open source and standards

Open Development: A New Theory for ICT4D

Open development refers to an emerging set of possibilities to catalyze positive change through “open” information-networked activities in international development. While there is evidence to support the observation that these changes could be coming, we are only now beginning to glimpse their potential for developing societies. Consequently, embedded in this theory are a high level research question and hypothesis. The research question asks how these information-networked activities work, in what circumstances, and to whose benefit.

FOSS: Open Content

This e-primer introduces the idea of Open Content by placing it in a larger historical context of copyright's relation to the public domain. It focuses on implications for policy makers thinking about information policies, and the advantages that the Open Content model may offer, especially for developing countries.

Government Open Source Policies

This resource provides the fourth update to the Center for Strategic and International Studies Open Source Policy survey which tracks governmental policies on the use of open source software as reported in the press or other media. As with the previous efforts, this resource included only explicit statements of policy and did not count decisions by governments to use or purchase open source software, as this may only reflect a decision based on price or product.

International Open Source Network

The International Open Source Network (IOSN) is a Center of Excellence for free and open source software (FOSS), open content and open standards in the Asia-Pacific region. Through the three centres of excellence – IOSN ASEAN+3, IOSN PIC (Pacific Island Countries), and IOSN South Asia, based in Manila, Suva and Chennai respectively, the IOSN is tasked specifically to facilitate and network FOSS advocates and human resources in the region.

Open ICT4D

This paper argues that openness is especially relevant at this point in time because policy choices made in the near term will shape future societies. Only with a proper understanding, both theoretically and empirically, can we hope to influence policy in a pro development direction. This paper is a first step in improving our understanding of the concept of openness and its implications for ICT4D.

Working Draft Version dated 18 November 2008

Open to development: Open source software and economic development

A paper exploring the role that open-source software can play in an economy and its development, with a focus on empirical evidence and economic logic. Unfortunately, while open-source can clearly be a viable part of a developed software industry, the available evidence does not support the position that open-source software can form the basis of an industry on its own, especially in nations where the technology sector is still embryonic.

FOSS: General Introduction

This e-primer introduces free/open source software (FOSS), its philosophy, history, and the advantages and disadvantages of FOSS. It also contains a brief survey of FOSS initiatives in various countries around the world. It is meant as a basic introductory document that can be handed to a person when asked, "What is FOSS?"

The primer can be downloaded from the following links:

FOSS: Education

This e-primer covers the use of free/open source software (FOSS) from schools to universities. It provides a brief overview of how FOSS can help in setting up the information technology (IT) infrastructure and administration of educational institutions. It considers software (mainly proprietary) that is now used as the basis for IT curricula and FOSS alternatives that are available.

The primer can be downloaded from the following links: