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The Local Networks (LocNet) initiative, led by APC in partnership with Rhizomatica, is happy to announce the results of its 2021 Community Network Grant Programme call launched in April this year. The grants are aimed at supporting initiatives that can make strategic contributions to the community networks movement.
This open call received 96 applications from initiatives and projects directly engaged with existing or new community networks around the world. The huge range of initiatives, countries and contexts represented by the applications highlight the fact that community networks are a growing and vibrant field to enable access.
The regional selection committees had the difficult task of selecting 15 initiatives to receive the grants from among the many impressive proposals from Asia, Africa and Latin America. The open call prioritised initiatives led by women and other socially excluded groups and those meeting the grant programme’s three primary focus areas: 1) technology, innovation and development; 2) gender and women’s participation; and 3) enabling policy and regulatory frameworks.
The 15 projects and organisations selected are the following:
- Pamoja Net Operations and Sustainability - La Différence (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Kilifi Digital Villages - Lamuka Hub / Dunia Moja Network (Kenya)
- Building Women’s Resilience to Improve Adaptation to COVID-19 Using Community Networks - AcessPlus / Tango Consult (Uganda)
- Upscaling the Capacity of the Legal Sector to Build Sustainable Community Networks - Lawyers Hub Kenya (Kenya)
- Development of a Regulatory Framework Proposal for Community Networks in Francophone Countries in Africa - AfroLeadership (Cameroon)
- Empowering Women’s Social Enterprises by Building a Community Network and Radio Station for Burmese Refugees in India - Alternative Solutions for Rural Communities (India/Myanmar)
- Digital Inclusion Policy Literacy (DIPL) for Bridging Internet Coverage Gaps in Malaysian Borneo - University College of Technology Sarawak (Malaysia)
- Development of Emergency Radio as a Medium for Empowering Women to Minimise the Impact of COVID-19 on Women and Marginalised Groups in Remote Islands and Mountains - Institut KAPAL Perempuan (Indonesia)
- Servelots Servicing the Community-Owned Wi-Fi (COW) - Servelots (India)
- Exploring the Potential of a Community-Owned Health Knowledge Infrastructure (COwHKi) to Enhance Community Health, Well-Being and Livelihoods through Participatory Design and Deployment - MAYA, Design Beku and Janastu (India)
- Loudspeaker-Based Community-Run Communication Network in Norte del Cauca, Colombia - Proceso de Comunidades Negras (Colombia)
- The Women’s Antenna in the Cabécar Territory of Alto Pacuare - Cooperativa Sulá Batsú (Costa Rica), Asociación de Mujeres Cabécares de Alto Pacuare (Costa Rica) and Colnodo (Colombia)
- Implementation of Community Networks through a Community Social Mobile Virtual Network - REDES A.C. and TIC A. C. (Mexico)
- Community Networks for Resilience and Empowerment in Tenondé - Intervozes (Brazil)
- Spinning the Portal sem Porteiras (PSP) Mesh - Portal sem Porteiras Association (Brazil)
About the Local Networks (LocNet) initiative and its 2021 Grant Programme
Led by APC in partnership with Rhizomatica, LocNet aims to directly support the work of community networks and contribute to an enabling ecosystem for the emergence and growth of community-based connectivity activities in developing countries.
The 2021 Community Network Grant Programme is part of the project "Connecting the unconnected: Supporting community networks and other community-based connectivity initiatives", supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). This year the programme was also made possible by the partnership and support of the 48percent Foundation, Internet Society (ISOC), World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), Mozilla and Connect Humanity.
The 15 initiatives that will be supported by the programme were selected following the criteria announced in the open call, evaluated by the following selection committee:
- Africa: Ndunge Kiundi, Josephine Miliza, TB Dinesh, Carlos Baca, Steve Song, Nils Brock, Tigist S. Hussen, Mariana Fossatti, Pollien Van Keulen.
- Asia: Kathleen Diga, Sarbani Belur, Luisa Bagope, Nico Pace, Carlos Rey-Moreno, Mike Jensen, Cynthia El Khoury.
- Latin America: Peter Bloom, Valeria Betancourt, Karla Velásquez, Alma Soto, Ashley Gottula, Jennifer Okusia, Débora Prado, Juan Peirano.