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Steps forward toward an Ecuadorian information and communication technology network for development

QUITO, ECUADOR 29 March 2004 (INTERCOM)

An “Information and Knowledge Exchange Network on Information Communication Technology for Development” for Ecuador has been created.

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Southern civil societies portal launches monthly bulletin

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 29 March 2004

Choike, the southern civil societies portal produced by APC member in Uruguay, the Third World Institute (ITeM), is now offering a monthly newsletter. This month’s features special reports on the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and migrant sex work. The specials are produced by Choike’s editorial team but they take their sources from the work of civil societies in the South. Subscribe to the Choike bulletin.

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Brazilian publication on the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL 29 March 2004 (RITS)

On April 28, APC member in Brazil, RITS, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation will present a new publication "The World Summit on the Information Society: a subject for everyone". Composed of analytical articles on the principal issues involved in the WSIS process, the book will also look at the Summit Declaration and Action Plan and the civil society declaration. The presentation will also include a debate with panelists – Sergio Amadeu da Silveira, president of the National Information Technology Institute, and ambassador Clodoaldo Hugueney, representative of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. According to Paulo Lima, RITS director, this is the opportunity to place in the balance the Summit up till now and its strategic importance as well as broadening the debate and the participation of civil society in information society issues. More about RITS.

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Two thousand telecentre users from marginal neighbourhoods in São Paulo surveyed

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL 29 March 2004

In December 2003, APC’s member in Brazil RITS carried out a survey of the users of 10 of the 107 municipal telecentres that serve under-privileged neighbourhoods in São Paulo in order to find out who’s using them, users’ habits and preferences when they visit the centres and use the internet, and to find out what their expectations and possibilities are regarding really getting the most out of ICTs. Two thousand questionnaires were distributed in different neighbourhoods. The results of the survey will be posted on the OPPI – the Observatory of Public Policies on Infoinclusion in Brazil- at the end of May. Find out more about RITS’s involvement in the telecentres.

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Theta on Survival & Prosperity in the NGO Sector - The Role of Technology in Strengthening Organisational Capacity

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 29 March 2004 (SANGONeT)

During the past few years the South African non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector has experienced dramatic changes. In the 1990s many NGOs were forced to close down because of a lack of funding and related organisational problems. APC member in Johannesburg, SANGONeT, is currently in the process of establishing various new partnerships and brokering arrangements in support of its ICT service delivery activities and services to the South African NGO sector. To assist in developing these ICT services, SANGONeT is offering this Thetha –or discussion- in early April.

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Choosing open source software: Decision-making materials for civil society organisations

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 29 March 2004 (APCNews)

Free and open source software (FOSS) holds a great deal of potential for civil society organisations. The most obvious benefit of FOSS is that it is often free to use or low-cost. However, it also offers more including crucially better security. Ddid you know that if your computer uses the GNU/Linux operating system you don’t have to use anti-virus software? No more days or data lost recovering from the latest virus…

The materials available in the MultiMedia Toolkit’s latest unit on FOSS provide an introduction to FOSS, tackling questions like ‘what is open source?’ and ‘how will it benefit my organisation?’ They also include practical advice on how to review open source software packages and select the right ones for your organisation.

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Choosing open source software: Decision-making materials for civil society organisations

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 29 March 2004 (APCNews)

Free and open source software (FOSS) holds a great deal of potential for civil society organisations. The most obvious benefit of FOSS is that it is often free to use or low-cost. However, it also offers more including crucially better security. Ddid you know that if your computer uses the GNU/Linux operating system you don’t have to use anti-virus software? No more days or data lost recovering from the latest virus…

The materials available in the MultiMedia Toolkit’s latest unit on FOSS provide an introduction to FOSS, tackling questions like ‘what is open source?’ and ‘how will it benefit my organisation?’ They also include practical advice on how to review open source software packages and select the right ones for your organisation.

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APC in Latin America and the Caribbean

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 26 March 2004 (APCNews)

APC has been present in Latin America since the late 1980s when two of our founding members were technology activist groups based in Nicaragua and Brazil. Here we briefly summarise our current internet and information and communications technology (ICT) policy efforts in the region, the innovative work of the Latin American branch of APC women’s programme in Latin America and last year’s APC Betinho Communications Prize which recognises notable technology initiatives in the region.

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Internet to improve local government transparency and accountability in Colombia

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA 20 March 2004 (Colnodo)

Transparency for Colombia and APC member Colnodo recently donated their new software “Internet for Accountability” to allow a mass take-up of the ‘good government’ tool. More than 500 municipalities will receive the software plus internet access on the signing of a transparency and anti-corruption agreement.

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Positioning for second summit phase has begun

GERMANY 20 March 2004

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.

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