Free and Open Source Software in low-income countries: Emergent properties? [chapter]

Gianluca Miscione, Dorothy Gordon, Kevin Johnston
2008 IFIP International Federation for Information Processing  
Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is becoming an increasingly important element in strategies for development and implementation of information and communication technologies (ICT) in low-income countries (LICs). Such initiatives often have strong public sector orientation, as government ICT policies are expected to shape and support further socio-economical development. The usual mismatch between bureaucracies and trajectories of development initiatives (mostly run by international
more » ... provides a promising field for empirical research. This panel intends to discuss the connection between FOSS and organisational learning in contexts where usual assumptions about them cannot be taken-forgranted. It will be argued that the relevance of open technologies as public goods rests in allowing increased organisational learning in public administrations. Such a focus on the organisational aspects would complement existing studies on economical relevance of FOSS. Common assumptions about FOSS dynamics emphasize the spontaneity of open and distributed development, as the FOSS-related organisations emerged on themselves. This panel proposal invites to explore what are the hidden regulations which constrain or en-act development, use, further development, and further use of FOSS-based ICT in LICs. These processes need to be understood to be explicitly considered in ICT for development policies. With this aim, three cases are presented and discussed, two from Africa and one from Kerala, a Southern state of India.
doi:10.1007/978-0-387-84822-8_24 fatcat:xxmpevxnpbauhfhqg7e3d52zfa