Project grants for local implementation of APC’s strategic plan in 2017

These grants of up to USD 20,000 are for projects that contribute to the implementation of APC’s strategic plan at the national level. At the same time, they are meant to strengthen ongoing work by APC members that is linked to APC’s strategic priorities. In their proposals, members should demonstrate how their projects contribute to one or more key result areas in APC’s Theory of Change at the local level and specify the strategies identified for each of them. Project activities can include research, advocacy, network and movement building, capacity building and communications. All projects should integrate a gender and rights-based perspective. Selected projects are being implemented for a period of 6-12 months, until April 2018.

List of selected projects for 2017:

Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD): Enhancing the capacity of women and girls to deal with gender-based violence online through the ability to use the internet safely

This project consists of four complementary components that are aimed at ensuring that the internet is a safe and secure place for women. The first component is to document the dangers that women who use the internet face and to use this as a point of advocacy against gender-based violence online. The campaign will also be complemented by capacity building to generate skills in the safe use of the internet by women. Both the advocacy and the capacity building will be further aided through an interactive radio programme that will serve both as an advocacy tool against gender violence and as a learning platform for women to safely use the internet, as well as a tool for raising awareness about safety and security issues in the use of the internet.

Derechos Digitales: Latin America in a Glimpse 2017 - A regional map of tech-related initiatives with a gender approach

This project aims to map tech-related projects on women's rights that took place in Latin America during 2017 (the report will be prepared by the end of the present year). The main goal is to learn about the kind of projects that are being developed in the region and the groups behind them, gathering relevant information and making it publicly available for networking, collaborative work and leveraging funding opportunities with groups interested in gender-based initiatives from inside and outside the region. Initially , we would like to compile all this information in a gender-based version of our traditional "Latin America in a Glimpse" report, an annual summary of the most relevant events with respect to human rights and the internet in Latin America.

This report will be presented at an Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Day Zero event. Because the "Latin America in a Glimpse" brand has gained recognition among the internet governance community inside and outside Latin America, we believe that releasing this report under that name will have a positive impact on the visibility of the gender-based initiatives in Latin America that we aim to emphasise and support. Because Derechos Digitales is a regional organisation, this project aims to have regional impact in Latin America.

Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA): Data mapping of drug-related deaths in the Duterte administration

It has been almost a year since the election of President Rodrigo Duterte, and the Philippines has seen shifts in the political and socio-cultural landscape of the country. The president has promised change by waging war against criminality, drugs and corruption. Nine months into Duterte's presidency, the country has witnessed a spate of killings that has left thousands of women widowed and children orphaned as a result of his war on drugs. The war against drugs supported by the Philippine National Police (PNP) anti-drug war campaign, dubbed as “Operation Double Barrel”, has targeted suspected drug dealers and users ostensibly for arrest, but in practice has been a campaign of extrajudicial execution in impoverished areas of the country. To date, the PNP has reported more than 7,000 drug-related deaths. 

This proposal aims to help promote justice by mapping the cases reported and building a centralised database that will be made accessible to various groups involved in addressing the killings. The map will provide evidence on the outright human rights violations in the country. It will also provide links to other important information that may be useful to families of victims, as well as to researchers and human rights advocates. 

Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD): Media for progressive internet governance and digital rights

The proposed project focuses on improving the Pakistani media’s understanding of internet governance issues and digital rights. Through the preparation of a guidebook and capacity-building workshops, the project seeks to enhance the media’s understanding, capacity and subsequently coverage of digital rights violations and policies that govern the internet in Pakistan. In addition, the project also seeks to develop a web portal where ICT policy and related developments can be covered and curated.

The project includes two parallel streams of work. First, capacity building of the media for reporting on internet governance and related issues. This would be done through the preparation of a guidebook that includes thematic content explaining internet governance and digital rights concepts and maps the institutions that are engaged in policy making at the federal level in Pakistan. In addition to the guidebook, a two-day training module for journalists will be prepared and 30 journalists from Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore (the cities where media concentration is the highest) will be trained. The second work stream comprises the generation and curation of journalistic content on ICT policy, internet governance, and digital rights violations. 

For the duration of this project, MMfD will actively report on developments in the ICT arena and curate and contextualise progress in the implementation of cybercrime legislation and other related legislation that has an impact on digital rights in the country. For this part of the project, a web portal would be developed to archive media content and to host original content including journalistic news reports, interviews, surveys and other content to create a holistic overview of the digital rights arena in Pakistan.

Nupef: Multi-editorial multilingual collaborative web portal on spectrum policies and practices

Instituto Nupef proposes a continuing programme to serve as a dynamic reference on applications in networking at the community level, in accordance with its mission guidelines as established in its statutes: to produce, analyse, discuss and disseminate information and knowledge, and to develop capacities of individuals and organisations, stimulating in particular innovative use of ICTs which may support sustainable development, human rights, social justice, good governance and democratic values.

Nupef seeks to implement a series of activities which contribute to innovative ICT practices at the local level by civil society organisations, social movements, individuals, local entrepreneurs and local governments. Among them is the production of a regularly updated review of the current regulatory frameworks affecting ICTs in general, especially current spectrum policies and practices, both in Brazil and abroad, with a focus on the South. This involves the setting up and maintenance of a periodically updated web-based review of rules and regulations affecting spectrum policies and practices in particular, as they impact on local communities.

The web portal will be a tool to monitor developments in new radio technologies for community use, including a follow-up on specific community experiments, regulation and effective deployment in the South. A derived product of the content dynamics in the web portal will be a periodic review (in the form of an online bulletin) on relevant issues related to its main focus. Periodic meetings with practitioners, activists, experts and other interested parties will help both to bring new ideas and information to the portal and broaden dialogue on the main issues and findings. These encounters will help to define/review methods and priorities.

One World Platform (OWP): Building online safety for safe houses

This project aims to provide long-term and sustainable support to the ecosystem of organisations who need information security assistance as well as to support existing networks of people that work with survivors of violence by adding an awareness of ICT mis(use) to their work. By ecosystem we refer to safe houses, civil society organisations that are in charge of safe houses, social work centres, legal aid centres, police, the prosecutor’s office and gender centres throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Building online safety refers to building internal capacity within human rights organisations in a way that enables them to communicate more safely, given the fact that the nature of their work can put them and their work at risk, and to prevent possible data breaches and technology misuse.

To remain consistent with our previous work, we are applying a theory of change method which will provide direction for staff as a whole and their beneficiaries, to make decisions about information management by establishing a foundation of principles and processes to ensure the organisation can operate consistently, effectively and credibly. The project consists of four segments: assessing threats and providing guidance on digital security and safety; co-creating documentation of internal policies; creating a user manual for users of safe houses; and placing the topic of online harassment of women and the importance of digital security on the agenda of the national internet governance space in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Point of View: The missing link - Using feminist principles to bring internet rights closer to women’s lives and rights

What do we think of when we think of the digital gender gap? Access. But even where there is access, there's often a gender gap in how the internet is used and understood or policies around it shaped and influenced. In India, more than 200 million women own a mobile phone, and more than 100 million women are connected via broadband to the internet. But how many of them know that they have digital rights? Despite being active participants in the digital domain, or users, most women's rights groups and sexual rights groups in India are struggling to make sense of the "digital". The Missing Link brings digital rights closer to women's lives – and rights – through a series of five capacity-building workshops in India for activists working on women's rights and sexual rights. That includes communities of sex workers, women with disabilities, LGBTIQ women, Dalit women and tribal women. #YesAllWomen.

The workshops are based on and build on the Feminist Principles of the Internet, which bridges the gap between these two sets of rights. It's the missing link. We infuse the Feminist Principles with energy, case studies and masala from five geographically disparate regions of India, where these workshops will be conducted with a mix of urban, rural and community-based, grassroots activists. By building the knowledge base and capacity of women's rights activists on internet rights, we will bring them and their communities towards a deeper understanding of internet rights – not in the abstract, but as they concretely affect people's lives. We will provide marginal communities with a political framework for understanding the internet – and bring their voices into this discourse.

PROTEGE QV: Watching Cameroon through the lenses of the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms

The government of Cameroon, a country of 22 million inhabitants located in Central Africa, has placed special emphasis on ICTs and the internet to address major issues such as youth unemployment, the poor quality of the educational system, the poor business competitiveness, and the country’s low touristic attractiveness, among others. But is that government ready to allow the internet to fully express its potential? PROTEGE QV proposes to analyse the national situation in the light of the key principles of the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).

The project will give an accurate picture of the country's situation with regard to the 13 key principles outlined by the African Declaration. The expected outputs include a report presenting an overview of Cameroon’s situation with regard to the key principles outlined in the Declaration, including a focus on the threats, violations, trends and opportunities; an integrated measurement tool of a country’s situation in the light of the 13 key principles; and an overview of Cameroon’s situation regarding at least 75% of the 13 key principles.

Rhizomatica: Mobile networks for Brazil and Colombia

The main objective of this project is to build off of the small grant we received last year from APC (“Implementation of ITU-D Recommendation 19”) to assist emerging community partners in Mexico, Brazil, Nicaragua and Colombia to create a favourable regulatory environment and build partner capacity to engage national and international regulatory bodies around the implementation of community wireless networks, particularly mobile networks. In order to harness the momentum created last year, we now need to move into a more hands-on phase related to supporting a subset of these partners to build and/or enhance as well as manage their networks, with an eye towards better service quality and functionality (reliability, coverage, data), and sustainability (economic, social, etc.).

We have identified Colombia and Brazil as the two countries best suited for this intervention, where solid groundwork has already been laid and need has been demonstrated. Specifically, we will support the deployment of two new networks in Colombia (Huisitó and Argelia, Cauca region), one new network in Brazil (Kalungas Quilombo, Goais) and the enhancement of one existing network in Brazil (Boa Vista do Acará, Pará). These networks will be primarily cellular/GSM networks capable of 2.75G data (EDGE), but will also include point-to-point wireless links for back-haul.

Zenzeleni Networks: Towards effective use and social appropriation of the internet in rural South Africa

Zenzeleni Networks is a locally owned and operated cooperative which has brought access to the internet and voice communication, within a reduced cost framework, to an impoverished community in Mankosi (Eastern Cape of South Africa). Zenzeleni Networks has successfully intervened in a rural South African community, given that to date the government and private operators have not been able to bring rural South Africa into the digital era. The Zenzeleni model includes a solar-powered wireless mesh network that provides voice calls through 10 publicly accessible analogue phones spread throughout the community. Zenzeleni Networks is currently planning to expand this model to neighbouring communities.

However, a key concern related to the provisioning of affordable voice and internet connectivity is the notion of development. The provision of access to telecommunications infrastructure is but one side of the coin. The ability to harness the infrastructure to facilitate and enable social and economic outcomes for the community is the other. This project thus aims to design and implement a programme to catalyse uptake of the network service, so that tangible social and economic outcomes among the community members are realised in the medium to long term.

This project seeks to advance the Mankosi project by: exploring the barriers to adoption and use of the internet by the community to inform further programmatic interventions both in Mankosi and, subsequently, in surrounding communities, as the Zenzeleni infrastructure gets expanded; supporting digital literacy development and capacity building among youth and other sectors of the community; and facilitating the broader goal of social inclusion, agency and aspirations of the Mankosi community through targeted digital programme interventions. Most importantly, this project serves to inform and refine the demand side of the Zenzeleni model, so that the upscaling to the greater King Sabatha Dalindyebo and Nyandeni municipalities envisaged over the next two years will have a greater chance of success.