Free and Open Source Software and Technology for Sustainable Development

image of Free and Open Source Software and Technology for Sustainable Development
Free and open source software (FOSS) technologies transcend geographical and cultural boundaries to usher in a new paradigm where volunteers collaboratively develop software for the commons. The political economy of FOSS technologies has far-reaching implications because of the centrality of information and communications technologies for development (ICT4D). The global trend in the diffusion and adoption of FOSS technologies is a testimony to the socio-economic and technological impact the software has for both developed and developing economies. While FOSS development, education and business potentials may appear as a phenomenon for the developed world, a sizable number of developing countries have undertaken bold measures to bring about innovation, sustainable ICT development and technology independence.



FOSS as a driver: Perspectives from the ICT development agenda

Information and communication technology (ICT) is regarded as a powerful tool for development. In particular, free and open source software (FOSS) can help developing countries to solve the financial and technical problems involved in utilizing ICT. There are many advantages of FOSS, including free use, reasonable total cost of ownership (TCO), reduced copyright infringements and achievement of vendor independence. However, despite the efforts of governments and international organizations to diffuse it in the developing world, few of the poorer countries are successfully utilizing FOSS for their development.


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