Community Information Network for Southern Africa
Supporting community ICT projects in the SADC region


For the past decade, civil society communities in the Southern African Development Community have experimented with ways of using information communication technologies (ICTs) as tools for development, whether for advocacy, service delivery to the poor, or communication purposes between development practitioners themselves. However, there is yet to be a forum where the region as a whole can share experiences, learn from each other, generate new ideas collectively, and lobby for more effective access to ICTs based on specific country conditions.

The Community Information Network for Southern Africa (CINSA) is a project designed to support community ICT initiatives in the SADC region. It is currently in its pilot phase, which runs for 18-months until the end of July 2004.

The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, and the International Development Research Centre have funded the pilot phase. The project is being implemented by SANGONeT.

CINSA will support community ICT projects through research, networking, training, service brokerage, facilitating technical support and project evaluation, and creating an online information resource base.

· Develop regional nodes that to ensure a regional focus for the CINSA project and be a catalyst for the formation of local networks. The regional nodes will be important information resource bases for content publishing on the CINSA portal

· Develop an online information resource that will assist community ICT projects with issues such as sustainability, best practices, and technological options

· Facilitate training for regional organizations/ community ICT projects in the necessary skills to be successful Develop CINSA into a regional ‘brokerage service’ for community ICT projects, that offers support and advice for community ICT projects at a regional level

· Develop the network so that it is able to interact with other regional networks internationally