Aspiration Directs "Good to Great FOSS" event in Nairobi

Event Date(s): 
October 24, 2007 to October 26, 2007

At the invitation of IDRC and in partnership with PRIDE Africa, Aspiration directed the first-ever “Good to Great FOSS: Open Source Software Development in Africa” convening in Nairobi from October 24-26. The workshop provided a collaborative venue for discussion on Open Source software development in a developing country context, and was attended by a diverse group of open source projects and practitioners. The workshop goal was to facilitate an open assessment on how ‘Open Source’ approaches do (and do not) improve the impact of software initiatives in a developing country context. Also discussed and documented were reflections on the most successful approaches and strategy to implementing Open Source.

Participating projects included AVOIR, DrumNet, OpenMRS, Mifos and TradeNet.

The main objectives of this workshop were:

  • To provide an opportunity for reflection and learning about how to develop successful Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) initiatives in Africa;
  • To promote collaboration and understanding of what it takes to have a successful FOSS project;
  • To document community processes and tool sets of featured projects, profiling best practices required to apply FOSS expertise to add value to various technology driven IDRC-funded projects;
  • To provide knowledge on business process in the context of FOSS projects.

An event wiki was maintained to store session notes and project profiles.

Following from the event, Aspiration will be authoring a paper that details community processes and tool sets of featured projects from the event; a profile of best practices, required resources and processes in the developing country context; as well as points of disagreement on the subject of how to develop an Open Source project in the African context; and finally, recommendations for focus areas in future support and collaboration.