FOSS Solutions for Community Development

FOSS Solutions for Community Development

Balaji Rajendran (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, India) and Neelanarayanan Venkataraman (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, India)
DOI: 10.4018/jicthd.2009010102
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The use of ICT solutions in developmental activities and the deployment of them in modern telecentres have been widely accepted phenomena. In this article, we examine the use of FOSS – Free/Open source software in ICT solutions and categorize them into two types: ‘FOSS in’ and ‘FOSS for’, in order to emphasize the difference between those solutions, where FOSS play a meager or symbolic role and those solutions that are specifically developed to address a community need. We discuss about our experience in developing a FOSS-based ICT solution that is specifically built to address the needs of a community information system. We illustrate our three-tiered multi-stakeholder model of development, deployment and usage. We also describe our experience in the process of development and pilot deployment of our solution in various locations of India, and emphasize on the synergies between our model and the FOSS mode of ICT solution development.

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