Side happening: Local access and community based networks with APC and ISOC

APC/ISOC Community-Based Networks For Better Connectivity
Answering Two Key Questions: What is ‘Community’? What is the Role of Gender?

A number of participants at SIF 2017 have substantial experience with local and community access initiatives. This workshop takes advantage of their presence in Stockholm to share experiences and strategize on two key areas: – defining what ‘Community’ means and understanding the role of Gender.

A better understanding the role of ‘community’ in the context of locally driven Internet access provision will help guide the most efficient strategies for their support. Until recently, most ‘unserved communities’ would simply just wait to receive government subsidized services from existing commercial providers. Now there is recognition that local institutional models could be a better solution, but which ones are most effective and in what contexts? The potential varies considerably from local entrepreneurs, to public-private partnerships, to municipal WiFi, and in particular to local civil society organisations.

This also leads to the discussion on the role of women and girls in community network initiatives. Community network experience already indicates the important role local womens’ organizations play in supporting the development of community access facilities, but can community networks also be a vehicle for women’s empowerment more generally?

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The 3 hour session will be structured as follows:

14:30-14:45. Welcome and round of Introductions.
14:45-15:00 Introduction to the topics [APC – Jac Kee and Mike Jensen]

15:00-16:30 Discussion
16:30–17:30 Discussion summary, brainstorm for future collaboration: Identification of key needs, upcoming regional and global meetups

Location: Djenné