The Second Stage of RCNP Program
The Russian Civic Networking program continues active
development of Civic Networking within Russian communities. The project
resides within the broader Friends and Partners effort, the grass roots
project jointly developed by friends in the U.S. and Russia to actively
explore how the Internet can be used to help foster new exchange and understanding
between different countries and cultures.
The first year of the project met with good success and,
in early 1999, the U.S. and Russian Friends and Partners team submitted
a new proposal to the Ford Foundation requesting a two year extension to
this activity to enable the continued funding of the first three civic
networks but also to select three additional cities with whom to initiate
civic network development. This grant was awarded in August, 1999 and project
activity began in September, 1999.
The new grant from the Ford Foundation made it possible
to conduct a new proposal solicitation across Russia and then once again
select three communities which offered the best chance of sustainable success
in developing local community networks.
The second "invitation for partnership" and application
guidelines were posted to the RCNP website during September. Compared to
the first RCNP solicitation conducted in 1997, we were much more careful
to narrowly define the expectations of grant recipients -- thus narrowing
the number of potential applicants. We extended this practice to email
and telephone inquiries to ensure that only those communities who were
ready to be successful, having specific project goals and in a position
to cost share at least half of all project costs, would apply.
Our goal was to encourage those organizations only which
met the rather strict guidelines.
As a result by December proposals were received from a
number of Russian cities and the three communities of Voronezh, Kazan,
and Obninsk were subsequently selected for development.
The three chosen communities addressed particularly well
(1) they presented a strong consortium of local community
organizations with representation of local government, local NGOs, local
business, education and health care communities;
(2) they have established relationship with organization
which is providing connection to the Internet and which already has established
good network infrastructure;
(3) All three expressed desire and potential for developing
civic networking not only in local community but in broader region as well;
(4) All expressed eagerness to work with the other civic
Project director Natasha Bulashova visited with each of the
three after positively evaluating their potential. The purpose of the three
trips was to verify strength of local consortium and to confirm specific
elements of their proposals.
Legal agreements have now been signed between the Friend
and Partners Foundation, Moscow, and the recipient grantees in Voronezh,
Kazan, and Obninsk.
- On December 4, a business trip was made to Obninsk
to meet with principal investigator, Yuri Koftan, and other team members
of the Obninsk civic networking project. An interview was held with all
appropriate team members and final evaluation made about the appropriateness
of Obninsk as a new grantee.
- On December 6, a similar meeting was held in Voronezh
with principal investigator, Vladislav Yurasov, and other project participants.
Again, a final assessment and evaluation was made about the appropriateness
of this group to satisfy the conditions of the project and an announcement
was made of their participation in the project.
- Finally, on December 10, a similar trip was made to
Kazan and an interview conducted of Dmitry Vohmyanin, project investigator,
as well as various community members who had expressed interest in working
on the project. A meeting was also held with the Kazan Aviation Institute
and effort to encourage cooperation with other team members. The decision
was made to include Kazan as the third member of the project.
We are glad to introduce our new RCNP participants:
PI - Vladislav Yurasov, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Voronezh State Technical University
PI - Yuri Koftan, e-mail: email@example.com
Obninsk Computer Club
PI - Dmitry Vokhmyanin, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Committee for Protection of Human Rights, Tatarstan Republic
Several trips have been made to existing civic networks
to assess project progress.
Proposals were solicited from the existing civic networks
in Chelyabinsk, Samara Sergiev Posad for their plans for expanding RCNP
activities for the next two years.
Legal agreements for grant extension have been signed
between the Friend and Partners Foundation, Moscow, and the existing recipient
grantees in Chelyabinsk, Samara and Sergiev Posad.
PI - Dmitry Latukhin, e-mail: email@example.com
Southern Ural State University
PI - Boris Chertkov, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sergey Agapov, e-mail: email@example.com
Samara State Technical University
PI - Victor Nemov, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Foundation for Social Programs
Russian Community Current Activities
"Chelyabinsk Civic Networking Project"
Executor of technical and humanitarian part: Southern
Ural State University
PI - Dmitry Latukhin
The Chelyabinsk Civic Network (CCN) is the oldest such
project in Russia now. The network provides access to the Internet, public
access at 12 organizations. They have provided 9 2-hour training sessions
for disabled people, 16 seminars for schoolchildren, 11 individual training
for 7 women and 4 men.
Local Internet web sites are located at: http://www.ccn.org.ru
"Samara Civic Networking Project"
Executor of technical part - Samara State Technical University,
PI - Boris Z. Chertkov
Executor of humanitarian part - Historical, Ecological
and Cultural Association "Povolzje", PI - Sergey A. Agapov
Samara continues its work supporting NGOs in the Samara
region. The Samara Civic Network is now supporting 36 public access points,
20 NGOs and other organizations with access to Internet (total number of
NGO's with access to Internet during this project is 98), 23 training sessions,
and 11 local community meetings. The CivNET is publishing information on
local government offices and officials.
Samara CIVnet is also working with a local handicapped
persons organization to develop a larger project for integrating isolated
and homebound individuals into community activities.
The Samara CIVnet has been working to expand its funding
base to enable it to grow and sustain activities in the community. They
have recently been awarded a grant from USAID of $140,000 to help develop
local community content. Within the framework of project "Institutional
Development of Samara Region's NGOs as a tool of people initiative realization
in region social and economical development", financed by USAID, there
was created a public access point which has been integrated within the
Samara Civic Network.
Within the framework of the projects "Democratic Legislation"
and "Transparency of the budgets in Russia" the web resource "Samara Regional
Budget" is now operational.
Local Internet web sites are located at: http://samara.friends-partners.ru
"Sergiev Posad Civic Networking Project"
Executor of technical part - Sergiev Posad Chamber of
Commerce, PI - Oleg Starkov
Executor of humanitarian part - "Foundation for Social
Programs", PI - Victor Nemov
In addition to its web publishing activities, the Sergiev
Posad Civic Network has begun publishing a weekly newspaper in cooperation
with the local Chamber of Commerce and the local government. The newspaper
focuses on local cultural and community life and is distributed as a part
of the CIVnet's community development activities. Copies of this newspaper
are included in the Appendix A (Sergiev Posad Subproject Report). A very
strong relationship with the local Chamber of Commerce has yielded many
advantages with contacts, business relationships and information for the
Sergiev Posad is now publishing 21 local web sites, providing
10 local public access points, has provided 3 training sessions for 28
individuals. They are now maintaining several interesting websites focused
on local government offices and services.
Local Internet web sites are located at http://www.fp.divo.ru
"Obninsk Civic Networking Project"
Executor of technical and humanitarian part :Consortium
of Obninsk city Organizations
PI - Yury R. Koftan
The Obninsk civic network is currently establishing technical
server and telecommunications equipment for their civic network. The project
organizers have been working closely with the Russian project director
who, in her travels and meetings, has been encouraging broader community
involvement - including local government. Several of the Obninsk network
organizers traveled to Oak Ridge, Tennessee in the US during January, 2000
to work on a joint Chamber of Commerce project funded by the USIA and to
meet with the US project director on CIVnet and NaukaNet activities.
Local Internet web sites are located at http://www.okclub.org/club_information/projects/partner.html
"Voronezh Civic Networking Project"
Executor of technical and humanitarian part: Voronezh
State Technical University
PI - Vladislav G. Yurasov, Lubov I. Grigorieva, Galina
On January 25, 2000 the Voronezh Civic Network was officially
launched during a grand opening ceremony. With participation of 22 organization
representatives and the local media, the ceremony was a good success. The
Voronezh network is completely operational with the new server in place,
all telecommunications equipment operating and organizations already making
use of the services.
During realization of the Project the following work was
putting into practice:
Seminars, conferences, round table discussions in which the
participants of the project and all concern parties took part.
Promotional activities for the purpose of the increasing
local public knowledge of the project (Some advertisement and publication
in local press and television/ radio programs)
The grand opening ceremony of the project was organized.
Representatives from 22 organizations took part in this ceremony. From
completed questionnaires, project organizers gathered information about
(1) the personal interests and needs of some organizations in regional
information resources; (2) practical skills and ability in the work with
computer technologies; (3) themes of the materials of various regional
information resources for publication on the Internet.
The training program was fulfilled according to ability and
constantly increasing requirements of participants of this project. There
were conducted several series of lessons for 2 groups (15 person in each
group). At the end of each lesson, seminars were organized with the purpose
to discuss the contents and organizational activities of this program.
The Central Public Access Center was opened, which contains:
Web-workshop for creating, designing and according of information
full-time advisory service on maintenance service of a network.
Local Internet web sites are located at http://vcn.vorstu.ac.ru/
The structure of server "Voronezh Civic Network" was created.
"Kazan Civic Networking Project"
Executor of technical part: Kazan State Technical University,
PI- Aydar S. Hamzin
Executor of humanitarian part: Committee for Protection
of Human Rights,
PI-Dmitry V. Vokhmyanin, Tatiana A. Voltchenko
The Kazan Civic Network is only now becoming operational.