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partnerships:articles:charter [2017/06/12 10:20] (current)
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 +# A charter for Community Internet
 +
 +Researcher Debbie Ellen is developing a list of criteria for successful
 +community networks, and inviting practitioners to contribute. When
 +refined this will form the basis of a Charter for Community Internet.
 +
 +This is a list of criterion which those thinking of establishing a
 +community network might wish to consider both before embarking on a
 +project and throughout the projects lifetime. The criterion do not aim
 +to be prescriptive in terms of what kind of community network you might
 +wish to set up.\
 +
 +Key principles / values
 +-----------------------
 +
 +-   an understanding that each community will have different
 +    expectations about what this new media can do (including the
 +    possibility that it may do nothing for a particular community !)
 +-   ​ground work to investigate what the community'​s needs and wants are.
 +-   ​commitment to the principle of social inclusion in the '​information
 +    society'​ for all (learn from other networks that have found ways of
 +    providing access to the less well educated, elderly people afraid or
 +    uncomfortable with the technology, people on low incomes who cannot
 +    afford the hardware...)
 +-   free public access at a wide range of venues (libraries, community
 +    centres, leisure and recreational facilities, electronic village
 +    halls...)
 +-   ​communication as well as information
 +-   room for dissent / freedom of speech within the law
 +-   ​availability of information in minority languages
 +-   ​spaces for children to participate
 +-   ​independent spaces for entrepreneurs,​ groups and citizens
 +-   ​community involvement (local residents, local businesses, schools,
 +    colleges, community groups, institutions,​ local councillors )
 +-   ​community involvement in decisions about content from the outset
 +-   ​community ownership of the project (i.e. feeling a sense of
 +    ownership amongst the community)
 +-   ​willingness to evaluate as an ongoing process of improvement /
 +    development
 +-   ​commitment to awareness, access and support
 +-   a financial model to ensure their ongoing viability and
 +    sustainability
 +-   need to compliment CI interchange with other means of communication
 +    (letters, telephone calls and meetings)
 +
 +What outcomes are we looking for ?
 +----------------------------------
 +
 +-   ​improving local democracy (e.g. providing access to local government
 +    information and email access to councillors - enabling two way
 +    communication between local representatives and citizens )
 +-   ​improving links between schools, parents, companies and other local
 +    communities of interest
 +-   ​improving business and work opportunities
 +-   ​improving public access to local information by providing another
 +    source of information for the community
 +-   ​improving public feedback to organisations
 +-   ​improving input into local planning and development
 +-   ​strengthening of self help initiatives and local organisations such
 +    as LETS, Credit Unions, Food Co-ops, volunteering,​ homeworking
 +-   ​widening access to information amongst those previously not able to
 +    access it (elderly people, women, disabled people, ethnic
 +    minorities)
 +-   ​improving communication for ethnic groups to build up their cultural
 +    identity
 +-   local services including home learning, shared entertainment,​ net
 +    friends
 +-   ​easier collaborative work
 +-   ​increased understanding and use of online opportunities
 +-   ​community building, increased local pride and participation
 +-   new skills, services, jobs and opportunities arising from the above
 +-   long term aim that the CI becomes part of the fabric of the
 +    community
 +
 +What will it take to implement and sustain ?
 +--------------------------------------------
 +
 +-   ​preliminary work in the community to establish communication and
 +    information needs, investigation into levels of information
 +    awareness
 +-   ​vision,​ co-ordination,​ co-operation and consultation amongst
 +    interested parties
 +-   ​partnership of interests and recognition of practicalities of
 +    partnership
 +-   a viable plan for making the network self sustaining
 +-   ​appropriate (and ongoing) local publicity
 +-   build on existing networks within a community to strengthen and
 +    extend possibilities for communication
 +-   ​awareness of resources required to get something up and running,
 +    then maintain it (funding, volunteer support energy, credibility,​
 +    partnership)
 +-   ​skilled support to ensure the website(s) are effective and well
 +    maintained
 +-   ​training and education programme to involve those not familiar with
 +    the technology (involvement both as '​users'​ and / or as volunteers
 +    helping to run the system)
 +-   ​agreement amongst those involved about scope of the system
 +-   ​agreement to focus on activities that achieve visible results
 +    locally
 +-   ​commitment to involve local people in production and development
 +-   ​finding encouraging,​ inspiring local champions in as many spheres of
 +    activity as possible
 +-   ​clarity and agreement about who owns information and equipment, who
 +    is responsible for maintaining it
 +-   ​recognition of the importance of participant feedback at all levels
 +-   ​commitment to make resources available to evaluate the project
 +    against hoped for outcomes
 +-   ​recognition that networks grow according to their reputation and may
 +    outgrow their original constituency
 +
 +How will you know that you are reaching your goals ?
 +----------------------------------------------------
 +
 +-   by monitoring and evaluating progress
 +
 +\
 + ​Debbie Ellen\
 + <​INFO.UNLIMITED@MCR1.poptel.org.uk>​
 +
 +------------------------------------------------------------------------
  
partnerships/articles/charter.txt ยท Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)