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Overview of ‘humanitarian open source’

photo of Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens
6th December 2010


The December issue of OSBR is available here.

Summary of its contents:

“Humanitarian Open Source is the theme of the December issue of the Open Source Business Resource, which is now available at osbr.ca. The Guest Editor is Leslie Hawthorn, Open Source Outreach Manager for Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab.

In this issue, authors in Canada (Ottawa and Toronto), Sri Lanka (Columbo), and the United States (Brunswick, Hartford, Indianapolis, New York, Portland, and Seattle), draw upon their experiences to show the role of the open source approach in meeting humanitarian needs in the past, present, and future.

Chamindra de Silva, Director and CTO of the Sahana Foundation, explores the landscape of humanitarian free and open source software and the natural alignment between the humanitarian and open source domains.

Mark Prutsalis, President and CEO of the Sahana Foundation, describes the role of the Sahana project in disaster-relief scenarios and the need to build a service industry based on supporting HFOSS in order to sustain the ecosystem.

Glenn McKnight and Alfredo Herrera from the Humanitarian Initiatives Committee describe IEEE Canada’s efforts to produce open hardware solutions that provide reliable sources of electricity to address humanitarian needs in developing countries.

Adam Feuer, Director of Engineering for the Grameen Foundation’s Mifos Initiative, discusses how Mifos open source banking software helps alleviate global poverty through microfinance and serves as a model to address other humanitarian challenges.

Dawn Smith, Project Coordinator for the OpenMRS medical record system, examines the role of OpenMRS in the formation of a health information business ecosystem for resource-poor environments.

Ralph Morelli, Professor of Computer Science at Trinity College, Allen Tucker, Professor Emeritus at Bowdoin College, and Trishan de Lanerolle, Project Director for the Humanitarian FOSS Project at Trinity College, discuss the Humanitarian FOSS Project and its initiatives in undergraduate education to benefit both global and local communities.

Mike Herrick, Executive Director of the Collaborative Software Foundation, traces the history of the TriSano project and its business model refinement to illustrate how collaboration can lead to sustainable software and communities that benefit global public health.”

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