Why Open Source Software Matters for Government and Civic Tech – and How to Support It

This is a forum thread for comments and discussion about our new research paper on Open Source Software, Government and Civic Tech:


Excellent paper. I especially appreciate your attention to how government can support open source. Three minor comments:

  • There’s no indication of the end of the executive summary or beginning of the main part of the paper, other than heading size. On first read I missed the document structure and initially thought I was seeing mistaken repetition after the executive summary.
  • It’d be a longer and less purely conceptual paper as a result, but I’d have liked to see some pointers to and analysis of past and current efforts, seriously but very sporadically underway for 15+ years to promote or mandate open source in government.
  • Government as software user isn’t the only role of open source in government. Also government as software regulator. Including this concept would have made me overjoyed. :slight_smile: Because it’ll probably take 15+ years of sporadic efforts and evangelism for it to be taken up.
1 Like

@mlinksva great points Mike.

  • Will add something to indicate end of Executive Summary
  • Review of existing efforts - any suggestions for specific items to include? (It would be nice to do for sure!)
  • Big +1 on government in other roles than just user e.g. as regulator. In fact, I hoped it was clear that some of suggestions specifically included gov in other roles. Suggestions were pragmatically oriented so focused on more immediately actionable.