IGF 2022 WS #242 Lessons Learned from Capacity Building in the Global South

Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 (08:15 UTC) - Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 (09:45 UTC)

Organizer 1: Carlos Francisco Baca Feldman, Rhizomatica / CITSAC / LocNet Initiative
Organizer 2: Daniela Bello Lopez, REDES A.C.
Organizer 3: Josephine Miliza, Kenya ICT Network

Speaker 1: Harira Abdulraman Wakili, Civil Society, African Group

Speaker 2: Adriane Panduro Gama, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Speaker 3: Risper Arose, Civil Society, African Group

Speaker 4: Neo Mangoro, Civil Society, African Group

Speaker 5: Gustaff H. Iskandar, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Speaker 6: Alessandra Lustrati, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG) 

Additional Speakers




Carlos Francisco Baca Feldman, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator

Josephine Miliza, Civil Society, African Group


Daniela Bello Lopez, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Round Table - U-shape - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

How important is training and capacity building of people in rural and disadvantaged communities for meaningful and universal access to telecommunication services? What lessons can we learn from experiences that have designed and implemented training strategies for community technicians for the design of public policies? What are the relevant aspects for the design of public policies to enable the environment for the development of relevant and contextualized capacity building programs for community technicians? How can the projects generated by the participants of these programs be followed up to turn them into real and sustainable solutions after the end of the training? How is meaningful access understood in rural and disadvantaged communities and how does training strengthen this understanding? What mechanisms are needed to strengthen the national, regional and international networks of community technicians that have been created through these programs?

Connection with previous Messages: The "Building Capacities for Meaningful Access to the Internet" workshop held at the IGF 2021 is closely related to the one proposed this year. Both are part of a broad strategy to strengthen a network of stakeholders that seeks to lay the foundations for an enabling environment for building capacities for meaningful access in rural and disadvantaged communities. The first panel brought together organizations and initiatives from different parts of the world to share diverse training experiences with different objectives and levels of consolidation. We have seen that this panel helped to strengthen the links between those who participated in it, but also with actors who resonated with what was shared there. In the panel we propose for the IGF 2022 we will focus on one of the processes that is developing most strongly in the last two years, the first National Schools of Community Networks in the Global South. With the aim of not only strengthening the learning community among these schools, but also seeking to resonate in other territories to replicate the model, as well as on the stakeholders who are key to the consolidation of an environment favorable to the development of these training spaces.


1. No Poverty
4. Quality Education
5. Gender Equality
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
17. Partnerships for the Goals
Targets: This proposal is aligned with several Sustainable Development Goals: On one hand, we consider it important to highlight the objective 1. No Poverty: 1.4 and 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth: 8.5, because the development of these community telecommunication projects allow people who live in the communities to develop initiatives that strengthen the local economy, because the resources generated by the community telecommunication projects that are launched stay in the communities, and are reinvested in it. For this to happen, training and capacity-building programs for people in the communities themselves are key. In the same vein, these types of projects ensure that men and women from rural and remote areas have access to internet and telephone services, and that they can appropriate the use of new technologies, which allow them to develop study skills, employment and entrepreneurship. In addition, the contents covered in the National Schools and other training programs of this nature enable participants to gain knowledge and skills in other areas of professional life, such as leadership, teamwork, project design, resource mobilization, etc. On the other hand, objective 4. Quality Education: 4.5, which seeks to eliminate gender disparities in education and guarantee equal access to all levels of education and professional training, including that of indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations. Most of the people that are presenting their experiences in the panel represent communities from the Global South and developing countries. Also we highlight objective 5. Gender Equality: 5.b to promote the empowerment of women in the use of ICTs, since having a majority of women on the panel, it is inspiring for girls and young people who decide to approach technology without fear and without stigma. Likewise, objective 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: 9.b and 9.c is also important, since the training we promote focuses on the development of telecommunication projects, but from a critical view of technology and sustainable use of them (solar panels or bamboo towers, for example), which improves the conditions to have access to connectivity in remote areas of developing countries, in a universal and affordable way. Finally, objective 17 Alliances to achieve the objective: 17.8, seeks to promote the development of technology and the creation of capacities, through alliances between countries, organizations, academia and donors, which can develop and transfer work and training methodologies, and knowledge about new technologies, putting communities at the center as main actors in the development and sustainability telecom projects.

In this panel we will share experiences and reflections on integral capacity building processes for the creation and management of local solutions for meaningful access in the Global South. The overall objective of this panel is to serve as a further mechanism in the consolidation of a network of stakeholders that make up an international network of organizations, entities and individuals that promote strategies for meaningful access to telecommunication services through the design and implementation of community training programs. In particular, the organizations that have generated since 2020 the first National Schools of Community Networks in Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Indonesia will participate. These initiatives have been promoted by the Association for Progressive Communications and Rhizomatica Communications with the support of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). All the Schools share the use of Participatory Action Research (PAR) in the design of the programs and have as their antecedent Techio Comunitario, training program for community technicians developed in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for Latin America. This panel is linked directly to this year's IGF theme: Connecting All People and Safeguarding Human Rights. This is because training people in disconnected communities allows connectivity and access projects to be meaningful and sustainable over time because they are managed by people who know firsthand the needs, dreams and characteristics of the communities where last mile communication networks are developed. This kind of training processes also require different learning models that respond to the ways of knowing and learning of each of the territories where they are developed. This has implied very varied pedagogical modalities, contents and curricular structures, making each School different from the others. Being able to reflect on the experiences allows us to learn from each one of them and to put into practice contextualized and relevant capacity building methodologies with a view to creating local solutions to the problems of full access to telecommunication services. In addition, these collective processes in the design of training programs have strengthened the dialogue and linkage between stakeholders at the national level. In each of the Schools, an Advisory Committee was formed to establish the bases and characteristics of the programs. Representatives of regulators, industry, academia, civil society and the grassroots organizations targeted by the schools participated in these working groups.

Expected Outcomes

As a result of this panel we hope to achieve: 1. A compilation of fundamental elements to continue working in public policies for the generation of appropriate environments for meaningful access solutions for the communities themselves. And, specifically, for the creation of training programs of this nature in different countries of the Global South. 2. Strengthening of the international learning community that has been created among the organizations and individuals linked to the National Community Networking Schools. 3. Inputs for a research article about the National Schools and the re-edition of the guide "Technological autonomy as a constellation of experiences: A guide to collective creation and development of training programs for technical community promoters" to include a chapter on these experiences. 4. Creation of a blog or social networks posts of the main results of the panel, which will be shared in the social networks and spaces of the organizations that will participate in the session.

Hybrid Format: Various actions will be carried out to facilitate fluid participation in the session: 1. Community organizations and networks, and other key stakeholders, will be directly invited to join the session online and will be encouraged to share experiences and questions during the session. 2. Prior to the panel, all online speakers will be invited to a pre-panel session to check that they all know how to use the platform. 3. The form of participation of the speakers will be through trigger questions in which they are invited to answer according to their own experience. This will facilitate generating a discussion between the speakers and the other participants, rather than doing it through isolated presentations from each speaker. These questions will also be placed in the description of the session so that other participants can prepare any intervention they wish to do. 4. During the session, in addition to the information given directly by the speakers, in the Zoom room chat (or the chat in the platform on which the session takes place) the online moderator will share links and notes relevant to the information presented. 5. Throughout the session, after the invited speakers respond to the triggering questions, the audience will be asked if they want to comment on it to do so. 6. To achieve all this, there will be a specific timing of each participation, both of the speakers and the rest of the participants.

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool.


Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Training programs and capacity building for the deployment of community networks in rural and remote areas has to be aligned with the needs of the territories, based on local knowledge, language and culture, supported by a multi stakeholders approach based on collaboration between different actors to exchange good practices and make them sustainable in long term.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

To gain meaningful connectivity in remote places and equal access for women, a deeper collaboration and understanding from governments, institutions and social organizations about the communities they work with has to be achieved for the development of community networks, considering these community projects as lifelong learning processes and local-based.