Community 5 December 2016

Beyond the Net – Impact Report 2015

The Internet Society brings technical expertise and policy issues and discussions to life through the work of its local communities on the ground.

We seek to improve the quality of people’s lives in all parts of the world by providing them meaningful access to an open, trusted and global Internet. The adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UN in September 2015 gave us a clear framework to increase our development efforts as well as reinforce our commitment to bringing the benefits of a globally connected Internet to everyone.

The Internet as an Enabler

The SDGs are not new for us. We have always seen the Internet as a critical enabler for sustainable development and believe that access to the Internet will help to accelerate the achievement of all of the SDGs.

To play our part in facilitating this, the Internet Society has funded community-led projects throughout the world since 2005, firstly through our Community Grants funding programme until July 2015, and from then on through our Beyond the Net funding programme. Over the years these projects have worked on solutions that address 14 of the 17 SDGs.

Supporting the Community

Our Chapters play a vital role in Internet development and are vehicles of change in their regions, solving local issues and often contributing to the empowerment of their communities.

Chapter members are the ones who bring projects to life and they do this by transferring key knowledge and building crucial relationships while working directly with local communities.

To improve support for our Chapters and to better align with the organisation’s strategic development objectives, we have increased our focus on supporting the work of our community at both the local and regional level.

Beyond the Net

So, in 2015 we rolled out the Beyond the Net funding programme, which replaced and enhanced our Community Grants programme, and firmly concentrated the focus of our funding efforts on our Chapters’ initiatives. Built on the same fundamental principles as the previous programme, the Beyond the Net programme helps the Internet Society to further support projects that matter locally while giving greater visibility to the amazing work our Chapter communities are doing to solve the issues that matter to them.

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