APCNews No. 66 July 2006

APCNews, the monthly newsletter of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
July 2006 No. 66
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C2O, Australia: Australia, where technology plays the role of spoilsport

Australia has had a very liberal community-broadcasting regime. But could technology, and the interests of big business, change that all? That’s the fear of media campaigners Down Under. – APCNews

COLNODO, Colombia: Online communities for sustainable development

All online communities are there to connect people who share worldviews and above all, share the need to carry out concrete activities to bring them closer to reality. The environmental movement has been a pioneer in incorporating information and communication technologies (ICTs) for advocacy and as a working method. – APCNews

JINBONET, South Korea: A Korean seven year old, fighting to open space for civil society

Jinbonet, APC’s member in Korea, is seven years old. Last year, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions was one of the biggest groups they provided hosting to. In a country that has one of the best internet infrastructures – technically speaking – in the world, concern over the rights of citizens in cyberspace are strong. This article looks at some of the recent issues emerging in East Asia. – APCNews

NODO TAU, Argentina: Connected over the air in Paraguay

Between April 19 and 29, the Alto Vera district – some 400 kilometres from Asunción, Paraguay’s capital – was host to a mobile wireless connection training. Two members of APC group Nodo Tau participated. One of them, the training team’s Maria Cristina Ojeda found that “the mobile wi-fi system is interesting and is going to be very useful for the local people. Personally, I learnt a great deal. In the technical sense, I learned how to install antennas, hardware and software related to wi-fi.” Read how technology can work wonders if applied creatively. – Nodo Tau

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APC WELCOMES ITS THREE NEW MEMBERS: FUNREDES of the Dominican Republic, the Institute for popular democracy of the Philippines and VOICES of Bangladesh. All three bring along experience in ‘internet and technology for social justice’ research and action, to the Association of Progressive Communications. The APC now counts 44 members from Africa, the Asia Pacific region, Europe, Latin America, North America, as well as the Caribbean. Read the following three profiles for details about our new members.

FUNREDES, Dominican Republic: New member, new synergies: Interview with Daniel Pimienta, Director of FUNREDES

Each member provides the APC network its unique perspective and experience, thus participating in the construction of a rich and diverse global community. FUNREDES is no exception: this new APC member comes into the network with an almost 20-year history in information and communication technologies (ICTs), a key geographical position (it is the only member in the Caribbean) and great thematic diversity. APCNews talked with its director, Daniel Pimienta – APCNews

INSTITUTE FOR POPULAR DEMOCRACY, Philippines: Political, economic research for social movements: The IPD is APC’s new member

Research for change, advocacy for democracy, analyses for action, education for empowerment. Going beyond the slogans is the Institute for Popular Democracy (IPD), a Philippines-based two-decade-old group that has just joined the APC as a member. A fairly large organisation by non-profit standards, that is, IPD has a website that takes an overtly political stance over challenges facing the country it’s operating in. – APCNews

VOICE, Bangladesh: VOICE, new APC member in Dhaka, turning up the volume for the unheard

One of the APC’s newest – of three – members is the Bangladesh-based Voices for Interactive Choice and Empowerment, or simply VOICE. It’s located in the Shyamoli locality of the national capital of Dhaka and works through advocacy and partnership networking. It says it believes in promoting the capacity, knowledge and empowerment of people, the voices of the unheard. – APCNews

APC TRANSLATION: We are expanding our translation team

APC is seeking professional:
-Spanish-to-English translators (native English speakers)
-English/Spanish-to-French translators (native French speakers)
-Spanish-to-Portuguese translators (native Brazilian Portuguese speakers)
-English-to-Arabic translators (native Arabic speakers)
… for occasional freelance work.

We’d like to hear about your areas of experience working with texts particularly related to internet/civil society/gender issues for an international audience.

Please send a short email in English or French explaining your interest in working for APC, your CV in English, sample texts (especially if they relate to the above) and your rates per word in the original language to info@apc.org with the subject line “APC Translation: freelance”.

SPECIAL DHAKA COVERAGE: South Asia ICT policy workshop and Asian APC members

APC staff writer Frederick Noronha travelled to Dhaka, Bangladesh last April to attend the first regional consultation on ICT policy in South Asia. He interviewed participants from Japan, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Korea, India and many more countries. Not only did he blog live from the sub continent, he also filed articles and interview reports about this APC-organised event. These were featured the last two months and over the next month in APCNews. Visit http://www.blog.apc.org for fresh original updates. In-depth coverage can be found in this APCNews in the ‘News from members’ and ‘ICT policy’ sections.

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QUICK NEWS: Forum on the internet in society, Ecuador

APC and WiLAC – the information portal about wireless projects in Latin America and the Caribbean – are organising a “Forum on Internet and Society” on July 24-28, 2006 in Quito, Ecuador. This is intended to promote participant involvement in considering information and communication technologies from the perspective of development. – APCNews

ASIA COMMONS COVERAGE: The Commons through Asian eyes

APC members took an active part at the Asia Commons Conference, a first-of-its-kind event held from June 6 to 8 2006 in the Thai capital of Bangkok. Some expected more concrete action could come out of it. But this meet was a great start to building links and planning ‘common’ action at the Asian level. – APCNews

ARTICLE: Looking beyond 2007, workshop on the future of SAT3

In July 2006, APC is to hold a workshop at Johannesburg, which will crystal-gaze into the future and discuss the future of SAT3, a crucial submarine cable on which hinges Africa’s chances to get a smoother ride to cyberspace. – APCNews

SPECIAL FEATURE: Participation, the Achilles heel of eLAC2007

It is widely known that the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean adopted the regional plan of action for the information society, eLAC2007, in June 2005 in Rio de Janeiro. They developed a mechanism for its implementation in November of the same year during the World Summit on the Information Society, which was held in Tunisia. But what real results have been reached to date? Follow the discussion on eLAC2007. – APCNews

SPECIAL DHAKA ARTICLE: Low cost mobile are coming in, but how to minimise thefts?

The good news is that mobile phones are becoming cheaper. But the not-so-good news is that the mobile global industry is yet to take up creative solutions to ensure that the mobile handsets increasingly being used by the less-affluent are not stolen from them. – APCNews

SPECIAL DHAKA STUDY: Hello, hello… spotlight on how the poor use their phones

What kinds of phone connections do the poor use? How much do they spend on telecom services? Are they willing to spend more? How do they choose their phone connection? What do they use phones for? And, what difficulties do they face while doing so? Many questions here… but the hints of possible answers come up in a South Asian study that looks at telecom users in India and Sri Lanka who have monthly incomes of less than USD$ 100. – APCNews

COMING SOON: APC talks to campaigners ‘Catalysing Access to ICTs in Africa’ in five countries

Alan Finlay of the APC’s Africa ICT policy monitor has carried out six short interviews with CATIA policy “animators” from as many countries in June and July. Animators have been galvanising action to bring down the cost of internet access from Kinshasa cybercafes, lower international telephone costs by increasing competition in Kenya and more. They will be out on July 31 in the next issue of Chakula, the monitor’s newsletter. Subscribe to Chakula:
Visit the APC Africa ICT Policy Monitor: http://africa.rights.apc.org

FROM THE APC BLOG: ICT policy portal workshop, London – Learning points
By Rozi Bako

A five days exposure to intensive learning about the ICT-policy issues and tracks throughout the APC network helped me stay tuned and understand the importance of what we all are doing. – APC blog

FROM THE APC BLOG: ICT policy portal workshop, London – Jargon busting session
By Zoltan Varady

Murali Shanmugavelan is a journalist and editor at Panos. He told us what kind of stories he’d like to receive from us as an editor of newspaper. Murali emphasized a couple of points: News articles should be stories. Advocacy groups often post just their success stories. These tend to be boring. Do include your interesting failures as well, also any trouble you encountered during the campaign. These make a story livelier. – APC blog

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BETINHO PRIZE SERIES: Seeing and transforming the world through community telecentres

Read the series of stories about Chilean telecentres, narrated by FLASCO Chile. This group was one of the two winners of APC’s 2005 Betinho Communication Prize. According to the jury, their networking efforts are “improving the lives of individuals and communities in Latin America and producing real economic benefits”. What exactly is their networking about? What is its real impact, what real life stories are to be found in the background? APCNews discussed this with the team behind the scenes. A telecentre series in six parts… – APCNews

WIKI PART II: Find your wiki at the bazaar

“The word wiki is a shorter form of wiki wiki (weekie, weekie) which is from native Hawaiian, in which it is commonly used as an adjective to denote something ‘quick’ or ‘fast’,” says Wikipedia, the world’s most important collaborative online encyclopaedia. Fast and quick, they are. But did you know they were free and open? While shedding light on the larger context of free and open source software developed tools, this second article on wikis looks at the concrete experience APC’s Strategic Uses and Capacity Building (SU&CB) programme made with wikis. It delves into the MediaWiki and the TikiWiki. – APCNews

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ARTICLE: Culture, local traditions, and taboo – Challenges to the full expression of women’s voices

Popular communicators working in Brazil’s community radio-telecentres at the achievements and fears they experience in expressing themselves. As members of the feminist Cyberela Network, the communicators explain why they practice self-censorship and how they gradually overcome taboos and prejudices through their work with microphones and screens. – GenderIT.org

TRAINING REPORT: APC and Colnodo training: When teachers become students

As part of APC’s Women’s Networking Support Programme, Colnodo trained 50 teachers belonging to the Colombian Federation of Educators on the use of basic internet tools. – Colnodo

INTERVIEW: Tools for Communication Rights in Malaysia

GenderIT.org speaks with one of the most vocal media and communication rights advocates in Malaysia, Sonia Randhawa, about motivations, communication technologies, rights, democracy, tactics and gender. Sonia currently sits as the Executive Director of the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ). Apart from conducting regular trainings on independent media and communications strategies, CIJ is also developing community radio programmes that innovatively combine “old” and “new” technologies – radio and the internet – through Radiq Radio. – GenderIT.org

ANALYSIS: Gender, Trade and the role of ICTs in economic growth

While trade offers opportunities for women’s socio-economic empowerment and growth in Africa, it can perpetuate women’s marginalisation and engender inequalities. This in turn hampers the ultimate goal of trade: growth and development. – GenderIT.org

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IN-DEPTH ARTICLE: E stands for environment: ICT tools to empower activists struggling to protect environment around the world

A working group of APC members aims to bring environment higher on the ICT policy priorities of global civil society. Information and communication technologies are a powerful tool for civil society protecting environment. But more is needed to streamline ICT work of different groups and communities, and offer them access to the ICTs they need to secure environmental sustainability, a BlueLink/APC survey shows. – Pavel Antonov for APCNews

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TECTONIC.ZA, South Africa: Ethiopian activists promote FOSS
Tuesday July 11, 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. The series of three workshops will cover a range of topics from FOSS policy discussions to advanced systems administrator training and will be running from 10 to 21 July in Addis Ababa. – Tectonic.za

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BRIEFING FOR JOURNALISTS: What’s stopping a wireless revolution?

For many people in the world, communication facilities are unreliable, slow and costly. Wireless technology can transform this drastically. So why are some governments restricting its wider use? Panos’ fourth short briefing for journalists on ICTs and the ‘information society’ includes a number of references to APC and partner websites – rights.apc.org, fibre-for-africa.org, catia.ws, balancingact.org among others. This brief was prepared with South African e-mail pioneer Mike Jensen, Ethiopian expert on ICTs Lishan Adam, and wireless experts Alberto Escudero-Pascual and Onno W Purbo of Indonesia.

WORSHOP MATERIAL: Gender, ICTs and Development

Workshop held at the University of Manchester’s Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) on June 6, 2006. The workshop was organised by the “Women’s ICT-Based Enterprise for Development” project. This was primarily a research workshop and presentations were predominately findings of studies on the impact of ICTs on the ‘welfare’ of women in developing countries.

REVAMPED MAILING LIST ON ICTD: DO Channel, the global portal on information and communication technology (ICT) for development, has launched the revamped DO Channel mailing list focusing exclusively on ICTs and the Millenium Development Goals.

MEDIA STRATEGIES FOR VULNERABLE GROUPS: ‘Communication for Empowerment: developing media strategies in support of vulnerable groups’ is produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bureau for Development Policy, Democratic Governance Group, in 2006. The 48 page long document is downloadable at:

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E-BOOK ON TELECENTRES: Telecentre.org launches an e-book and an online contest

telecentre.org is launching the electronic version of the book ‘From the Ground Up’, a piece collecting images, stories and experiences from users and members of the telecentre movement around the world. To celebrate the launch and in a bid to reflect the diversity of the movement, telecentre.org is inviting contributors in three languages English, French and Spanish at http://ebook.telecentre.org/contest

APC TRANSLATION: We are expanding our translation team

APC is seeking professional Spanish-to-English; English/Spanish-to-French; Spanish-to-Portuguese; English-to-Arabic translators for occasional freelance work. Please send a short email in English or French explaining your interest in working for APC, your CV in English, sample texts (especially if they relate to the above) and your rates per word in the original language to info@apc.org with the subject line “APC Translation: freelance”.

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AsiaCommons: The Asian conference on the digital commons, was held in Bangkok, Thailand, from June 6-8, 2006. See the detailed coverage of the event:

Wireless networking in the developing world
This website contains a book on wireless networking in developing countries. It is licensed as Creative Commons and just recently also available in Spanish.

Open-source Drupal project and community internship programme

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JULY 10-11: Global Knowledge Partnership Africa regional meeting
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

JULY 12-14: 10th International conference on computers helping people
with special needs
Linz, Austria

JULY 20-23: 2nd International Conference on Social and Organisational Informatics and Cybernatics, SOIC ‘06
Orlando, Florida, USA

JULY 21-23: Conference on IT and Economic Development (CITED) – Reaching out for technology enabled development
University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana

JULY 23-28: Knowledge Societies for All: Media and Communication Strategies
Cairo, Egypt

JULY 25 – AUGUST 1: Radio Reporting Using Digital Technology Training
Kathmandu, Nepal

AUGUST 9-10: The Mozambique National ICT Convention
Maputo, Mozambique

AUGUST 23-24: E-government, digital learning and telecentre forum
Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS)
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!

JULY 3-27: Geneva, Switzerland
ECOSOC substantive session (includes discussion about WSIS)

JULY 13-15: Dakar, Senegal
CIPACO (Centre for International ICT Policies Central and West Africa)
West Africa workshop on internet governance

JULY 18-20: Puembo, Ecuador
Infodesarrollo.EC portal-strengthening workshop

JULY 24-25: Johannesburg, South Africa
SAT3 Cable Workshop

JULY 24-28: Quito, Ecuador
WALC (full name pls): APC’s Latin American policy monitor and women’s programme are coordinating the track “Internet and Society”

JULY 31- AUGUST 1: Montevideo, Uruguay
AMARCAPC meeting to prepare joint research ”Broadcasting for social inclusion”

AUGUST 3-4: Johannesburg, South Africa
Catalysing Access to ICT in Africa (CATIA) component lead meeting

AUGUST 3-4: Prague, Czech Republic
Big Brother Awards Czech Republic

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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. APCNews

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Association for Progressive Communications (APC), 2006

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