By APCNews JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 31 March 2004
The APC executive board and staff met in Johannesburg, South Africa in March for an intensive planning meeting to map out APC’s activities for the next three years. The meeting took place following the definition of strategic priorities for the APC by the 36-member APC council in Cartagena, Colombia last November.
Strategic priorities for 2004-2007 defined by APC membership world-wide
APC members are all ‘social tech support’ organisations working primarily with civil society groups (CSOs) in their own countries and are uniquely placed to identify the major issues in the ICT for development and social justice field.
The strategic areas they identified as the most important areas of engagement for APC in 2004-2007 are:
1. Promoting and facilitating strategic use of ICTs by civil society organisations.
2. Strengthening APC and civil society organisations’ role and engagement in ICT policy processes.
3. Growing and strengthening the network of CSOs promoting the use of ICTs for social justice and development.
Two additional cross-cutting themes were also highlighted – APC’s commitment to sustainable development and our commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment. APC members also recommended and prioritized action areas to take these strategic priorities.
Since November, APC staff have been working on an action plan which responds to those strategic priorities and action areas and which maps current and proposed activities to APC’s programmes. The executive board met in Johannesburg to review and approve the action plan.
This was the first time that the APC executive board for 2004-5 had met since they were elected by the APC membership in November. Led by Julian Casasbuenas of Colombia, the APC board has good gender balance and diverse regional representation and includes members from Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, South Korea, Spain, Croatia, South Africa and Nigeria.
“The definition of strategic priorities for APC for the coming years reflects the desire of our members to strengthen communities at the grassroots in order to ensure that ICTs effectively reach those that most need them and help to improve their quality of life,” said Julian Casasbuenas. “It’s the same for the strengthening of civil society organisations and their participation in the processes that define ICT policy in order to guarantee unfettered access to information. Without a doubt, the collective work of APC and our members will help to build a better world for all.”
Regional planning meetings to maximise member involvement
The strategic priorities document and draft action plan have laid out a number of new and current areas for action. In order to engage APC members fully in planning and implementation, and to promote networking between members, APC is now proposing a series of four online regional planning meetings (Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and North America and Latin America). The aim of the meetings which will take place online over a period of several weeks will be used to identify existing member activities related to the action plan and possible synergies between members, and get member "buy in" for the action plan.
Following these meetings, APC staff will compile overall action plan combining action plan and member activities which we will then publicise.
PHOTO: APC executive board members from left to right: Olinca Marino (Mexico), Julian Casasbuenas (Colombia), Danilo Lujambio (Argentina), Chris Nicol (Spain), Danijela Babic (Croatia), Oh Byoung-il (South Korea), Natasha Primo (South Africa).