From August 2005 until April 2006, an evaluation of APC’s information and communication technology (ICT) policy involvement from 2002 to mid-2005 was carried out by an independent consultant. “The overall conclusion from this evaluation has to be that APC is an energetic, active, committed organisation that has achieved a lot with limited staff and resources. [.. and] APC is highly respected. This respect comes from a range of different players and extends over technical, advocacy, and political aspects of its work”, but, says the writer, “Perhaps the overwhelming message is to aim lower”.
This fifteen page paper by the coordinator of APC’s Latin American ICT Policy Monitor covers the background to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), stakeholders, the process (including the Geneva and Tunis rounds), themes discussed in round one, and looks at results.
In November 2005, the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society will meet for the last time in Tunis. In its five year history, the WSIS has failed to succeed in redressing the North-South “digital divide”. Consensus in the WSIS has been elusive: the private and public sectors hold diametrically opposing views on issues such as market fundamentalism, free and open-source software, and intellectual property rights reform; while on issues of financing and internet governance, agreement between governments has been split along North-South lines. It remains to be seen whether civil society groups participating in the summit will be able to shift attention away from these competing interests towards human rights issues.
“Summits and Strategies”, in Big Brother Goes Global, Karen Banks for Index On Censorship, Volume 3/2005.