ACTRAV Publish SoliComm Code
Turin, Sep. 30th 2010. ACTRAV Turin, the Workers' Activities Programme of the International Training Center of International Labour Organization (ILO) is releasing the code of SoliComm, a platform for distance education used for its courses since 2004. Many thousands unionists, coming from the four continents, have been using the platform since then for participating in distance education and networking activities in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.
SoliComm offer an innovative environment for on-line discussions, that includes tools to help the tutor in assessing participation and build statistics that may serve as early warnings against participants drop-out.
But SoliComm is not only aimed at distance education, is what ACTRAV defines as a Community Information and Participation System (CIPS). This means that SoliComm works someway like a social network, offering a coordinated suite of services including e-mail, conferences, website hosting, digital library and community search engine between others.
For this reason it can be used by communities of practice, and as a liaison and base of interaction in participatory activities. “Let's imagine, for example, municipalities wishing to develop democratic systems of interaction with citizens or a group of unionist needing to share best practices and company information for effective collective bargaining”, says Giacomo Barbieri, the ACTRAV Turin Programme Manager.
The idea behind SoliComm – and the CIPS concept – is that the real source of information and knowledge are the communities and not the static information, contained in sites presented in ways the site organizers presume is the way people want it. “Our experience with the SoliComm community, shows that the CIPS concept is viable”, says Stefano Barale, SoliComm technical lead.
Call to developers
The present version of SoliComm is quite stable for being used in the environment it was conceived for. ACTRAV is releasing it today under the Affero GPL version 3 (a license that allow everybody to download the code, use it and distribute it freely) because, “We hope to involve more programmers wanting to participate in a project that builds on top of several years of application in the UN environment. Our first and easily achievable goal is to produce a generalized version of the application. This version will allow any interested organization to use it and customize it (adding its corporate image) in a few, simple steps.”, says Barale.
If you want to know more about the Solidarity Communication (SoliComm) Network, that is the network that ACTRAV Turin has built with the above mentioned software, please click the link below: