Community networks newsletter: What changes when connectivity is rooted in communities?

Photo: Débora Prado

By APCNews

By being rooted in their own communities and encouraging collective articulation, a community network can became a catalyst for rethinking digital spaces and build more inclusive practices, taking into account, say, inequalities of gender, race and those that impact people with disabilities – as the pieces collated for this issue show.  

Welcome to the 67th monthly round-up of developments impacting your local access networks and community-based initiatives.

  • Episodes of our Routing for Communities podcast are now available in Spanish and Portuguese. These were re-recorded in the language in which the interviewees shared their experiences and reflections with us. For now, three episodes, of the 12 that made up the first season, are available in other languages. Listen to them here, here and here.

  • The whole season is now available in the podcast landing page, and also on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and Spotify

Community networks news and stories
  • Seeding Change: Learn about the Portal Sem Porteiras community network, an initiative by residents of a rural neighbourhood who are promoting community-centred connectivity, local content creation and technological innovation in Brazil. Read more. [Also available in Portuguese.] 

  • How can community networks empower persons with disabilities? Find out more in this piece from the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet). Read more

  • The civil society organisation Colnodo announced the launch of the first School of Community Networks in Colombia, an initiative designed to accompany communities and organisations interested in learning about their methodology and experience in the design, implementation and management of such networks. Read more. [Available in Spanish.]

  • A project from Common Room focusing on training and capacity-building on community networks in rural and remote areas in Indonesia is among the nominees for this year’s World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prizes. Voting is currently open, but the deadline will close soon, on 31 March 2024. Read more

  • APC, Rhizomatica and Colnodo express their condemnation of the murder of Eiwar Yamid Moran Campo, who was part of the management group that collaborated in the implementation of the Jxa'h Wejxia Casil Community Network in Nasa Yuwe, located in the municipalities of Caldono and Silvia (Colombia). Read more. [Available in Spanish.]

Gendered experiences
Enabling policy and regulation
  • In order to help us understand how best to support the community-centred connectivity movement, the Local Networks initiative, led by APC and Rhizomatica, is conducting a survey on these projects. You can find more information about the survey here. The response form is available in five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Bahasa Indonesia. The deadline for responses has been extended to 29 March 2024.

  • From Argentina, NodoTau published a series of notes and articles about a project developed in partnership with AlterMundi for the promotion of community networks. The project included a training session, called “Semillero”, to help community organisations  apply to the Roberto Arias programme, which is a government-funded programme to support and finance community networks. Read more. [Available in Spanish.]

  • What is governance of the common good and how does it apply to community networks? Check out the reflections shared by GuifiNet. Read more. [Available in Spanish.]

  • Keep gender at centre of global digital governance was the primary message from the NGO CSW68, which is a civil society gathering held annually in parallel with the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Read more

Publications, research and toolkits
  • People, organisations and governments have tried bridging the connectivity gap by supporting and building community networks around the world. This piece from the Internet Society has information and materials on how to build one. Read more.  

  • Happening on 29 and 30 April 2024 in Brazil, the upcoming NETmundial+10 meeting will be an important space to ensure that civil society’s priorities and perspectives are strongly represented in key internet policy and governance processes. Read more

  • The Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum 2024 is calling for session proposals from the community. The deadline is 19 April 2024. Read more. The forum will be held from 21 to 23 August 2024 in Taipei, Taiwan. Read more.  

Funding opportunities
  • The first call for applications of the ICANN Grant Program is now live. The grant makes funding available to develop projects that support the growth of a single, open and globally interoperable internet. The deadline for the application is  24 May 2024. Read more

  • NGI Zero Commons Fund’s motto is to reclaim the public nature of the internet. the goal of this new fund is to help deliver, mature and scale new internet commons across the whole technology spectrum. For those who wish to apply, the deadline is 1 April 2024. Read more.

  • The Women in the Digital Economy Fund (WiDEF) is inviting local entities to submit applications for grants and technical support to scale existing solutions that have made measurable progress toward closing the gender digital divide in their contexts and contribute to transformative approaches to digital inclusion. The deadline for submissions is 6 May 2024. Read more


Community networks learning repository

This repository is a collective online space to store and exchange resources that can be useful in training processes ,focused on materials made for and by community networks.
In this issue, we would like to highlight materials looking into gender inclusion and leadership. 

Find out more. 



This newsletter is part of the Local Networks (LocNet) initiative, an initiative led by APC in partnership with Rhizomatica that aims to directly support the work of community networks and to contribute to an enabling ecosystem for the emergence and growth of community networks and other community-based connectivity activities in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. You can read more about the initiative herehere, and here

Previous editions of this newsletter are available here.

Invite others to subscribe to this monthly newsletter here!

One more thing! If you have comments about the newsletter or information relevant to the topic that you would like us to include in the next edition, please share it with us here.

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