Project Achievements

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 appendix.


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 Moscow. 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 and seminars.

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 state authority.

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.

Sergiev Posad

Serqiev Posad Civic Networking website:

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 surrounding region.

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 (Pereslavl-Zalessky).

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 Sergiev-Posad.

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 Opening Ceremony.

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.

Sergiev Posad Article

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.

I. Management/Leadership

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 safeguard funds.

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 telecommunications deployment.

Finally, the management responsibilities have required regular reporting and meetings with the Ford Foundation to keep the sponsor appraised of overall project development.

II. Infrastructure

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 Moscow.

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 technical/programming support.

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 (,, 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: (Russian location) (US 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.

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 December, 1998).

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 project.

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 projects.

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.

Final Summary

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 original proposal.

Measures of Success

  1. 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.

    1. 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 1998.

    2. 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:

      Sergiev Posad:
      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.

      Samara website 1

      Samara website 2
      Pointers to information about what local government offices and activities in Samara.

      Sergiev Posad Civic Network:

      Sergiev Posad 1
      Information about local government in Sergiev Posad.

      A quite extensive directory listing of public, private and non-profit organizations in Sergiev Posad.
      Sergiev Posad 2

      Complete information about the Chamber of Commerce and industry of Sergiev Posad
      Sergiev Posad 2


      Chelyabinsk 1

    3. An active training and support program enabling an agreed upon minimum number of individuals to use the local information and communications network.

      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.

    4. 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 Internet site.

      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

    5. 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 Harmony.

      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

    6. 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.

    7. 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:
    8. 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.

  2. 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 Russia.

  1. 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 minute) version.

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 interested communities.

Eight Phases

Phase I Startup and Organizational Set Up. The first two months of this project will be committed to the following tasks.
  1. Acquisition of all necessary computing and telecommunications equipment that is to be purchased under the grants, etc.

  2. 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 site.)

  3. 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.

Phase II 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.
Phase III 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.
Phase IV Information and Communications Services Development
All communities have reached a 'critical mass' of interesting local material but developing locally relevant content and services is a continuing activity.
Phase V 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.
Phase VI 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.
Phase VII
Phase VIII Evaluation and Continued Development
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 activity.

Go back to Section I, Section II or the Index.

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