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What does it take for communities to make change happen? In this newsletter, discover the elements that make it possible for community networks to emerge and enable rural development in Zimbabwe in a special interview with Joseph Bish and Daud Taranhike.

Welcome to the 46th monthly round-up of developments impacting your local access networks and community-based initiatives.

Events and conferences
  • The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has launched its 2022 call for workshop proposals. All stakeholders are invited to submit proposals for the 17th annual meeting by 3 June 2022. Read more.

Resources from past events
Community networks in news and blogs
  • Murambinda Community Network and the Integral Kumusha: “We feel we’re creating a movement that will be unstoppable.” Discover in this interview the elements making it possible for community networks to emerge and enable rural development in Zimbabwe. Read more.

  • The first-ever School of Community Networks in South Africa has gathered people from seven different communities this year. You can find out more about their first encounter in this new inspiring video. Read more.

  • In Brazil, the Amazon Community Networks School is in the preparation stage, carrying out visits to the seven communities that will be part of the School taking place between June and December this year. In April, the preparatory meetings happened in Formigueiro and Rede Wayuri. Check out great pictures and learn more about the visits here and here. [available in Portuguese]

  • Community members and local organisations also joined together to exchange knowledge at the Kenya School of Community Networks. Find out more about the lessons learned and resolutions in this reflection from KICTANet. Read more.

  • In Colombia, Colnodo celebrates the inauguration of the Weinüin Walapüin (“Weaving our dreams”) community network. Read more. [available in Spanish]

  • In Argentina, a project is bringing internet to popular neighbourhoods in Cordoba. Find out more. [available in Spanish]

  • From Brazil, this piece about community networks discusses how the same technology capable of creating the internet through a centralised structure may also be capable of promoting decentralisation. Read more. [available in Portuguese]

Gendering community networks
  • Meet Hackers Comunitarias, the women challenging communications, tech and access inequalities in Mexico. In this photo essay we will discover the experiences and learnings from two communities in Mexico – Cherán and Xocoyolo. The women in these communities get together to redefine technologies and develop their networks locally. Read more.

  • The Feminist By Design journal showcases research journeys and findings from around the world, which were part of the Feminist Internet Research Network (FIRN). One article focuses on the reflections from a community network project in Brazil. Read more.

News on policy and regulation
  • Meaningful connectivity should be the top priority for internet access investments. This was the main takeaway of the side session “Internet Connectivity: Achievements to date, challenges and opportunities ahead”, co-hosted by Internet Society and APC at the first Africa-Europe D4D Hub Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF). Read more.

  • CYD reports a successful meeting with the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority towards building an enabling policy and regulatory environment for community networks to address the connectivity gap in the country. Read more.

  • Also in Africa, CITAD calls for sustainable community networks to bridge the digital divide in Nigeria, as published in Vanguard Nigeria. Read more.

  • From a Latin American perspective, these materials from REDES A.C. address key issues on the economic impact of community networks. Read more.

Tools and toolkits
  • Community Network Readiness Assessment Handbook: Find out if a community is ready to deploy and maintain a community network, and take steps to plan and build one. Read more.

  • How can we ensure that local media sustain their reporting in challenging times? Check out some alternatives from Colmena – an open-source solution for local and community media launched on 28 April. Read More.

Funding opportunities
  • FRIDA has opened its 2022 call for proposals to provide funding to projects, initiatives and solutions in the Latin American and Caribbean region. This year's call focuses on three thematic categories: Internet Stability and Security; Connectivity and Internet Access; and Open and Free Internet. The call for proposals will remain open until 31 May 2022. Read more.

  • In the Asia Pacific region, applications are still open for the 2022 Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF Asia) Grants cycle. The fund supports organisations in researching, designing and implementing internet-based solutions to solve internet development challenges that support community development and growth. The deadline is 15 May. Read more.

  • IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Challenge launched its call for participation this year. The submission portal should be open soon with a deadline of 15 June. This competition aims to identify and award innovative ideas and early-stage projects which have the potential to provide internet access to unconnected populations. Read more.

  • In Mexico, the Research Center in Technologies and Community Knowledges (CITSAC) announced a support programme for people, groups and work teams currently developing community-applied research projects in their territories in the country. The deadline for applications is 22 May. Read more. [available in Spanish]

Previous editions
  • Previous editions of this newsletter are available here.

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 developing countries. You can read more about the initiative herehere, and here

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