APCNews No. 67 August 2006

APCNews, the monthly newsletter of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
August 2006 No. 67
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ARABDEV, Egypt: Playing games with computer education: ArabDev’s Menia initiatives

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? – APCNews

FMA, Philippines: Philippine ICT body presents roadmap, civil society takes a stand

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 warnings of what could become a roadmap for navigating an increasingly commercial terrain. – FMA

FMA, Philippines: FMA conducts national training on online tools for collaboration

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. – FMA

ITEM, Uruguay: Redefining local and global working spaces

Uruguayan civil society has insisted on showing its successive governments that information and communication technology (ICT) related policies are a key issue in the country’s development that goes beyond expanding the software industry. – APCNews

RITS, Brazil: Latin mosaic launched by RITS

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 including APC members from Colombia, Peru and Argentina, launched the Social Mosaic information portal on July 5. – Rets

WEB NETWORKS, Canada: Web Networks supports Guatemalan Indigenous ICT practitioners

Web Networks welcomed two young staff from Ajb’atz’ Enlace Quiché, a Guatemalan NGO that pioneers innovative use of information and communication technologies to empower indigenous communities. Ajb’atz’ was one of five winners in the e-inclusion category of the World Summit Awards presented at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, last November. The staff took part in a month-long intensive training session focused on using the open source content management system Drupal, and two multimedia educational tools developed by Web Networks, Quicklearn and Yodigo.

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APC CONTRIBUTION TO INTERNET GOVERNANCE: Reduce the cost of international internet connectivity

In Argentina, internet access averages 13 dollars a month and almost a fifth of the population are online whereas in Sudan internet access costs 160 USD a month and only 9 people in a thousand are online. Africa, the poorest continent in the world, has the highest costs for internet access. In the run-up to the first-ever meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in Athens, starting October 30, APC releases a set of recommendations that encourage the IGF to tackle the availability and affordability of the internet in the developing world and especially Africa as a matter of urgency. In pdf. – APCNews

APC WEBSITE RANKING: APC.org site ranks near top 15,000 globally

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. – APCNews

APC-ENDORSED STATEMENT ON WAR: For an immediate and unconditional cease-fire

International appeal — On July 30th, another massacre was committed in Lebanon: More than sixty civilians, among them 37 children, were killed by Israeli bombs while they were sleeping in shelters in the village of Qana. They died not very far away from the mass grave holding the bodies of 106 civilians burned by a previous Israeli attack in April 1996 inside a shelter provided by a UN battalion. – AIC/ANND

NEW APC BROCHURE: This informative e-booklet tells you who we are, what we do and how our network works. There’s a map showing where members are based and an infographic of the network. The pdf brochure is in English, Spanish and French.

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ARTICLE: South Asia needs to talk across borders to solve language issue

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. – APCNews

REPORT-BACK: From here to where? APC meet zooms in on FOSS in South Asia

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. – APCNews

E-GOVERNMENT ANALYSIS: An opportunity for citizen participation in the era of digital development

The initiatives that have been adopted to improve e-government in Latin America primarily focus on improving online services and state administration. Citizens, however, remain unable to participate in the decision-making process because this dimension, which is at least as important if not more then the previous one, has been left aside. APC’s Valeria Betancourt discusses. – APCNews

ORGANISATION PROFILE: Asia’s doors open only very slightly to community radio

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, the AMARC Asia-Pacific’s regional coordinator who talked about his organisation and provides an poignant overview the challenges faced by community radio stations in Asia and the Pacific region. – APCNews

BLOGGING in RIO: Report on iCommons, iSummit 2006
By Jac SM Kee

iSummit 2006 was held in Rio de Janeiro from 23rd – 25th June 2006. There were 250-300 participants from various countries and regions. Three days before the conference, Creative Commons (CC) announced that Microsoft would embed a CC tool in its Word, Excel & PowerPoint. Lawrence Lessig was reported to be “excited”, Gilberto Gil “thrilled”. Some participants were disturbed. Jac offers critical reflections on this event. – APC blog

BLOGGING at WALC 2006: Linking technology to the interests of citizens
By Dafne Plou

Dafne Plou, from the APC Women’s Networking Support Programme, blogged from WALC 2006. WALC 2006 is a yearly workshop organised by APC member EsLaRed that focuses on internet networking in Latin America and the Caribbean. After the technical sessions of the workshop, which took place the 24th-29th of July in Quito, Ecuador, APC organised a forum on internet and society. In this post, Dafne shares her impressions on the panel on e-government and citizen participation. – APC blog
More information on WALC 2006:

BLOGGING in PRAGUE: EU, travel and privacy event – Czech style
By Karen Banks

Well, here I am in Prague, participating in an event on ‘privacy, travel and the EU’ hosted by ‘ludicrum remedium’, a small NGO that shares space with the APC folk in Prague. Karen reports on the event and provides a feel of what’s to be expected from the field of biometrics and radio frequency identification – APC blog

REPORT BACK: Call for working together for long-term sustainability of ICT policy

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, regional and global portal managers to learn from each other and share their experiences. – Bytesforall

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ARTICLE: Non-profits take to Drupal… increasingly and intensely

When Partha Sarkar of APC-member BytesForAll decided to turn the South Asian volunteer-driven network he co-founded into an even more participative affair, he opted for Drupal. And Sarkar and company are not alone. Other members of the APC network are also finding Drupal is a convenient tool for setting up and activating online communities. – APCNews

INTERVIEW: Fresh air and free networks in Denmark

The Djurslands International Institute of Rural Wireless Broadband is not joking about free information infrastructures. Its advocates study and plan projects, and then go out in the open field to help to start up wireless networks. But before antennas were attached to barns and receivers taped to posts, summer camp participants convened in rural Denmark for some fresh air. APCNews talked to one of them. – APCNews


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,” says Maxigas from Green Spider and Indymedia Hungary. He participated in a workshop called Transmission.cc, taking place in Rome between June 7 and 10. Australian APC member c2o was among the co-organisers of Transmission.cc. Read on for a complete report. – GreenSpider

VIDEO: Make ICT training work for you

Getting to know how ItrainOnline’s multimedia toolkit works is now easier than ever. APC has updated the video “Make ICT Training Work For You” in collaboration with APC member, c2o, Toy Satellite and the Melbourne-based screen resource centre, OPEN CHANNEL. – ItrainOnline

BETINHO PRIZE: The voices women of women and communities through radio telecentres

First it was radio, then the internet. First women’s organisations, then the community. The story of CEMINA, a Brazilian communication and gender organisation, is one of growth, change and openness. Its radio telecentre work captivated the APC Betinho Prize jury in 2005 who awarded it joint first prize. – APCNews
http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=5039388 [a three-part interview special from APCNews on the 2005 Betinho Prize winner, CEMINA]

Also part of this series:
2006 joint-winner FLACSO-Chile: Seeing and transforming the world through community telecentres in Chile (published in July 2006)

BLOGGING from GOA: New Indian copyright law could help disabled, cripple remixes, clamp digital rights management

India is planning to significantly amend its Copyright Act of 1957, to include among other things the concept of Digital Rights Management, a move which could well restrict access to knowledge. Lawyers-with-a-difference are closely monitoring what’s happening on this front. – APC blog

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NEW TRANSLATION OF PUBLICATION: The Gender Digital Divide in Francophone Africa, a Harsh Reality – Will women really benefit from the digital revolution?

The book “The Gender Digital Divide in Francophone Africa, a Harsh Reality” first published by ENDA-Tiers Monde in French, has been translated into English by APC, the Association for Progressive Communications. Sylvie Niombo, APC-Africa-Women co-coordinator, interviews the book editor Marie-Hélène Mottin-Sylla. – GenderIT.org
Download the book: http://www.genderit.org/resources/africa_gender_divide.pdf

TRAINING REPORT: GenARDIS: supporting the use of ICTs by women farmers for social change

The GenARDIS grants programme was developed in recognition of the ICT-related constraints and challenges faced by rural women in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The grants winners took part in a knowledge sharing workshop on gender, agriculture and rural development in the information society in Entebbe, Uganda from July 3 to 8. The following is a report by Sylvie Niombo – Deputy Coordinator of APC-Africa-Women – about the crossroads of gender, rural development and ICT, the impact of GenARDIS grants, and recommendations for policy makers. – GenderIT.org

ARTICLE: Community radios and feminist voices against repression in Brazil

The repression against community radios in Brazil reaches important social projects and initiatives such as Novo Ar – a community association and radio station led by Graça Rocha. In this interview with GenderIT.org, Graça provides details about the repression that Brazilian community radios experience and highlights the critical role that women play in the radio and in the community: “women resist better. Here in Novo Ar, women are the majority – and although we feel exhausted sometimes, we never give up, we keep struggling”. – GenderIT.org

ANALYSIS: A Women’s ‘Commons’? An Exploratory Dialogue on the Potential of the Knowledge Commons for Women

The idea of the ‘commons’ has been at times understood as being both a principle of understanding content and creative products, and a community that supports the sharing of information and creative content. It is also directly linked with subverting current intellectual property paradigms, where ownership and control of information, knowledge, and content has been commodified. So what exactly is so ‘new’ about the ‘commons’? Looking at the four paradigms where ideas about the ‘commons’ are supposed to operate, perhaps it is possible to see if developments towards a Knowledge Commons resonates with feminist tactics/agendas/isms. – GenderIT.org

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MyADSL, South Africa: SAT3 Bandwidth Costs under discussion
By Cara Christian. July 24, 2006.

The cost of international bandwidth on the SAT3 cable is again under discussion, this time focusing on what will happen when the SAT3 monopolies end. The SAT3 workshop, hosted and supported by various organizations like the Association for Progressive Communications, AfrISPA and the Communications Regulators Association of Southern Africa, will look at various issues including possible regulatory approaches and perspectives from industry players and consumers.

TECTONIC, South Africa: Ethiopian activists promote FOSS
By Staff Writer. 11 July, 2006.

NGOs APC (Association for Progressive Communications) and Catia have joined forces with the Ethiopian Free and Open Source Network (EFOSSNET) to host a series of workshops over the next 10 days to promote the use of free and open source software in that country.

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TELECOTTAGE HANDBOOK: How to establish and run a successful telecentre

A practical guide to establishing a telecottage as well as a valuable source of experiences and lessons learned, this report was prepared by members of the telecottage movement. The Hungarian experience is used as a reference point throughout the report’s different themes and discussions. This publication is intended for ICT professionals, community development practitioners and public administrators who wish to improve social services delivery at a local level, and who recognize that telecottages can be used in service of individual, local and community poverty reduction. Published by UNDP Europe and the CIS in June 2006

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SEEKING TRAINING MATERIALS EXPERTISE: The APC women’s programme APC WNSP is offering a contract to develop a new unit of APC ICT policy training materials focusing on the issue of “Access to information and e-governance in the context of Aarhus convention” for use by civil society organisations in CEE. Deadline for applications is Monday August 18, 2006. Applications should be sent to Katerina Fialova, Gender and ICT Policy Monitor project coordinator: kaca [at] apcwomen.org

ONLINE GREEN ADVOCACY: Vote Nature! Campaign
The Macedonian Green Centre (MGC), in cooperation with six environmental south-eastern European civic organisations started the “Vote Nature!” Campaign. It will be implemented on national and local levels and will aim to inform the voters and initiate debate among the candidates running in the 2006 Parliamentary Elections, on four important topics: protection of Lake Ohrid; energy; waste management; and compliance with environmental obligations set by the European Union.

CALL FOR WIRELESS PROJECT PROPOSALS: The WiLAC portal, APC member EsLaRed, the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC) and the Institute for the Connectivity of the Americas (ICA) announce a call for proposals to participate in the deployment and strengthening of community based wireless networks in Latin America and the Caribbean.

ASIAN CJK GROUP ANNOUNCED: On the 17th of July 2006, the Chinese, Japanese and Korean native-language projects of OpenOffice.org have decided to join forces to form the Asian CJK Native-Language Group of OpenOffice.org.

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ENVIRONMENTAL PRESS CENTRE: At the International Environmental Protection Day, the Croatian Environmental Press Centre launched its website. The activities of this non governmental organisation aim to strengthen environmental journalism, as well as assist the journalists in finding sources of information on the environment.

HUMAN RIGHTS TOOLS: A new website for human rights professionals called Human Rights Tools has recently been launched. It includes: monitoring and fact-finding tools, advocacy tools and other essential resources for human rights work; thematic resources on the protection of detainees, human rights defenders, refugees, and more; the top online databases for resources on human rights law, refugee law and humanitarian law.

IRREPRESSIBLE: Following the success of the launch of its internet freedom campaign in the UK, Amnesty International is now going global with irrepressible.info. The campaign aims to claim back the web as a force for change in the face of an increasing willingness on the part of technology companies to aid censorship and repression.

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23-24 AUGUST: Bangalore, India
Fourth International Conference on the GNU General Public License (GPLv3)

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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!

16-18 AUGUST: Mexico City, Mexico
APC’s Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM) workshop

20-25 AUGUST: Santiago, Chile
International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) World Computer Congress 2006 “Women in the Information Society: A Global Context and Tools for Ensuring Full Participation of Women in Latin America”

21-26 AUGUST: Mexico City, Mexico
Know How Conference – Weaving the information society: a gender and multicultural perspective

25-27 AUGUST: Montreal, Canada
APC-member Alternatives’ Weekend Retreat 2006

31 AUGUST- 1 SEPTEMBER: Oxford, United Kingdom
Internet Governance Forum meeting

31 AUGUST- 1 SEPTEMBER: The Hague, Netherlands
Meeting of Building Communications Opportunities (BCO) alliance

2-7 SEPTEMBER: Prague, Czech Republic
APC Management meeting

6-7 SEPTEMBER: Prague, Czech Republic
APC Executive Board meeting

11-15 SEPTEMBER: Grahamstown, South Africa
Highway Africa

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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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Association for Progressive Communications (APC), 2006

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