|Association for Progressive Communication (APC)
The APC is a global federation of 24 non-profit Internet providers serving over 50,000 NGOs in 133 countries. Since 1990, APC has been supporting people and organizations worldwide, working together online for social, environmental and economic justice. The APC's network of members and partners spans the globe, with significant presence in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Between 1982 and 1987 several independent, national, non-profit computer networks emerged as viable information and communication resources for activists and NGOs. The networks were founded to make new communication techniques available to movements working for social change.
In 1987, people at GreenNet in England began collaborating with their counterparts at the Institute for Global Communications (IGC) in the United States. These two networks started sharing electronic conference material and demonstrated that transnational electronic communications could serve international as well as domestic communities working for peace, human rights and the environment.
This innovation proved so successful that by late 1989, networks in Sweden, Canada, Brazil, Nicaragua and Australia were exchanging information with each other and with IGC and GreenNet. In the spring of 1990, these seven organizations founded the Association for Progressive communications to co-ordinate the operation and development of this emerging global network of networks.
Strategies and Policies
The APC defends and promotes non-commercial, productive online space for NGOs and collaborates with like-minded organizations to ensure that the information and communication needs of civil society are considered in telecommunications, donor and investment policy. The APC is committed to freedom of expression and exchange of information on the Internet.
The APC helps to build capacity between existing and emerging communication service providers.
The APC Women's Networking Support Program promotes gender-aware Internet design, implementation and use.
Through its African members, the APC is trying to strengthen indigenous information sharing and independent networking capacity on the continent.
Members of APC develop Internet products, resources and tools to meet the advocacy, collaboration and information publishing and management needs of civil society. Recent APC initiatives have included the APC Toolkit Project: Online Publishing and Collaboration for Activists and the Mission-Driven Business Planning Toolkit.
The APC also runs special projects like the Beijing+5, which shall enable non-governmental organizations to actively participate in the review of the Beijing Platform for Action.