Call for organisations to nominate and host regional capacity-building coordinators for the Local Networks initiative

By APCNews

Africa/Asia/Latin America capacity-building coordinators (three institutional consultancies total): Connecting the unconnected

“Meaningful community-centred connectivity” is a project under the Local Networks (LocNet) initiative, a collective effort led by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and Rhizomatica in partnership with people and organisations in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It aims to directly support community networks and other community-centred connectivity initiatives, while contributing to an enabling ecosystem for their emergence and growth. It is part of a multi-year, multi-donor strategy envisaged to address the human capacity and sustainability challenges, along with the policy and regulatory obstacles, that limit the growth of community-based connectivity initiatives.

Main purpose of the position
The LocNet team invites host institutions in Africa, Asia and Latin America* that are already working with community networks to apply and nominate one candidate for the position of capacity-building coordinator in the region of their scope. 

The candidate selected for this position would lead a 9 ½ -month regional level coordination process around community network capacity building.** The regional capacity-building coordinators are responsible, from a contextualised and participatory vision, for following up on the capacity-building actions promoted and/or facilitated by LocNet that are generated in their territories. Their main function is to support the satisfaction of existing training needs in their territories, through the creation of learning communities on capacity building, to support the development of courses and trainings needed, and to coordinate the logistics for the development of regional hybrid training programmes promoted by LocNet and its partners.

Start date: 6 March 2024. Please note that given the short timeline in this project, delaying this start date is not a possibility. The selected host institution will be notified by the first week of March 2024.

Deadline for applications: 9 February 2024

Reporting: The position will report to the capacity-building lead for the Local Networks initiative and work closely with other members of the team.

Primary responsibilities              

  • Accompany support organisations in selected countries for the creation or consolidation of their National Schools of Community Networks.

  • Coordinate and report the results of face-to-face and virtual meetings of LocNet partner organisations in the region with respect to capacity-building activities. 

  • Coordinate the development of the hybrid regional capacity-building programme in their region, taking into account the different stages of development that each territory has. For example, by 2024 it is expected that:

  • In Latin America, support in the accompaniment of participants, the generation of reports of the online courses and carrying out the logistics for the development of the in-person bootcamp.**

  • In Africa, support is required for the design phase of the programme, so it should support the creation of the advisory committee and the logistics for the face-to-face meeting, as well as support in the development of the syllabus and other elements of the programme design.

  • In Asia, the idea is still at a very early stage, so the regional coordinator will be responsible for conducting and/or accompanying the exploratory research process following the participatory action research (PAR) methodology.

  • Strengthen the learning processes in their region using the LocNet Community Networks Learning Repository. 

  • Provide support to the LocNet communications associate for the dissemination of activities related to capacity building in their region.

  • Provide support for the collection of data and information in the processes of systematisation, evaluation and documentation carried out by the coordination of the area.

  • Promote and accompany the participation of National Schools of Community Networks graduates in their regions in the training programmes promoted by LocNet.

  • Motivate, through practical and visible actions and in collaboration with the gender area, the participation of women in the training activities promoted by LocNet in their regions.

  • Participate in the Project Inception Meeting in 2024 as well as participate in online and face-to-face meetings and events that are coordinated by the capacity-building outcome area.

Secondary responsibilities

  • Advocacy: Support project advocacy plans globally, and especially in their region.

  • Fundraising and resource mobilisation: Assist the project team with the development of a multi-year strategy to continue the work of the project.

Qualifications, background and experience

The following qualifications, background and experience are expected from the individual candidate proposed by the host institution:

  • Experience working with community networks or similar projects (in “rural development”, “rural connectivity”, “access development”, “community radio”, etc.).

  • Experience in coordinated/facilitated/developed training processes directly in the communities, desirably in topics related to community communication, community networks and/or digital inclusion.

  • Technical experience in the deployment of community networks is desirable.

  • At least three years of experience in project management, including reporting and people coordination.

  • Knowledge about policy advocacy processes and other mechanisms which enable community networks, small operators or universal affordable access in one of the three regions is desirable.

  • Track record as an inclusive network builder and team player.

  • Ability to plan and think strategically, in particular to revise practices and suggest solutions to ensure efficiency of the implementation of the project.

  • Capacity to work autonomously and in a team setting.

  • Excellent writing, documentation, filing and communication skills.

  • Excellent written and spoken English.

  • Ability to communicate in Spanish, French or Portuguese would be an advantage. For those applying for the LAC regional position, Spanish is a requirement. 

Location

The applicant will work at a location within the region agreed with the host institution and preferably be from and living in the specific region where the institution is largely based. Institutions with experience in regional networks will be given preference.

Remuneration and duration of contract

The host institution in each of the three regions selected will receive USD 14,500. This fund should cover a minimum 0.5 full-time equivalent, 9 ½ month contract for the regional coordinator, who is expected to work from 6 March 2024 until 31 December 2024. While the 2024 contract would be for 9 ½ months, there is a possibility for further time extension should funding allow.

A contract between the successful host institution and APC will be drawn up containing the specific terms and the disbursement process.

How to apply

Interested institutions should submit an application with the following information in English:

  • A cover letter or proposal from the interested institution stating how it intends to host the regional capacity building coordination. It should state the name of the candidate who is nominated by the institution, the qualifications of the candidate and their interest in the position. This cover letter or proposal should also include: details on its organisational capacity, an organisational profile (including its legal registration, organigram and past experience in managing grants), how it will provide support to the regional coordinator, and a budget proposal outlining the way funds will be used.

  • A CV of the candidate nominated for the position of regional coordinator. Institutions are encouraged to nominate women candidates.

  • Three references for the candidate: names, relationship, contact details; at least one of these should be from a community network project that the candidate has worked on.

  • Completed due diligence form, available here.

Information to be highlighted about the candidate includes:

  • Experience in working with different constituencies, including community networks.

  • Experience in coordinating/facilitating/developing training processes related to communication, connectivity and/or digital inclusion in community contexts. 

  • Experience in project coordination.

  • Computer and internet skills.

  • Where the candidate is based.

  • Confirmation that the candidate is able and willing to travel frequently.

  • Languages spoken and written.

  • Why the candidate would like to be part of this project and is interested in this position.

  • Why the candidate would like to work with the Local Networks initiative.

  • Other information that might be of importance to our assessment of the application.

In order to apply, kindly fill in the online application form found here by 9 February 2024, 23.00 UTC.. Please note that only short-listed host institutions will be contacted.

Project details

This project aims to contribute to our vision of digital inclusion: Rural, remote and marginalised communities have the opportunities, capacities and resources to achieve and shape meaningful community-centred connectivity that contributes to the strengthening of local well-being, economies and cultures. It is part of a multi-year, multi-donor strategy envisaged to address the human capacity and sustainability challenges, along with the policy and regulatory obstacles, that limit the growth of community-centred connectivity initiatives.

The project will adopt human rights-based and gender equality approaches, with a special emphasis on women-led initiatives and integration of a gender perspective at all levels of project conceptualisation, planning and implementation. In addition, an ecosystem approach that integrates participation and ownership of project participants will be used to ensure sustainability beyond the life of the project.

About APC

APC is a global network of civil society organisations whose mission is to empower and support organisations, social movements and individuals in and through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to build strategic communities and initiatives for the purpose of making meaningful contributions to equitable human development, social justice, participatory political processes and environmental sustainability.

About Rhizomatica

Rhizomatica is a civil society organisation whose mission is to increase access to and participation in telecommunications by supporting communities to build and maintain self-governed and owned communication infrastructure. Rhizomatica's approach combines regulatory activism and reform, critical engagement with technology and the development of decentralised telecommunications infrastructure, and direct community involvement and participation.

* Host institutions can be non-state entities, particularly civil society organisations and non-profit organisations, who work closely with remote communities and practise a human rights-based approach. Regional entities with work around digital rights and rural connectivity will also be considered.

** The LAC programme already exists and the fifth edition will be coordinated in 2024. The name of the programme is “Training Programme for Coordinators of ICT Networks in Indigenous and Rural Communities in Latin America”.



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