APC dedicates flagship publication to A.K. Mahan, activist who valued intellectual rigour and concrete outcomes
Amy Mahan, a long-time collaborator of APC, died unexpectedly on March 5. Amy was a fervent supporter of Global Information Society Watch, a watchdog report that has become recognised as an essential reference by activists and critics in ICT policy all over the world, since its conception. APC will be dedicating the 2009 edition of GISWatch to be published in November in her honour. Amy touched all who worked with her, leaving a legacy of activist work that aspires to combine intellectual rigour and concrete outcomes that make a difference in the lives of people who lack resources, power and access.
UNESCO-IPDC (International Programme for the Development of Communication)
“Fostering Media Development.
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.
“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.
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.
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.”
A company that has done quite a nice job putting all the requirements of a website together in one platform is WEBRIQ, with an innovative online website builder suited to fit the needs of any small an
In a new publication “Change at hand: Web 2.0 for development”, APC’s Anriette Esterhuysen explores the circular relationship between information and communication technologies for development and Web 2.0 for development, and the assumptions about the “quick fix” that ICTs were expected to provide.
APC’s women’s programme has started a really cool research project on sexuality and the internet.