APCNews No. 64 May 2006

APCNews, the monthly newsletter of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
May 2006 No. 64
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ESLARED, Venezuela: Wireless connection record in Venezuela: With the feet on the ground and the head in the clouds

A detailed study of Venezuela topography, a trip to Italy, some pieces of public domain software, satellite dishes that cross mountains on all-terrain trucks, cables, generators. This is neither a capricious list nor are its elements surrealist digressions. The elements that we have just enumerated are part of an ambitious endeavour that recently became a reality: to break the world wireless connection record by establishing a 279 km long link. – APCNews

LABORNET, United States: Capetown hosts the 2006 International Labour Communication Meeting

In one of the first international labour communication meetings in South Africa, Capetown-based Workers World Media Productions and the International Federation of Workers Education Association (IFWEA) hosted over 50 trade unionists, labour activists and organisers from non-profit organisations between April 4 and 7, 2006. APC member LaborNet – which is getting ready for the major Labortech conference later this year – is in the field and reports for APCNews. – LaborNet

JINBONET, South Korea: 21st century maxim: The personal is political in the Korean blogging world

There’s power in getting people to talk. When voices get online, and can express themselves, this in itself unleashes a whole new chemistry. Hana Kim – better known by her cyberidentity as ‘Dalgun’ – clearly understands the relevance of her work. Soft-spoken Dalgun is part of the APC-member Korean progressive network Jinbonet (jinbo.net). She talks about the tactics she is involved with to get youngsters to blog. APCNews has met her in Dhaka, Bangladesh in mid-April. – APCNews

COLNODO, Colombia: Empowering women through capacity building

What does a director of a Paraguayan women organisation and a rural Colombian teacher have in common? For APC member in Colombia, Colnodo, the answer is clear. It is their capacity of using information and communication technologies (ICTs) as tools to empower women. This is the reason Colnodo celebrated Women’s Month, in March, with courses, workshops and seminars aimed at making ICT accessible to women from different regions and realities. – Colnodo

FOUNDATION FOR MEDIA ALTERNATIVES, Philippines: FMA rolls out research on seven ICT policy papers

APC’s Manila-based member Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) has initiated a research project aimed at producing seven policy papers. They seek to contribute to policy development in some of the most important areas within the Philippines’ information and communication technology (ICT) arena. – FMA

RITS, Brazil: Telecentres in Brazil: Training builds strength

Telecentres are a model for community ownership of information and communication technologies: a model that works and is gaining strength, according to various successful experiences in Latin America. APC member in Brazil, RITS, is a civil society organisation committed to this new logic, which is based on solidarity. – APCNews

JCA-NET, Japan: JCA-NET: From e-mail inbox to anti wire-tapping in Japan

Tadahisa Hamada of APC-member JCA-NET tells the story of an internet service provider that evolved from a technical support group for Japanese peace and social change organisations, to an advocacy hub. The non-profit is starting to intensify its fight against new wire-tap laws and electronic communication control by the Japanese state. Interview with a first-mover in the technology-for-social-justice realm in Japan. – APCNews

WOUGNET: Report on Post-WSIS and Uganda’s Way Forward workshop

In close collaboration with a Swedish university and civil society groups in Uganda, APC-member WOUGNET has recently made a report available. The general theme of this report is the process and outcomes of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society, with special focus on internet governance, censorship and human rights issues, as well as on Uganda’s way forward. – APCNews

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SPECIAL 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 has he blogged live from the sub continent, he also filed articles and interview reports about this APC-organised event. These will be featured over the next three months 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.

ANALYSIS: WSIS follow-up article on implementation
By Karen Banks, Willie Currie, Anriette Esterhuysen

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process culminated with the Tunis Summit in November 2005 and we are now five months into the post-WSIS implementation phase. … But what does that mean in practice? What are the post-WSIS implementation processes, what actors are involved, when and where are they taking place and how can you get involved? The following ten-page overview sheds some light on these questions, as well as other questions civil society actors have, as we prepare for the first intensive series of post-WSIS panels, workshops and consultations scheduled in May and June 2006. – APCNews

INTER-MEMBER COLLABORATION: Transfer of knowledge for training in GNU/Linux

APC Catalan member Pangea performed training for the technicians at APC London-based member GreenNet. The goal of the collaboration – that benefited from the APC member exchange fund – was to train trainers in the area of introduction to GNU/Linux and free and open source software (FOSS). Both APC members offer web services, mail services, backups and high availability servers to their respective users and have therefore identified services they could share and promote better. The next reloaded GreenNet GNU/Linux training takes place on Friday May 26 at GreenNet’s office. – APCNews

NEWS: APC board and staff meet in South Africa

The board members and staff of the Association for Progressive Communications got together in the last two weeks of March 2006 for the annual coordination of projects, evaluations of programmes and new injection of guidelines from the board. – APCNews

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SPECIAL DHAKA ARTICLE: So near yet so far: Bangladesh awaits a smoother ride to cyberspace

So near, yet so far. Bangladesh is keenly looking forward to having an easier, more affordable and smoother ride into cyberspace, as APCNews staff writer Frederick Noronha finds out. In the eighth most populous country in the world (population 144 million), voices from civil society, the media and industry are increasingly surfacing, as this piece – filed from Dhaka in late April – demonstrates. – APCNews

SPECIAL DHAKA INTERVIEW: Without communication, you’re (economically) dead – Willie Currie

He was involved in broadcasting and telecom policy work in South Africa during the transition to democracy, and in the immediate aftermath of the 1990s establishment of the Mandela government. In the field of policy for the past 15 years, Willie Currie is now APC’s manager of the Communications and Information Policy Programme. In an interview in Dhaka, Bangladesh in April, he explains what the Association for Progressive Communications is concerned about and the important policy issues plaguing our times from an APC point-of-view. – APCNews

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: WSIS follow-up article on implementation
By Karen Banks, Willie Currie, Anriette Esterhuysen

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process culminated with the Tunis Summit in November 2005 and we are now five months into the post-WSIS implementation phase. … But what does that mean in practice? What are the post-WSIS implementation processes, what actors are involved, when and where are they taking place and how can you get involved? The following ten-page overview sheds some light on these questions, as well as other questions civil society actors have, as we prepare for the first intensive series of post-WSIS panels, workshops and consultations scheduled in May and June 2006. – APCNews

ARTICLE: Algeria opens up its voice market to VoIP but sets the bar high

The Algerian telecommunication regulator ARPT took the brave step of allowing 24 internet service providers (ISPs) an experimental licence at the end of April 2004. After the revision of its licensing framework, the first VoIP operator (EEPAD) was granted authorisation to operate a year later in April 2005. Russell Southwood reports on how this legalisation has begun to transform the market. – Balancing Act

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WORKSHOP: North African regional wireless training workshop

Between the 12th and 16th of July 2006, an APC-organised North African Regional Wireless Training Workshop will take place in Morocco. Wireless technologies offer developing countries an important low-cost, versatile alternative to wired infrastructure. They enable communities to extend the reach of cabled internet connectivity and to be in control of the planning, implementation and design of their own networks. Applications need to be in by the 19th of May. – APC SU&CB

NEW RESOURCE: e-Learning module developing electronic communities

The Information Management Resource Kit (IMARK) steering group announces the release of its newest e-learning module ‘Building Electronic Communities and Networks’. The module is designed to help users develop the strategic, interpersonal and technical skills required to establish and sustain electronic communities. It provides an overview of the benefits and opportunities offered by online communities for facilitating knowledge and information exchange. – IMARK

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NEW WEBSITE: GenderIT en espanol: A brand new portal catalyses women’s voices in political sphere

Exactly one year after the successful introduction of GenderIT.org – the gender and information and communication technology (ICT) Policy Monitor in English – the APC WNSP is happy to present GenderIT en espanol, the Spanish counterpart of the monitor with original resources and coverage in Spanish, as well as in Portuguese. – APC WNSP
Visit GenderIT en espanol http://www.genderit.org/esp [Spanish]
Read the announcement in English: http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=a&x=94158

SPECIAL DHAKA INTERVIEW: A chat with Chat: Getting women’s content online is a priority

In between short gaps, and while waiting for the meetings – at the first APC-organised information and communication technology (ICT) policy workshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh – to start, APCNews staff writer Frederick Noronha talks to APC’s women’s programme manager Chat Garcia Ramilo about APC WNSP’s work, priorities and initiatives. Chat took over the APC WNSP challenge in 2004 and works on the policy work of the Women’s Networking Support Programme. – APC WNSP

ARTICLE: Beyond tools: Technology as a feminist agenda

In this piece – published in the March edition of the Development Journal – Chat Garcia Ramilo argues strongly for a feminist agenda on technology. Drawing on the discussions at the AWID Forum, she shows how within the framework of women’s rights technology is a determining factor in women’s sexuality, representation and exploitation, and has to be seen as one more facet of violence against women. She calls on the feminist movement to engage technologies as a site of feminist political struggle. – Development Journal

E-GOV, PART I: E-government in Central Europe: When the gender lens is missing…

The annual e-government conference taking place in the Czech Republic celebrated its ninth year of existence in 2006. Yet, for the first time in its history, equal opportunity for women and men was put on the agenda. The following is a report by Katerina Fialova – a member of APC WNSP and advocate for women’s rights – about her experience in attending and co-organising a panel on gender and ICTs at this year’s e-government meeting in April 2006. Part II next month. – GenderIT.org

ARTICLE: Gender equally matters: Taking GEM to the heart of India

From April 24 to 27, the Datamation Foundation and the APC WNSP organised a gender-evaluation methodology (GEM) training. APCNews has met Cheekay Cinco, one of the co-organisers, in Dhaka. “At the end of using GEM, one of the main outputs is an evaluation plan that incorporates gender. So, it’s not just about answering questions, but about identifying different stages in an evaluation, and where you can involve gender in those stages.” Read the full interview on the APC women’s programme website. – APC WNSP

INTERVIEW: The Burden of The Struggle – Nancy Hafkin engendering change in ICT policy

Cheekay Cinco, member of APC WNSP, interviews Nancy Hafkin, woman pioneer of networking and ICTs development in Africa on her thoughts about the current gender and ICT policy environment. She reflects on the WSIS process and the recent Commission on the Status of Women, and articulates what is urgently needed to render visible the gender dimensions of ICTs at policy levels. – GenderIT.org

SURVEY: RATE US! GenderIT.org evaluation survey

After one year of operations, as part of our commitment to continue to improve GenderIT.org , we are asking you to rate us. Your feedback will assist us in reflecting back on the GenderIT.org’s objectives and roles, and to address better the gender and ICT policy advocacy needs in the different countries and regions. GenderIT.org is an initiative of the APC women’s programme. The survey will take you about 5 minutes to complete – GenderIT.org

SURVEY REPORT: Francophone women’s groups in minority situations and ICTs

Francophone women are less likely to use the internet than Anglophone women (40.4% compared with 55.3%, respectively)” says a survey report released lately on the Womyn’s Voices website. In the spring of 2002, 50 women’s groups working in minority situations in Canada were surveyed on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The project’s scope is limited, looking at Francophone women’s groups working in minority situations. Also since statistics tend to change rapidly, especially concerning ICTs, the data presented may not be an accurate account of today’s reality. It remains a valuable assessment for APC, not only for better understanding our current projects and members in francophone Africa and Canada, but also in preparing our new website in French out in September. – Womyn’s Voices

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SURVEY: Report on sustainable development content for community radios in Africa and Central America

Investigations conducted by both AMARC and Panos respectively indicated that in general, community radio stations are still struggling with producing content on sustainable development. One of the reasons is the lack of understanding and distinction of what sustainable content is especially in the specific context of the different communities. While community radio stations are making efforts to produce shows with environmentally friendly content, this report makes specific recommendations on how community radio station can improve on sustainable programming. AMARC / PANOS Southern Africa / Pronatura-Chiapas / Open Society Foundation

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THE DAILY STAR, Dhaka: Digital divide creating imbalance in society
Thursday April 20, 2006

A business report filed in The Daily Star of Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Thursday April 20 reveals that “Top policy makers yesterday termed digital divide dangerous for the country, saying it is creating imbalance in the society.” Quoting Bangladesh’s principal secretary of the prime minister it goes on saying: “Digital divide is already existing in Bangladesh and widening very fast. Majority of the people do not have access to computer and education…it is very dangerous.” The article has gathered many more voices at the first Asia ICT policy meeting organised by APC in Dhaka. – The Daily Star

THE DAILY STAR, Dhaka: Call for building ICT infrastructure in rural areas
Saturday April 22, 2006

The three-day regional consultation meeting ended in Dhaka yesterday with the call for creating [information and communication technology] ICT infrastructure in rural areas so that people at the grassroots level can have access to education and knowledge. Policies should be formulated with the focus on local issues and local conditions and ‘imported’ policies should be discouraged, the meeting recommended, adding that civil society actors should try to feed policymakers with right solutions. – The Daily Star

INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE, New Delhi: Adding gender-perspective to IT
By Frederick Noronha. Friday April 21, 2006

An international organization is planning a workshop in New Delhi starting Monday to add a gender perspective to the IT industry. Called ‘gender evaluation methodology’ (GEM), the workshop will be organised by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). – Indo-Asian News Service
This article was republished in The Peninsula, Qatar and DailyIndia.com, India.

SHAPTAHIK EKATTOR, Dhaka: Information technology facilitates programmes to alleviate poverty
By Arafatul Islam. Wednesday May 3, 2006

Partha Pratim Sarker is an eminent personality in the country’s Information Technology sector. Through ‘Bytes for all’ platform he is toiling hard to carry the South Asian success story to every nook and corner of the world. For the last 10 years Partha is working on the impact of information technology to development activities. – Ekator
http://www.ekattor.com/Partha.pdf [in Bangla]

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BOUND BY LAW? FAIR USE AND COPYRIGHT: A documentary is being filmed. A cell phone rings, playing the Rocky” theme song. The filmmaker is told she must pay $10,000 to clear the rights to the song. Can this be true? “Eyes on the Prize,” the great civil rights documentary, was pulled from circulation because the filmmakers’ rights to music and footage had expired. What’s going on here? It’s the collision of documentary filmmaking and intellectual property law, and it’s the inspiration for this new comic book. Follow its heroine Akiko as she films her documentary, and navigates the twists and turns of intellectual property. Why do we have copyrights? What’s “fair use”? Bound By Law reaches beyond documentary film to provide a commentary on the most pressing issues facing law, art, property and an increasingly digital world of remixed culture.

AUTOMASITES: READY-TO-GO WEBSITES. The automa-sites seem to be a very useful tool for civil society groups. They allow to created one’s own website by filling a simple online form. The from will automatically send an e-mail to one’s email address, containing all the information necessary to proceed. The application is based on the free and open source software (FOSS) publication system Spip.

GUIDEBOOK: “SUPPORTING WOMEN’S ICT-BASED ENTERPRISES” has recently been completed. This provides practical guidance on how to advocate, initiate and improve IT sector micro-enterprises for women in developing countries. It includes case and story evidence, best practice advice sheets, and frameworks for analysis and evaluation.

REPORT: The NEW MEDIA REVIEW OF MAKE POVERTY HISTORY United Kingdom 2005 platform of the ongoing Global Call to Action Against Poverty, has now been released. It represents a comprehensive evaluation of new media in a coalition campaign around poverty and development. Report: http://www.bond.org.uk/pubs/2005/mph_new_media_review.pdf

ANNUAL REPORT 2006: REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS released its 2006 annual report on May 2. The organisation defending journalists and their assistants writes, everyone’s interested in the internet – especially dictators. The internet has revolutionised the world’s media. But, traditional ‘predators of press freedom all censor the internet now, it warns.

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NEW FOSS LIST: A discussion list to link free and open source software (FOSS) advocates in South Asia has just been launched. With an intention of building regional links and specially encouraging localisation efforts in this populous part of the planet which can really benefit from the power of free-as-in-freedom software. This list takes the form of a sub-group of the wider BytesForAll network.

CALLS FOR PROPOSAL: For the Applied Research Project on Computer Recycling
The Corporation of social studies and education (SUR) of Santiago, Chile is implementing an ambitious research project with the support of IDRC and ICA PanAmericas.

A total of six calls for proposal have been sent out on May 3rd. Here is overview of the themes: E-waste and Municipalities; Governments and Electronic Recycling Policies; International Agreements and Electronic Recycling; E-Waste in Latin America and the Caribbean; Strategies for the Transfer of Used PCs to Latin America and the Caribbean; PC market in Latin America and the Caribbean. Researchers working on the ‘green side’ should submit their proposal via e-mail no later than May 20, 2006.
http://www.ICAmericas.net [click on “Newsroom”]

SOFTWARE-WEBCOLLAB: A collaborative web-based system for projects and project management; WebCollab is easy to use, and encourages users to work together. The software is functionally elegant and secure without being cumbersome for users, or graphically intensive. The software is ideally suited to tracking multiple projects and innumerable small tasks across an organisation of any size. If you have reminder notes stuck all over your desk, then you need WebCollab.

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HUMAN TECHNOLOGY JOURNAL: The third issue of Human Technology has now been published. The theme of this issue is Human Technologies for Special Needs. The articles address various facets of research into technologies to assist those with cognitive, affective, physical, or learning disabilities, or who are affected by the physiological and cognitive declines that come with aging.

SOURCE CENTRE DISABILITY: New directory of key information resources on disability, inclusion and development, produced by the Source International Information Support Centre and Handicap International.

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MAY 17-21: ICTe Africa 2006 – Africa’s second annual conference on information and communication technology (ICT)
Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC)
Nairobi, Kenya

MAY 21-26: Usability Week 2006 conference
London, United Kingdom

MAY 22-24: International radio conference

MAY 24 – 26, Ela e-learning Africa 2006
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

JUNE 19-24: Usability Week 2006 conference
San Francisco, USA

JUNE 24 – 26: iCommons summit
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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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!

MAY 2-5: Washington, USA
Computers, Privacy and Freedom Conference

MAY 8-9: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Knowledge Knowledge Partnership (GKP) international forum

MAY 9-11: Geneva, Switzerland
World Summit on the Information Society follow-up: ITU/UNESCO: Promoting multilingual content

MAY 10: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Knowledge Partnership (GKP) annual members meeting

MAY 11 or 12: Geneva, Switzerland
WSIS: Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) informal consultation on WSIS follow-up

MAY 12: Geneva, Switzerland
WSIS follow-up: UNESCO open consultation on cultural diversity and identity

MAY 15-16: Geneva, Switzerland
WSIS follow-up: Consultation on information security

MAY 15-19: Geneva, Switzerland
WSIS follow-up: Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) annual meeting

MAY 15: Geneva, Switzerland
WSIS follow-up: Consultation on C11 action line: International and regional cooperation

MAY 16: Geneva, Switzerland
WSIS follow-up: Consultation on C1 action line: The role of public governance authorities and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development

MAY 16: Geneva, Switzerland
WSIS follow-up: Consultation on C7 action line: e-government

MAY 17: Geneva, Switzerland
WSIS follow-up: Consultation on C7 action line: e-business and e-employment

MAY 17-21: Sao Paulo, Brazil
GEM (Gender Evaluation Methodology) workshop, with Rede Mulher de Educacao

MAY 18: Geneva, Switzerland
WSIS follow-up: Consultation on C2 action line: infrastructure

MAY 18: Geneva, Switzerland
Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) open panel

MAY 19: Geneva, Switzerland
WSIS follow-up: Internet Governance Forum (IGF) consultations

MAY 22-23: Geneva, Switzerland
WSIS follow-up: IGF Advisory group meeting

MAY 23: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Gender and ICTs workshop with Young Feminist Women’s Network

MAY 30-31: Harare, Zimbabwe
Women’sNet Zimbabwe training

MAY 30-31: San Jose, USA
Netsquared conference

JUNE 6-8: Bangkok, Thailand
Asian Conference on Digital Commons (Bellanet)
Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies

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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 Archive: http://www.apc.org/english/news/apcnews/

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Attribution-NonCommercial Licence 2.0
Association for Progressive Communications (APC), 2006

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