Community Network Do-It-Yourself Toolkit > Decide on Organization Structure

7. Decide on
Organization Structure

Community Network Do-It-Yourself Toolkit >

7. Decide on Organization Structure

four woman next to the computers posing for a photo

Who owns your community network? Who makes decisions?

A critical set of questions is: how is your community network legally established? Is it a nonprofit organization or a cooperative? Is it part of a local or municipal government? Is it a private company? How is it governed? How to make decisions? Does it have an elected or appointed leadership team? Does it have staff or volunteers? There are so many questions to sort out for your specific situation.

Key Points

  • The organizational structure of a community network should ultimately enable maximal community participation and mutual benefit between the network and users.
  • However, the specific legal vehicle and ownership model also affects crucial factors like licensing access, viable partnership options, governance structures, and limits.
  • Operating a community network requires bridging very different realities between the community context and the formal telecommunications sector.
  • For sustainability, partnerships with external organizations can provide essential skills and resources that are not readily available within communities.

Take Action

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Identify potential types of legal structures.

People sit around a semicircle attentively listening to a man talk

Define the initial capacity and skills required to operate.

Two men and a woman standing and talking

Define governance roles and accountability systems.

A woman writes on a large piece of paper during the Africa CN summit

Undertake an external stakeholder map.

Learn More

Next -> 8. Engage with Stakeholders

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