Promoting FOSS in local governments

Pushing the national government to go FOSS at the policy level may be a Herculean task but there’s hope that “little” successes at the local governments level may push Malacanang to do so. After all, it is the local government units that are grounded and directly responsible for the optimum use of the local resources as well as the delivery of basic social services to the populace. With or without a national policy affecting the LGUs’ power to choose technologies, they somehow manage to invest in something new.

It is in this context that the Institute for Popular Democracy (IPD) has embarked in a project called “FOSS and e-Governance”, which aims to influence LGUs’ ICT systems supporting key areas like revenue collection, information management and local legislation. See the project site here.

If you’re in Quezon City or can afford to come, please attend the Philippine Conference on Free and Open Source Software and e-Governance on March 7-8, 2007 at EDSA Shangri-la in Mandaluyong City. Based on its concept brief, the conference aims to “showcase the various FOSS applications developed for and used by local government units in the Philippines, and to discuss issues related to this process as well as to the adaptation of FOSS in supporting good e-governance.” The two-day conference will gather major organisations and experts in various strategic sectors in information and communications technology, development work, policy and local administration.

Tentatively, the conference will tackle the following:

  1. FOSS in e-Governance
    • Obstacles and gaps in building e-governance Philippine-style
    • FOSS 101: A ‘crash course’ on FOSS
  2. Using FOSS in Governance: Experiences Abroad
    • Opening of FOSS Fiesta
  3. FOSS Applications for e-Governance: The IPD-EU FOSS Experience
    • Making a case for FOSS: Convincing the policy-makers to support FOSS in e-Governance
    • Building sustainable communities for using FOSS in e-governance

Sounds exciting, right? See you then. (I’ll be facilitating a break-out session on the third topic. 😉 )

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