Open software for the development of Latin America and the Caribbean _
Open software for the development of Latin America and the Caribbean
At the IDB, we promote the idea that software is a knowledge product that can be shared. That's why we launched Code for Development, an initiative which provides a platform to share open-source software and other resources, and to connect with diverse collaborators who support the vision that software is a public good.
Code for Development provides access to applications, algorithms, spreadsheets, and other useful digital tools that address specific challenges. You can find software with different functions such as data analysis, content management, record management, image processing and others. Our vision is that, when these tools are adapted and reused, they have the potential to promote economic and social development of Latin America and the Caribbean.
By using open-source standards, the software’s impact can be extended.
Technology is increasingly important for development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Each year, governments and other institutions like the IDB invest in the creation of new software to address development challenges. What would happen if that software was open and available to be applied to similar challenges in other countries and contexts? How many governments and citizens could benefit from systems, applications, and tools already created in other contexts to address their own local development challenges? The Code for Development initiative is an effort to answer these questions. Through these efforts, the IDB became the first multilateral institution to publish software.
Code for Development promotes good practices of working in open-source in order to increase the impact of public resources dedicated to software development. The tools featured in Code for Development have passed a quality review process. We emphasize that the code is well documented and highly reusable, complete with a license that allows the reuse and adaptation of the tool.
Working in open-source is a collaborative effort. It depends on collaboration to improve tools and to promote that they are reused and adapted to new applications and contexts. It is also important to encourage the exchange of lessons learned around technology, a field that is constantly changing.
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