Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) technologies transcend geographical and cultural boundaries to usher in a new development paradigm where volunteers collaboratively create software for common use. The political economy of FOSS technologies has far-reaching implications for world development because of the centrality of information and communications technologies for development (ICT4D). The global trend in the diffusion and adoption of FOSS technologies is a testimony to the socioeconomic and technological impact the software has for both developed and developing economies.
The main aim of this book is to raise awareness, increase the deployment, and capture the socioeconomic, technical, and educational impact of information and communications technologies in general, and free and open source software in particular, for sustainable development. A global collection of experts in social, natural, and human sciences, with contributions from researchers and practitioners in both developing and developed countries, cover the theoretical and practical implications of FOSS technologies.
While FOSS development, education, and business potentials may appear as a phenomenon for the developed world, a sizable number of developing countries have implemented FOSS policies of their own. Empirical and anecdotal evidence continues to demonstrate the potential of FOSS technologies for giving people the opportunity to participate actively in the development and shaping of their own technology, stimulating the growth of indigenous software industries, creating local jobs, and lowering technology acquisition and deployment costs.
The target audience of the book includes ICT4D and sustainable development experts, FOSS developers and users, policymakers, technology-oriented small and medium enterprises, NGOs working in ICT and sustainable development, international organizations with technology transfer initiatives, information systems practitioners and research institutions, curriculum designers, universities and colleges, and training institutions interested in the pedagogical aspects of FOSS technologies.