The structure as well as the struggles for the second
phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) summit process are slowly becoming clearer. One thing is clear: It will be more complex than the first round, as it has to deal with many more loose ends. WSIS 2003 only had to deliver two pieces of paper (the declaration of principles and the action plan). This left a lot of time for endless discussions, arm-twisting on wording, sorting out friends or foes in different arenas, and for civil society to start playing inside the official UN process. Now, the negotiators from Geneva will meet the real world. And as conflicts remain, the actors are positioning themselves for the second round.
Carlos Afonso, director of planning at RITS
APC’s Brazilian member organisation outlines the digital inclusion opportunities and initiatives carried out in Brazil so far, from the successful ones to the dismal failures. According to Afonso, despite the flurry of acronyms being thrown around, Brazil still does not have a national strategy that will provide the majority of Brazilians with access to the internet. He believe it’s crucial that the Brazilan government gets involved in the set-up of community telecentres and computers in schools and public libraries – the cheapest and most efficient way of democratising access to information and communication technologies.
After the excesses of Christmas and New Year, the CRIS Campaign in their own words has been very quiet in the early part of 2004. However, the team is back with an update on the First World Forum on Communication Rights held in Geneva in December, plans for CRIS for 2004 and an invitation for local networks to become part of CRIS.
The depth of disappointment with the formal outcome of the World Summit on the Information Society cannot be fully explained by reference to the usual process of summit attrition, governments horse-trading down to the lowest common denominator.
There’s a new openness since the Lula government came to power at the beginning of 2003 and began working hand-in-hand with Brazilian civil society to change the way the internet is being governed in Brazil. It’s been announced that the committee which handles all Brazilian-registered website addresses will be chosen in public online elections. For the first time since the .br registry was created in 1995, members of civil society will be elected and can participate directly in the deliberations.
The ItrainOnline partnership has recently released nine new Multimedia Training Kit (MMTK) units on the following topics: open source software; OpenOffice.org; radio browsing; reporting on HIV/AIDS; and older and refurbished computers.
All materials are available on the ItrainOnline site. Go and find out more!
APC’s free content management system designed specifically for progressive organisations to publish news automatically and share content at the click of a button has been nominated one of the best open source software tools that can be used by activists to spread the message and promote interaction by e-newsletters, forums, blogs, and online petitions.
Compiled by Dan Bashaw and Mike Gifford in an article for the Democracies Online Newswire APC ActionApps came out tops along with other well-known applications like PostNuke, Twiki and WebCards.
CENTRAS in collaboration with APC member, the Strawberrynet Foundation, has launched the first tri-language database of non-governmental organisations in Romania", RO_NGO.
The Brazilian government has decided to support this transition to a new internet governance structure for the administration of “.br”. ITI and Abong outline the process which involves elections and the nominations of candidates from civil society, government and the science and technology sectors in this article translated into English by APC.
“The Andalusian Institute for Women decided to invite the GEM team after learning about the tool via the website where it is now in English, Portuguese and Spanish,” said Dafne Sabanes Plou, regional coordinator for GEM in Latin America.