With the explosion of communication technologies we often wonder if there are any rules? We hear of countries blocking internet sites, but do we hear of those who are trying to provide frameworks and structures to allow more and better access to communication technologies? Well APC is the cyberplace to go…
What do they do exactly?
APC helps people get access to the internet where there is none or it is unaffordable, we help grassroots groups use the technology to develop their communities and further their rights, and we work to make sure that government policies related to information and communication serve the best interests of the general population, especially people living in developing countries. In all of our work we encourage people to network as a means of making other activities more sustainable. If people share their experiences and skills they have greater value over a longer period and often create a ripple effect.
Some examples of their present projects:
APC and KICTANet draw on the experience of their successes in the Africa ICT Policy Monitor project and the CATIA project to bring an integrated approach to ICT policy research, dissemination and advocacy through the building of sub-regional networks. They operate using the principle of multi-stakeholder partnerships developed through the CATIA experience to engage in evidence-based policy change. The project seeks to identify the political obstacles to extending affordable access to ICT infrastructure in Africa and to advocate for their removal in order to create a sound platform for sub-regional connectivity in East, West and Central Africa that will provide a platform for the effective use of ICTs in development processes.
What is “harmful content” on the internet? The definition is contestable, subjective and open to a range of interpretations, and the majority of interventions to combat it are mostly concerned with obscenity and child pornography. Sexual rights workers are troubled by the growing role of conservative forces – supported by religious extremists – and their attempts to encourage new legislation that would treat all online sexual exchanges as sexual predation and all adult content on the internet as pornography. This protectionist approach overshadows other important aspects of the internet that directly impact on internet users’ lives and their ability to access to vital information on sexuality, sexual health and sexual rights. EroTICs, an exploratory research just starting at APC, aims to narrow the gap between political assumptions and a better understanding of content and “harm” based on women’s real experience of sexuality online.
While the existence of a “digital divide” between ICT “haves” and “have nots” exists, the additional gender divide is often overlooked and women, particularly women in developing countries, are far less able to benefit from and influence the male-dominated ICT development than their male counterparts. Through skills diffusion and capacity building, the Feminist Tech Exchange (FTX) seeks to empower women’s rights organisations, advocates and feminists sidelined in the growth of the global digital commons. The Exchange has been developed in response to the expressed needs of feminist and women’s rights movements for greater understanding of emerging ICT and applications. At the same time, the Exchange is an opportunity to foster exchange between feminist and women’s rights movements and the ICT4D community through the participation of individuals involved in ICT for development projects who are looking to get a stronger understanding and integration of gender analysis and feminist values within their work.
As a network promoting local community sustainable development, promoting the development and use of ICTs has been always closely linked with issues related to environmental sustainability. APC members have been implementing projects ranging from monitoring environmental degradation, to natural disaster and accident reporting, to the use of ICTs in managing energy resources more efficiently to research on low-power computing, alternative energy sources and e-waste management in developing countries. In 2008 these efforts led to a new APC-wide GreeningIT initiative that aims to address two critical challenges: How national ICT policy environments address ICTs, environmental sustainability and climate change; and How ICTs can be used more sustainably by ICTD practitioners, civil society organisations and service providers?
Take a look at their publications section:
|APC||2009||APC’s assessment of the fourth Internet Governance Forum||Johannesburg||APC||English|
|Wairagala Wakabi||2009||Bringing affordable telecommunications services to Uganda: A policy narrative and analysis||Johannesbourg||Association for Progressive Communications||Full report|
|Willie Currie||2009||Written Submission to the United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS)||NEW YORK||APC||Full document|
|LC||2009||Media monitoring and evaluating 2008||MONTEVIDEO||Association for Progressive Communications||Media monitoring report|
|APC||2009||ICTs for democracy: Information and Communication Technologies for the Enhancement of Democracy – with a Focus on Empowerment||Stockholm||Swedish International Development Agency||English|