The following material provides an overview of the key achievements of the
three communities developing civic networks and the F&P support office in
Moscow. Complete reports of the three communities are available in the
Chelyabinsk Civic Networking website:
Because the Chelyabinsk Civic Network (CCN) is rooted in public networking
activities of over five years duration, they have an already well
established technical base for their efforts. The CCN project has enabled
them to enhance this infrastructure with new equipment, an increased
number of phone lines, and additional public access sites. But the
accomplishments of CCN have been more focused on development of
information services, on training, increasing number of users of local
network, and developing greater public awareness of the civic network.
Examples of their accomplishments over the first 7 months of this project
(June - December) include hosting over 22 seminars training over 250
individuals on topics related to Internet use and Internet publishing;
developing the primary CCN web server with information about the CCN
project, public access locations, training schedules, directories of local
resources and links to similar projects; maintaining the "Internet for
everyone" public access center which is open 8 hours each day and
providing access, email and web publishing services to students, scholars,
teachers, journalists, scientists, NGO staffs, etc.; providing special
focus on increasing number of NGO organizations on-line; and publishing
two electronic journals concerned with important issues of local community
life (one on local legal/government issues; the other on local cultural
news and issues).
Project organizers have worked diligently to improve local communications
infrastructure - establishing peering agreements with local Internet
service providers (providing for better local network infrastructure),
increasing network capacity from Chelyabinsk (to Moscow and the rest of
the world), improving local equipment (both hardware and software),
providing additional phone lines for dial-up access, adding wireless
Internet connectivity to a local pedagogical university, and dramatically
improving local public access infrastructure.
The grand opening ceremony of the Chelyabinsk Civic Network (CCN) was held
in the "Internet for Everyone" center at Southern Ural State University
(SUSU) on March 17, 1999. The 52 participants included Greg Cole (F&P),
Chris Kedzie (Ford Foundation), Sergey Agapov (Samara Civic Network),
Tanya Stepanova (F&P), staff of regional center of FREEnet (The network
For Research, Education and Engineering), reporters and special guests
such as "Independent Forum of Women", "Youth Social Movement",
Frieburg-Chelyabinsk Society, local government, scientific and educational
institutions in Snezhinsk, Miass and Chelyabinsk, libraries and so forth.
After greetings of SUSU chancellor German Vyatkin there were speeches of
Oleg Loginovsky, head of Information Department of Administration of
Chelyabinsk oblast, Chris Kedzie, Dmitry Latukhin, Sergey Agapov and Greg
Cole. All of them described aspects of the RCNP and, in particular, CCN
project, their civic and democratic purposes, first results and, to a
certain extent, technical details.
The event was widely presented in the city newspapers as well as TV and
radio programs. Two main local newspapers "Evening Chelyabinsk" and
"Chelyabinsk Worker" published reports on their first pages on March 18
and weekly "Business Ural" - on March 26. Regional TV and East Express
channels (the most popular in the city) made reports on their evening news
programs on that day. Regional radio station reported about the ceremony
twice - on March 18 and 22. Ural Press and Southern Ural Information
Service agencies prepared their own short news. The CCN projector
director, Dmitry Latukhin, was interviewed by the Algo Press agency in
The ceremony achieved its main goal of generating wide and sincere
interest in the project, attracting lots of interested local citizens, as
well as local media which subsequently shared news of the project. The
event got good resonance in the University and among non-commercial and
non-governmental organizations. The ceremony has generated a lot of
interest, phone calls, and requests from new users who wish to publishing
using CCN infrastructure.
Planned activities for the next quarter of the project include creating a
better organizational structure for governance of the project; obtaining
better involvement of local government and other local organizations in
support of the CCN; increasing work with volunteers; developing more
formal policy for user services and support; improving relationship with
local commercial ISPs; and, very importantly, improving information
content of the civic networking server.
Samara Civic Networking website:
The primary strength of the Samara Civic Network (SCN) is in the broad
coalition of organizations involved in its organization and governance.
While the key partners are the historical-eco-cultural association
Povolzje and the Samara State Technical University (SSTU), the consortium
includes strong participation from the Samara regional administration, the
Russian Engineering Academy, a local Internet service provider, a local
federation of children's organizations, a local legal organization, a
local NGO association, and the Open Society Institute (which is providing
funds for small grants to attract/fund information resources development
for the SCN).
The consortium has developed a shared leadership responsibility which
assigns most of the technical and engineering responsibilities to the SSTU
and more humanitarian/social aspects of the project to Povolzje. But,
very importantly, the project provides a broader base of community
participation in governance through an executive board of directors, a
local user committee, and is currently forming a finance committee
representing local government, local ISPs, and local business and
finance. Project organizers have reached out to local and regional
government organizations to gain their participation and support.
Project organizers have established a good technical infrastructure for
the network (including hardware, software and telecommunications
capacity). All equipment provided by F&P for the project has been
received, installed and is now in use.
The SCN has developed a sizeable volume of information resources of
interest to the local community (including over 100 articles for the
"Samara Regional Ethnos and Culture" Web site as well as other resources
on the local community and local life); have helped local nonprofit
organizations develop and publish their content for the network, and
developed an overall structure and organization for the new SCN Internet
site. Local information content focuses on local nature, history,
regional industries, life and work of local artists and writers, theaters,
museums, architectural and cultural points of interest, and local places
of religious significance. A local directory of local nonprofit
organizations has been published as well. Organizers have already begun
publicizing existence of the SCN through distribution of two printings of
an information brochure on the project (2000 copies); a special
publication for local NGOs, and through word of mouth at local meetings
Four public access sites have been established (with a total of 13
workstations located in four different locations); a number of training
activities conducted (with over 100 participants); and free access to the
Internet and email services provided to over 20 NGOs.
The grand opening ceremony for the Samara Civic Network was held on March
19, 1999 in the Samara State Technical University. The event generated
wide-spread interest in the local community with more than 50 individuals
represented. These include Greg Cole (F&P), Tanya Stepanova (F&P), Boris
Chertkov (Samara State Technical University and SCN principal
investigator), Sergey Agapov (Povolzhje), Nickolay Saptsin (technical
director), Dmitry Latukhin (Chelyabinsk Civic Network), V.I. Astafiev
(pro-rector, Samara State University), Valery Alekseevich Kamynin (local
government), M.A. Kuziakin (TASIS project representative), P.A. Kulakov
(first pro-rector, Samara State University), L.A. Seryh (Open Society
Institute), Dr. Suhov (Internet chief, Samara Space Academy), L.M. Fridman
(pro-rector, Samara State Architecture Academy), J.A. Tihonov (Chamber of
Commerce), several user representatives of the Samara Civic Network
(representing different NGO organizations), two TV stations, Russian Radio
station, two local newspapers and two local magazines.
Several speakers presented their ideas on different aspects of the SCN
project. The local administration speaker devoted his comments to
problems of formation of a uniform local community information space for
science, education, culture and noncommercial organizations of the Samara
area as well as the value to this process of the SCN. The administration
of area supports development of the SCN as it represents one of the major
tools of construction of a democratic society and promotion and
development of mutual understanding between the population and bodies of
Project organizers have presented an aggressive agenda for further project
development in the next 3-6 months. These include increasing contacts
with local non-profit organizations; improving relationship with local
administration and gaining their greater involvement in project
development; formalizing a financial committee structure; focusing special
effort on fund raising and establishing a more solid financial footing for
the project; establishing a series of regular (at least monthly) meetings
for the local community; introducing special introductory courses on use
of the SCN (and the Internet generally); opening new public access sites;
dramatically improving local information content; installing additional
dial-up phone lines; publishing information from the local government and
increasing local NGO publishing activities.
Serqiev Posad Civic Networking website: http://stPosad.friends-partners.ru
Of the three communities involved in the RCNP at this stage, the Sergiev
Posad Civic Network (SPCN) has had to work the hardest to establish the
technical and engineering elements of the project. Starting with very
little technical experience (and almost no local Internet infrastructure),
the SPCN has successfully installed all equipment provided by F&P,
established local Internet connectivity (through a good partnership with a
commercial ISP which sees the value of the SPCN to the local community),
and is currently implementing local modem access to the SPCN.
The special strengths of the SPCN are found in its strong relationship to
the local Chamber of Commerce and its efforts to involve government,
non-government and commercial organizations in the development and
governance of the SPCN. The successful integration of both public and
private organizations is encouraging to other RCNP communities and to
project organizers. The consortium of local organizations involved in the
development of the SPCN include the "Russia House" Foundation (local
migrant and social service organization), the "Golden Ring" tourism firm,
the Sergiev Posad Chamber of Commerce, local libraries, hotels and the
Sergiev Posad Humanitarian Institute. These organizations participate
directly in the governance of the civic network through their involvement
in the central Council of Directors. But the SPCN has made special
effort to reach a broader section of the community through their
agreements with local Internet service provider, the local mayor's office,
district newspaper, regional newspaper, local rescue service, local
university, a hospital for socially unsupported people, a union of invalid
artists and craftsmen, and other units of local administration. This very
broad outreach into the community (and to government, non-government and
private firms) represents a primary goal of civic networking.
The SPCN has provided four seminars and workshops for leaders of local
NGOs and mass-media, involving 24 individuals. They have also established
agreements with different NGOs libraries, local government offices to
open 6 public access locations.
The project has successfully installed the technical equipment provided by
F&P, has established the initial WWW site for the RCNP, has established
public access sites (located at different sites in the area), and begun
developing local information content about Sergiev Posad and the
The grand opening ceremony of the Sergiev Posad Civic Network (SPCN) was
held on March 23, 1999 with many participants from the local community and
some guests from other locations. Participants in the day's ceremonies
and meetings included: Victor Nemov (project director and head of
foundation for Social Programs), Oleg Starkov (co-director and head of the
local Chamber of Commerce), Larissa Voitkova (head of Public Women's
Organization "Soglasiye"(Harmony)), Tamara Kobyakova (head of
Interregional Public Association for disabled painters and retired
painters), Olga Kosenko (head of Public Ecological Movement "Biosphere and
Biopolicy"), Oksana Samoilenko (Rescue Service), Irina Lenskaya
(Cultural-Education Center "Inga"), Vladimir Lebedev (network development,
Sergiev Posad Humanitarian University), local students, librarians, local
administration, and local newspaper, radio and television media
representations. Special guests included Natasha Bulashova, Tanya
Stepanova, Greg Cole (all representing F&P), Chris Kedzie (Ford
Foundation), Alexander Stolyarov (Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies),
Sergey Agapov (Samara Civic Networking Project), Alexander Vasilyev
The ceremonies began with representatives of local NGOs talking about
their activities and plans and about significance to such of the Internet
and Civic Networking. Victor Nemov told about the project "The Town of
Craftsmen" - the unique Cultural and Ethnographic town similar to the open
air historical/ethnographic museum in Williamsburg Virginia (USA). After
meeting with local NGOs and educational representatives, the group met
with Deputy Head of Region Administration - Alexander Dolotsev. He
expressed gratitude to organizers for creation of civic networking. He
told about interest of local administration in continuation of this
project, about public benefit of this project for every city's service,
about its significance for direct communication with population of
The ceremony then moved went to Gorlovsky Municipal Library, where there
was held a grand opening of the new public access point. Visitors of
library, students, and journalists attended this ceremony. This event was
of great importance for Sergiev-Posad city as the visitors of library have
a free access to Internet and local resources. Local TV channel showed a
fragment of this ceremony in its show "The Day of City". Local newspapers
"Vpered", "Vash Interes", "Zerkalo' published articles about the Grand
The second half of day was devoted to the work in office of Foundation for
Social Programs. Discussions about further work of the SPCN, further
development of civic networking in Moscow region and about specific plans
to develop civic networking project in Michourinsk town (Tambov region).
The following is a newspaper article which appeared in Sergiev-Posad
describing the grand opening ceremony.
Moscow Office of Friends and Partners Foundation
Beyond basic grant and project management responsibilities, the Moscow
office of the Friends and Partners Foundation has worked to establish a
strong infrastructure in Moscow for expanding the Russian Civic Networking
Program. The following provides a summary of activity and results of the
Foundation's activities during the past year.
The Friends and Partners Foundation has assumed all legal and financial
responsibilities for the project and for the funding provided by the Ford
Foundation. In the earliest days of the project's development, this
involved the legal incorporation of the foundation itself - requiring
rather extensive study and consultation with legislative consultants about
the most proper form of organization and exercising the specific steps
required for legal incorporation. After receiving nonprofit, charitable
foundation status, the Friends and Partners Foundation was legally able to
receive funds and to administer this program.
The RCNP program is an especially challenging one to manage as the F&P
Foundation is itself responsible for funding and overseeing projects in
three different Russian communities. In addition to basic supervisory and
management responsibilities, this has required establishing legal
agreements with responsible nonprofit organizations in each community and
negotiating separate legal agreements for transfer of the equipment
provided by the Foundation to each of the three cities.
Management responsibilities have required rather constant communications
with the three communities. Also, procedures were established early in
the project's development for regular reporting by the communities to the
Friends and Partners Foundation about project activities, problems, etc.
Responsibilities also included the timely transfer of funds to the three
communities which itself involved necessary currency exchange activity,
preparation of wire transfers, etc. The policy was adopted early in the
project to issue the transfer of financial obligations in two installments
to each community. This was modified, however, after the August financial
crisis and a process of monthly wire transfers was begun to better
The transfer of equipment to each of the three communities was a
particularly challenging task involving first, thorough testing of the
equipment and second, appropriate insurance of the equipment and finally,
the safe transfer of equipment to each community.
Project monitoring responsibilities required two trips each to Sergiev
Posad and Samara to observe, first hand, project development and also, in
Sergiev Posad, to assist with technical issues related to server and
Finally, the management responsibilities have required regular reporting
and meetings with the Ford Foundation to keep the sponsor appraised of
overall project development.
In order to manage the project and, as importantly, to develop the
capabilities to support the planned expansion of the Russian Civic
Networking Program, the Friends and Partners Foundation has established
good office and communications infrastructure in Moscow. It is outlined
elsewhere in this report about the rather difficult challenges involved in
securing appropriate office space and communications infrastructure. To
summarize, reasonably sized office space was secured in Moscow with
excellent connectivity (512 Kbps) to the fibre optic backbone/Internet of
the Moscow region. This infrastructure provides very fast access to all
"Friends and Partners" services on the Internet. The office purchased an
Enterprise 450 SUN server on which to house all of its information and
communications services. This equipment is both powerful and scaleable
and should support the growth of the program's activities for many years
to come. The office was also established with good PC and graphics
(Macintosh) workstation equipment to support basic office operations.
In short, the Friends and Partners Foundation office, in the span of about
eight months, has matured into a well equipped and well functioning office
with some of the best connectivity to the Russian Internet available in
For personnel, the Friends and Partners Foundation has contracted for some
legal support services during the year and hired full-time support staff
to assist in the office. The Foundation has also subcontracted for
additional staff support and engineering services. The permanent staff is
now comprised of the project director, project secretary and
III. Project Development and Growth
Project development has involved such activities as enabling purchase of
standard equipment of excellent quality by negotiating special pricing for
the project; and establishing common domain names
(samara.friends-partners.ru, chelyabinsk.friends-partners.ru, etc.) to
encourage project consistency and a team oriented approach between the
three communities. Through rather constant communications, the F&P
Foundation has encouraged adherence to the original vision of the civic
networking program as outlined during the earlier proposal solicitation.
It has also worked to encourage use of similar software standards and
encouraging a more active exchange of opinions and materials between the
three civic networking sites. The office is currently discussing with the
three sites development of a monthly publication about the Russian Civic
Networking Program, useful for the three sites themselves but, as
importantly, helpful for disseminating information about the project to a
much broader audience in Russia.
The growth of the civic networking program hinges largely on new
relationships established with organizations interested in the support of
the civic networking program as well as the dissemination of news of the
program -- through printed material and other media - to potentially
interested individuals and organizations in Russia.
A large part of the Moscow director's time this past year has been spent
presenting on and discussing the civic networking program with various
funding organizations, academic institutions, government organizations and
business groups. Much of this activity culminated in a very successful
roundtable discussion with several US-based funding organizations on
December 21st, 1998.
The foundation has also been gathering information about development of
the Russian Civic Networking Program for later distribution. Through
another grant (from the Eurasia Foundation) the Russian director has
acquired a portable computer, a LCD display and a video camera, which are
being used to make presentations about the program. During the recent two
week visit to the US, the Moscow Director recorded over 60 hours of video
which will later (with additional material gathered from subsequent trips
and meetings) serve as the basis for a video and multimedia (CD)
production to be distributed to interested communities across Russia.
Throughout the project, the Friends and Partners teams in Russia and US
have continued development of the CIVnet Web site available at:
http://www.friends-partners.ru/CIVnet/ (Russian location)
Additionally, several new listservers have been established for supporting
communications between participants in the project. A new chat server has
been provided by the US F&P office to facilitate regular on-line meetings
between the RCNP participants.
http://www.friends-partners.org/CIVnet/ (US location)
The project directors have been communicating closely with the
International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) organization about
possibilities of expanding the civic networking program to include various
Internet Access Training Program (IATP) sites funded over the last several
years by IREX. The discussions are based on the understanding that the
civic networking model provides a more sustainable and useful means of
furthering local communications infrastructure and support.
The US and Russian directors jointly applied to the Eurasia Foundation for
support of the first US-Russian workshop on civic networking (held in
In May, 1999 we submitted a new application to the Ford Foundation for
continued support and expansion of the program. This proposal which was
subsequently funded suggested funding (at a reduced level) for the
existing three sites as well as selection of an additional three sites for
participation in the next year of the project.
One of the more challenging tasks of the last year has been organizing the
two week trip by the Russian representatives from the three communities
and the one week workshop in Knoxville, Tennessee on civic networking.
This was considered a vital component of the first year's effort to enable
the Russian participants to get together and to have the opportunity to
interact with well-established and successful US-based civic networks.
Arranging the logistics, developing the agenda for the entire trip as well
as that for the actual workshop, preparing presentations and lectures and
conducting the many meetings during the two week visit provided a very
intense but rewarding and important step in the development of this
IV. Interface to International Civic Networking Communities
A key part of the Russian director's responsibilities during the past year
has involved integrating the Russian civic networking communities into the
growing international civic networking movement. At one level this has
involved researching civic networking in other parts of the world,
subscribing to civic networking listservers and trying to stay abreast of
developments in civic networks elsewhere in the world.
It has also involved a lot of travel and presentations to share what is
being accomplished with the Russian Civic Networking Program and to learn
from the experience of others. During the past year, the Russian director
has participated in many meetings regarding the RCNP in Russia (primarily
in Moscow but also in Sergiev Posad and Samara), gave an invited
presentation on the project to a wireless Internet technologies conference
sponsored by the US National Science foundation in Washington, DC, gave
two presentations at an international conference on European community
networking in Barcelona, Spain; participated in presentations at the
University of Tennessee and the University of Utah on civic networking;
participated in several US-based meetings about the project in Washington
and led discussions about the project at meetings in Knoxville (at the
civic networking workshop) and in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The objective of the travel and presentations has been not only to learn
from others and share the results of this project but also, to gain new
international partners interested in working further with the Russian
Civic Networking Program. In addition to increased participation with
KORRnet, the RCNP will now be working directly with Charlotte's Web and
with the Seattle Community Network.
V. Software/Technology Development
Because civic networks heavily rely on core communications and information
technologies for which experience and expertise are yet too rare, the
Russian director has been particularly involved in establishment of good
infrastructure in each of the three cities. This has involved
negotiating special pricing on the best quality UNIX servers and
communications equipment possible after conducting over two months of
market research on what equipment and software would best support the
development of civic networks.
It has also involved software development. We have recently developed an
entirely new database method (and accompanying software) for maintaining
large Internet services. A paper has been written describing this system
which is posted on the web at:
We continue work on completing additional software that is to be shared
with the three new community networks. We believe the new capabilities
are unparalleled by anything being used in the nonprofit world today and
feel that they offer tremendous added advantage to the ongoing development
of civic networks in Russia (and in the US). This same software is
currently being shared with the KORRnet network in Knoxville, Tennessee
and may be shared with other community networks in the US as well.
The ideas motivating technology development for the civic networks is that
while allowing for local innovation, "Friends and Partners" should provide
a quality base of tools and technologies that can be used to easily
implement and maintain a community network. The first step is in
providing a common platform of superior quality and scalability; the
second is providing software to allow more intelligent and more scaleable
creation and maintenance of information services. Through a recent grant
from the Eurasia Foundation and from hopeful additional funding to be
gained from other organizations in the near future, "Friends and Partners"
intends to complete an entire suite of database tools and accompanying
software which will make it simple for communities without extensive
technical expertise, to develop and manage their own civic networking
In summary, while the day-to-day responsibilities of the F&P Foundation in
Moscow have required supplying necessary leadership and management for the
program, an increasing responsibility is of providing information about
the program to other interested communities and to furthering the
development of tools and technologies to make more simple, the deployment
of civic networks elsewhere.
A final summary of project achievements are summarized below, in context
of our "measures of success" established in our original proposal to the
Ford Foundation and in terms of the "eight phases" also described in the
Measures of Success
- Active, functioning civic networks in each of three communities.
All three CIVnets have held their formal "grand opening" ceremonies and
are now functioning civic networks
The following points (a-h) give additional information about specific
criteria which further define functioning civic networks.
- A regular meeting of directors and an active committee infrastructure
for managing, growing and sustaining the networks.
Each community has a board of directors and, to some degree, a committee
infrastructure (some have done more with establishing committee
organizational structure than others) We continue working with the three
communities to stress the importance of regularly held meetings and of
publicizing those meeting (with minute summaries, etc.) on the CIVnet
website. We are stressing that this is an essential component of the
project and expect that each of the existing communities will begin
posting notice of meetings and minutes beginning during the fall of
- Reliable, functioning communications server connected to local access
points and to the greater Internet.
Each community has a functioning server established to the Internet and to
local access points. The URLs of these servers are:
The following are screenshots taken from the three CIVnet websites
illustrating some of the more pertinent local content.
The first page of the CIVnet website in Samara.
Pointers to information about what local government offices and
activities in Samara.
Sergiev Posad Civic Network:
Information about local government in Sergiev Posad.
A quite extensive directory listing of public, private and non-profit
organizations in Sergiev Posad.
Complete information about the Chamber of Commerce and industry of Sergiev
- An active training and support program enabling an agreed upon minimum
number of individuals to use the local information and communications
Each community has established training programs. By the end of the first
year's activity, Chelyabinsk had held over 22 seminars and trained over
250 individuals on topics related to Internet use and publishing. Their
public access center is available for 8 hours each day and available for
individualized training and support.
Samara has established 4 public access sites and had, by the end of the
first year, over 100 participants in initial training activities.
Sergiev Posad has opened 7 public access locations for access, training
and support. By the end of the first year, they had provided five
seminars and workshops for leaders of local NGOs and mass-media and
provided for direct training of 40 individuals individuals.
- A diverse set of local and Internet accessible information resources
representing a broad cross-section of the community.
Each community has already established initial information for its
The Samara site is now sponsoring a "small grants" competition (with
supplemental funding provided by the Soros organization) to enable local
non-governmental organizations publish their own material on the local
civic network site. Chelyabinsk is conducting a similar program; they
also have received support from "Project Harmony" opening an additional
public access site in the city library
- A sustainable business plan and an identified means of income to
sustain the initiative into the second year and beyond.
This is the most discussed topic at the December US-Russian workshop on
civic networking. Each community has better understanding now of how
US-based civic networks are maintained financially - and each is exploring
(within their community and with the other involved communities) how to
establish a sustainable financial base for their project.
Two of the projects have already achieved success in obtaining additional
funding for their efforts. Samara has received supplemental support from
the Soros organization as well as support via a project conducted with
Project Harmony (with USIA funding). Chelyabinsk has just received
additional funding from NATO which will, in part, assist this project; the
organizers are also receiving additional funding from IREX and Project
Sergiev Posad is seeking additional funding support by partnering with the
local Chamber of Commerce and local government. Sergiev Posad is seeking
additional funding support from partnership with the local Chamber of
Commerce and with the local administration.
The following charts illustrate the plans in each community for sustaining
their projects using funds from a variety of organizations
- The successful implementation of at least one information and
communications resource of interest to other Russian communities.
The Samara networking site has developed at least three resources of
general interest to other civic networking projects and non-governmental
organizations more generally. These include the following URL for
information on managing non-governmental organizations with special
interest on accounting, taxes and record keeping.
Additional resources being provided by Samara are included in their final
report which is included in the appendix.
Friends and Partners is continuing to encourage the civic networking sites
to develop information services that are of interest to other community
networking projects. Completion of these new resources will be included
on the CIVnet website and referenced in future reports.
- Provision of an English language information service of interest to the
broader "Friends and Partners" community.
Each of the communities is making effort to include some English language
component of their website. Sergiev Posad has made a special effort to
support their own efforts to seek collaboration in many different fields -
working with children's organizations, art organizations, foreign
businesses and even creating a special regional/ethniclogical museum
(similar to the open air Colonial Williamsburg museum in the U.S.). Their
efforts are represented on the web at:
- Publication of the results of a survey designed to sample local public
opinion about the network and its success in providing useful services for
the first year.
The survey form and results are included in the appendix.
- Development of a body of experience and published information about the
development of these model sites.
Throughout the project, the RCNP web site (in the US and in Russia) has
grown through addition of new information resources. Special attention is
being given now to two projects to further knowledge of the RCNP within
- The first is in developing a video and a multi-media CD which
describes the overall RCNP as well as the individual civic networks. Over
60 hours of video have been recorded thus far and additional will be taken
at the grand opening ceremonies and other events. Friends and Partners is
currently seeking additional funding to produce two video documentaries
about the project - a short 10 minute version and a longer (perhaps 40
Note: The Ford Foundation has provided $12,000 in funding for production
of the multi-media CD. A graphic artist has been hired and special
hardware and software acquired for this. Work has begun (as of August,
1999) on writing the script for the CD.
- The second is in the planned publication of a regular (monthly or
quarterly) publication about the project. This is being discussed between
F&P and the community network leadership. It was agreed at the recent
U.S. visit that such a publication would be a useful means of
communicating between a growing number of civic networking projects and an
excellent vehicle for spreading news about the project to other
potentially interested communities.
- A well established staff in Moscow with active and intense experience
supporting civic networking in Russian communities.
Through an intense year of work, travel and presentations about the
project, the Moscow staff has gained enormous experience in supporting
civic networking projects. This experience will be very useful as the
project continues into a second and third year.
- Solid experience with hardware and software solutions for civic
networking in Russian communities.
After over two months of market research, nearly a year of talking with
civic networking pioneers in other parts of the world; and over seven
months working with the Russian communities themselves, a good body of
experience with hardware and software solutions has developed. This
experience will be documented on the CIVnet web site for use by other
|| Startup and Organizational Set
Up. The first two months of this project will be committed to the
- Acquisition of all necessary computing and telecommunications
equipment that is to be purchased under the grants, etc.
- Software set-up. Upon obtaining the basic server hardware, we must
install the appropriate operating system and all software that will be
required for the basic community network setup. (CD ROM provided for each
- Organizational start-up activity. Formal establishment and first
meeting of the Board of Directors/Organizing Committee.
All three Phase I activities are now in place.
|| Russian Civic Networking Program
Conference. Initial plan included hosting a conference to begin the "Russian
Civic Networking Program" in the US (in conjunction with KORRNet and other
community networking activists.)
The first US-Russian Civic Networking workshop is complete and was a
great success. It is documented elsewhere in this report and more fully
in the appendix.
||Training. The training phase of this
project is to focus on technical training and support of system
administrators of the community network as well as individuals who will be
training local citizens within the community on use of the network and on
publishing information via the Internet. Development of a good in-house
"group of experts" to facilitate training and develop a body of material
for conducting training sessions.
All sites have already completed technical training and have begun
broader training programs within their communities. This activity is
on-going and is discussed elsewhere in this report.
||Information and Communications Services
All communities have reached a 'critical mass' of interesting local
material but developing locally relevant content and services is a
||Launch. Publicize event to ensure
media coverage and have representation from various constituencies of the
community at event.
All civic networks were formally launched during March, 1999.
||Promotion. To ensure increased
exposure of the local public to the civic network, etc.
All three civic networks have widely publicized their existence and
activities. Local media and the general public were invited and in
attendance at the grand opening ceremonies and expressed genuine interest
in project activities.
||Evaluation and Continued
||A survey instrument was developed.
Results are discussed elsewhere in this report. However, it is understood
by all civic networks that surveying development and usage is an on-going
Go back to Section
I, Section II or