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Apply Now: $100,000 Grant Funding for Open Source Software Projects

By Wayan Vota on March 25, 2019

open source grant funding

Expensive mainstream software from advanced markets isn’t appropriate for many specialized contexts in international development. Open Source software has proven to be an interesting model to leverage collaboration, share costs, and increase product quality in resource-poor countries.

However, Open Source digital development projects usually struggle with lack of long-term investments in key focal areas such as community effectiveness and product development, resulting in relatively few mature solutions in development settings.

Catalytic Grants from DIAL Open Source Center

Free and open source software projects that support work at the nexus of humanitarian action, development and peace can receive financial support from DIAL Open Source Center’s Catalytic Grant program to support software development efforts that have traditionally been neglected by humanitarian programs.

DIAL will issue up to 4 grants, each up to $25,000, to fund efforts on to improve and revive existing software development projects in low and middle-income countries that are well-aligned with the Principles for Digital Development.

Apply Now: Deadline is April 15, 2019

Grant Funding Minimum Criteria

  • Must be an existing free and open source software project; ideas and work still in a conceptual phase and/or without any existing published code may not apply.
  • Must be collaborative with multiple individuals and/or organizations working collectively on the project.
  • Must have multiple stakeholders; projects currently having only a single consumer individual or organization may not apply.
  • Must be licensed under an OSI approved or FSF free software license; proprietary software projects or projects with additional restrictions contrary to the Open Source Definition or Free Software Definition may not apply.
  • Preference in selecting awardees will be given to organizations outside the United States and women-owned. For organizations that are primarily women led, a brief explanation may be submitted for consideration.

Grant Funding Priority Areas

Applicants for grant funding should be able to demonstrate a clear connection to how their work ultimately improves the lives of people and communities in low and middle-income countries. For the best likelihood of funding, applicants are strongly encouraged to focus on one of the following priority areas:

Priority A: Privacy & Responsible Data

  • Development of features to support user compliance with regulatory requirements such as GDPR
  • Features to allow/facilitate anonymization and/or deletion of user-owned content/data
  • Improvements to underlying encryption, audit logging, and other security features

Priority B: Improving user experiences

  • Improved installation & configuration process for new deployments
  • Field-based or laboratory research on user experience challenges faced by product users, admins, etc.
  • Development/user testing of UI prototypes to improve known areas of user confusion/frustration, workflow review by UX designers, etc.

Priority C: “Dirty Jobs”

  • Improvements to the software development process, such as CI infrastructure, increasing test coverage, or technical backlog grooming
  • Improvements to community and contribution, such as improved/consolidated documentation, better packaging, or training materials
  • Improvements to the software code quality, such as refactoring code small or updating dependencies to newer versions

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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