The Role of Open Source Communities in Development: Policy Implications for Governments

Link, Georg J.P.
Qureshi, Sajda
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Open Source Software (OSS) communities engage in a shared design of software that meets the needs of community members. This dynamic may have a positive influence on development by enabling the growth of micro-enterprises thus offering opportunities for governments to stimulate their growth. This paper explores the connection between OSS communities and development outcomes to arrive at a theoretical framework that enables the investigation of the role of OSS communities in development. By examining existing government policies, we find that policymakers recognize the potential for OSS communities to create shared value through private-collective innovation. In understanding the transformative role of OSS, this research investigates (1) how OSS communities contribute to development efforts and (2) how government policy can stimulate development efforts through OSS. The contribution of this paper is in the policy implications for governments on how they may use OSS to drive development.
Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D): ICT and Sustainable Development, Development, Government Policy, ICT4D, Open Source Software
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