APC Membership - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is APC and who are its members?
Who can join APC?
Any organisation anywhere in the world can join the network, as long as it meets membership criteria and shares the same mission as APC: to build strategic communities and initiatives to make meaningful contributions to equitable human development, social justice, participatory political processes and environmental sustainability. APC also has individual members, but individual membership is based on nomination model (new individual members can be only nominated by existing members or APC staff).
APC members are organisations and individuals who use information and communication technologies (ICTs) to pursue above mentioned mission. Members have expertise in the strategic use of ICTs, whether as developers, advocates and policy makers, or in the areas of human rights protection, environmental sustainability, media and gender equality. Most advocate for free software, open and fairly governed internet resources, privacy, affordable access to ICTs, gender equality, and human rights online. They generally oppose the persecution of journalists and users who share digital content online, as well as other forms of persecution and censorship. It is important that APC members share common values. If you do not share these values, APC is probably not the right network for you.
It is also important that groups interested in APC membership are not associated with or under the influence of groups (governments, corporate players, religious groups…) that violate human rights.
What are APC’s values?
APC is committed to working through:
- Decentralised action
- Sharing information and tools in the public domain
- Having a strong base and orientation toward the global South
- Creating and strengthening an international membership community for joint action and learning.
- Local initiative and ownership
- Freedom of expression, communication and information
- Open content and open standards
- Free and open source software
- Social and gender equality
- Collaboration and partnership
- Inclusiveness and diversity
- Creativity and capacity building
- Democratic, accountable and transparent governance
- Appropriate and affordable ICT solutions.
Why should my organisation join?
You will become part of a large community of like-minded colleagues with expertise in areas similar to your own. This means access to new ideas, project proposals, knowledge about collaborative and funding opportunities, policy-making forums and existing APC partnerships. You can also find new resources such as internal thematic discussion spaces, learning opportunities supported through the APC MLEF fund, online and face-to-face learning events and other useful tools.
What is there for individual members?
This interview with APC member Rolf Kleef offers some answers:
What areas of expertise does APC have?
ICT policy and advocacy, free and open source software (FOSS) development and promotion, internet-related rights, ICTs for development, women’s rights and gender dimensions of ICTs, ICTs and environmental sustainability, Web 2.0, strategic technology for activism and research, secure online communication (digital security), community networking and information commons (alternative licensing for sharing of online resources).
Will my organisation lose independence by joining APC?
No. All APC members are independent organisations that join the APC network because they benefit from new learning and opportunities and because they believe in partnerships. However, they are all fully independent in terms of status, financing, alliances, projects, and in other ways.
Who makes decisions in APC?
Our governance is largely collective. All members make fundamental decisions through the APC Council. which is comprises representatives from all APC organisational members, and the APC Executive Board. See more about how is APC governed.
What am I expected to do in APC?
If you represent a member organisation, you are expected to contribute to making decisions about the network (see Who makes decisions in APC?). All members are also expected to engage actively through sharing, discussion, collaboration and learning. Such sharing and collaboration makes APC strong. Only if you engage can you truly benefit from being part of APC. Members are also expected to take part in annual monitoring and evaluation survey on the implementation of APC’s strategic plan.
Does APC membership cost anything?
Yes. Annual fees are USD 300 and upward, depending on the size of the member organisation and whether it is a non-profit or a for-profit entity. Individual members do not pay for the membership.
For what are membership fees used?
Fees are returned back to members through the APC Membership Learning and Exchange Fund and through supporting members’ travel to events. All APC membership fees are pooled together and redistributed among members.
Where can I learn more about what APC is doing?
Check out Members’ pages for their latest news and projects.
Learn about APC’s current projects.
Read about APC’s current strategic priorities that list issues we will be working on from 2013 to 2016.
What happens when I submit an application?
Our Membership Working Group will review your application, verify it against APC’s membership criteria and recommend approval. As the APC Council and Executive Board must approve all new organisational members, the application process can take up to over a month. All new members are then asked to pay their annual membership fees and are formally introduced to the APC network and informed about existing activities, opportunities for collaboration and different APC workspaces.
I have doubts about whether I can/should join. Who can I talk to?
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will discuss your concerns or organise a call with you.
Where can I learn more about membership requirements and how to apply?
Find more information about how to become a member on the Joining APC page.