In September 2006, APC launched a new prize called the Chris Nicol FOSS Prize. It’s meant to encourage projects that make use of innovative free and open source software technologies in their activities. Coordinator Karel Novotny was asked by Brazilian journalist Luisa Gockel why the ordinary user should care about this relatively new F-O-S-S acronym.
A consortium of socially-aware free and open source software advocates was launched on Software Freedom Day, September 16 2006, at the University of the Philippines. Commonly referred to as BUKAS (new open formation), it consists of seventeen organisations, which share the view that FOSS has become a political imperative in light of the actual Filipino “intellectual property” regime. “Information technology should make us not just a nation of users but a nation of creators. This can be done much better with Linux,” a founding member declared at the launch.
In the midst of an armed conflict, organising an audiovisual communication workshop for youth does not tend to be a priority for groups working in the area. Nevertheless, for the International Peace Observatory (IPO), a Colombian organisation that was a finalist for the Betinho prize in 2005, it is essential that small farmer communities – who are the first victims of the war – be able to tell their stories. APCNews spoke to Laura Lorenzi, president of the IPO, about how new technologies can become arms in the struggle against the war.
For Colnodo, APC member in Colombia, its commitment to the “strategic use of the internet for development” takes a variety of forms: from work with the government in the policy realm, to training for women, and resource exchange with community media. APCNews spoke to Olga Paz, administrative and projects coordinator, about various Colnodo activist campaigns for the democratisation of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The encounter took place in London at the ICT policy portals meeting organised by APC in late June.
I still remember that sad Ramadan evening, when news of massive killings started coming in. It indeed was terrible and horrific to see what media was showing. Huge number of dead bodies, crying children and women, and injured lying with wounds bleeding and no medication. Though the disaster was over in less than a minute but left behind colossal damages, miseries and sufferings for affected people.
This paper, by Kate Wild, was commissioned by the APC as part of the Catalysing Access to ICTs in Africa (CATIA) initiative. It looks at the meaning and importance of convergence and considers some of the challenges to implementing it, along with strategies for overcoming them. It also provides a global perspective on regulating convergence and broadband from ITU and then looks at experiences in North America and Europe as well as regional and country approaches in Africa (PDF format).
This paper was commissioned by the APC as part of the Catalysing Access to ICTs in Africa initiative and to contribute to APC’s efforts to promote open access to ICT infrastructure in Africa. According to the author, Mike Jensen, a variety of factors is responsible for the lack of acess to bandwith in Africa, but the biggest cause is the high cost of international connections to the global telecommunication backbones (PDF format).
“Enhance the information and communication technology (ICT) skills of self-taught Burmese techies, that’s what we’re here for,” explained APC WNSP staff member Cheekay Cinco. Cinco was one of very few women trainers present in northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai for the Burma technology skills training workshop that was held at the end of August.
2005 will be the year the Association for Progressive Communications remembers most for the World Summit on the Information Summit. But, says the just released Annual Report 2005, that event – which culminated in Tunis in November of 2005 – was like a struggle to finding the forest among the trees. Read about the issues APC grappled with and the key highlights from our worldwide membership in the downloadable report, available in English and Spanish.
Unequal access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) has generated new inequalities, according to Social Watch -a coalition of 400 non-governmental organisations present in 60 countries. This year’s report, the eleventh edition, finds there is an urgent need to reform the current international financial structure to fulfil national and international commitments to eradicate poverty and promote gender equity.