Open Source for Civil Society Organizations

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Choosing Open Source = A decision making guide for civil society organizations



Open source software holds a great deal of potential for civil society organizations. The most obvious benefit of open source software is free to use, something that is attractive to organizations on a tight budget. However, it also offers much more – better security, increased flexibility and the ability to adapt software to meet local and organizational needs. And, open source software is based on the kind of collaborative and cooperative principles that many civil society organizations embrace.

This document helps to unlock the potential of open source for civil society. It provides an introduction to the topic, tackling questions like 'what is open source?' and 'how will it benefit my organization?' It also includes practical, down to earth advice on how to review open source software packages and select the right ones for you.

Who is this document for? Civil society managers responsible for the implementation of IT systems – whether they are IT specialists or not. This document is not a detailed technical manual, but rather an organizational planning and decision making tool. You don't need to be a computer expert to benefit from this guide.