Asia lightning talks: meet projects selected to strengthen community networks


We are happy to invite you to the Asia lightning talks sessions, in which we will learn more about the projects selected by the 2021 Community Network Grant Programme to make strategic contributions to the community networks movement in the region.

This is a chance to get insights from innovative ideas in the fields of community-based technologies, regulation initiatives and gender and diversity approaches within community networks. Our event will start with a series of short presentations (lightning talks) of the projects to be realised in the next months. After those vivid introductions, there will be time for questions, sharing and making plans with people from the larger community network ecosystem.

The Asia lightning talks sessions will happen on 26 August, Thursday, between 10:00 and 11:30 UTC. The link to join it will be soon shared in this thread.

Please remember to RSVP above by clicking on “Going” and join us in this dialogue to strengthen community networks in different countries.

About the projects granted
photo_janastu servelots
Photo: Janastu Servelots

The Local Networks (LocNet) initiative, led by APC in partnership with Rhizomatica, selected 15 initiatives to be supported by its 2021 Community Network Grant Programme.

The initiative is now planning a series of three regional events with community network builders from Africa, Asia and Latin America. During these lightning talks sessions, the 2021/2022 grantees will present their projects to other grantees, peers and partners.

The regional lightning talks aim to be a collective approach instead of making individual project monitoring and sharing. Hopefully, this will allow us to enrich each other and evolve together by exchanging knowledge and increasing the connections between each initiative and the experiences happening around the world.

Find out more about the five projects granted in Asia:

You can also find more information about the grant and the 15 projects selected in Asia, Africa and Latin America here.

Please also let us know if you would like us to organize interpretation options for the lightning talks by answering which language you would follow below:

  • English
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • French

0 voters

@deborabr which time is it actually happening - the text above, and in the main emails 10-11:30 UTC (20-21:30 Australia) but the calendar part above it says 13:00-14:30 UTC (23:00-00:30 Australia.)

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Hi @mitra, it is 10:00 to 11:30 UTC. Many thanks for letting me know, I didn’t notice that the event was created on my local timezone and not at the UTC one, which was the correct one. I tried to fix it now, could pls let me know if it is ok?

@mitra @steve @nicopace @msuantak @Eric @tariqzaman12 @lilche @Indri_KAPALPerempuan : I am sorry for the inconvenience, but due to this edition on the event’ time to fix the timezone, I will have to also kindly ask you all to RSVP again please (by clicking one more time on “Going”* above). Many thanks.

Thanks @deborabr it looks good now.

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Principles of participation

Hello all,
Please review the principles of participation for our session.
If you’ve gone through them and agree with them, please give a like to this response :slight_smile:


Notes from the lightning talks

Welcome (Nils)

Intro to presentations (Sarbani)

List of CNs in Asia (our peers)

  • Janastu/Servellots India
  • Common Room, Indonesia
  • BAIF
  • Asorcom, Maynmar

Evry each one works on different topics, on the needs of the communities: ex. Community Radio, Local Knowledge and Agriculture, Remote Banking, Remote Education … just a snapshot of what is worked on

Asia Grantees 2021:

  • Institut KAPAL Perempuan, Indonesia
  • Servelots/Janastu, India
  • MAYA (movement for alternatives and youth awareness) / Design Beku / Janastu
  • Asorcom (India/Myanmar)
  • University College of Technology Seawak, Malaysia

Before the presentations I will present each project and we will then hear the lightning talks

1. Institut KAPAL Perempuan, Indonesia (Inri presenting)

[lost beginning switching the chanells] We will intensively work in the fields of the project areas. We will start with a video

[VIDEO] …we will provide translation

  • collaborations with local radios
  • initative part of digital access program
  • Techer and students tetimonials on Radio Supurenno. Helpful for distance learning, sometimes students away, but problem that there is no Internet always, using the radio to learn, happy to hear about radio, a blind man looking forward to the transmissions, will open up to informations, in female school the radio created now connections for odering products produced. high school students prais information about early marriages and the risks involved, farmers praise the weather forcasts, emergency service for the Island recognized by government, very helpful for learning, small traders can announce business, Covid-19 informations and protecting and health programs aired

This is the video that has been created, that is how people describe our work. This is how we develop the radio as a women school to reach the remote areas, very helpful for the sustainability.

What are the benfits of the radio program? Heared already in the testemonies but in general worlds: 2% of women micro business increased during pandemic, 395 students learning through radio, reporting of domestic violence on the radio (the broadcasters will protect), also denouncement of child marriage, also some resource persons in community radio for women protection, because in the regions there is no strict policy, nor obeying the rules, we also provide free electricity to 500 households, fishermen unaware of the weather have now the right information

Gustaff provided initial information, very supportive, along with Sarbani, APC support for women radio infrastructure. we can extend now our assistence to people in remote areas. In Lambok the infrastructure is now available and we are getting broadcasting licenses for 6 month periods…this is one of the challenges: until we have the licenses available. Also still pending workshops for broadcasters…this will start soon, the implementation of radio broadcasts in the pandemic will be kept up, especially for women, think about this and other themes for radio broadcast (ex. rights for women during pandemic), women fully impacted in remote areas), other problems; child marriage, economic problems. Advocacy is also an important field, support for radio with the local government (one session), how the local government could support (budget funds).

The background of the project: our main objective is to overcome problems of availability (radio) and gender challenges

Areas: working in two areas.
Sharing pictures of the team

2. Servelots (Dinesh, Shalini)

…introducing the project servicing the community owned net meshwork (COW)

DD Hils

Dinesh: Valleys are full of echos…so what we are trying to do, we are trying to see where to go with the mesh netoworks with a diversity of communities and then think waht could be the services for them, we want to investigate whre to go with people marginalized with literacy, how to make radio available and also local knowledge sharing. Internet is helpful for this.

I will now talk about the village. The nearest fiber is 11km away, line of sight. Until now testing with 1GB capacity…this will change a lot. The learning is part of the process, the LibreRouter testing, there were problems, now working on better throughput, Fromm DD Hills main node the signal is further shared with local access points. There are several villages involved, including low cast village with few services and possibilities for young people…want to better understand what it means to work in this direction.

In the pictures we can see Shalini and others doing maintainence and care: getting fiber, instalation of LR, or removel of boxes the get out wasps.

A picture shows the “feminine perspective”. What we see is not a Dalit village but we see the distribution of resources given by the government. Huge sacks to carry for 2k…it takes a long time to prove whoe they are…the main point is; the distribution center is in the upper cast village and has to be carried to the lower cast village. We call it feminine perspective…or claiming the feminine…we do not want to back but be gentle with the solution without blaming.

The COW mesh will provide better services, to organize help for instance.

The general way of looking is to learn with the community. We distribute vouchers or do quizes to gain vouchers.

There are no more slides, we are done…

Sarbani: always nice to see the team at work

3. MAYA / Design Beku / Janastu (Naveen, Reka)

Exploring the potentials of a community owned health knowledge, COwHKi

[a precorded talk of Naveen]

I will introduce our project, collaboratively designed. To improve life and wellbeing.
Context: training and support with community health workers, testing and counceling (ex. malnutirtion). Maya trains with equipments

Content: health workers deal with data, that not only health date in the classical sense.

Naveen shows a video recording of diagnistics, a way to share knowledge about use cases of preventive care.

Se we can also create content to educate the community. And some communities are also oral knowledge holders. Also know how can be shared (availability of vaccines).

We want to train help workers to understand what is the knowledge.

COW mesh will be the underlying infra, work with smartphones. Important: all information is owned locally…that is the broader goal…we will imagine, work and learn together.

That is more or less our project.

Sarbani: the work reminds me on my former work on health knowledge

4. University College of Technology Seawak, Malaysia (Tariq, Gari)

Digital Inclusion policy |
Broadband over powerline project.

Thank you all, a good day to everyone. Here it is almost evening. So, it is nice to be part of this team and to have this meeting and to know each other. We are part of Borneo island, very diverse communities, enjoying life together, also lots of bio diversity. Malasia has a well developed Internet but not in rural areas…facing the same challenges of access and meaningful connectivity. I will share a two minute video…Gary will lead the project and is with us. We are building on a prototype, business and government collaboration

[video, insights of deployment of powerlines modified for connectivity]

…very sophisticated approach and difficult to sustain, we need a more holistic picture, look at the government’s policies and understands gaps, we also want to develop a manual for CN, better understand digital rights, tools on internet accesibility will be compiled

Thank you, this was a quick one. Hoping to have more discussions in the future.

5.Asorcom (India/Myanmar) (Michael)

Network for Burmese refugees in India: Empowering Women Social Enterprises, specifically 300 women that are refugees, living close to the boarder, now on the way back from the border. This project is about to empower the women community and to endorse them in traditional weaving, the work already on weaving centers, long shift, they have no time for other things, still have to support the families, so they cannot attaend classes. Intenet conectivity will be brought to the weaving centers and create content for entertaining, story telling and to inform to then found a women enterprise at the end of the project. The military coup is hard to bare, we do not know if there will be civil war soon, Want to earn money to support the families back, kids want to learn english online, opens better opportunities.

In the slides you see the weaving centers and the houses, where people live, there are more then 100 refugees in one state, but there a 3 states with refugee presence. The idea is to support them and to be creative and not only target the market in India but also sell over Internet. They have a skill for traditional products but also others, because of Covid-19 restrictions they cannot sell but once they are a cooperative they can sell online and their market will be bigger, which means more self-support for refugees.

Vacination for refugees is also a challenge…in the picture we see people on their way to vaccination.

We also started to plant food for other refugees arriving. Ww expect other CNs to learn from our experience…we have the man powerto grow food and support other refugees.

Sarbani: Thanks and sorry for interrupting.

Q&A session …please open your Mics

Gary: a question on the COW mesh network. What technology are you actually using?

Dinesh: Sorry Gary, what we are doing is to get fibre to a high building and then we had to find a fiber service provider close to this building, in this case railnet, fiber along the linges. 100MBP, We first tried a MS400 with not enough throughput but I can give you all the details…Ubiquity is connecting the main things

Sarbani: question for Naveen from Maya Project: where is the helth knowledge going to be stored? What is the replicability of the project? And how is well being defined?

Naveed: First answer: thinking of a local server, some physical spaces or households of healthworkers could work. The importance is also to have the local access points. THe second point: in terms of the notions of well being, we are working on ideas of knowhow and strategies…not clear about replicability yet…hoping the workshops will bring forward those questions.

Avi: yet another health project, using phone system. Is this a possibility to extend the focus?

Naveed: Interesting. Until now the focus has been on the health workers. Lots of ways to engage, that is a possibility.


Where to join the session?

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Here @msuantak Launch Meeting - Zoom

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Hi, here: Launch Meeting - Zoom

Here are the recordings of the Asia lightning talks session:

In this same thread, you can find the notes from it. Thanks again to everyone who joined this conversation!

If you are interested in the other regional sessions, here you can find more info on the Africa one and here about the LAC session.