NPDD/Baobáxia/ISOC Community Grants 2013

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Project Baobáxia na Rota dos Baobás

14 Project Summary

Please write a brief summary of your Project, indicating why the Project is important,
whom will benefit, what need is being addressed, how your project is going to address
it and how it relates to the Internet Society Strategic objectives.

Project "Baobáxia na Rota dos Baobás" (Baobáxia in the Baobabs' route) deals with the idealization, development and implementation of a distributed architecture, focused on integrating local networks in places where internet connection is unstable, slow and unavailable. Baobáxia is based on experience gained through Rede Mocambos (Mocambos Network). Mocambos Network works with the integration of about two hundred quilombolas and other traditional communities within the five Brazilian regions through appropriation of technologies to overcome the precariousness of internet access that are an impediment for an effective communication among such communities with the world. For this reason we look for a distributed architecture, based entirely on free and open technologies to integrate federated autonomous networks eventually connected. The project is based on the creation of local services which enables working with network communication in each locality, even when the Internet is not available - storing data for later synchronization, offering local content and software mirrors and adapting technological development to local demands and conditions.

More information about Baobáxia can be found in the Mocambos' wiki (in portuguese):

15 Project background and justification

State concisely what Community, networking or educational need is being addressed by your project.

The project works with the concept that we need to develop information and telecommunication technologies which really satisfy society demands. This project is part of Mocambos Network technological strategy that focus on empowering communication through appropriation of ICTs at about two hundred communities placed all over Brazil. These are rural and urban quilombos, indigenous settlements, "terreiros" and other associations, besides activists and researchers that use internet as a tool for engagement and cooperation. While respecting the uniqueness and self-determination of each of these communities, it can be found among them many characteristics in common, such as: the matter of territory in its multiple dimensions, resistance to homogenization of cultural expressions, efforts for the recovery of tradition as a tool of insertion to a contemporary world with more room for diversity, practical and concrete criticism to individualistic and consumerist societies, creation of sustainable alternatives and the ubiquitous condition of precariousness of communication infrastructures. Many communities are in remote locations, which usually attract little or no interest from telecommunications companies, generally exclusively profit oriented. Even with the support of public programs fighting digital divide such as GESAC and Telecentros.BR, Mocambos Network frequently finds the worst conditions of connectivity to develop its actions. The communities are placed where internet access is extremely slow, unstable or unavailable at all. We believe it is necessary to plead better connection to all of these communities, but we also know that there is no instant solution. Baobáxia is a project related to "Rota dos Baobás" (Baobabs' route), which is materially and symbolically linking quilombos communities planting Baobabs and sharing knowledge, cultures, immaterial and also material goods.

The project "Baobáxia na Rota dos Baobás" is promoted with the cooperation of Casa de Cultura Tainã, one of the founders of Mocambos Network. Tainã is nationally recognized as pioneer in digital culture movements using free software, besides its work with afrodescendants culture, such as the Steel Pan Orchestra. Tainã work was recognized in 2006 with the Presidential Cultural Medal of Honor. Mocambos Network received in 2012 honorable mention by FRIDA LACNIC. The "Pajelança Quilombolica Digital", Mocambos Network meetings, are a social technology certified by Fundação Banco do Brasil.

16 Resource justification

Why are you (the applicant) the most capable Chapter or individual to address this need?

I have been working with governmental and community programs against digital divide since 2005. I have a degree in Computer Science and have specialized in Network Programming. My final thesis concerned "Eventually connected federated network". Since 2006 I have been working with "Rede Mocambos" (Mocambos Network) and I am now coordinating the "Núcleo de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Digital" (Mocambos Digital R&D Kernel). I am also the vice president of Casa de Cultura Tainã, which is one of the founders of the Network.


Computer Science degree at “Università degli Studi di Firenze”, Italy.

Professional experiences:

  • Full System Analyst at Technological Department of Brazilian Presidency of the Republic;
  • Coordinator of Tech team of GESAC, national program against digital divide of Brazilian Ministry of Communication;
  • Member of migration to Free Software working group of Brazilian Federal Government;
  • Consultant for many projects of innovation and use of ICTs in Brazil, Italy, Mozambique and South Sudan.

17 Key Individuals

Please list the name, location and responsibilities/roles of the Project team.
Name Location Responsibilities/roles
Vincenzo Tozzi Brasília/DF Project coordinator
Ronaldo Eli Olinda/PE Community coordinator
Say Malta Itacare/BA Community coordinator
Paulo Barbosa Porto Alegre/RS Community coordinator
Antonio Carlos dos Santos Silva Campinas/SP Community and Rota dos Baobás coordinator
Farid Abdelnour Brasília/DF Developer
Nara Oliveira Brasília/DF Art designer

18 Objectives

Along with the goals outlined in the Project summary, detail the specific objectives of the project.
Remember objectives should be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and
  • Install a decentralized network architecture (starting with five nodes) that follows particular demands of Mocambos Network communities, and which will be the basis to offer local and online services;
  • Create a digital archive of multimedia contents, decentralized and synced, between local servers based on the proposed architecture installed in the communities;

19 Method

Describe how you will achieve the Project objectives (strategy, methodology, scope and
boundaries, evaluation…)

The project is run by NPDD (Mocambos Network Digital R&D Kernel), in cooperation with other relevant partners (Nucleo de Produção de Conteúdos, NPC - Contents Production Kernel - e de Formação Continuada, NFC - Continuous Education Kernel). The team of developers and technicians will work with support of advices from expert developers. The work will be under the coordination of NPDD, and will be developed with collaborative tools through the internet, such as git, wiki and irc. The methodology will follow the "Agile" way which foresees the frequent launching of working code in order to be continuously evaluated by its users, enabling adjustments and improvement throughout the work. The system, being based mainly by existing FOSS software, will be usable, somehow, since the beginning of the project. NPDD has already installed a prototype software in three local servers in the communities.

Development sprints will be held on at least two different occasions – working immersive meetings, with a duration of three days. The first sprint will be held at an early stage of the development, focusing on exploring demands of design, architecture and programming. Such analysis will then guide subsequent efforts to be applied. The second sprint, held a few months after the actual launching of the development, will then evaluate the team's performance, go further on successful development strategies and, if necessary, make possible adjustments to it. If possible, a sprint will be held at the end of the process to adjust code and documentation.

About Mocambos strategic organization:

  • Digital R&D Kernel, NPDD. The Kernel is run by knowledgeable and committed individuals from different communities and technical experiences within the Mocambos Network. NPDD deals with the development and maintenance of digital tools of the Network, and is currently responsible for websites (such as,,,, email accounts and documentation about the digital tools.
  • Content Production Kernel, NPC. The Kernel is run by committed people with expertise on pedagogics in different communities and experiences within the Network. NPC is responsible to organize textual and multimedia contents produced in local communities and other public contents available online that can be of interest.
  • Kernels of Continuous Education, NFCs. NFCs are structured communities within the Mocambos Network which assumed the role as regional multipliers through local practices and meetings entitled "Pajelanças Quilombólicas Digitais" (methodology recognized by Fundação Banco do Brasil as a social technology).

20 Technical requirements

Indicate any specific technologies the project is planning to adopt and why.

The project is based on mature Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) to guarantee the stability and long-term durability. The proposed architecture uses "git" and "git-annex" as basis for the decentralized archive/collection. Moreover, we use "python" as main programming language, as it supports several situations.

The proposed network architecture uses and connects different mature FOSS like:

  • OpenLDAP and/or Open-Id, to manage service authentication and a unique shared account network;
  • Django and Python, to develop web applications, such as the local portals in communities, to access and publish contents;
  • Git and git-annex, to manage decentralized and synced digital archive contents/files;
  • Bash and Cron, to automate tasks and backup operations.

A proof of concepts of the architecture for the digital archive and for synchronized local portals is available at:

The project will use normal computers already available in NFCs communities and will also provide a prototype running on Raspberry-Pi or similar moveable devices.

21 Risk Analysis/Project Constrains

List factors that could affect the project roll-out and detail the measures you will take to 
prevent/manage them.

The current project proposes a network system which involves people in different places. Working with people remotely introduces more difficulties. Nonetheless, we have already scheduled meetings for training with four of these communities in cooperation with Casa de Cultura Tainã and "Secretariat for Policies to Promote Racial Equality" of Brazilian Presidency of the Republic.

22 Timeline of activities

Please provide a timeline of your Project activities. If you already have a timeline created in
a separate file, you may upload it to the Documents area, with a note here for the Committee
Objective Activity Result 1 trimester 2 trimester 3 trimester 4 trimester 5 trimester 6 trimester
Objective 1,2 Define System Requirements Specification A SRS for Rede Mocambos X
Objective 1 Design of accounting information and hierarchy User data and roles of Mocambos Network is organized X
Objective 1 Installation of main authentication system Common authentication system for Mocambos Network services is online X
Objective 1 Develop a script to automate installation of local authentication system Local authentication system ready for communities of Mocambos Network X
Objective 1 Connect local and online portal with authentication system Unified account working in local and online portal/service X
Objective 1,2 "Sprint" to design and prepare base code for digital archive interface/application Validate SRS and base code to work on remotely X
Objective 2 Develop the digital archive local interface/application Local system to publish and access multimedia contents X X
Objective 2 Develop interface/application to manage git/git-annex repositories Decentralized system to store, share and synchronize multimedia contents X X
Objective 1,2 "Pajelança Quilombólica Digital", Mocambos Newtork meeting, focused on the decentralized network infrastructure People of local communities trained and shared experiences about the developed system. Prototype and documentation delivered to 5 communities/NFCs X
Objective 1,2 Follow and support NFCs. Adjust eventual errors and bugs of the system Validated and improved system X
Objective 1,2 "Sprint" to revolve problems and implement priority improvements to the system. Final tested version of the system X
Objective 1,2 Publish the final version of the system and of documentation System and documentation for decentralized network architecture and digital contents archive available to the general public X

23 Beneficiaries

List key stakeholder groups and individuals that will be interested in your Project outputs and/or
will be affected by them.

Communities connected to Mocambos Network, currently around two hundred communities (200) in eighteen (18) Brazilian states. The project entitled "Núcleos de Formação Continuada, NFCs", Kernels of continuous education" will be initially implemented in five (5) better structured quilombolas communities. Outcomes of the project such as software, multimedia cultural contents and documentation will be published on the Internet with open license.

The Estimated direct public is of ten thousand (10000) people.

A map of the communities which participates in the Mocambos Network is available at: (user and password: "livre")

24 Evaluation & Impact

Indicate how you will evaluate the success of the project. How will you know if the project
has succeeded in meeting its S.M.A.R.T. goals?

Monitoring and following the objectives of the project will be made possible through the development methodology and the tools which will be used. In details:

  • Objective 1:
    • gits log keeps all the changes in code and by the authors;
    • wikis collaborative documentation, which keeps all the changes and all the versions with the possibility to review, compare versions, and identify authors of contributions;
    • number and usage statistics about users registered in the system.
  • Objective 2:
    • contents in the digital collection have full log due to storage in git-annex repositories (date, author, community/place).

25 Outputs & Dissemination Plan

State what the project will deliver and how the results/information will be shared with
stakeholders and the community

The project is run by provessionals from five NFCs communities who will follow the development and contribute to installing and testing the system.

The project will output:

  1. A set of integrated FOSS softwares, to create "eventually connected federated networks", with technical documentation and installation how-to. In details:
    1. a Django application to manage and publish contents into the digital archive/collection;
    2. script for easy installation of local authentication servers;
    3. script for automatic backup;
  2. A decentralized digital archive/collection (initially among five NFCs) of multimedia and textual contents produced by the communities.
  3. An online interface/portal for the digital archive/collection.

All the outputs will be published online with free licenses like GPL and CC-BY-SA and shared in ISOC Brazilian Chapter mailing list.

26 Sustainability

Describe how the project will continue after ISOC’s funds are done. List the potential project
results that might be taken forward, how will you find further financial support to make them
sustainable in the long term.

The Mocambos Network is an ongoing initiative, coordinated among various organizations in different localities. Its working “kernels” (NFCs) have different sustainability strategies, already being implemented. The current request for funding support aims to enable conditions for investing in the development of a technological solution, which the day to day demands always tend to delay: technological scalable alternatives, which are autonomous and present itself as a way to provide reliable Internet access to peripheral communities, that oftenly face structural instability. This is not an attempt to promote technological alternatives that creates dependency; quite the contrary, what is being presented here is the search for technological autonomy, by developing technologies which will be sustained by its own users within different communities. In objective terms, the project counts with the active participation of the NFCs, which will host the first local servers. Each Center provides autonomous local management, ensuring public area access and access to resources such as the telecentre. All telecentres within Mocambos Network guarantee access to computers (ten machines), satellite internet connection and a scholarship grant to an tutor assistant. Such service is made possible through partnership programs with Telecentros.BR and GESAC. Tainã House of Culture is the promoter of Mocambos Network. It provides the logistics infrastructure of the House and resources for development residencies and presential meetings, such as Pajelanças Quilombólicas, aimed at exchanging knowledge and training. Tainã House of Culture supports Mocambos Network activities since its launching in 2001 through public and private institutional sponsors, in addition to the support of national and international sponsors.

Maintenance and Sustainability:

  • Objective 1 and 2 - The network of local servers and decentralized collection will be maintained with the support of NFCs:
    • Casa de Cultura Tainã, Campinas/SP
    • Comunidade do Jongo Dito Ribeiro, Campinas/SP
    • Terreiro Ponto de Cultura Coco de Umbigada, Olinda/PE
    • Casa do Boneco/Quilombo d'Oiti, Itacaré/BA
    • Instituto Sociocultural Afro-Sul Odomode, Porto Alegre/RS

28 Other Sources of Support

Please list all the individuals, organizations , or other Internet Society Chapters that are providing
support to your project, in either the form of cash or in-kind donations.

Casa de Cultura Tainã, promoter of this project, is running a project to empower local communities with ICTs in cooperation with the "Secretariat for Policies to Promote Racial Equality" of Brazilian Presidency of the Republic. Such the current support we already cover four local meetings in the communities that will run local servers with Baobáxia. Moreover, Telecentros.BR and GESAC programs already offer satellite internet connection and computers.


Outher Sources

Funding Sources/Revenues 	           Funding Source # 1 (Mandatory) 	Funding Source # 2 (optional) 	
24h Server with 2TB + 2TB, nobreak 	       $3,000.00 				
Work space with internet and phone 	       $2,400.00 				
4 Local meetings in cooperation with SEPPIR 		                              $98,800.00 			
Total 	                                       $5,400.00	                      $98,800.00

ISOC Support

Funding Uses/Expenses Amount in US$ PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Consulency on git/git-annex $1,200.00 Consulency on python/django $1,200.00 Consulency on open-id and authentication $1,200.00 SUPPORT SERVICES Communication costs (mobile internet, calls..) $600.00 TRAVEL Travel costs (8 national air tickets) $2,800.00 LABOUR COSTS Project coordination and reporting $3,000.00 Total $10,000.00

Budget Narrative

(Founding source 1) CASA DE CULTURA TAINÃ Casa de Cultura Tainã is the main promoter and supporter of the Project. Tainã will provide in-kind support and, in cooperation with the "Secretariat for Policies to Promote Racial Equality" of brazilian Presidency of the Republic, will cover costs for 4 local meetings in the communities that will run local servers with Baobáxia. We can provide more documentation about this complementary project that provide in cash support of 200.000 Brazilian Reais. Moreover Telecentros.BR and GESAC programs already offer satellite internet links and computers to Mocambos' Communities.

Contact & Address: Casa de Cultura Tainã Rua Inhambú, 645 Vila Padre Manoel da Nobrega CEP: 13061-300 - Campinas/SP Brazil

Phone: +55 19 32282993 Email: Site:

(Founding source 2) SECRETARIA DE POLÍTICAS DE PROMOÇÃO DA IGUALDADE RACIAL, SEPPIR/PR Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bloco A, 5° e 9º andares Brasília - Distrito Federal CEP: 70.054-906

Cargo: Secretária Nome: Silvany Euclenio Silva Telefone (s): (61) 2025-7093 Email:

Cargo: Diretora de Programas Nome: Bárbara de Oliveira Souza Telefone (s): (61) 2025-7160 Email:


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