APCNews - October 2005 - No. 56



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*APCNews, the monthly newsletter of the Association for Progressive
Communications (APC)*

- October 2005 No. 56 -

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-- NEWS FROM THE MEMBERS --
-- NEWS FROM APC --
-- ICT POLICY & INTERNET RIGHTS --
-- BUILDING CAPACITY & STRATEGIC USE OF ICTs --
-- WOMEN & ICTs --
-- ONLINE TOOLS & RESOURCES --
-- COLLABORATING OPPORTUNITIES --
-- IMPORTANT DATES --
-- SITES OF INTEREST --
-- COUNTDOWN TO THE WSIS --
-- WHERE IN THE WORLD IS APC NEXT MONTH --

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-- NEWS FROM THE MEMBERS --

BYTES FOR ALL, SOUTH ASIA: Lessons from Siem Reap...software is not
just a tech issue

BytesForAll co-founder Frederick Noronha, an active Free Software
evangelist, went to Cambodia's small town of Siem Reap. But his goal
wasn’t to reach out to the splendour of the Ankor Wat temple
structures nearby. Rather, it was to take part in FOSSAP-II, the Free
and Open Source Software Asia-Pacific Consultation 2005. FN, as he is
known in the GNU/Linux circuit, brings home lessons picked up in the
longish essay below and stresses the need to build links between two
sets of natural allies -- Free Software and not-for-profit
organisations. - APCNews
{http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=1721293 }

BYTES FOR ALL, SOUTH ASIA: A blog, plus audio, from Geneva

Podcasting hasn't yet caught on among the alternate circuit but
Partha Pratim Sarker of APC member BytesForAll got off to a quick
start at Geneva. At the Prep Com 3 events, Sarkar took along
recording equipment to do what he described as a "sort of audio
blogging with an rss feed". APC's Lenka Simerska, on hearing it,
commented: "Cool blog, really! I find it useful and refreshing to
use a combination of written word and voice. I had a problem to
listen initially... But on the second try it worked well." Podcasting
is a method of publishing audio programmes via the internet, allowing
users to subscribe to a feed of new files (usually MP3s). It first
became popular in late 2004. - APCNews
{http://bytesforallparthadhaka.blogspot.com/ }

FOUNDATION FOR MEDIA ALTERNATIVES, PHILIPPINES: Bridge-building,

Philippines-style: linking Free Software and non-profits

The Philippines is moving fast ahead in the task of building bridges
between non-profits and free and open source software (FOSS).
LinuxWorld Philippines, is the biggest and only nationwide FOSS event
in that country. - APCNews
{http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=1693586 }

ITeM, URUGUAY: International financial institutions -- seeking
reform in Latin America

The IFIs Latin American Monitor -- 
{http://ifis.choike.org/ } -- aims to contribute to the global and
Latin American follow-up campaign to promote reform of the
international financial institutions. It is an initiative of APC
member, the Instituto del Tercer Mundo (Third World Institute), with
financial support from the Mott Foundation. The Monitor selects,
produces, translates and disseminates information and analysis about
the Bretton Woods institutions in Latin America. Dialogue and
collaboration is thus promoted among key actors, contributing to an
enhanced North-South interaction. Since September, the Monitor
publishes a monthly bulletin that contains the main news and the most
outstanding reports, produced for our team, research centres,
non-profits, the press, and experts in these subjects. - Choike To
receive a free bulletin, fill in the form:
{http://www.choike.org/nuevo_eng/tools/suscripcion3.html }

NODO TAU, ARGENTINA: Nodo Tau is celebrating 10 years of activism

APC member Nodo Tau is turning 10 in October 2005. For the occasion,
the Argentinian organisation is hosting two popular events that put
emphasis on alternative news. On October 4, a first panel discussion
on the theme of "Alternative media: strategies to foster the
inclusion of social organisations' perspective into the information
agenda" was followed by a second panel on "Communication experiences
of social organisations". On October 29, a social networking event
with organisations using good practices (http://www.enredando.org.ar
{http://www.enredando.org.ar/}) will take place in Rosario. – APCNews
http://www.tau.org.ar/ {http://www.tau.org.ar/}

UNGANA-AFRIKA, SOUTH AFRICA: APC member Ungana-Afrika wins 2005 Dirk
Award

APC member Ungana-Afrika has won this year's Dirk Award, given
annually to circuit or eRiders making an extraordinary contribution.
eRiders are ICT capacity-builders for development organisations, and
work in a movement which spans over 20 countries. - APCNews
{http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=1446919 }

 

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-- NEWS FROM APC --

LAST CHANCE TO APPLY! APC BETINHO COMMUNICATIONS PRIZE: Community
connectivity for economic development in Latin America and the
Caribbean

In 2005, the APC Betinho Prize is offered in recognition of
community initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean that use the
internet and other networks to access markets, skills and
opportunities to derive real economic benefits.

We are looking for ICT initiatives that:

* make a positive economic contribution to the community

* are driven and developed in Latin America and the Caribbean

* can demonstrate a sustainable use of technology.
{http://www.apc.org/english/betinho/ } Deadline for applications:
October 16 2005 24:00 GMT

APC face-to-face in Bulgaria debate "Open Access for All"

Open source, open content, open access, open standards, open
processes... Many of us in civil society claim we are committed to
any number of "open-nesses" but can we put our hand on our heart and
say that we really walk-the-talk?

As "social techies" APC and partners are committed to supporting and
promoting the use of computer and internet technology as an empowerer
-- as something to help social justice and development workers meet
their goals. At an Open Day hosted by APC and our host member in
Bulgaria, BlueLink, which was a real learning event, APC, BlueLink
and guests examined and exchanged experiences and know-how on the
complexities and realities and the issues at the heart of real "open
access for all". – APCNews
{http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=1848226 }

TRIBUTE TO OUR FRIEND, COUNCIL AND BOARD MEMBER, CHRIS NICOL

On Monday 29 August 2005 the APC network lost someone who was a
colleague, a leader and a friend. Chris Nicol, member of the APC
council and also of the APC executive board, died in Barcelona after
more than a year of struggle against cancer. For much of the time
during this battle Chris was winning, continuing to work, travel and
network when the difficult cycle of surgery and treatment left him
with any spare time.
{http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=1175647 }

 

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-- ICT POLICY & INTERNET RIGHTS --

NEW PAPER: Interconnection costs

Communication infrastructures are changing at such an accelerated
pace that while new technologies are released continuously, we are
still ignorant about questions of internet interconnection. While the
users of the North reap the benefits brought about by information and
communication technologies’ advances, the users of the South are
increasingly prevented from taking advantage of the innovations.
Leading among the many factors, the privatisation of this sector’s
operations in the industrialised countries and the adoption of new
technologies have reduced the financial flows of the network towards
the developing world. Available in English and Spanish. - APCNews
{http://rights.apc.org/papers.shtml }

 

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-- BUILDING CAPACITY & STRATEGIC USE OF ICTs --

Cantennas, taking wi-fi to rural areas. Affordably.

A "Cantenna"? What's that? It's a solution that comes out of using
empty tin cans and other simple tools that a lot of communities can
afford. "Cantenna" technology can make wireless connection cheaper
for poorly served rural areas and economically disadvantaged African
people who do not have access to internet connectivity. This is what
emerges from a report on an APC-run series of capacity-building
workshops in Africa. - {http://mybroadband.co.za/nephp/?m=show&id=785 }

Balancing Act-Africa: {http://www.balancingact-africa.com/ }

Africa initiative on free software options for non-profits

Africa Source II, an attempt to enhance Free and Open Source
Software (FOSS) skills of those working with non-profits in the
region will be held in early January 2006, at Kalangala Island on
Lake Victoria, Uganda. This eight day hands-on workshop is aimed at
helping those working with NGOs on the continent to acquire technical
skills and APC is one of the partner organisations organising the
event. – APCNews
{http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=1852544 }

 

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-- WOMEN & ICTs --

PRIZE ANNOUNCEMENT: Bangladesh mobile help-line for women tops
gender and ICT awards

A mobile help-line service that takes information to the poor in
Bangladesh, an information and communication technologies (ICT)
centre that shares skills with marginalised women in India, and a
venture that encourages home-based careers for Malaysian women won
this year's Gender and Information & Communication Technology (GICT)
Awards sponsored by the Association for Progressive Communications
Women's Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP) and the Global
Knowledge Partnership (GKP). - APC WNSP
{http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=1539037 }

NEWS: Gender, ICT and...ostrich eggs?

What do ostrich eggs, free attitudes, ICT and graciousness have in
common? An exciting new research initiative that brings together
African researchers to study Africa, ICTs and women's empowerment,
called GRACE. The Gender Research in Africa into ICTs for Empowerment
held its first researcher capacity-building workshop in Durban in
July 2005, and while researchers from all over the continent honed
their project proposals and fine-tuned networking skills, they also
learned how to create ostrich eggs around themselves. - APC WNSP
{http://www.apcwomen.org/news/index.shtml?x=91680 }

NEW PAPER: Digital dangers: Trafficking women in a 'virtual' way

The word 'trafficking' suggests something very physical. But does it
always have to be so? Take this case: a 19-year-old is filmed by her
30-year-old lover while they have sex. They break up, and years
later, without her consent, the video hits the internet. Suddenly,
the woman's image is crossing the world, making some people a lot of
money in the process too. Is this trafficking? The woman herself
hasn't been transported across any international boundaries. But her
image has. An informative backgrounder to the modern dimensions of a
global issue of widespread concerns. – AWID / APC WNSP
{http://www.awid.org/publications/OccasionalPapers/spotlight6_en.pdf }

NEW PAPER: ICTs at the crossroads: Violence against women and
pornography

On June 17, 2005, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
Numbers, or ICANN, approved .xxx as a global top-level domain for
sexually explicit material on the internet, after five years of
negotiations. Jac sm Kee from APC WNSP uses this peg to point out
that the issue goes much further. Women have to demand their right to
freely move, create knowledge and represent their diversity,
communicate and form networks with each other and be safe from harm.
Can information and communication technologies help to truly
transform socail relations, instead of just amplifying inequalities?
- GenderIT.org
{http://www.genderit.org/upload/ad6d215b74e2a8613f0cf5416c9f3865/WOCTIS_paper_jk.pdf 
}

 

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-- SITES OF INTEREST --

WORLD SUMMIT 2005: The Heinrich Böll Stiftung of Germany is covering
global internet governance negotiations live. A team of devoted
internet rights reporters have been following the evolution of the
World Summit on the Information Society process since day 1. Regular
updates provide quality on-the-ground analysis about process and
content issues relevant to all those wanting to understand this
complicated issue. {http://www.worldsummit2005.de/en/nav/14.htm }

 

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-- COUNTDOWN TO THE WSIS --

Civil Society and the United Nations Summit on the Information
Society (WSIS) 2005: Prep Com 3

The rapid spread of ICTs, and the convergence (combined use) of
different media, is resulting in the emergence of new policies and
regulation. Policy decisions being made today will impact on this
world’s peoples’ ability and potential to use ICTs as tools in their
work tomorrow.

The second United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society
(WSIS) will be held in November. APC has been actively participating
in the WSIS process and is at Geneva in the third preparatory
committee meeting right now.

Keep informed about civil society at the WSIS and get involved!
Detailed coverage in Spanish comes from APC's Latin America and
Caribbean ICT Policy Monitor site.

{http://www.apc.org/english/wsis/index.shtml }

{http://lac.derechos.apc.org/wsis }

Prep Com 3: Concerned civil society writes to Kofi Annan

More than a hundred social movements and civil society organisations
gave endorsed a letter released earlier this month by some of the
most active groups involved in the World Summit on the Information
Society process. Condemning tight surveillance activities, human
rights and fundamental freedoms violations on behalf of the Tunisian
authorities, the protagonists expressed their concern about the
conditions in which the WSIS is to take place in Tunis in November
2005. Read the letter addressed to the Secretary General of the
United Nations, Kofi Annan, and endorse the statement by sending an
electronic message to "info at apc dot org". – APCNews
{http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=1851533 }

PrepCom 3: Coalition on Financing ICTD reacts to major internet
governance document

Six major international civil society networks including working on
questions of access and affordability of the internet have emitted a
joint statement on 27 September 2005, during the third Preparatory
Meeting (PrepCom 3) of the WSIS process. The World Summit on the
Information Society is making a last stop in Geneva before phase II
of the summit in Tunisia, in November of 2005. The statement of the
Informal Coalition on Financing ICTD goes beyond a document released
by the WSIS Chair of a Sub-Committee on Internet Governance and
suggests a series of steps to be taken to make the internet a true
tool for development. - APCNews
{http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=1632351 }

APC backs an open statement of the Human Rights Caucus

Earlier this week, Karen Banks, Networking and Advocacy Coordinator
for APC, expressed solidarity with a statement released by the Human
Rights Caucus. The caucus, composed of many leading human rights
activists of the global civil society, called for procedural
safeguards to "avoid the reign of the arbitrary" on 22 September
2005, on the eve of the Prep Com 3 meeting in Geneva. The Human
Rights Caucus thereby condemned the systematic blocking of the Human
Rights in China (HRIC) association accreditation to the WSIS process.
The original statement, proposed to adoption by the Civil Society
plenary meeting in Geneva reads as follows. - APCNews
{http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=1639610 }

 Digital Dividends: A televised debate for BBC World TV

What role do ICTs have in alleviating poverty? This is one of the
many questions that was fired at a distinguished panel on 30
September 2005 at the International Telecommunication Union
Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Several APC member
representatives and staff were in the audience. The debate is
broadcasted on BBC World Television on 22 October 2005. - APCNews
{http://www.apdip.net/news/ictpovertydebate }

Philippine government releases position on internet governance;
civil society seeks inclusive process

The Philippine government's position on the Working Group on
Internet Governance (WGIG) Report, presently recently, is based on
nationwide consultations the Philippine Commission on Information and
Communications Technology (CICT) ran from June to August 2005 at the
Manila Hotel. But the civil society points out hat the consultations
were rather limited and that only the last consultation in Davao City
had the benefit of discussing the WGIG Report. The rest had as main
documents WGIG's 12 issue papers. - APCNews
{http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=1643459 }

In August of this year, APCNews began to feature news articles
written for GenderIT.org, a new ICT policy and gender portal
supported by the APC women’s programme (APC WNSP). Contributing
journalists are based in Africa, Latin America, Central and Eastern
Europe, and Asia.

Gearing up for Tunisia, explaining the gender issues

The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society

(WSIS) takes place in Tunisia later this year. APC's GenderIT.org
team joined the third and final preparatory meeting, held in Geneva
(Switzerland) from September 19 to 30. In the run-up to the
mid-November WSIS summit, there's a special section collating a wide
variety of resources and articles related to gender and the WSIS. -
GenderIT.org 
{http://www.genderit.org/en/beginners/wsis.shtml }

Geneva Chronicle: Porn in the morning, sexism in the afternoon

Follow GenderIT.org writers Jac sm Kee and Brenda Zulu as they
participate in the third and final WSIS preparatory meeting (Prep
Com3) before the summit in Tunis. Read their postings from Geneva
about the activities of gender advocates, and women's concerns. -
GenderIT.org
{http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?apc=f--e--1&nocache=1 }

Complete GenderIT chronicles from the WSIS Prep Com 3

The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society

(WSIS) gets underway later this year. Between September 19th - 30th,
GenderIT.org writers Jac sm Kee and Brenda Zulu participate in the
third and final WSIS preparatory meeting (PrepCom 3) before the
summit in Tunis. Check out their chronicle and read the following
unreleased (on the APC website) postings about the activities of
gender advocates, and women concerns regarding key issues on the
agenda - internet governance and financing.
{http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=1638760 }

GenderIT.org: {http://www.genderit.org/ }

At Tunis, will gender equality get its due place on the agenda?

What changes does World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

-- which meets in Tunisia in November -- bring in regards to gender
equality and women's empowerment? Is WSIS worth it? How effective is
gender advocates’ participation? What are the main challenges faced
by gender equality advocates? This paper aims to answer these
questions and summarise what has been achieved so far for gender
equality in the WSIS process. It seeks to clarify the "gender and
ICT" agenda for both phases of the WSIS. It analyses why gender
advocacy was such a challenge within the whole process, and assesses
the outcomes as well as some of the indirect benefits WSIS brought
about for gender and ICT advocates. Written by Karen Banks, APC. -
GenderIT.org {http://www.genderit.org/en/beginners/wsis-fulltext.shtml }

 

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-- IMPORTANT DATES --

NOVEMBER 14-16, 2005 (Tunis, Tunisia): World Forum on Information
Society - Digital Divide, Global Development and The Information
Society Conference. The Forum is organised in view of the United
Nations World Summit on the Information Society with the intention of
contributing to the Tunis Summit and its Preparatory Process.

NOVEMBER 16-18, 2005 (Tunis, Tunisia): WSIS II Summit. The second
phase of the WSIS will review the implementation of the Action Plan
and will set new (and more detailed) targets for the period
2005-2015. It will also deal with the important unfinished business
of the first phase, e.g. the governance of the internet and the
question of financing mechanisms. {http://www.itu.org/wsis }

DECEMBER 5-9, 2005 (Bangalore, India): OURMedia / NUESTROSMedios.
5th International Conference Democracy and the Media. A transnational
network with over 400 academics, activists, researchers,
practitioners and advocates working across every continent and in
more than 40 countries. Presentations mainly in English, with Spanish
translation. {http://www.ourmedianet.org/ }

 

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-- WHERE IN THE WORLD IS APC THIS MONTH --

You can meet up with APC and/or APC WNSP (APC women's programme)
representatives at the events below during October 2005. Write to
events@apc.org to obtain contact information. See you there!

Oct 4-11: Varna, Bulgaria

APC Council Meeting 2005: Open Access for Sustainable Development
and Social Justice (hosted by BlueLink) 

Oct 27-30: Bangkok, Thailand

Association of Women’s Rights in Development 10th International
Forum {http://www.awid.org/go.php?pg=forum2005&theme=forum }



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APCNews, in English, and APCNoticias, in Spanish, are distributed
monthly by APC -- a worldwide network supporting the use of internet
and ICTs for social justice and sustainable development since 1990.
APCNews Archive: http://www.apc.org/english/news/apcnews/

Some rights reserved: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial
Licence 2.0 - 2005 Association for Progressive Communications (APC)




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