Donate
12 Innovative Projects Selected for Beyond the Net Funding Thumbnail
‹ Back
Beyond the Net 22 June 2017

12 Innovative Projects Selected for Beyond the Net Funding

By Ilda Simao Grants Programme Manager

Beyond the Net Funding Programme is pleased to announce the results of our June 2017 grant application cycle. A total of 102 applications were received and, after a thorough review process, 12 projects were selected.

The new grantees are a group of talented, diverse, and devoted people committed to work on critical issues in their home region using the Internet to bring innovation and empower their communities all across the globe.

The range of issues and approaches these new cycle’s projects cover are extraordinary, such as providing telemedicine solutions in remote districts of Nepal, installing aquaponics and vermiculture technologies in Zimbabwe, connecting remote mountainous regions of northern New Mexico, fighting digital harassment in Barbados, establishing IXP to minimize traffic costs in Kyrgyzstan, and supporting the development of rural and digital libraries in Armenia and Argentina.

Each project also provides key evidence that the Open Internet is an essential tool in facilitating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

We would like to thank all the applicants for their efforts, and we encourage them to keep submitting innovative projects.

Congratulation to the new grantees and good work!

Summaries of awarded grants:

Conectando Comunidades, Internet te Incluye
Argentina – Asociación Civil Tiflonexos
El proyecto “Conectando comunidades, Internet incluye”, busca impactar directamente en la vida de las personas con discapacidad. En linea con la misión y los valores de ISOC, buscamos utilizar Internet como una herramienta que mejore la calidad de vida de las personas. En este sentido nos proponemos atacar la falta de acceso a la lectura de las personas con discapacidad, proporcionándoles acceso a una Biblioteca Digital de acceso libre para personas con discapacidad y asì disminuir la brecha cultural.

En el año 2015 y 2016 ISOC apoyó dos proyectos llevados adelante por Tiflonexos y Argentina Chapter lográndose generar 6 puntos de acceso a la lectura en provincias desfavorecidas de Argentina. De esta manera se logró alcanzar a unas 300 personas capacitadas en los beneficios que el uso de Internet puede traer para la inclusión de las personas con discapacidad y lográndose el acceso a la lectura de al menos 90 personas.

Argentina Regional IXP
Camara Argentina de Internet – CABASE
El objetivo del proyecto es poder brindar a la comunidad una mejor calidad de conexion a Internet. En especial en zonas de poco desarrollo o mal atendidas. Generar un punto colaborativo comun donde se empodera a los pequenos ISPS (SMEs) a mejorar su serivicio, permite instalar caches de CDNs (contentent delivery Networks) que seran compartidos entre todos aprovechando sus beneficios. Instalar 2 IXPs en zonas remotas de nuestro pais donde hoy no hay buena calidad de interent en los proximos 12 meses.

Estariamos desmostrando a la industria de internet que gracias a aportes y funding provisto por organizaciones como ISOC y su capitulo local permiten desarrollar la internet en IXPS REGIONALES especiamente en zonas de acceso precario a INTERNET.  La idea es testimoniar la formacion de estos IXPS en un VIDEO donde los propios protagonistas puedan contar el logro de haber formado esta comunidad.

CLIC Québec : Promouvoir le contenu local et les industries culturelles du Québec en ligne
Canada Québec Chapter
Dans un contexte de croissance du e-commerce et de domination de l’offre de contenus étrangers proposés par les plateformes numériques (Netflix, Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, Youtube) au Québec, le Projet CLIC Québec cherche à sensibiliser les décideurs politiques et à renforcer les capacités des acteurs des industries culturelles québécoises afin de garantir la mise en marché, la promotion, la distribution, la découvrabilité et l’accessibilité en ligne des oeuvres et contenus québécois tant pour les internautes du Québec qu’à l’international.

Le projet contribue aux missions et aux objectifs de l’Internet Society, d’une part dans le domaine de «l’Accès et Développement» puisqu’il favorisera la diffusion et l’accès plus large à des contenus locaux diversifiés sur Internet ; et d’autre part il contribuera à l’amélioration de l’environnement politique de régulation des nouvelles plateformes numériques et des nouveaux services de radiodiffusion de contenus et de produits numériques, en stimulant et en enrichissant le débat public sur les questions réglementaires telles que les quotas de contenus ou la taxation des fournisseurs de contenus ou des fournisseurs d’accès Internet pour financer la création et la production d’oeuvres et de contenus culturels numériques.

Effective Broadband for Health
Nepal – Center for Information and Communication Technology for Development
Dailekh District in the Far Western Region of Nepal has a total population of 260,855 but has only one district level hospital. The ratio of doctors to the population is astonishing figure of 1:52,345. Even worse, people have to travel for hours and even days to reach the nearest urban area for full laboratory services for vital check ups.

The project aims to establish a wireless broadband services and provide telemedicine solutions to the village near the district headquarter. The project is not just to develop the infrastructure but also to create a proper information system related to the public health services. The project also aims to bridge the logistic and communication gap between the district level health office to the nearby urban area hospital for required medical services.

Flor de Ceibo Conecta2
Uruguay – Centro Universitario de Rivera – Universidad de la República
Este proyecto se propone trabajar de manera creativa e innovadora para que niños y adolescentes desarrollen competencias digitales y puedan ser constructores de su propia educación. No se trata de usar las tecnologías y la conectividad como simple recurso con el cual se moderniza la práctica pedagógica, y sí utilizar los recursos digitales que tenemos a disposición, para generar espacios de oportunidades para un aprendizaje creativo, motivador y desafiador, construyendo y ampliando una cultura acorde a la sociedad de información y conocimiento a la cual estamos insertos. De este modo, el desarrollo de competencias digitales permitirá a los jóvenes apropiarse de las tecnologías, beneficiarse una Internet abierta y global que permite asistir al mundo desde sus localidades y potenciar su formación como ciudadanos participativos. Serían capaces de adquirir conocimientos, contribuyendo a su educación, de forma de potenciar la mejora de su calidad de vida en concordancia con la Misión de ISOC de promover el desarrollo abierto, la evolución y el uso de Internet para beneficio de todas las personas del mundo, mediante en este caso el apoyo a la educación.

IT Access and Development in Northern New Mexico: Cultivating Connectivity in the Land of Enchantment
New Mexico – Community Learning Network
We are strengthening connectivity and IT engagement for community members who reside in the highly rural and mountainous region of northern New Mexico, which has low income levels and high poverty rates but is culturally rich, multi-lingual, and steeped in traditions. Due to difficult terrain, challenging weather, limited economic opportunities, low graduation rates, and high poverty, northern New Mexico has not enjoyed easy access to high-quality IT services and according to the New Mexico Technology Council, “New Mexico internet connection speed ranks 48th in the nation and is similar to the average connection speed of Iraq and Molodova. Even a 7% increase in broadband adoption could create an estimated 15,000 jobs to New Mexico, according to Federal Communication Commission study. New Mexico was also recently reported to have the highest unemployment in the nation.”

Our community is coming together to work to change this situation and to support connecting the unconnected while employing education and community mobilization to support IT becoming a valued tool for self-determination and self-empowerment here in Land of Enchantment.

Computers, services and Wi-Fi Internet for rural libraries
Armenia Chapter
There is a large number of rural libraries in Armenia, but the overwhelming majority do not have computers. Book circulation is manual as there are no computers and library management programs. There is a need to provide libraries with computers equipped with library management programs that will enable them to subscribe members, register books, organize the book circulation, search requested books, track the movement of books, and control book check-in and check-out as well as quickly receive any required information for the books in the library.

In 2015 Armenia Chapter, aware of the poor state of rural libraries, started a pilot program aiming to help rural libraries with computers, software, training and services. It became clear that they also need help in troubleshooting and repair, operating system, and application program installation. Thus the following plan of support was developed: develop a lightweight library management program; provide computers to libraries; train librarians to use the library management program; and troubleshoot and repair library computers. The Armenia Chapter finished the pilot program with 20 computers and library management programs installed in rural libraries. They provided timely access to requested materials, simplified search/discovery of library resources, and increased library outreach. However while working on the pilot program we estimated that rural libraries need about 1,000 computers. This project aims to install 50 more computers and provide maintenance and training services to rural libraries. We also plan to set up WiFi access for library visitors.

Off-Grid IoT Urban Farming
Zimbabwe Chapter
Mbare is one of oldest, poorest, crime-ridden, and unhygienic towns in Zimbabwe. Mbare is in urgent need of focused efforts to actualize the SDG Goal 1 of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. The idea of starting a Community Aquaponics Project was inspired by a mini-project implemented by students in the IoT Makerspace Project in 2016 at St. Peter’s Secondary School. As a way to engage the Makerspace students in a real problem-solving project, two Arduino-based Open Aquarium kits were procured from Cooking Hacks in Spain. School authorities were so impressed with the project that they suggested the idea of converting one of their shades into an Aquaponics project whose fish and vegetable produce would possibly be sold to the Mbare community. The project installed aquaponics and vermiculture technologies running on Arduino and Raspberry Pi as taught in the Makerspace sessions. Upon developing the Mini-Aquaponics project the project team decided to up-scale this idea to benefit the Mbare community in a more empowering, self-sustaining, and educative manner.

Inline with ISOC’s Access and Development goals this project will utilise second-hand freight containers to grow plants and fish using internet technologies. Participants will be exposed to how monitoring conditions are achieved by using sensors and automation made possible through actuators within the Aquaponics setup.

Implementing Privacy via Mass Encryption: Standardizing pretty Easy privacy’s protocols
Switzerland Chapter
Since the 2013 Snowden revelations of mass surveillance, the level of trust in Internet services has plunged. While discussions around privacy protection had advanced considerably, little progress has been achieved in designing tools that can be used on a daily basis by citizens around the world. The pretty Easy privacy (pEp) project has to goal to radically ease the use of already existing open standards and their corresponding tools for end-to-end encryption, to allow for mass encryption. The pEp project focuses primarily on written digital communications, with the goal of making end-to-end encryption of emails the norm instead of the exception. This is achieved by automating all steps necessary for regular Internet users, to provide a hassle-free, zero-touch experience to everyone. For that to be possible, the ISOC Switzerland Chapter (ISOC-CH) teamed up with the Swiss-based, tax-free pEp foundation to develop Internet-Drafts (I-Ds) for automatization protocols. The pEp foundation has already provides early drafts of I-Ds (cf. https://letsencrypt.pep.foundation/dev/repos/internet-drafts/) to achieve the goal of an open standardization of the pEp protocols, but the work to develop them professionally and adapt them to the requirements and expectations of the Internet community (in particular the IETF) can successfully be undertaken in partnership with ISOC-CH. This work would further strengthen the links between the Chapter and the IETF.

Ferghana Valley Internet Exchange Point
Kyrgyz Chapter
Ferghana Valley, located in crossroads of three countries, is the most populated area in Central Asia. There is a source of regional inter-ethnic tensions due to water and land irrigation disputes, poverty, and lack of access to communication services. The Internet Exchange Point Project in the city of Osh in Kyrgyzstan is aimed to increase regional cross-border collaboration between stakeholders and the communication of people through increase of Internet affordability by lower internet service tariff plans up to 3 times, multiple growth of Internet traffic exchange in region, increase Internet penetration rate due to price reduction, better latency for international, and regional content sources.

IXP will help local small and medium ISPs minimize traffic costs and spend more on infrastructure rather than on internet traffic purchase. Establishing the IXP would greatly enhance the utility and value of the regional Internet and promote the growth of the digital economy. According to Terabit Consulting, “Improvement in ICT infrastructure yields: increased demand for the output of other industries (demand multiplier), new opportunities for production in other industries (supply multiplier), new goods and services for consumers (final demand). It also increases firms’ innovation capabilities and increases the probability of new products, innovations, and organizations.”

Project C.A.R.E – Combating (online) Abuse through Research and Education
Barbados Chapter
NOAH recognizes that there is a general unawareness of the problem of online abuse in Barbados. Research carried out primarily in North America and Europe shows that the more severe forms of online harassment disproportionately affect women and girls. While anecdotal evidence suggests this is also true in Barbados, with first-hand accounts of abuse, threats, and revenge porn mainly impacting women there is no available research to highlight the prevalence of online abuse.

This project aims to inform through an awareness campaign about the disproportionate effect online abuse is having on the lives of women and girls in Barbados. By engaging local online celebrities with a proven track record for highlighting topical issues and employing the use of social media, the campaign will reach and resonate with vulnerable groups. Though legislation exists in Barbados which outlaws the type of behaviors that constitute online violence, few cases have been brought before the law courts and victims perceive the response of law enforcement to be inadequate. To address this the project will contract an experienced consultant to conduct a training workshop with law enforcement professionals on the island. The project will also measure the awareness of police officers and document challenges they experience in enforcing existing legislation.

Modelo de Desarrollo de Conectividad Comunitaria Indígena
Mexico Chapter
En el último año, comunidades indígenas de México han desarrollado iniciativas de conectividad para proveer de Internet a poblaciones que han sido excluidas del uso de esta herramienta. Una de las experiencias más destacables es impulsada por el Colectivo IK’ TA K’OP, integrado por jóvenes educadores indígenas de la comunidad de Abasolo, Chiapas, quienes desarrollaron una red mesh comunitaria de última milla para generar y difundir contenidos educativos llamada IntraNET Comunitaria YAJ’ NOPTIK. Esta experiencia ha servido como base para el desarrollo de proyectos similares en los estados de Oaxaca y Nayarit, quienes están planteando la creación de IntraNETs comunitarias para el fortalecimiento de procesos organizativos, educativos y de comunicación.

Dichas iniciativas implican una nueva forma de acceso y uso de Internet, convirtiendo la desventaja de la mala calidad de la conectividad o su alto costo en una oportunidad a través de la generación de entornos de cooperación y vinculación.

Consideramos que las redes mesh de última milla administradas por la comunidad de Abasolo, Chiapas y, de forma incipiente en Oaxaca y Nayarit, están desarrollando procesos técnicos, organizativos y de producción de contenidos locales que pueden fortalecerse a través de una red de conectividad comunitaria e indígena (red de IntraNETS) que abarque aspectos tecnológicos, económicos, organizativos, jurídicos y de difusión e intercambio de contenidos.

Por ello, este proyecto se propone generar un modelo de desarrollo de conectividad comunitaria indígena que incluya los aspectos arriba mencionados y que pueda ser replicable a partir de la sistematización de las experiencias comunitarias de redes mesh de última milla en Chiapas, Oaxaca y Nayarit y el desarrollo e implementación de una red de IntraNETs en dichas comunidades. Asimismo, se busca que esta herramienta complemente las redes de telefonía celular comunitaria desarrolladas en el estado de Oaxaca hacia servicios de 4a generación.

Do you have a great idea?

‹ Back

Related articles

Women's Information Service in DRC
Women In Tech23 February 2012

Women's Information Service in DRC

New activism, new hope Imagine a country where 400 women and girls are raped everyday, where they have to walk...

Célébrations du 25e Anniversaire
Célébrations du 25e Anniversaire
25th Anniversary25 September 2017

Célébrations du 25e Anniversaire

La semaine a été tourbillonnante avec des événements organisés dans le monde entier pour célébrer 25 ans du plaidoyer de...

Premier atelier pratique sur l'IdO pour accroître la sensibilisation et l'intérêt dans les universités éthiopiennes
Premier atelier pratique sur l'IdO pour accroître la sensibilisation et l'intérêt dans les universités éthiopiennes
Events9 October 2017

Premier atelier pratique sur l’IdO pour accroître la sensibilisation et l’intérêt dans les universités éthiopiennes

En collaboration avec Internet Society, le Centre international de physique théorique (CIPT) et le Département de sciences informatiques de l'Université...

Join the conversation with Internet Society members around the world