Alliance for Information Society Innovations

The Internet and networking technologies such as mobile phones are sparking positive social and economic change in developing countries.

This research aims to combine three regional, competitive small grants and awards programs for Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean to explore how technology can be a catalyst for change.

IDRC support is creating an alliance among three established groups: the Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF) in Asia, the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation (FRIDA) in Latin America and the Caribbean, and a new program in Africa, tentatively called the African Fund for Internet Research and Education Development (FIRE).

Small grants and awards will promote action research on emerging rights issues in a networked society. Ideas to be explored include freedom of expression, association, and assembly within the context of connectivity. This is relevant given the rise of movements such as Occupy and Anonymous, and new forms of social mobilization that new media allows and supports.

The structure of the small grants and awards program will allow a variety of joint efforts among the three members, such as program evaluation, dissemination of results, knowledge management, and networking. The research spans four thematic areas: openness, inclusion, rights, and access.

This program should allow funding partners to identify and expand the reach of promising initiatives. Researchers, practitioners, and entrepreneurs keen to channel the growth of digital technologies toward greater economic and social inclusion will be able to connect with each other across continents. Case studies from the small grants and awards may feed into a greater understanding of open development and rights in a networked society. Finally, the partners will explore and experiment with crowdsourcing as part of the selection process for awards and grants.

Project ID


Project status


End Date

Monday, September 21, 2015


30 months

IDRC Officer

Phet Sayo

Total funding

CA$ 1,285,124


Networked Economies

Project Leader

Paul Wilson



Institution Country


Institution Website

Project Leader

Oscar Robles


Registro de Direcciones de Internet para América Latina y Caribe (LACNIC)

Institution Country


Institution Website

Project Leader

Adiel Akplogan



Institution Country


Institution Website