The Networks and Development Foundation (FUNREDES) formally terminates its activities.
In a practical way, FUNREDES (http://funredes.org) has not developed projects for some years, while its executives have focused on the theme of linguistic diversity on the Internet (see http://funredes.org/lc) where they have been and remain very active in relationship with the World Network for Linguistic Diversity (http://maaya.org). Likewise, in the subject of information literacy (see this recent presentation: http://funredes.org/presentation/ALFIN-UAPA.ppt).
The last project developed by FUNREDES has been for Haiti, in 2012, in relation to the post-earthquake situation (CARDICIS3). The last project that Funredes attempted to launch was the SIDESCO project, in 2013, which aimed to create a multilingual and pan-Caribbean master's degree in "Development and Cooperation in the Information Society" (http://funredes.org/presentation/SIDESCO-EN.ppt). The most ambitious project in which FUNREDES has managed to associate prestigious international and research institutions has been a research project on the measurement of linguistic diversity on the Internet (DILINET) in 2012-2014, but it failed to obtain the expected funding from the European Union, despite two attempts with a very high investment in its preparation.
FUNREDES has been a pioneer in the use of the Internet for development, starting in 1988, formulating and developing more than 40 projects, in a long history marked by many conceptual innovations.
The most notable projects have been:
- in the period 1988-1995, the REDALC project (http://gopher.funredes.org/a/5/5.1/5.1.3/m322.html), which could be presented in synthesis as a premature attempt to realize what a decade later was the CLARA project, with many visions that anticipated the evolution of networks. REDALC was the crop for the creation of three national networks (RCP of Peru in 1991, REDID of the Dominican Republic in 1992 and REHRED of Haiti in 1993); of one of the first software to interface networks in a PC (MULBRI); and one of the earliest systematic efforts of digital and information literacy. For specific references search in https://web.archive.org/web/20121115152925/http://funredes.org/ or in http://gopher.funredes.org).
- in the period 1999-2007, the MISTICA project (http://funredes.org/mistica) and its extension OLISTICA (http://funredes.org/olistica), which gathered, in the form of a learning virtual community, about 500 researchers and activists, around the theme of the social impact of the Internet, within constructivist processes of knowledge management MISTICA still remains a source widely consulted for the richness of its collective contributions (you can visit some in http://funredes.org/mistica/english/cyberlibrary/thematic/, in particular the emblematic collective document Working the Internet with a Social Vision (Ilustrated version in PDF - 18.7 Mb).
- Since 1998 and still operational and innovative, its observatory of languages and cultures on the Internet (http://funredes.org/lc).
FUNREDES has applied action-research as an actor with a pioneering vision in several themes, to mention only the main ones:
A part of the history of FUNREDES has been documented in the paper (in Spanish) Part of the prehistory of the Internet in the Caribbean: the experience of FUNREDES in its initial period 1988-1995 presented in HICAL, Havana and SHIALC, Valparaiso. In the years ahead we will probably write the second part...
There is no need to feel sadness: the disappearance of an NGO is part of a natural cycle of birth, adolescence, maturity, old age and death. FUNREDES has lived for almost 30 years, the age of a cat :-), has marked its time with some of its research-actions and has participated in the digital literacy of a significant number of people.
In conclusion, the wonderful Internet Archive retains almost the entire history of the FUNREDES website (http://web.archive.org/web/*/funredes.org), which began in the days of the gopher (the Gopher is simulated on the web at http://gopher.funredes.org). That site contains a part of the history of the region's networks and many other jewels for curious people.
We have months trying that somebody help to migrate our web from a paid hosting into a server (the Caribbean NAP in Santo Domingo) willing to keep that story in solidarity. It would seem that it is not as simple as expected for reasons of software obsolescence. If this is not achieved within three months, with much pain, we will have to accept that the destiny of that website is also to disappear from the active part of the Web.