APC Strategic Priorities 2013 - 2016

APC’s strategic priorities are identified by its members: organisations from 31 countries around the world, most of them in the global south. Through a multi-part consultative process within the network, analysis of current challenges in mobilising ICTs for social justice, and input from close partners, APC agreed on five strategic priorities to guide its work through 2016:

  1. Securing and defending internet access and rights

  2. Fostering good internet governance

  3. Strengthening use and development of transformative technology

  4. Ending technology-based violence against women and girls

  5. Strengthening APC community networks

Each of these priorities will be approached with three cross-cutting considerations:

  • Gender equality and women’s empowerment

  • Building the “information commons”

  • Linguistic diversity


Here we outline our priorities, which are the heart of our current strategic action plan. To learn more about the APC network’s planning process and our detailed plan, you can download APC’s 2013 – 2016 strategic plan full public version.

1) Securing and defending internet access and rights

Internet access and human rights can no longer be separated. The distinctions between affordable, quality access, and the expression and realisation of human rights on the internet as well as through the use of the internet are increasingly blurred.

Our overall impact objectives for securing and defending internet access and rights and the intended outcomes in this priority area are:

  • Universal affordable access to the internet

    • Free public access is more widely available in public libraries and other public spaces.

    • Use, management and regulation of radio frequency as well as digital migration strategies contribute to providing affordable access to the internet.

    • Local and community wireless internet services are more available to people currently (2012) lacking quality affordable access.

  • Human rights on the internet are understood, recognised and defended

    • Greater understanding of what “human rights on the internet” means among human rights organisations, other human rights defenders, the media, broader civil society, service providers, national human rights institutions, the judiciary and governments.

    • There is visible uptake of the position that internet rights are human rights and people use rights frameworks as leverage for actions on internet freedoms.


2) Fostering good internet governance

Good governance is a prerequisite for sustainable social justice and development. This priority focuses, in particular, on good governance of the internet, whether at national, regional or global level. As in other areas, good governance of the internet requires governance processes and institutions to be inclusive, transparent, accessible, participative and accountable. The intended and actual outcomes of good internet governance should be an accessible, fair and open internet that is developed and governed in the public interest, rather than in the interest of individual companies or governments.

Our overall impact objectives for fostering good internet governance and intended outcomes in this priority area are:

  • Institutions and processes of internet governance are transparent, inclusive, diverse and accountable and enable effective civil society participation

    • APC agrees on a definition of good multi-stakeholder internet governance working definition from the Code of Good Practice for Internet Governance (IG).

  • Civil society stakeholders are actively engaged in shaping IG issues, processes and outcomes.

    • The APC community develops strategies to engage diverse civil society group in internet governance processes.

  • Multi-stakeholder internet governance processes are improved from the bottom up, e.g. from national level into regional and global

    • The global internet governance agenda and related processes consistently includes civil society voices and concerns and prioritises human rights and the public interest.

    • The APC community strategically influences the Internet Governance Forum agenda and increases participation of civil society, particularly from the South.


3) Strengthening use and development of transformative technology

The idea of transformative technology promotes mindful and critical development and use of information technology that contributes to sustainable development, political awareness, and self-empowerment i.e. to meaningful change in society. By linking technology use and development directly to human values, the relationship between individuals and technology is transformed from a utilitarian interaction into a meaningful component of human development.

Our overall impact objectives for strengthening use and development of transformative technology and intended outcomes in this priority area are:

  • Technology development emphasises openness, open standards, interoperability, and user ownership and control

    • APC engages technology manufacturers, service providers, the internet technical community and software developers, draw them into policy processes and include them in the network.

    • Technology manufacturers and software developers are held to account for sustainable practices and services.

  • Civil society organisations and social and political activists are critical, mindful and political in their technology choices

    • APC members and partners, and the civil society groups they collaborate with are empowered and aware in their choices of technologies information sharing platforms.

    • Sustainable practices are defined and understood as grounded in human rights and appropriate for diverse users.

  • Increased public demand for use for open and sustainable technology

    • Individuals and organisations within APC community are motivated to migrate to free/libre/open source software (FLOSS).

4) Ending technology-based violence against women and girls

The key elements of this priority focuses on expanding visibility and understanding of violence against women online, evidence-based advocacy towards prevention of online abuses directed at women and girls, and promotion of an online culture that affirms the rights to safety, security and privacy.

Our overall impact objectives for ending technology-based violence against women and girls and intended outcomes in this priority area are:

  • Society recognises VAW online and rejects it

    • More users, especially women’s rights organisations, actively promote anti-VAW culture and practice online.

    • Social networking platform providers, mobile companies and other internet intermediaries develop user policies and best practice standards that ensure women and girls safety and respect for their rights.

  • Technology is used effectively to combat VAW

    • More women confidently and safely use online public spaces.

    • Technical people and technical communities are engaged in activities to combat violence against women and girls.

    • Women’s rights organisations’ capacity to use technology in ending VAW is strengthened.

5) Strengthening APC community networks

APC is a network that needs to be nurtured but “network building” is also a strategic activity that forms part of APC’s approach to achieving positive social change. The networked community envisioned in this priority extends beyond APC members and staff to include partners and others who share APC’s vision and goals.

Our overall impact objectives for strengthening networking in the APC community and intended outcomes in this priority area are:

  • APC members lead in mobilising communities around ICTs for social change

    • APC positions are informed, supported and amplified by members, partners, allies and their networks.

    • Civil society organisations, women’s rights organisations and activists actively use technology in combating VAW.

  • APC has an engaged, active and empowered membership

    • Knowledge, experience and resources are shared within APC.

    • New individuals and organisational members join APC.

    • Member collaboration that strengthens the APC community is enhanced.


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