APC has been playing a leading role in civil society-led global ICT policy advocacy since the inception of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in February 2001. Since the conclusion of the WSIS process in December 2005 APC has been active in follow-up global forums as well as in various related regional processes in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
In 2007 APC joined forces first with ITeM (the Third World Institute) and Hivos, a Dutch non-governmental organisation, to produce the first Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) annual report. The partners recognised that there was a need for a structured, action-oriented monitoring mechanism from a civil society perspective to help ensure that the WSIS stakeholders meet their commitments at the global, regional, and national levels.
This vision resulted in the overarching aim of GISW: to become the premier information platform for civil society perspectives on the state of the Information Society on global, regional and national levels, as well as a vehicle for improvement of an Information Society that deepens democracy and social justice.
This independent evaluation of GISW was commissioned by APC. The aims of the evaluation were to:
- understand, by reflecting on the collective experience of primary and secondary stakeholders/target groups, what have been the strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities experienced/presented through/by participation in GISW.
- assess what change/impact participation in GISW has made at the individual or organisational level (specifically in relation to the GISW network members)
- assess what change/impact GISW has made (i.e. in what ways, or to what extent has GISW achieved its overall and specific aims)
- enable learning that can be channelled to addressing problems and making GISW more effective in achieving its overall and specific aims