Report 2015-2017 to Internet Society

On 15 December 2017, the Seed Alliance team submitted the Final Report for the Grant Cycle 2015-2017 to the Internet Society

The ISOC Seed Alliance Final Report 2015-2017 offers an overview of the Seed Alliance’s work completed under the two-year program cycle 2015-2017, funded by the Internet Society

This report covers Internet Society’s first experience supporting the Seed Alliance as a global initiative. The Internet Society contributed US$ 212,500 to the Seed Alliance to support five projects. FRIDA and ISIF Asia selected initiatives working on Cybersecurity while FIRE Africa offered funding to support Internet access.

The 2016 grants cycle was a successful one for Seed Alliance, with 1486 proposals received between the three regions. Specifically, for the Internet Society grants, FRIDA and ISIF Asia programs thus focused their efforts on securing few, but high-quality applications. In the case of FIRE, the focus on Internet Access allowed to secure a greater number of applications.

As the result from Internet Society’s support:

  1. BOSCO Uganda brought about a stable and reliable connectivity and power supply to existing free-entry remote ICT youths centres in Northern Uganda. An increase has been noted in the usage of computer as well as in the number of users.
  2. Mucho Mangoes program, The 21st Century Digital Farmer! empowered rural smallholder farmers in Kenya. They have trained 376 farmers and have increased internet access to rural farming communities. Due to proper access to information and relevant sources there has been a significant reduction in farm wastage and post-harvest losses.
  3. The University of Campinas developed a platform to analyze malicious traffic in the Deep Web with a 98% level of accuracy in identifying traffic connected to cybercrime.
  4. Colombia’s National Academic Network of Advanced Technology (RENATA) implemented origin validation for BGP routes in its network backbone which provides interconnection services to SNCTI in Colombia and the rest of the world. The project has become a leading initiative in the LAC region and results have been presented at the IETF Singapore 2017.
  5. The Kingdom of Tonga developed a National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), the first of its kind in the Pacific region. The CERT is growing its involvement in activities that are related to the cybersecurity and cyber safety and is now playing a vital role in the Tonga Police investigation process.

Beyond the 5 projects funded under the Internet Society contribution to the Alliance, in the 2016 cycle, Seed Alliance offered 22 additional grants and 8 awards. Projects range across a wide array of topics including:

Internet and Technologies for Participation and Inclusion: initiatives to get women and girls involved in ICT and prevent gender-based violence in Rwanda, Kenya, The Gambia and Myanmar; ICT to preserve African languages; libraries for the visually impaired in Cameroon and Uruguay; digital solutions for individuals with speech impediments in Colombia; platforms for greater accountability of electoral processes in Malaysia and whistleblowing in Mexico.

Internet and Technologies for Communities: education and health initiatives such as waste management through online platforms in Nigeria, gamifying math and science lessons for basic mobile phones and feature phones in Tanzania, remote prenatal care in Ghana nd digital medical records and complementary services for mothers and children in India. Workforce support initiatives such as a platform to facilitate the financial management of emerging startups in Singapore and mobile apps for the support of rural farmers in Trinidad and Tobago. Disaster management and prevention, such as devices for restoring connectivity and UAV applications for resilient communications in the Philippines, and GIS mapping platform for vulnerable communities in Guatemala.

Internet Access and Technical Research: IPv6 deployment in Argentina, hardware development for community networks, connectivity for the Brazilian Amazon through High Frequency Radio stations, Wifi access for underserved communities in South Africa. Research on peering strategies for pacific islands, detection of BGP anomalies, improved experiments around satellite connectivity and research on honeynet as a means to improve cybersecurity in Pakistan.

One of the main takeaways from this experience has been recognition of the increased value achieved by Seed Alliance and Internet Society working together to offer technical grants in what has proven to be an effective mechanism to support technical innovation through small grants in the Global South.

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