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Making change in support of community-centred connectivity

Many digital divides still persist today, to the point that a third of the world’s population is still offline. Different statistics also show that the divide can be worse depending on the countries where people live and if we look at differences in gender, race, age and income or between urban and rural areas, for example.

Across the globe, a growing number of communities are taking action to overcome the digital divides, while defending their fundamental rights and well-being. Community-centred connectivity initiatives are shaped by the communities themselves, in a manner that reflects their members’ different interests and relationships. They grow and operate in local contexts. They aim to be affordable and accessible in terms of the locally used languages, location and devices. And because these initiatives are undertaken for and by communities themselves, the use of the connectivity can meet people’s expressed needs and add value to their personal, social, cultural and/or economic lives.

The Local Networks initiative (LocNet) is a collective effort led by APC and Rhizomatica in partnership with grassroots communities and support organisations in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. It aims to directly support meaningful community-centred connectivity initiatives, while contributing to an enabling ecosystem for their emergence and growth. To support communities making change happen, our Theory of Change is organised around the following pillars:

Enabling and shaping

Community-centred connectivity is available in previously unreached and marginalised communities. Also, more people and communities shape, use and benefit from local services and digital technologies.


Recognition, opportunities and an enabling policy and regulatory environment exist for community-centred connectivity across a growing number of countries.

Acting on inequalities

Gender issues and power relations are identified and addressed within these initiatives, processes and spaces.

About the Local Networks initiative

The Local Networks (LocNet) initative started in 2017 as a collaboration between APC and Rhizomatica. The scope of LocNet’s work has since changed and grown significantly over the years, but LocNet’s foundational belief in the power of community-centred connectivity to catalyse positive change and bridge the digital divides remains. Looking forward, our mission in the 2024-2027 period is to support thriving, inclusive and meaningful community-centred connectivity in rural, remote and marginalised communities. 

Where do we work

Where we work

Our team

    Kathleen Diga APC South Africa
    Mike Jensen APC Portugal
    Valeria Betancourt APC Ecuador
    Carlos Rey-Moreno APC Spain
    Cynthia El Khoury APC Canada
    Ndunge E. Kiundi APC Kenya
    Josephine Miliza APC Kenya
    Débora Prado APC Brazil
    Steve Song Consultant South Africa
    Peter Bloom Rhizomatica Mexico
    Carlos Baca Feldman Rhizomatica Mexico
    Adriana Labardini Rhizomatica Mexico
    Nils Brock Rhizomatica Germany
    Bruna Zanolli Rhizomatica Brazil
    Maria José Casares Rhizomatica Mexico
    Sarbani Banerjee Belur ISEA India
    Gomer Padong ISEA Philippines
    Cathy Tiongson ISEA Philippines
    Harira Wakili CITAD Nigeria
    Adrián López REDES A.C. Mexico
    Luisa Bagope PSP Brazil
    Risper Arose AFRALTI Kenya




  • Meet the selected community networks in Africa, Asia and Latin America that received learning grants and their representatives here.
  • Meet the recipients of grants for catalytic interventions for a more sustainable community network environment and their representatives here.
  • Local Networks 2021 grants: Meet the projects selected to strengthen community networks in Asia, Africa and Latin America here.

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APC logo Rhizomatica logo

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