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FLOSS in Development Cooperation - Theory and Challenges

FLOSS in Development Cooperation - Theory and Challenges

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Published by martin_voss
Agriculture in development regions is often characterized by rural and remote settings, poverty, low levels of education and high degrees of illiteracy. Against this background the theoretical framework for the application of information and communication technologies and in particular the application of Free/Libre Open-Source-Software (FLOSS) in development regions is being outlined and the challenges for the application analyzed.

It is elaborated that FLOSS supports current development objectives. In addition the special situation of rural development regions is supported. Improved means of communication, additional sources of household income and distant learning programs are just a few examples for rural development where FLOSS is applicable.

One challenge which is derived from the literature research is the appropriate awareness of actors for the application of FLOSS in development cooperation. This aspect is further analyzed by an expert survey. The results suggest that the awareness and perception of FLOSS by actors in development cooperation can be described as uneven. This relates to the level of knowledge about FLOSS itself as well as to the perception of the suggested prospects and risks.
Agriculture in development regions is often characterized by rural and remote settings, poverty, low levels of education and high degrees of illiteracy. Against this background the theoretical framework for the application of information and communication technologies and in particular the application of Free/Libre Open-Source-Software (FLOSS) in development regions is being outlined and the challenges for the application analyzed.

It is elaborated that FLOSS supports current development objectives. In addition the special situation of rural development regions is supported. Improved means of communication, additional sources of household income and distant learning programs are just a few examples for rural development where FLOSS is applicable.

One challenge which is derived from the literature research is the appropriate awareness of actors for the application of FLOSS in development cooperation. This aspect is further analyzed by an expert survey. The results suggest that the awareness and perception of FLOSS by actors in development cooperation can be described as uneven. This relates to the level of knowledge about FLOSS itself as well as to the perception of the suggested prospects and risks.

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Published by: martin_voss on Jul 14, 2009
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Free/Libre Open-Source-Software inDevelopment Cooperation –  Theory and Challenges
Dissertation
Zur Erlangung des akademischen Gradesdoctor rerum agriculturarum(Dr. rer. agr.)
eingereicht an derLandwirtschaftlich-Gärtnerischen Fakultätder Humboldt-Universität zu BerlinvonDipl. Phys. Martin Voß, MBAgeb. 24.3.1970, Preetz/Holst.Präsident der Humboldt-Universität zu BerlinProf. Dr. Christoph MarkschiesDekan der Landwirtschaftlich-Gärtnerischen FakultätProf. Dr. Dr. h.c. Otto KaufmannGutachter1.
 
Herr Prof. Dr. Hans E. Jahnke2.
 
Herr Dr. Michael La Rosa Pérez Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 20.12.2006
 
  This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 License. To view a copy of this license, visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/de/ or send a letter toCreative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, Cali-fornia, 94105, USA.
 
F
REE
 /L
IBRE
O
PEN
-S
OURCE
-S
OFTWARE IN
D
EVELOPMENT
C
OOPERATION
 –
 
T
HEORY AND
C
HALLENGES
I
 T 
ABLE OF CONTENT 
 
List of Figures....................................................................................III
 
List of Tables......................................................................................IV
 
Abstract.............................................................................................VI
 
Zusammenfassung............................................................................VII
 
Acknowledgements...........................................................................VIII
 
Preface...............................................................................................IX
 
1
 
Introduction...............................................................................1
 
1.1
 
 The Problem..............................................................................1
 
1.2
 
Objectives of the study...............................................................3
 
1.3
 
Approach and Methodology........................................................4
 
2
 
Free/Libre and Open-Source-Software.......................................7
 
2.1
 
History.......................................................................................7
 
2.2
 
Open-Source-Software status.....................................................9
 
2.2.1
 
Motivation for participation in FLOSS projects.........................11
 
2.2.2
 
Organization and communication............................................12
 
2.2.3
 
 The role of firms.......................................................................13
 
2.3
 
Advantages and Disadvantages to users...................................16
 
3
 
Information and communication technology as an instrumentin development cooperation......................................................19
 
3.1
 
Development policy objectives..................................................19
 
3.2
 
Development policy strategies..................................................21
 
3.3
 
 The status of ICT in less developed countries...........................27
 
3.4
 
ICT for development.................................................................29
 
3.4.1
 
ICT and the MDGs...................................................................29
 
3.4.2
 
ICT for growth and empowerment............................................31
 
3.5
 
Examples of ICT in development cooperation............................37
 
3.5.1
 
Radio based service..................................................................37
 
3.5.2
 
Mobile phone based project......................................................38
 
3.5.3
 
Individual computing...............................................................39
 
4
 
FLOSS within development cooperation...................................42
 
4.1
 
Special aspects of Open-Source-Software in developmentcooperation..............................................................................42
 
4.1.1
 
ICT sustainability and autonomy.............................................44
 
4.1.2
 
Security...................................................................................46
 
4.1.3
 
Intellectual property rights.......................................................47
 
4.2
 
 The Status of FLOSS in development cooperation.....................48
 
4.2.1
 
Country ICT policies options....................................................48
 
4.2.2
 
Examples of FLOSS ICT policies...............................................53
 
4.2.3
 
Case studies of FLOSS in development cooperation..................54
 
4.2.4
 
Experiences and "Lessons Learned".........................................56
 
5
 
Implications of FLOSS strategies for development cooperation..58
 
5.1
 
Creating an enabling environment for FLOSS...........................58
 
5.1.1
 
FLOSS advocacy and education...............................................59
 
5.1.2
 
Market demand.......................................................................59
 
5.2
 
Readiness and awareness of actors in developmentcooperation..............................................................................60
 

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