Connecting the unconnected: Supporting community networks and other community-based connectivity initiatives

      The initiative

      “Connecting the unconnected: Supporting community networks and other community-based connectivity initiatives” is a project being implemented by APC in partnership with Rhizomatica that aims to directly support the development of community networks, with funds from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

      This project builds on APC’s existing local access-related work currently being implemented with Sida’s core support, and the knowledge gained from the Local Access Networks research project implemented by APC and Rhizomatica, with support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), during the period August 2017-January 2019.

      The ultimate aim of the project is to contribute to an enabling ecosystem for the emergence and growth of community networks and other community-based connectivity initiatives in developing countries. 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.

      Key objectives
      1. Strengthen the community network movement through grant support, peer learning and capacity building. 

      2. Enable the establishment of new community networks through awareness raising and movement building.

      3. Support innovative technology use and approaches that enable scaling and sustainability of community networks.

      4. Contribute to an enabling policy and regulatory environment for local access at national, regional and global levels.

      5. Integrate gender analysis into all aspects of project implementation and support women’s participation in community-based connectivity initiatives (cross-cutting objective).

      This initiative's objectives will be achieved through peer learning and exchange, awareness raising and capacity building to enable the creation of scalable, innovative and sustainable networks, while contributing to the development of an enabling policy and regulatory environment.

      The project will focus on 12 locally managed community networks in Africa, Asia and Latin America (four per region) to strengthen their impact, reach and sustainability. This group of community networks will form the core of a peer community that can connect and broaden support for community-based connectivity initiatives, both nationally, regionally and internationally.

      It 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.

       

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      Read more about our previous project on local access and community networks here.

      Read APC's content related to community networks here.

      Image: Zenzeleni Networks Mankosi Ltd.

      Project team 
      Kathleen Diga South Africa
      Mike Jensen Portugal
      Valeria Betancourt Ecuador
      Carlos Rey-Moreno South Africa
      Nicolás Pace Argentina
      Cynthia El Khoury Lebanon
      Ndunge E. Kiundi Kenya
      Nicola Bidwell Namibia
      Steve Song South Africa
      Peter Bloom Mexico
      Nils Brock Germany
      Karla Velasco Ramos Mexico
      Josephine Miliza Kenya
      Talant Sultanov Kyrgyzstan

      Partners 
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