FRIDA Award Winners at the Internet Governance Forum
Seed Alliance, the collaborative partnership between ISIF Asia, FIRE and FRIDA —the grants and awards programs established by three RIRs (APNIC, AFRINIC and LACNIC) in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean—had a strong presence at the Internet Governance Forum held in Brazil in November 2015.
Seed Alliance had its Awards Ceremony at the IGF, where the winners of the 2015 edition were recognized for their projects aimed at local and global Internet development.
FRIDA presented its Awards to QuintanaLibre by AlterMundi (Argentina) and Telepsychiatry for Prison Inmates by Universidad de Caldas (Colombia). QuintanaLibre created a digital community network in an area of the province of Córdoba (Argentina) with practically no Internet access, while Telepsychiatry for Prison Inmates promoted an unprecedented model of psychiatric care for prison inmates in Colombia through the use of ICTs. See https://goo.gl/KwdLZU
During the Awards Ceremony held at the IGF (video bit.ly/1QhXAbK), awards were also presented to IDRC and SIDA, the organizations which provide funding support to the Seed Alliance. In addition, it was announced that the Internet Society will join these Seed Alliance supporters, helping fund innovative projects relating to Internet development.
Celebrating FRIDA’s 10th anniversary, special thanks were presented to the program’s jurors and trainers: Ida Holz Bard, Valeria Betancourt, Amparo Arango Echeverri, Jesús Martinez Alfonso, Ana Rivoir, and Edmundo Vitale Dori (unable to attend).
The drive to seek out funds. Carolina Caeiro, the FRIDA program’s new leader, also participated in an IGF workshop on how to fund innovative initiatives.
During the workshop, participants discussed how various sectors (official cooperation agencies, the private sector, and the technical community) support innovation. Jens Karberg, Program Manager at the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), noted that those working on funding innovation must learn from both successful and unsuccessful initiatives.
Paul Wilson, Director General of APNIC, highlighted the contribution of the FRIDA, FIRE and ISIF Asia programs for strengthening development in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia, respectively, providing opportunities such as their grants and awards programs.
Laurent Elder, head of IDRC’s Information and Networks program, noted that projects seeking funding must resort to creativity and visibility –creativity in offering innovative solutions to development problems and visibility in making themselves known and reaching potential funders.
To conclude, Vint Cerf, Google’s Global Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, observed that small grants such as those provided by FRIDA help eliminate risks and make it easier to bring in new investors. He added that innovation doesn’t necessarily have to be high-tech but, instead, their value lies in providing good solutions to relevant problems. Workshop video: bit.ly/1QhXn8n