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.


      Meet the selected community networks in Africa, Asia and Latin America that received learning grants and their representatives here.

      Meet the catalytic intervention for a more sustainable community network environment grants recipients and their representatives here.


      Subscribe to a monthly newsletter with news and information around community networks and local access and read the previous editions: Number 1 - December 2017 / Number 2 - January 2018 / Number 3 - February 2018 / Number 4 - March 2018 / Number 5 - April 2018 / Number 6 - May 2018 / Number 7 - June 2018 / Number 8 - July 2018 / Number 9 - August 2018 / Number 10 - September 2018 / Number 11 - October 2018 / Number 12 - November 2018 / Number 13 - December 2018 / Number 14 - January 2019 / Number 15 - February 2019 / Number 16 - March 2019 / Number 17 - April 2019 / Number 18 - May 2019 / Number 19 - June 2019 / Number 20 - July 2019 / Number 21 - August 2019 / Number 22 - September 2019 / Number 23 - October 2019  / Number 24 -  November and December 2019 / Number 25 - May 2020 / Number 26 - June 2020 / Number 27 - July 2020


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

      Read APC's content related to community networks here.


      Image: Janastu.

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