Centre for Internet & Society

This workshop is being organised by TechNation and Open Source Alliance of Central Asia on October 23. Sunil Abraham is participating as a panelist and will speak on FOSS and IT Growth Policies in South Asia.

Read the original published on the IGF website

The Internet Governance Forum 2013 is being held at Bali from October 22 to 25. The overarching theme for the 2013 IGF meeting is: "Building Bridges"- Enhancing Multistakeholder Cooperation for Growth and Sustainable Development".

Theme: The Internet as an Engine for Growth and Advancement

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), once limited to advanced users, now attracts average users. Countries have adopted FOSS for its social, economic and political benefits. Russia has started to shift government to Linux by 2015 and plans to build a national repository of Open Source Software. China is teaming up with Canonical to develop an open source operating system for Chinese users called Ubuntu Kylin. According to Black Duck Software and North Bridge Venture Partners Open-Source Survey, Open Source Software is helping improve enterprise networking, smartcars, and academia. InformationWeek’s survey “Open Source Software Use Joins The Mix,” confirms that FOSS “is believed to create more opportunities for innovation than commercial or proprietary software.”

This workshop emphasizes three main issues: 1) Innovative FOSS technologies, 2) Capacity building in FOSS, and 3) Women as FOSS users and developers. It will discuss benefits, costs and implications of choosing FOSS; highlight the representation, role and achievements of women from the Central and South Asian region; and, guide recommendations to build capacity of women in utilizing FOSS for education, health, governance, and civil society.

Why FOSS? FOSS fosters education for the persons contributing to it and for those using it. In addition to learning new skills, FOSS developers can help solve real-life problems. Irrespective of geographic location, volunteers work collaboratively to develop software. This creates a sense of community ownership of their technology and enhances employment, employability and increases local innovation. FOSS reduces deployment costs making it a smart choice by developing countries. FOSS is affordable, stable, reliable, and free of virus.

What are innovative FOSS technologies? This workshop will showcase some of the most innovative Open Source Software technologies. It will highlight the fact that most servers are based on open source, and now common users, governments and businesses around the world are transitioning to FOSS.

Why Capacity Building? Capacity building in computer education should teach students concepts, ensure that students learn through hands on experience using a variety of tools, and leave students the choice of which tool to use to create virtual worlds. Students should be given responsibilities, including helping run IT systems. For example, students of higher classes could build or modify software for lower classes.

Organized by Open Source Alliance of Central Asia (OSACA), this workshop will explore whether the requirements to be a FOSS contributor prevent women from doing so and what it will take for women in Central and South Asia, to become valuable contributors.

Has the proponent organised a workshop with a similar subject during past IGF meetings?



  1. Mr. Omar Mansoor Ansari, TechNation, Private Sector, AFGHANISTAN, Asia-Pacific Group
  2. Mr. Sufyan Kakakhel, Open Source Alliance of Central Asia (OSACA), Civil Society, PAKISTAN, Asia-Pacific Group

Have the Proponent or any of the co-organisers organised an IGF workshop before?



  • H.E. Baryalai Hassam, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Male, Government, AFGHANISTAN, Asia-Pacific Group
  • Maria Beebe, Telecom Advisory Team (Afghanistan) Deloitte, Female, Private Sector, UNITED STATES, Western Europe and Others Group - WEOG
  • Sunil Abraham, Center for Internet and Society, Male, Civil Society, INDIA, Asia-Pacific Group
  • Roxana Radu, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Female, Technical Community, ROMANIA, Eastern European Group
  • Matthias Stürmer, Open Source Switzerland, Male, Technical Community, SWITZERLAND, Western Europe and Others Group - WEOG
  • Asomiddin Atoev, ISP Association of Tajikistan, Male, Private Sector, TAJIKISTAN, Asia-Pacific Group
  • Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Wolfgang F. Finke, Ernst-Abbe University of Applied Sciences, Male, Civil Society, GERMANY, Western Europe and Others Group - WEOG
  • Dominique Lazankski, The TaxPayers' Alliance, Civil Society, UNITED KINGDOM, Western Europe and Others Group - WEOG


  • Omar Mansoor Ansari

Remote Moderator

  • Ana Perdigao


FOSS: FOSS Smart Choice for Developing Countries

This high-level thematic workshop discusses the most up-to-dated advancements in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) technologies. With some of the best minds from the government, industry, civil society and academia learn about innovative FOSS technologies, policy and regulatory environments, project and initiatives, and how Open Source Software technologies can help enhance governance, business, education and the society. The panel will discuss implications for capacity building for women and girls in FOSS.

Workshop Agenda

0900 - 0910
Welcome and Introduction
Welcome and introduction by Session Chairman
Mr. Omar Mansoor Ansari, President at TechNation, Cofounder/ Board Director, Open Source Alliance of Central Asia (OSACA)

0910 - 0920
State of FOSS and Government Policies in Afghanistan.
H.E. Eng. Baryalai Hassam, Deputy Minister (Technical), Ministry of Communications and IT, Afghanistan

0920 - 0930
MOOCs, M-learning and other Resources Online: Implications for Capacity Building
Dr. Maria Beebe, Sr. ICT Advisor (Education), Telecom Advisory Team (Afghanistan) Deloitte, United States

0930 - 0940
Kick-Starting the Utilization of FOSS in the Public Sector in Afghanistan – Afghan Center of Open Source Systems
Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Wolfgang F. Finke, Ernst-Abbe University of Applied Sciences, Germany

0940 - 0950
Women Creating Their Spaces Online

0950 - 1000
Technology transfer and North-South partnerships through open source communities
Dr. Matthias Stürmer, Swiss Open Systems User Group /ch/open, Switzerland

1000 - 1010
FOSS and the Internet in Central Asia
Asomiddin Atoev, Cofounder/ Board Director, Open Source Alliance of Central Asia (OSACA), Chairman, ISP Association of Tajikistan.

1010 -1020
FOSS and IT Growth Policies in South Asia
Mr. Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, Center for Internet and Society, India

1020 - 1030
Open Data
Dominique Lazanski
The TaxPayers' Alliance, UK

1030 -1100
Q&A and Open Discussion

Inclusiveness of the Session

This will be a panel workshop, it will allow considerable time for an Open Discussion and Q&A. We will be making the meeting highly interactive and participatory by engaging the speakers and participants to exchange ideas, knowledge and experience.

Suitability for Remote Participation

We will be providing remote participation through video conferencing, creating social media, Twitter and Facebook, accounts that are interlinked and can communicate real time updates with the remote participants. A team of volunteers will be engaged to manage the communication with remote participants.