Cover of Toolkit 2.0

So you would like to build a software system for a project of development cooperation and you consider using “Free and open source software (FOSS)”? Good choice, as going open source will offer you a highly sustainable and cost-effective way of developing these systems. See also my think-piece on the “why development cooperation should use such open source systems” published with colleagues from GIZ and the Free Software Foundation Europe.

Here, we want to be more practical. We will use the “Toolkit 2.0 – Digitalisation in Development Cooperation” published back in 2019 by the German Federal Ministry for
Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The toolkit in fact contains two interesting tools on open source The first one describes practical advantages of FOSS from the perspective of a project manager. For instance higher quality and greater reliability and flexibility achieved with Free Software. It also sketches out some possible downsides. The second tool, found in sections 2 and 3 then contains two checklists that support informed decision-making by looking at local conditions that would speak for or against the use of open source. Finally, this tool recommends some “next steps” and further resources.

As the “toolkit 2.0” is somewhat difficult to find on the web these days, I also provide a full text of toolkit and glossary both in English and in German below. (Disclaimer on all of the above: I have been involved in the creation of the toolkit while working at the project “Digital Development” of GIZ.)

Tools helping with informed decision making on open source in the toolkit “Digitalisation in Development Cooperation”Links
Tool 1: practical advantages and disadvantages of using Free and Open Source Software in a Development Cooperation project
Download Tool 1 advantages and disadvantages (350 KB, pdf)
Tool 2: Two checklists on which local framework conditions would be in favor of using Open Source and which might inhibit its use and next stepsDownload Tool 2 checklists local conditions and FOSS and next steps (325 KB, pdf)
English: Full publication of “Toolkit 2.0 – Digitalisation in Development Cooperation” of 2019 published by BMZ and glossary (copyright: BMZ, published under creative commons license)Download “Toolkit 2.0” in English (pdf-Format, 4,5 MB) and
Glossary English
German: Full publication of “BMZ Toolkit 2.0 – Digitalisierung in der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit” and Glossar (copyright: BMZ, published under creative commons license)Download “Toolkit 2.0” in German (pdf-Format, 5,2 MB,) and
Glossary German
Article by Erik Albers / Nico Lück / Balthas Seibold (2020): “Free Software in international development cooperationLink to the article “Free Software in International Development Cooperation” on the webpage of the Free Software Foundation Europe.
Article in German: “Freie Software in der internationalen Entwicklungszusammenarbeit
Article in Italian “Il Software Libero nella cooperazione internazionale allo sviluppo

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