ICT for People's Organizations


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ICT for People's Organizations

  1. 1. ICT for People's Organizations Chris Raymaekers | IPHU-Kisumu | April 2010
  2. 2. ICT won't solve the problems of society
  3. 3. However
  4. 4. ICT can help people's organizations in their struggle for social change ● Improving efficiency and productivity ● Improving data collection and data analysis ● Improving advocacy and campaign
  5. 5. ICT for PO's * Information & communication are vital aspects of PO's work. * PO's have always employed technologies to assist them in their work. * However, tools needed today are different to those of a decade ago.
  6. 6. Possibilities & Challenges * Shift towards 'informationised' society contains both possibilities and challenges. * Access to powerful communication & organizational tools is opened up. * Making good use of these tools can be a painful experience. * The “digital divide”: unequal access and unequal acquisition of related skills.
  7. 7. FOSS & PO's: a natural fit * FOSS = Free and Open Source Software. * FOSS tools are developed through shared collaboration, creating a greater mutual value. * This practice of cooperation and collaboration makes the FOSS movement a natural ally of PO's and social change movements. * On top of the synergies around 'philosophy', there is also much practical value in using FOSS tools.
  8. 8. Intro What is FOSS? Getting to know FOSS Making FOSS work for your organization Demo
  9. 9. What is FOSS? * Free and Open Source Software is designed to maximize the freedoms of its users. * Think of 'free' as in 'free speech', not as in 'free beer'. * FOSS <> proprietary software (e.g Microsoft, Adobe, ...). * FOSS license conditions guarantee that users can exercise 4 freedoms.
  10. 10. Drawings by Lucy Watts (lucywatts.com)
  11. 11. Drawings by Lucy Watts (lucywatts.com)
  12. 12. * Richard Stallman founded FSF in 1985 to promote the freedom to create, distribute and modify computer software * Initiated the GNU project to make a free Operating System (OS) * Pioneered the concept of copyleft Drawings by Lucy Watts (lucywatts.com)
  13. 13. FOSS < > Proprietary software * Free (as in * Intellectual freedom). Property Rights. * Sharing. * Profit. * Collaboration. * Monopoly. * Transparency. * Chaos.
  14. 14. Intro What is FOSS? Getting to know FOSS Demo: Ubuntu Making FOSS work for your organization
  15. 15. Advantages of using FOSS (1) * Cost effectiveness: software often free and support is provided by community. * Legality issue: free to use and distribute * Increased stability: bugs are found and eliminated quickly due to open source nature * No technology lock-in: built using open standards
  16. 16. Advantages of using FOSS (2) * Increased organizational flexibility: software can be adapted to needs of organization * Cooperative culture: less prone to vendor lock-in * Extended life span of hardware: FOSS often less demanding on HW resources, less bloated software packages * Ability to attract high level skill at low cost
  17. 17. Limitations (1) * Sometimes badly documented & hard to use for non tech savvy. -> Things improved a lot in recent years. E.g. Ubuntu version of GNU/Linux OS. -> Also dependent on the specific software. E.g. Documentation and community support for the Drupal CMS is as good, if not better than for proprietary solutions.
  18. 18. Limitations (2) * In places where pirated versions of proprietary software are easily accessible the benefits of FOSS can be a hard sell. -> Most people looking for an instant solution arenʼt going to care whether a software is FOSS or not. * Software availability: it's not always possible to find FOSS alternatives to commercial applications
  19. 19. Example 1: Mozilla * Non-profit dedicated to promote open, shared and innovative web. * Projects: Firefox (browser), Thunderbird (e-mail, newsgroups, feeds), SeaMonkey (Internet application suite), Calendar project...
  20. 20. Mozilla Firefox * Recognized as a more secure browser than Internet Explorer. * Lots of useful plug-ins available (thanks to open architecture). * Firefox: 25% market share. * Runs on Windows, Mac and GNU/Linux.
  21. 21. Example 2: OpenOffice.org * Office productivity suite, including word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and databases. * Very capable alternative to MS Office. * Can read and write MS office files. * Export to PDF out-of-the-box. * Available for Windows, Mac and GNU/Linux.
  22. 22. Example 3: GNU/Linux * Operating system * Desktop market: dominated by Windows -> Windows (90%), Mac OS X (5%) and Linux (1%). * Server market: idem. -> Windows (70%), Linux (20%) -> 60% of the web servers run Linux (2008). * Supercomputers: dominated by Linux -> Linux (86%)
  23. 23. GNU/Linux desktop * Despite low market share, Linux is viable for desktop use. -> Ubuntu: popular distro with focus on ease of use. -> Some vendors sell GNU/Linux pre-installed, especially on netbooks (30% market share) * Choice between many distros can be overwhelming: Ubuntu, fedora, debian, SuSE, mandriva, ... → check DistroWatch.com
  24. 24. Ubuntu * Free (as in free beer), stable and secure operating system (GNU/Linux based). * Created in 2004 by Mark Shuttleworth, a SA millionaire. His company, Canonical, is backing the project. * Generally acknowledged to be the most widely used version of Linux (8M users) * Runs on 32bit (i386) and 64bit (x86_64) processors
  25. 25. Ubuntu Features (1) * Novice-friendly * Contains Office Suite (OOo), Email client (Evolution), Browser (Firefox), IM, photo management, multimedia, … out of the box. * Instant access to thousands of FOSS applications via package manager. * Accessibility: assistive technologies, localization, ...
  26. 26. Ubuntu Features (2) * Automatic updates and bug fixes. * Wealth of documentation, both official and user-contributed. * Installable live CD. * Creative artwork and desktop themes. * Migration assistant for Windows users. * Fixed release cycle and support period.
  27. 27. Potential drawbacks * Installation. -> Not hard but average user will try to avoid. -> Few retailers sell Linux pre-installed. * Hardware compatibility. -> Issues with small number of devices due to lack of good Linux drivers. -> Check certified HW list or try LiveCD. * Proprietary SW with no version for Linux. -> Emulation can be a solution
  28. 28. Ubuntu Offerings * Ubuntu Desktop Edition: for everyday office tasks * Ubuntu Server Edition: for use as file-, web-, mail-, or database server. * Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR): optimized for use with netbook (affordable, internet- centric devices)
  29. 29. Ubuntu Derivatives * Officially supported (by Canonical) -> Kubuntu: KDE desktop environment for other look & feel -> Edubuntu: for education * Recognized -> Xubuntu: XFCE desktop environment for use with older hardware -> Ubuntu Studio: designed for multimedia editing and creation -> Mythbuntu: designed for use as media center
  30. 30. Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala (Gnome)
  31. 31. Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala (KDE)
  32. 32. Ubuntu Release Schedule * New release every 6 months (support for 18 months). * LTS release every 2 yr (3 yr support for desktop, 5 yr support for server). * Upgrade can be performed over the Internet without reinstall. * Support for the latest technologies is guaranteed thanks to regular releases.
  33. 33. Intro What is FOSS? Getting to know FOSS Demo: Ubuntu Making FOSS work for your organization
  34. 34. Intro What is FOSS? Getting to know FOSS Demo: Ubuntu Making FOSS work for your organization
  35. 35. Case Study: intal (1) * intal (belgian partner of PHM) * Office runs on entirely on Ubuntu -> 2 application servers (LTSP) -> 20 workstations -> 1 file server and 4 shared printers -> LAMP apps: intranet (Open Atrium), CRM ( CiviCRM), DAM (ResourceSpace)
  36. 36. Case Study: intal (2) * No license fees * Cheap hardware -> 2nd hand workstations $30/piece -> servers $700/piece * Setup/maintenance done by a experienced volunteer * 1 windows box to run proprietary software -> bookkeeping, donation management
  37. 37. Base infrastructure * Ubuntu Desktop provides a stable, secure and feature packed desktop for each staff member * Larger offices may benefit from services provided by a server: -> file/print services (also Windows networking) -> e-mail services -> LAMP applications (Wiki's, CMS, CRM, ...) -> backup services
  38. 38. Case Study: Karapatan (1) * Human Rights group (Philippines). * Cfr Press statement CPU * Documentation of HR violations using karapatan-monitor. -> open source toolkit developed by CPU. * Web portals based on Drupal CMS -> Organizational: karapatan.org -> Campaign: stopthekilllings.org, stopthekillings.be
  39. 39. Case Study: Karapatan (2) * Analysis and visualization of collected data is vital for advocacy and campaign. Presentation of analyzed data of HR violations in the Philippines. Collection, analysis and visualization of data was done with FOSS tools.
  40. 40. Resources * Tactical Technology Collective -> NGO in-a-box: powerful tools for the daily work of NGO's -> Message in-a-box: tools and tactics for communicating your cause. -> Mobiles in-a-box: tools and tactics for mobile advocacy. -> Security in-a-box: tools and tactics for your digital security
  41. 41. References * “The Base Edition of NGO-in-a-box <base.ngoinabox.org> by Tactical Tech <tacticaltech.org> and WomenʼsNet <womensnet.org.za>” * Choosing and Using Free and Open Source Software: A primer for nonprofits. (link) * An Introduction to Ubuntu (link)
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