Free and Open Source Software at the United Nations
Advances in technology have revolutionized the way people live, learn and work, but these benefits have not spread around the world evenly. A digital divide exists between communities in their access to computers, the Internet, and other technologies. The United Nations is aware of the importance of including technology development as part of a larger effort to bridge this global digital divide. This article looks at how various United Nations agencies use free and open source software to meet the goal of putting technology at the service of people around the world.
The Millennium Development Goals
The Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) are a set of eight targets to help end extreme poverty worldwide by 2015. The United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force, created in March 2001, has worked to advance the development goals and targets of the UN, in particular those set by the Millennium Declaration. The Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) group replaced UNICTTF, and now has the task of providing an open policy dialogue on the role of information and communication technologies in development.
International Open Source Network
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) created the International Open Source Network (IOSN) with the goal of helping developing countries in the Asia-Pacific Region achieve rapid and sustained economic and social development by using free and open source software.