APCNews 106 – August 20 2009 - APC Progress report 2004 - 2008

APCNews – August 20 2009 – Year X Issue 106
The news service on internet for social justice and sustainable development
APC’s 2004-2008 strategic priorities were defined in late 2003 in Colombia, where APC members used their local knowledge of how civil society groups are using the internet for positive social change to assess the opportunities for APC to make a difference on how people use and think about the internet worldwide. What changes were brought about? No social change is the work of purely one organisation however in this period, we have worked to make sure policy makers increasingly see ICT policy as essential to development. As a consequence of our capacity-building work with hundreds of organisations, we helped transform how women’s movements think about technology and the internet. And we trained almost 700 social change organisations in ICT policy and the strategic use of technology. Hundreds of people living in Latin America and Africa are able to set up cheap, wireless internet connections to the internet thanks in part to APC. APCNews extracts some of the most inspiring stories from the APC Progress Report for 2004 to 2008.

From Colombia to social change: APC reviews our journey from 2004 – 2008

MONTEVIDEO (APC for APCNews) – In late 2003 APC gathered in Colombia to define our strategic priorities for the following five years. Like most good APC meetings, the event mixed politics with capacity building, debate and dialogue with dancing, and it was the largest meeting in our history at the time. Looking back over this period in earnest is quite intimidating. We hope that the APC Progress Report for 2004 to 2008 will give you some idea of those challenges and gives us an opportunity to recognise why APC is what it is and why we do what we do – making the world a better place by helping people gain the access, the skills, and the rights they need to work together online.

The strategic use of technology for social change: APC and the women’s movement

MONTEVIDEO (APC for APCNews) – As a consequence of our capacity-building work with hundreds of organisations and people from the women’s movement, we believe that we have helped to transform how the women’s movement thinks about technology and the internet, and that their confidence has been built to use technology more and more creatively to further women’s rights. “In the last five years, we have worked with many people and organisations,” says women’s programme coordinator Chat Garcia Ramilo. “What we have discovered is that this overall process of capacity building takes a long time, but if we persist long enough, we find out what changes it brings about.”

Ensuring the internet is run with rights at the fore: APC and the internet governance forum

MONTEVIDEO (APC for APCNews) – The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was set up in 2006 as a kind of “pressure relief valve” for some of the most controversial international discussions on the future of the internet. The IGF provides a space where this type of dialogue, between adversarial opponents, can really move towards deepening understanding and ultimately influencing decision makers to make better internet policy for a more just world. Learning to listen to traditional adversaries, understand different perspectives and look for common solutions to complex problems, without losing sight of closely held values and principles, has not come easily to an international rights-based NGO with a broad activist membership like APC. We explore our role in the creation and development of the IGF and its agenda.

ICTs and women’s equality: APC and the gender evaluation methodology (GEM)

MONTEVIDEO (APC for APCNews) – “With GEM I began to appreciate why sometimes the women that are part of our community resist the empowerment process. I used to be annoyed but now I understand that this is the product of years of conditioning and it will take some effort to reverse the trend. GEM helps you see the situation for what it is, so you can optimise your resources where you can make the maximum impact in creating change,” John Dada has been a GEM user since 2007 in rural Nigeria. GEM is an evaluation tool for determining whether ICTs are really improving or worsening women’s lives and for promoting positive change. GEM has been developed from the ground up, and has involved the collaboration of hundreds of community-based organisations and individuals since its first design in 2002.

Download APC’s 2004 – 2008 Progress Report

We wish to thank the thousands of people and organisations with whom we have come into contact and worked together over the last five years for positive social change. You will find many of them featured in the report which you can now download in English and next month in French and Spanish.



Congo – internet access for a day’s wage


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APCNews is produced by APC – a worldwide network supporting the use of internet and ICTs for social justice and sustainable development since 1990. Sister news services APCNoticias and APCNouvelles offer original coverage in Spanish and French.

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