Alternatives –the Action and Communication Network for International Development- joined APC in November 2003. Alternatives is based in Montreal, Canada, and works on a regional, national and international level with non-governmental organisations defending the interests of vulnerable populations; specifically, labourers, women and young people constructing a more environmentally conscious, humane and democratic society.
APC is delighted to announce that BlueLink’s project “Regional Environmental Content Sharing in the South Eastern European (SEE) Region” has made it to the final of the Stockholm Challenge Awards for pioneering IT projects worldwide. The platform designed for non-profit users became one of the nine finalists of the “Environment” category selected from over 900 applicants for the annual awards. Another APC member StrawberryNet is a partner in the successful project which is based on a content exchange replication process developed by APC and made possible using APC’s free software, the APC ActionApps.
See the finalists.
New intellectual property law forces Cambodians to start developing their own Khmer-language software
“We envision, in 2007, a country where Cambodians can learn and use computers in their own language, a country that does not have to change to a new language in order to use computers!” say the activists behind the new KhmerOS initiative. Until now, computer use in Cambodia has been mostly in English, and mostly using unlicensed copies of Microsoft Windows products. However, a new Cambodian intellectual property law means that a user will have to purchase a license for each copy of software sold by companies such as Microsoft and that’s unaffordable for most Cambodian computer users. This new portal coordinated by APC member, Open Forum of Cambodia, gets together some previously isolated developers and is starting out by providing Khmer translations of well-known free software programmes such as Mozilla (the powerful web browser and mail programme). But the eventual goal is to create a full applications package under GNU/Linux, "which has 90% of all applications which 100% of all users need". Find out more about the motivation behind KhmerOS.
Women’sNet, an APC member in South Africa, is hosting a regional workshop to be held in Johannesburg in February which will bring together women’s organisations, government officials, and gender and development practitioners and researchers, involved in gender and information and communication projects and initiatives.
Since 1997, Intercom – Ecuanex, APC member in Ecuador, has published ‘Conexión’ a newsletter featuring resources and news on the use of internet for the democratisation of communication and human development. Now since edition no. 58, thanks to the support of the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD), Conexion will be getting a face-lift which will include full-colour printing and new in-depth sections. Published three times a year and with an increased distribution, Intercom will broaden its ICT for development coverage. Visit Conexion.
Kenya needs a workable and all-inclusive ICT policy and this is only possible through a partnership approach. This was the conclusion of a stakeholder’s forum held in Nairobi in November 2003 that brought together members of the government, the private sector and civil society organizations interested in ICT policy issues to deliberate on an all inclusive information society in Kenya and Kenya’s participation at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
CEPES, one of APC’s newest members, has trained participants in a rural-urban information service to set up a portal and exchange agricultural information from six telecentres in a remote area of the northern Peruvian sierras. A replication of the course is being organised for staff at the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture’s offices in the same region. The technology of choice is APC’s free software, APC ActionApps.
Reports and news on the fourth edition of the World Social Forum, which had its venue for the first time in Asia. This year the Forum, held in Mumbai, focused on imperialist globalization, religious sectarianism, identity politics and fundamentalism, castes, racism and social exclusion, patriarchy and militarization.
The conference addressed the challenges and opportunities of the creation and use of free / open source software and open content and their development potential for Africa. The conference had both strategic and practical objectives, as it sought to bring together participants from government, education, business and civil society together with the developer community.
Nineteen women from all over India participated in the Women’s Electronic Network Training Workshop in India (WENT-IN) where they trained in planning effective web-based information services, and in using online communication tools to advance their networking and advocacy work.