advocate and activist who for many years worked with APC. We are looking for initiatives that:

  • improve the accessibility to, knowledge of and/or usability of FOSS
  • are user-oriented
  • are documented so that others can learn from and replicate the model
  • have demonstrable impact and have increased the number of people using FOSS on a day-to-day basis

THE PRIZE IS OPEN TO: Any person or group anywhere in the world who supports or promotes user-oriented free and open source software. The application form must be completed in either English or Spanish however there are no language restrictions regarding the language of the project. Small-scale activities are encouraged to apply.

THE PRIZE: US$ 4,000.00 may be shared by up to two initiatives at the jury’s discretion.

DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS: March 30, 2007

MORE ABOUT THE APC CHRIS NICOL FOSS PRIZE:
http://www.apc.org/english/chrisnicol
http://www.apc.org/espanol/chrisnicol or write to ‘fossprize at apc.org‘

ICT POLICY: A BEGINNER’S HANDBOOK: Now out in French!

This flagship book by APC is a must. It lays out the issues and dispenses with the jargon to encourage more people to get involved in issues related to information and communication technology (ICT) and policy. The new French version is part of APC’s efforts to make French its third full official language before the end of this year. – APCNews
http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=5058625

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ICT POLICY & INTERNET RIGHTS

POLICY ADVOCACY: ‘Consumers shouldn’t subsidise South African telephone monopoly’

It’s time to stop subsidising monopolies like Telkom, argues APC’s director Anriette Esterhuysen. That’s after Telkom told South Africa daily, the Financial Mail, that too much competition in the provision of international bandwidth in Africa could be bad for business. – Fibre for Africa.net
http://fibreforafrica.net/main.shtml?x=5057602&als[MYALIAS6]=‘Consumers%20shouldn’t%20subsidise%20Telkom’&als[select]=4887798

STUDY CITES APC: Communication, a cornerstone of development policy

A study commissioned by UK’s international development agency lists the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) in the top ten organisations survey respondents identified as networks they find are valuable resources of information relevant to their international development work. – APCNews
http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=5058367

PAPER SERIES ON OPEN ACCESS: Open access needs effective demand

APC is supporting the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa to develop a series of papers that discuss issues concerning open access fibre optic systems and how they can benefit from universal access programmes in Africa. In this paper, CIPESA’s Vincent Bagiire questions whether open access will bear much fruit if universal access does not begin to create effective demand. – FibreForAfrica
http://fibreforafrica.net/main.shtml?x=5056029

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STRATEGIC USES & CAPACITY BUILDING

APC LATIN AMERICAN WIRELESS MEETING: Going autonomous with wireless networks

“Tricalcar” is a Spanish abbreviation that stands for Weaving Wireless Community Networks in Latin America and the Caribbean. But much more than an abbreviation, it is in fact a project. It brings together ten partner organisations that are all dedicated to training Latin American computer network administrators in building and administering community wireless networks. – APCNews
http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=5058345

MEDIA MONITORING SOFTWARE: Keeping track of what media’s saying via African software

The South Africa-based Media Monitoring Project has developed the first version of a software application which will evaluate gender-sensitivity in online media. “Media monitoring is relevant to all countries, both those with advanced and less advanced media sectors,” claims project coordinator Sandra Roberts. – APCNews
http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=5058349

E-LEARNING: Great success for e-learning modules on information management

Over 45,000 Information Management Resource Kits (IMARKs) – e-learning modules on information management – have been distributed by the Food and Agriculture Agency, UNESCO and partner organisations such as APC worldwide. The kits consist of a suite of distance learning resources, tools and communities on information management. IMARK learning materials are being developed as a series of modules available online and on CD-ROM. – UNESCO
http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=23973&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

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ENVIRONMENT & ICTs —

E-WASTE I: Impacts, challenges and the role of civil society

That information and communication technologies (ICTs) have a valuable role to play in building a more fair, just, and sustainable world is well established. APC is a firm believer in the power of these tools to transform lives and communities. And yet, while the benefits of expanding access to ICTs are many, there are negative impacts as well, such as the problems associated with a growing volume of e-waste. – APCNews
http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=5057923

E-WASTE II: UN agencies and industry launch network on e-waste

Several United Nations agencies, partners and technology companies are setting up a consortium aimed at extending the life of computers and other electronic equipment, reducing pollution and improving the salvage, which is turning into a growing problem worldwide. – APCNews
http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=5058413

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APC IN THE NEWS

FINANCIAL MAIL, South Africa: The cause of the trouble

The concern in “Undersea wrangling” (Features January 26) about Telkom’s profitability being undermined in the event of new submarine cables being laid on Africa’s east and west coasts is misplaced. Telkom’s profitability has been subsidised by SA consumers since it received a period of exclusivity in 1996, which has yet to be broken by the entry of the second national operator, Neotel. – Financial Mail
http://free.financialmail.co.za/07/0202/front/lettg.htm

OPEN SOURCE OBSERVATORY, European Union: A Brief Overview – Open Source Software in Romania

Since 1989, many things have changed in Romania, including computers, and the way how other nations perceive the country. Romania is better known for its “Dracula figure” than for its IT involvement. The APC European Internet Rights Project’s Country Report on Romania concluded in 2000 that “the main obstacles to public Internet access in Romania are economic, educational and cultural. Romania has made the first steps to develop high-capacity networking infrastructure in order to achieve high quality public Internet access. However the high costs together with low living standards will still limit access in the near future. The regulation of legal aspects of information matters may lead in time to attempts to restrict or control the freedom of public Internet access.” – Open Source Observatory
http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/en/document/5016/470

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ONLINE TOOLS & RESOURCES

REPORT: How small and medium sized enterprises in Africa cope with ICTs

A group called Research ICT Africa! (RIA) has published a new chapter in its 2006 report ‘Towards an African e-Index: SME e-Access and Usage Across 14 African countries’. The survey carried out between the last quarter of 2005 and the first quarter of 2006 explores the impact of ICT on private sector development, and how ICT can contribute to a vibrant small and medium sized enterprises (SME) sector and economic growth in the context of developing economies. The countries covered included Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
http://www.researchictafrica.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=a...

GENDER EQUITY INDEX: The Social Watch 2007 Gender Equity Index (GEI) has been presented in the context of the 51st Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in early March. The GEI was developed to measure inequities in different areas of women’s and men’s everyday lives around the world. The 2007 GEI ranks 154 countries on the basis of gender gaps in economic activity, education and empowerment. This year’s GEI report additionally focuses on progress or regression in achieving gender equity over the 2004-2007 period.
http://www.socialwatch.org

FREE SOFTWARE IN COLOMBIA: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and another international agency published case studies as part of its International Open Source Network initiative. The “Empowering Local Communities – Colnodo, Colombia” case study looks at APC’s member in Colombia.
http://www.iosn.net/foss/case-studies

PRIVATE SECTOR ICT POLICY PORTAL: e-Brazil portal launched in February 2007

The e-Brazil portal brings together information and discussions related to the use of information and communication technologies ”to build a more equitable and more competitive Brazil” said a recent press release by the Development Gateway Foundation, the main promoter of this new website. – e-Brasil
http://www.e-brasil.org.br

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COLLABORATING OPPORTUNITIES

NEW SOFTWARE FOR NETWORKED COMMUNITIES: A Brazilian grouping of researchers, businesspeople, and persons interested collective intelligence have created the Collective Intelligence Institute (ICO) in order to disseminate this concept throughout Brazilian society. It recently released a piece of free and open source software called ICOX. It is a tool meant to help manage networked communities.
http://www.ico.org.br/ico_eng.htm

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SITES OF INTEREST

BLOG ON UN STATUS OF WOMEN MEETING: A temporary blog was created to get the word out about the UN meeting on the status of women that was concluded in early March 2007.
http://statusofwomen.wordpress.com

ONEWORLD IN INDONESIA: A new civil society web portal and development news centre, Satu Dunia – OneWorld Indonesia, was launched in February 2007 in Jakarta.
http://satudunia.oneworld.net/

ICT FOR DEVELOPMENT WEBSITE: A website that attempts to regroup all significant projects in India using ICTs for rural development has recently been made public. http://www.ict4rd.net.in

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WHERE IN THE WORLD IS APC

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!

MARCH 12-16: Tricalcar Latin America and the Caribbean wireless project coordination meeting
Lima, Peru

MARCH 15-17: Workshop with rural producers
INPADES and PARM LAC
Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina

MARCH 20 -23: Gender Evaluation Methodology workshop for the IREACH Cambodia project
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

MARCH 22: Panel discussion on women trafficking
APC WNSP participating
Buenos Aires, Argentina

MARCH 26-30: ICANN meeting
Lisbon, Portugal
http://www.icann.org/

APRIL 9-13: Ourmedia conference VI
Sydney, Australia
http://www.ourmedia07.net/

APRIL 15-17: APC Asia member meeting
Sydney, Australia

APRIL 19-20: Second national encounter of women mayors
APC WNSP participating
Buenos Aires, Argentina

APRIL 23-MAY 4: AFNOG/AfriNIC/ISOC Africa meetings
Abuja, Nigeria
http://www.afnog.org/

Apr 27-29: Yale University access to knowledge II conference
New Haven, USA
http://research.yale.edu/isp/eventsa2k.html

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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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