The Research Center in Technologies and Community Knowledges (CITSAC) is a space for knowledge production, capacity building and political advocacy that promotes and reinforces community and indigenous communication and telecommunication processes in the world.
CITSAC addresses a growing need of rural and indigenous communities to define forms of technological appropriation, allowing them to benefit from access, use and appropriation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), focusing on the peculiarities of organizational, political, economic, cultural and social characteristics of each community.
After several years of walking along with community and indigenous communication experiences, as well as developing applied research projects with them, we have found that for these processes to be successful and sustainable over time, it is required that communities are the ones that propose, adapt and maintain their communication and telecommunications projects in their own terms. This ensures a greater commitment of the diverse actors involved who make these experiences possible.
However, the development of this type of projects requires a constant bond between communities and specialists in technological development and promotion of public policies to facilitate and promote this type of process based on the generation and systematization of research projects that allow them to grow. Under these premises arises the idea of creating the Research Center in Technologies and Community Knowledges (CITSAC).
CITSAC is a project that initiates from the union of two organizations. On the one hand, Redes por la Diversidad, Equidad y Sustentabilidad A.C. (REDES A.C.), registered as a research center in the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT) in Mexico. This organization works in four substantive areas to favor this type of projects: a legal and political advocacy area, training in indigenous and community communication, support to community networks and research. On the other hand, Rhizomatica is an organization that has favored technological development in rural connectivity processes in Mexico and other countries in Latin America and Africa. Both organizations created the first community cellular telephone network in the world in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Despite the fact that these two organizations collaborate directly with CITSAC, it is essential to link communities with other organizations, universities, research centers, government institutions, international organizations and other actors that provide knowledge and experience in specific procedures that are required in the creation and operation of these projects. Therefore, we seek to generate this constant link between different actors through research processes, training and production of our own knowledges.