Colnodo’s digital inclusion efforts in Colombia’s rural areas

Through this project, Colnodo aims to initiate the School of Community Networks to accompany communities interested in managing their own connectivity.

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Theresa Haans
2 November 2023 Clock 1 min

In the heart of Colombia, Colnodo is on a mission to create community networks in remote and rural areas. They aim to prioritize and ensure internet connectivity in areas that would otherwise be neglected. With only 25% of the Colombian population online, the work they do in teaching people how to set up, operate and manage local networks is vital to expanding access to more people. We’ve asked Colnodo some questions about the project!

Brief description of the project

The goal of the Community Networks School in Colombia is to enhance knowledge and skills among social organizations and diverse actors in rural areas who are interested in learning or supporting the management, implementation, and sustainability of a community network.

How does the concept of ‘school community networks’ operate?

It is a collective model that aims to strengthen the capacities of different grassroots organizations and rural leaderships in Colombia for the design, development, and maintenance of community networks. This is a way to promote digital inclusion through self-managed approaches and strategic uses of ICT.

Photo credit: Colnodo

What does the training content include?

Colnodo will design and construct a virtual course with 5 modules to use at the school of community networks. These modules correspond to the phases of the community network methodology developed by Colnodo. This methodology encompasses network recognition, design, deployment, and maintenance. The course will feature at least one synchronous virtual session in each module, led by an expert. Towards the end of the course, there is a proposal to organize an in-person camp with workshops aimed at enhancing practical knowledge in technical, communication, and sustainability components. The realization of this camp will depend on the resources that Colnodo can manage.

Photo credit: Colnodo

How do you hope the virtual training contents can be of use beyond this project?

The developed course will be the first of the School. The idea is to continue using it in different training processes. Furthermore, it will enable participants from the school to replicate it in different areas of the country. Colnodo will continue to make efforts to expand the educational offerings of the School in the future. That way it is possible to extend its coverage to many more actors in the country.

We keep the project page for Colnodo’s project updated. Check it out here!