UN-CSTD Side Event: Open Source for Development [POSTPONED - new dates TBC]

24 March 2020
08:30-09:45, Room XXII, Palais des Nations

Postponement of the twenty-third session of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development

In view of the evolving situation concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19), it has been decided that this UN-CSTD Side Event is being postponed. New dates will be communicated in due course.

Open Source is a modern and collaborative way of developing technological tools, which is sustainable, efficient and cost-effective. It is becoming mainstream because it allows all stakeholders to participate in the creation of new tools and also to benefit from their use. This results in increased transparency and trust as well as in a longer-lasting impact and multiplier effects that go beyond any specific project.

Developing countries are moving fast to embrace Open Source solutions: in 2019 Nigeria, Iran and Kenya were the countries with biggest growth in Open Source repositories (see infographic below.) This session will address how Open Source is shaping the present and future of technology; how it can support development strategies for developing countries and what needs to be in place to bring it about.

The session will provide a platform for developers, Government representatives and international organizations to reflect on the positive impact of Open Source on development and to come up with concrete proposals to maximize its benefits.

Open source for Development

UNCTAD’s Open Source 4 Development project provides a framework for UNCTAD to create Open Source solutions. It aims to promote the use of Open Source in UNCTAD projects and among UNCTAD Member States.

Chair: Ms. Elena Tomuta, Chief of Information Technology Support and Open Source 4 Development project officer, UNCTAD

Proposed speakers (not confirmed):

  • James Vasile, Founder of Open Tech Strategies and UNCTAD Consultant

  • Adriana Mendoza, Ambassador, Permanent mission of Colombia

  • Nnenna Nwakanma, co-founder of the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa

  • David Jensen, Head of Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding and Co-Director of MapX, UNEP

  • Paulo Cabral, Head of IT support Division, BDT/ITU

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