IGF 2021 - Day 2 - WS #269 Inclusive Governance: Models of Open Source Participation

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> MALA KUMAR:  Welcome to this workshop with the Internet

    Governance Forum, #269, titled Inclusive Governance: Models of Open

    Source Participation.

        My name is Mala Kumar, and I'm the director of Tech for Social

    Good on the GitHub social impact team.  The tech company called

    GitHub,  which is a Microsoft-owned company where more than 73

    million people, software developers, globally choose to collaborate

    on and host their code.  GitHub is the platform of choice for the

    majority of the world's open source tools, applications, and

    projects including in the public sector and in the social sector.

        In fact, much of my team's focus is on open source capacity

    building in the social sector, which includes all organizations

    working on the sustainable development goals.  You can read more

    about our work at socialimpact.GitHub.com.

        So today I have the privilege of moderating this session.  And

    I'll be joined by three -- unfortunately, Sayeed Choudhury is

    unable to join us today -- but three esteemed panelists covering a

    broad range of work in open source governance.  So the panelists

    are Samson Goddy, co-founder of Open Source Community Africa; Kriti

    Mittal, entrepreneur in residence and (?) Network India; and Dusan

    Milovanovic, the lead health intelligence architect of the World

    Health Organization.

        So welcome, panelists.  Thank you so much for being here.  I'd

    also like to thank the section's rapporteur, my GitHub policy

    colleague, Peter Cihon.  Hi, Peter.

        So this session will last about one hour.  And in a minute

    I'll highlight a couple of the global challenges we see in open

    source governance before turning it over to our panelists, who will

    each have about five minutes to speak about their work.

        We'll then have 25 minutes for questions and answers before

    closing out the panel; and audience members during the Q&A can use

    the raised hand feature on Zoom, and I'll recognize you to add

    questions.  And I believe Peter is in the room to field any

    questions.  So with that let's turn to a couple of points in open

    source governance, and I'm going to attempt to share my screen.

        All right.  So a lot of challenges and opportunities we see in

    open source governance overlapped with broader Internet governance.

    And this might be in part explained that a lot of the tech is

    fueled by open source software.  A lot of ways we can think about

    these two terms, but for purposes of today's session we're going to

    refer to open source software as tools or applications whose code

    is publicly available on Internet.  And under an open source

    initiative, OSI, license that permits the user to use, study,

    change or distribute the source code.

        And then for Internet governance we use the UN secretary

    general's working group definition, and the term refers to the

    development and applications by governments, the private sector,

    and civil society in their respective roles of shared principles,

    norms, rules, and decision making procedures, and programmes that

    shape the evaluation and use of the Internet.  So a bit of a

    mouthful, but so we're all on the same page.

        It is important to note there are differences in how open

    source software is produced and used in the social sector, in the

    public sector and the corporate sector writ large which now in

    modern era is the biggest contributor to open source software.  One

    of those issues really is around funding in the social sector tends

    to be around new software projects rather than strengthening

    existing tools and solutions, which makes open source software and

    its governance challenging.

        The social sector also tends to focus on open source software

    with user interfaces as a stand alone application, meaning that

    there's some kind of interface that allows a person to manipulate

    the code or to perform a function without touching the code.

    Whereas open source software in corporate tech tends to be

    something like infrastructure tech that doesn't necessarily have

    that capability.

        Open source software is also perceived differently in

    countries.  We're currently running a project now focussing on low

    and middle income countries, including India, Kenya, Egypt, and

    Mexico, and we've seen because of the way that tech ecosystems have

    evolved over the decades theres a different association of open

    source software.

        In U.S. and Europe there seems to be a democratic association,

    whereas, for example, in India the majority of the people we spoke

    to, software developers, really appreciate software development

    with corporations, because that's how they were oriented into that


        Finally, it's important to note that many open source tools

    and applications are meant to be deployed -- that are meant to be

    deployed in low or middle income countries are built in high income

    countries, and so inclusive design and participation, especially in

    the areas of remote work where it's hard to get to field-based

    operations are major obstacles.

        So our panel today has a really fascinating geographic

    approach to their work.  And so if Samson is on the line, I'd love

    to turn it over to him to talk about his work with Open Source


        Samson, are you there?

        >> SAMSON GODDY:  Yes, I am.  Can you hear me?

        >> MALA KUMAR:  I can.  All right.  Please go ahead.

        >> SAMSON GODDY:  Hi, everyone.  My name is Samson Goddy.  I'm

    the co-founder for the Open Source Community Africa, it's an

    initiative I and my friends (?) Four years to define and lead

    conversations around the way open source is perceived, while also

    trying to define what open source means in the continent of Africa.

        We basically focus around our (?) giving people the

    opportunity to understand open source to depths from software

    community, to (?), to governance.  So one of the things is quite

    interesting within the organisation is the fact that we -- it's

    sort of like centered around different aspects which is the (Audio

    Distortion) (off mic).

        >> MALA KUMAR:  I believe Samson might have dropped off.

    Yeah.  That's a good suggestion.  So everybody who's on the Zoom

    call, if you don't mind switching off your video to save bandwidth,

    that's awesome.  In low bandwidth areas.

        Samson, if you can still hear us, please continue.

        Okay.  I think Samson has dropped off.  So why don't we go to

    Kriti, actually and tell us about your work in India, and then

    we'll bring Samson back in.

        >> KRITI MITTAL:  Thanks, Mala.  Am I audible?

        I'm Kriti Mittal.  I work at (?) Network India where I lead

    the initiative on open digital ecosystems.

        As a philanthropic investing from -- we invest in both for

    profits and nonprofits and also support government efforts and

    research in sectors like education, financial inclusion, emerging

    technology and digital society.

        Sorry, Peter, I just saw your message, I thought we were to

    turn our videos off.

        Anyway, hi.  Hi again, everyone.

        So just to give a bit of a -- I think Samson is back.

        Do you want me to continue?

        >> MALA KUMAR:  Yeah, go ahead.  When Samson is up, we can go.


        >> KRITI MITTAL:  Sure.  So the Open Digital Ecosystems, or

    ODE initiative focuses on population, scale, digital

    infrastructure.  So for example, things like digital identity,

    digital payments.  Data infrastructure, as the sort of horizontals

    and any large scale government-to-citizen digital platforms.

    Across sectors like healthcare, education, you know, open

    governance, agriculture, et cetera, as the sort of verticals.

        And so our work sort of spans, you know, both these axes.  And

    the context in which we began this work is really bad, in India

    digital infrastructure has seen a paradigm shift in the last few

    years.  From what used to be end to end tech systems existing in

    silos to what we are seeing now, which is a much more sort of open

    tech paradigm where there's an emerging understanding that digital

    infrastructure should be open source and should have open API,

    et cetera.

        And this whole story really began with UPI in India, the

    digital I.D. and payment trails.  But has now become the sort of

    go-to model to build gov tech across sectors.  Now we have these

    government-led digital infrastructure missions such as the national

    digital health mission as well as interesting protocol-led

    approaches coming up as well such as the open net for digital


        And while this new approach is much more collaborative and

    therefore has the ability to reach a large scale quickly, it also

    poses some big risks, especially since the regulatory landscape

    here in India still evolving.  We are yet to sort of put in place

    laws around the flow of personal data as well as nonpersonal data.

    And protections around both.

        And so the perspective that we are really trying to bring

    through our D work is a greater emphasis on what we refer to as the

    nontech layers official infrastructure, essentially the governance

    and community building layers.

        And just to -- maybe not go into the framework much in my

    opening remarks and maybe come back to it in the discussion but

    just to give a couple examples to make this a bit more tangible, so

    one of the efforts that we are supporting here is to create an open

    data platform for all public data.  That can act as a kind of base

    layer for all kinds of open source innovation that can happen on

    top of it.  This is called NDAP, the National Data Analytics

    platform, being developed by an ETIO, India's planning body and

    government think tank.

        What end up will do is offer all government data map to a

    common schema, geographical and temporal identifiers and then sort

    of offer all of these data sets up in a user friendly platform so

    that you can easily sort of do analysis across population scale

    data sets which are currently setting in departmental silos.

        Another one that we've supported is an open governance

    platform developed by a nonprofit called Echo Foundation.  This is

    now being used by hundreds of municipalities or city governments

    across the country to provide a range of sort of digital services

    to residents from grievance address, to property tax collection, to

    building plan approval, et cetera.  And it's completely open


        And these and many other such platforms, the technology part

    is not really rocket science.  What we've seen is that a lot of

    effort is needed in getting the design and implementation right for

    the governance and community layers.  For instance, should there

    mandatorily be a public body that acts as the institutional home of

    the digital platform that serves so many people?

        If not, who should be held accountable and how?

        Do we need new laws and regulations to prevent exclusion of

    people who are on the other side of the digital divide now that

    these platforms are mediating essential services as well.  And how

    do we protect citizens data while at the same time encouraging open

    source innovation.

        These are some of the critical questions that we're hoping to

    sort of support more work on.  In addressing these kind of issues,

    a huge role is played by open source communities.  In sort of

    building inclusive open digital ecosystems.  Not only do they help

    build and maintain this critical infrastructure, they've been

    creating the localized and context-specific solutions and use cases

    on top of the core digital infra structure.  And secondly, OSS

    communities play a big role in ensuring transparency and


        To give a quick example, the platforms of the Indian

    government iced for contact tracing during the pandemic and vaccine

    coordination were both made open source after some pressure from

    civil society groups and now open source volunteer developers have

    been contributing to sort of catching and fixing bugs in these

    platforms as well as highlighting and exposing issues of data

    privacy.  So much so that the government stakeholders themselves

    are now acknowledging and recognizing the value of open source and

    making -- open sourcing these platforms led to many improvements.

    Let me stop here and love to hear from the other speakers.  And

    perhaps in the discussion I can talk a bit more about the sort of

    current challenges and opportunities for open source in India.

        >> MALA KUMAR:  Great.  Thanks, Kriti.  I believe Samson is

    back on.

        Samson, if you would like to continue and I will go off camera

    to help with the bandwidth situation.

        >> SAMSON GODDY:  Sorry.  Thank you.  I'm still traveling.

    Yeah, like I said, I lead a project called -- organisation called

    the Open Social Organisation Media Africa.  Originally started in

    late 2017.  And the reason why we started creating the open source

    committee Africa was for the opportunity to get to connect the rest

    of Africa into open source.

        Like I mentioned earlier, before I went off, diversity is

    something that is super huge and has been an open source maintainer

    myself, contributing to a lot of projects that are based in U.S. or

    western centric projects.  There's a lot of misconception about

    like how open source or how open source contributors from Africa

    like in terms of data.  For example, some projects only support

    things like Afrikaans, which is one language inside Africa and

    definitely not people in West Africa.  Because I'm -- I definitely

    don't speak Afrikaans.

        Having those challenges, I had an opportunity to get to some

    of my friends that are building communities and into the open

    source community space.  So we created Open Source Community Africa

    with the ability to work into defining what open source is in the

    continent Africa.  But also to view and -- kind of a two-way street

    in terms of what we do.

        Within the organisation itself, we have -- we created a

    flagship event which is called open source festival.  Kind of a fun

    three-day event where we get people locally but also abroad and

    host them in the space and they talk about everything open source

    from Web chain, blockchain, Web development, technical writing,

    talking about a lot of things that develop human capital.  But also

    one of the interesting one that I'm on a panel, is the fact that we

    created a local city tracker programme.  And just like the way it

    sits -- the way it's been said, means that we basically bring open

    source down to the local communities.

        We started in my City, so I live in the city in Nigeria called

    pro happen pour, which is a base city, we started in there and the

    reception was great.  And then we move over to the largest city in

    Africa, which is Lagos, and eventually we move to a different

    panel.  And one of the benefits is to have the opportunity to not

    just bring the definition of open source, the western one, but come

    and...(off mic) and so service means in the community.

        So we sort of create a framework that enable for a power of

    the local communities to take open source and to sort of like open

    source definition and make it local to them.  So that means that

    people can now take things and make it very local.  And then solve

    local challenges.

        The City Chapter Programme uses the support things like that.

    And as of right now we support roughly around 60 to 70 cities

    across Africa.  I think in terms of how we define it, there's a lot

    of representation from West Africa, obviously.  We also have

    eastern Africa.  We do have a couple in Southern Africa and I think

    some few ones in central Africa where we're trying to see how we

    can support people in the north and -- because again there's the

    language barrier in terms of like Arabic.  So this is something

    that we've been trying to solve.  But again the Open Source

    Community Africa is designed specifically to work on advocacy but

    also to localize what open source is to the continent of Africa.

    Because of course Africa is not a country, it's a continent with

    over 50 countries.  And I know that -- the dem graphy of my

    country, Nigeria happens to speak over 500 languages.  Like China,

    like generalized things that it would be crazy to -- we're working

    really hard to define what open source is in Africa using the Open

    Source Community Africa.  I think that's kind of a general overview

    of what I run here in the continent.

        >> MALA KUMAR:  Thanks so much, Samson.  I have spent a couple

    weeks in PH.  And I think the surface -- I was shocked to hear you

    had such success with open source in that city.  So congratulations

    in all of that.

        Next we hear from Dusan and your work at the World Health

    Organization and it's focus on gap.

        >> DUSAN MILOVANOVIC:  Thank you.  Can you hear me?

        Things.  Yeah.  Hello everyone.  And thank you greatly, Samson

    for a really interesting overview.

        I think -- I hope I'll be close to what you're doing.  Because

    it's really exciting to hear the ideas in India.  And there's some

    overlap with what we are thinking on the global level as well.  And

    also what I'm going to tell you little bit more about our new plans

    that we find exciting as well.  Closely correspond and meet

    initiatives like Samson has offered.

        So as Mala said, I'm health intelligence architect at WHO.

    And that's might be a new term.  Tell you what we do first.  And

    then we can leave details for discussion.

        So I mean, you know, the WHO -- WHO is an organisation -- and

    United Nations that basically is responsible to coordinate efforts

    related to the population health on the global level.  But there is

   one part to WHO that is more operational.  It became -- it started

    back in 2015 after the first Ebola outbreak in Western Africa.  And

    within the mandate to strengthen and coordinate global health

    security, the World Health Organization conducts global

    surveillance -- maybe you didn't know that -- for public threats

    and -- including detection, verification, and roughly assessment to

    risks, to provide timely and actionable intelligence to decision

    makers, in all stages of health emergency management, from

    prediction, to prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

        You know, people know about traditional surveillance.  Or

    having intuition about it.  It's really about collecting data about

    patients and lab results and the different relevant biomedical and

    behavioral, socio, demographic information to -- and diagnosis of

    specific diseases, and then compare trends over time, and basically

    comparing the trends, trying to understand what is going on based

    on the information on this incident in a particular place.  So it's

    a traditional way.

        Now, when you combine this information with an objective to

    basically detect that something is going on before it becomes

    official information, and when you then -- in order to understand

    it unofficially, you need to have access and basically compare and

    put this into the context.  So basically gathering more information

    about geography, social factors, and travel and trade; animal

    health, environment health.

        Then we start talking about something that we name public

    health intelligence.  So basically public health intelligence

    itself is a core function of public health, one of the core

    functions, with objective to generate actionable insights for


        So that's a background of what we're doing.  And then in that

    context, not only because of the lessons learned with COVID-19, but

    because of our couple decades experience and more in the public

    health domain, we got an opportunity finally to basically start

    practically with a new approach.  We gave it a name:  Collaborative

    intelligence.  And that name has been heard recently.  We're in the

    new hub, WHO hub for independent intelligence, has been

    inaugurated.  And basically that term captures the essence of WHO's

    new approach:  Collaborative and intelligence.

        So basically to improve the assessment and management of

    public health risks, collaborative intelligence of health is needed

    across four areas.  And these four areas is important for then

    discussion about, you know, how to practically achieve this


        So first we need multidisciplinary approach.  Which basically

    is a synthesis of many different types of contextual information

    about the circumstances in which pandemics, epidemics occur.  So

    like I said, it's a context that's important.

        Then we have multistakeholder decision making, is the second

    area that needs to be addressed.  That means interaction across

    many stakeholders, in political, public, scientific, civil society

    organizations.  I would say private sector as well.  Who have been

    required to use pandemic intelligence to manage a response.  When

    their are public health emergencies, or to prevent them.

        In order to have this collaboration, and to make it really

    possible, we need to establish a trust architecture, that's our

    fourth goal which is basically global trust architecture, I don't

    mean only technology, which would support the global platform, but

    promotes sharing of data and information and within communities and

    countries for public goods.  I come from WHO, so when we say

    countries, we mean every country, not some countries.  It's

    countries and -- it's not about countries and geopolitics.  It's

    about all of us leading in the same plan.

        The fourth situation, stakeholder decision making and trust

    architecture is basically a technical part.  We need to provide a

    truly distribute information exchange.  And in that context it's

    really interesting what Kriti preferred to in India.  We're working

    on developing from scratch basically.  Because we don't have the

    global network systems and data sets that facilitate effective

    human machine decision-making or using augmenting, you know, human

    decision making with machine processing.

        We do have a worldwide Web, as we know, and this is

    intergovernance forum.  But worldwide Web, unfortunately, as some

    of you might know, is not used in a way it is used in different

    disciplines, not used in health.  And I don't mean in public

    health.  It's across the board, from healthcare, from individual

    health, to population health.

        So basically you know, we intentionally -- the WHO

    intelligence will be kept at least for creating this new.

        And underlying the collaboration and collaborative

    intelligence is the concept of open innovations and the technology

    part which we call open source.  So -- or open source software.

    And I would say open sharing of data information and knowledge.  So

    what are we going to do about that?

        Well, for the first time in our history we plan to tackle this

    problem in an organised way and to provide support for the

    communities and projects that would like to use or create open

    source software or openly share information and knowledge.  So

    we'll create a new open source programme office within the context

    of WHO have for academic intelligence, that will be truly open

    source office and provide support to any projects internally but

   also worldwide.

        And with that, maybe just a few notes or reminders about where

    WHO stand really when it comes to cooperation and what's our point

    to use.  So basically the working principles behind these projects

    and primary initiatives of WHO have our -- maybe the following six.

    First, we need to make sure that we have ethical design and Mala

    mentioned a few good points just minutes ago.  So basically

    intelligence systems will have to adopt approach to achieve data

    privacy and confidentiality, security, ethical use of information

    from clinical data onwards.  So this is really promotional

    integration of information and custodianship of the data source

    rather than taking data from the source and process it to -- will

    help and basically support sharing of data insights and

    participation.  That's one important thing.

        But then equity or being WHO and how WHO will work for the

    benefit of all populations as a set.

        And particularly there is the (?) differences in access to

    intelligence systems and the knowledge, insights and then also

    participation.  Irrespective of social, economic, demographic,

    graphical structures.  And then we of course will foster

    exploration through different approaches.

        As I said, this is an entity that should collaborate with

    external world.  Then multiplicity, of course.  I mean, it's not

    possible to achieve this big goal with having an initiative or

    couple projects, for example sitting in WHO.  Really we want to

    foster collaboration between people and reuse, as Mala mentioned.

    Which is a rare -- rare I think these days.

        Independence, we are all independent and not totally

    technology-wise but also we're interdependent with nature.  We have

    this one-health approach, and we don't have -- human, animal,

    plant, environment health, and the planet as a whole.

        And then this opening remark with reminding again about the

    openness as -- as the other principle, basically that WHO have.

    Will promote the use -- I would say already promotes -- use and

    creation of open source technology solutions as well as the widest

    possible access to insights to generate public health intelligence

    approaches.  And this includes development and promotional

    platforms and tools that are available to members of the public.

    And it maximize citizens, science, opportunities as well.

        And with that, I will stop with opening remarks.  Over to you,


        >> MALA KUMAR:  Thanks so much, Dusan.  Thank you so much,

    Kriti, Samson, and Dusan for those insights.  Every time I listen

    to you, I lear a lot more.

        Before we turn it over to questions from the audience, I do

    have a couple of questions myself that I'd love to pose.

        So Kriti and Samson mentioned quite a bit about the

    nontechnical aspects of open source.  We all know open source can

    refer to code, which can be many different types.  It can also

    refer to text, content, or data, which I Dusan, you work with a


        A was wondering, Kriti and Samson, if you could tell us more

    about the community building aspects that you focus on because that

    is such a critical part of open source that I think, honestly, is

    underplayed in education and really with dialogue.

        >> KRITI MITTAL:  Sure, I can take that.  So you know in the

    open digital ecosystems we work, we essentially look at all digital

    infrastructure as having three layers, the core technology, the

    governance, and the community layer.  And then we talk about the

    community layer really referring to, you know, a few different

    groups of people.  One is the entrepreneurs and open source

    developers, who build not only the core infrastructure, but also

    the solutions on top of it.  And then there's also the civil

    society folks who ensure continuous improvement and hold the

    government to account.

        So just to give an example, the civil society engagement

    around the digital ID Aadhaar in India led to fundamental right of

    privacy being enshrined in the constitution and legal guardrails on

    where and how Aadhaar may be used.

        And you know, coming to the current state of open source

    communities and the kind of sort of challenges and opportunities

    that they face in India, I think one of the -- so there was a study

    recently conducted on the state of force in India by a office

    called civic data lab in partnership with us.  And I think one of

    the things that they found is that in spite of a huge volume of

    open source usage from India, we do seem to sort of lag behind in

    terms of valuable contributions and innovations in spite of the

    large tech talent pool.

        And so they spoke to folks in some of the larger OSS

    communities and some of the reasons that they uncovered were -- you

    know one is that the organisational capacity to really sustain a

    group of mostly young volunteer developers over a long period of

    time is really lacking.  And they need all kinds of support from

    government incentives to some of the large tech industry employers

    also creating the kind of spaces where it's kind of what can


        I think secondly, you know, first led technical education

    hasn't really permeated at the ground level except in a few states

    in India like Kerala, which has a rich sort of history of -- and

    thirdly there's also not enough commitment and -- you know, to open

    source support from, you know, some of the mainstream I.D.

    companies, et cetera.  Right?

        As well as the government which in spite of having a policy on

    paper about preference being given to open source technology and

    public procurement has not really necessarily been able to

    implement this.

        I think just want to mention that in spite of many of these

    barriers, one of the great examples of how open source communities

    have already contributed to digital inclusion in India, is the

    collaborative work that has happened on creation of Indic language

    tools, fonts, dictionaries and other pieces of this localization

    layer.  Which is essential for a digital country such as us with so

    much cultural divert.

        What Samson was saying about the African continent as well.  I

    don't know if I've answered your question, but...

        >> MALA KUMAR:  Yeah.  Thank you.  Samson, if you have a few

    remarks, and then I see we have a question from the audience.  I

    want to make sure we get to that.

        >> SAMSON GODDY:  Sure.  Can you hear me?

        Good.  Okay.

        Yeah.  I think the technical aspect of open source is in my

    opinion, I think it's already sustainable.  I am a contributor

    myself and there's -- I've been in a project for roughly around 11,

    12 years now, basically half of my life, I guess.

        And I think for me the reason why I'm particularly focussed on

    community is because that's what the biggest problem is in open

    source in general.  There's a diversity problem, and still like

    there's a pipeline problem.  Particularly on the continent, the way

    the Open Source Community Africa started was -- for the first time

    I attended a conference in Google, a project that I was helping

    Google to run.  Basically about 99.9 percent of people were

    definitely not Africans; right?

        And I told myself okay this is something that needs to be

    fixed and I had a talk with the team.  Like the momentum, everyone

    was kind of a -- amiss, back then, it's like, oh, we don't have any

    staff.  That I could call originally.  There's a lot of things that

    we need to like work on that we need to definitely get into.  All

    kinds of programmes were global, but obviously they were like

    lacking the defined vision.

        So I had to take it upon myself and call some of my colleagues

    to you know basically work on the pipeline side.  Although right

    now, the population of Nigeria is -- using Nigeria as a case study,

    roughly 60 percent of the population now under the age of 13.  So

    what that means is that every single day you see someone coming

    into tech.  If you go to tech right now, there's someone jumping

    into one framework or jumping into a language.

        I've been getting a job, but no one is physically -- the

    numbers of like collaboration being open source tools, that --

    because obviously the setup doesn't happen constant.  But some

    people don't really see it as a -- as something that they could

    participate on or even see it as a way to like join.

       And if you look into like I think GitHub actually highlighted

    some of the efforts easily -- October, I think there's a made in

    Africa list now of a bunch of open source tools right now that are

    coming from the continent.  Specifically for Nigeria, the --

    maintained by one of my friend (?).

        Just shows that the community aspect of Africa as part of a

    technical, because of course the effort of doing for for quite some

    time -- I've been able to drive basically the technical aspect of

    it.  But one of the most popular -- right now is called chuck UI,

    which is basically a framework that a lot of companies are using


        So what I'm trying to do is give the pipeline a lot of calls,

    trying to make sure we have a lot of projects that are out there

    probably from the continent.  That's kind of why I think the

    community aspect as a technical study, we sort of like drive the

    numbers, driving the community numbers, basically the technical

    aspect of it.  So I kind of see them as a -- as the -- you know, a

    joint effort.

        >> MALA KUMAR:  Yes, absolutely.  Thank you so much, Samson

    and Kriti for those insights.  I see we have a question from the

    audience.  So please go ahead.

        >> Hi, my name is Ati Madine, I'm an IT consultant based in


        My question about -- I always believe in open source, and

    there is a lot of bit community which is providing a lot of

    different solutions.  Focussing on that can help us to develop some

    kind of infrastructure.  But when we come on the government level,

    we are aware about the data reliabilities.  And now we are facing a

    lot of digital threats.

        For that, for -- do you think like there should be some open

    source software assessment framework or something like that, that

    while selecting some chunk of code, you can actually assess it and

    you can even view that if it is usable for you or not.

        Is there someone, do you know, who is working on it?

        >> MALA KUMAR:  Yeah.  Thank you for the question.  I wish

    Sayeed were here, he would be perfect to answer this question.

    Sayeed would be perfect to answer this question.

        The government servicing offering, I think Dusan, since the

    World Health does work with different governments, I'd love to hear

    your perspectives.

        And Kriti, I know that work comes up a lot in your work.  So

    I'd love to hear from you.

        >> DUSAN MILOVANOVIC:  That's an important question.  I'm not

    sure I can speak on the government, but I can speak in the name of

    WHO tan what we do.  So basically I told you that we have this plan

    to create open source problem office.  That should provide

    multidisciplinary support.  Legal, procurement, capacity building

    community, and technical.  And so you know, the governance part

    consists of technical parts as well.  So...so before agreeing and

    securing the acceptance of all the stakeholders that WHO need to

    talk with, or cyber security, CTO, and the others, basically how it

    was done really to...if you want recommendations and -- and

    development methodology.

        So if you want to use open source software, so basically we're

    building the number of recommendations for suggesting steps, you

    know, need to take.  Yeah.  If you want to use some open source

    software or if you want to provide open source software.

        Before design.  I mean before doing programming, you need to

    do the design, architecture within context, you need to also

    assess, make sure that security and confidentiality rules and

    principles are applied.  Security and -- software and

    communications confidentiality, privacy or data protection

    generally, comes with data, data architecture.  This is our

    approach.  It's technical.  And I think that the problem is

    technical, rather than governance and -- I suppose.

        And there is also in my opinion, experience, it's really

    difficult to have on-site -- I mean, it can be a very general, yes.

    Develop methodologies and which questions need to be asked first.

    But to have a technical framework,  a tool that can help you to

    basically answer these questions is really difficult.  I mean,

    there's this vulnerability, for example, GitHub which we are using

    at Who.  It works nicely for us so far.  But you know, these are

    just tools that will apply in some cases and would not in some


        >> MALA KUMAR:  Kriti?  Anything to add?

        >> KRITI MITTAL:  Yeah.  I think the only thing I'd add is in

    my sort of limited nontechnical understanding, when it comes to

    government adopting open source, the degree to which you know, the

    data security and data privacy are concerns, you know, really

    depends on the type of data that you're looking at.  So that now in

    India, there's a legally defined personal data and nonpersonal

    data.  And I think the government's understanding has evolved on

    this quite a lot in the last couple of years.  Even the sort of

    legislative discussions that are happening around these different

    types of data and what are the kinds of security concerns around


        But in my sort of discussions with government stakeholders at

    the ministry of I.D. and so on, what has really come to the surface

    is that it is not -- that these are not really the primary barriers

    for government to adopt open source.  What is really a barrier is

    the -- you know, how to do procurement.  You know, and that's a

    whole different problem to solve that.

        >> MALA KUMAR:  Yes.  Absolutely.  Thank you for that.  Just

    to kind of go off the point Dusan made, the tool is called the

    Canada bot, adjusting any open source packages, the panel will scan

    your code and tell you what you're using.  You can do something

    called an action, an automation to automatically update your

    software every time something is released that's a new critical

    security update, for example.

        And then I definitely hear what Kriti is saying, there's a lot

    of barriers to open source.  So a lot of my colleagues will say

    that open source is never apparently any less or no more secure

    than proprietary software.  It's about the structure of the code

    and how well it's done.

        And then even open source can get around security barriers

    because it is open and transparent.  So it's in some ways easier to

    troubleshoot the issues.

        I see we have a question from the audience on Zoom.  So Allan,

    would you like to go ahead?

        >>  ALLAN OCHOLA:  Yes.  Thank you for the opportunity.

        My name is Allan, I'm from Kenya.  And my name -- I don't know

    the questions or comments but just maybe the overall discussion

    that's going on.  Around open -- (?) For quite some time.  In the

    educational system for quite some time.  And health sciences

    specifically.  So I'll probably touch on mostly the speaker's -- --

    open comment initiative.  Whatever will be mentioned in India, I

    think in terms of Kenya, I think in Africa, Kenya is one of the

    leaders when it that to open comment.

        But also when comes to the -- I don't know exactly what really

    the data deployment really means, into -- because I know in this

    (?) In terms of the open sands, but of it.

        I don't know exactly when -- when the WHO wants to really give

    an open sound, are they talking of bio banks or open bio bank,

    exactly?  And does it also mean also having development principles

    to the collection, processing, and use of study of human data?

        I think those are some of the ethical issues that have to

    really -- how the WHO is working on that.

        And especially I know personally I've been -- it is open sand,

    someone asked about open sand framework.  I probably can refer them

    to check the UNESCO website.  They just wanted last month, the

    UNESCO recommendation on open sand framework.  And I believe in the

    Bay government, it was introduced last month.  But UNESCO country.

    This is some of the common areas around open source that are

    technical at the moment.

        But nonetheless, good discussion happening at the IGF.

        >> DUSAN MILOVANOVIC:  Thanks for the remarks.  Thank you.

    Your point is actually -- it's -- it's a pivotal thing that we're

    talking about.  Around which we are organizing.  So a couple --

    I'll tell you that actually, yes, we're talking about creating an

    environment for the true open source.  And I'll tell you how we see


        So as you mentioned the data side of it.  The data side of it

    is complex as it is.  Open bio bank, for example, if you refer to

    U.K., open bio bank, or any other, is a reality we have these

    initiatives on many places.

        And for obvious reasons information there has its own

    confidential as the British national -- and data and different

    aspects (?).

        So how do we -- because I'm an architect, I'm more on the

    solution side, I can tell you more about solution side than

    governance, politics.  But on the solution side what we plan to do

    is couple of things.  First thing is very (?), and that is really

    to create a network, to annotate all this information.

        In the principle, really meaning to expose this information

    first ever on the worldwide Web.  From out of -- to expose the

    types of so what exists there.  What the values might be

    confidential, but the first time to create the possibility to

    search for information.  If you don't know about this.

        And then you know, it's also between data custodian, between

    data owners, primarily and national citizens, because actually

    data -- some citizens already have initiatives to share data; we

    don't need to pay them.

        There's -- in the global north o more developed countries,

    this might be to monetize information, to basically incentivize

    people to share health-relevant information.  And then some polls

    show that this is the wrong initiative.  Some people will pay you

   to use the information.

        So basically means that there's a lot of work to be done

    there.  But the technical side we acknowledge the fact and reality

    that it will stay forever, that we won't be able to take

    information that might be useful and then process it somewhere

    outside of where it sits in secure.  And like the solution of, you

    know, linking on the worldwide web or these different information


        And number two, if it's not possible to take own information

    or some kind of values, then we can process information there.  To

    some kind of (?).

        And that brings me to second aspect.  Open science -- and

    that's less talk recently, we and some others are trying to raise

    the topic.  Open science also means open analytics.  Most

    analytical models and most analysis, every single analysis and data

    brings bites with it.  Most analytical models, especially more

    advanced ones, are pretty much opaque and closed.  Especially if

    they come from the (?)

        But also from (?).  So we know a better function, we don't

    know why some ways or barriers are put by the author of the model

    the way they are.  Because we don't have mechanisms and if you want

    information and communication technology infrastructure to open and

    explain these models.

        And you know, COVID-19 and government decisions are the best

    example of the?  In we don't know what's going on two years out.

    And then we have models that are based on previous knowledge, but

    also these models are not fully cleared well.  And I can give you

    one example briefly and stop at -- (?)

        We had a discussion one month ago maybe brewing in Technical

    Institute in brew en, and very smart people from applied in (?) And

    basically talking about what we are doing and what they're doing,

    exploring -- is very interesting model to predict -- the SARS 2

    virus in a closed environment.  And basically to classify the

    probability between high and low probability as a threshold they

    used what they believe the scientific proof (?) Which if you are

    closer to the two meters person for longer than five minutes, you

    have a chance to -- you have a very high probability to be


        And actually, it was interesting because one of the -- our

    colleagues was in the meeting was in the meeting in WHO at the very

    beginning of the onset of this outbreak, and that was a decision, a

    guesstimate decision made at the meeting.  Because we don't have

    facts and criteria to know.  This is difficult to know.  And this

    is now viewed as a fact in many models worldwide.

        So you know, we don't have -- it's maybe in the minutes of the

    meeting, that fact.  But you know, we need to expose this


        We need to say to the world, okay, this is, you know, a

    minute, it's time, in place, special temporary information.  Based

    on the fact and presumption.

        So this made the presumption and where it comes from doesn't

    exist.  This is a big, big problem of having true open source.  And

    maybe third part is -- you know, that's another topic completely is

    this publish or perish in academia problem in which, you know,

    really don't sustain your research on a topic, you simply need to

    publish -- what's publishable, what's editor of the magazine think

    it's publishable, not really what the topic is.  That's our --

    yeah, our take on it.  The way we address all this...

        >> MALA KUMAR:  Thank you, Dusan, for those insights.

        So I have a couple questions if there's nothing else from the

    audience.  The first one is for the different aspects of open

    source, but open -- kind of models, or code or text or governance

    when it comes to the actual community-building aspects, what do

    each of the panelists thinks needs to improve the change.

        Dusan, since we're on the subject we'll start with you.

        >> DUSAN MILOVANOVIC:  I think I said -- actually, thanks.

    That's really what -- the last century or so.  And with a we said

    which actually answers your question, I think.  We're having this

    realisation of -- right, again, I'll speak from the field domain.

    You have something called digital fields.  And personally I don't

    know what digital means.  I'm -- I'm technology.  I'm information

    technology.  Engineer, scientist.  I know what digital and analog

    means.  But why putting digital next to it.  You have intelligent

    health.  Is there intelligent health?

        These are all buzzwords for different things.

        And then worst of them all, you have healthcare industry.  I

    mean it's not an industry.  It's a private relation between

    attending physician and a patient.  And everything depends on that

    trust.  Everything should support that trust.  We are far away

    especially in developed world from this concept.  And I think that

    actually hinders, you know, open and including open source


        In my experience with I won't call them big tech, I will call

    them hyper scalers, I like this, I think that's the most close

    to -- closest to what they really do.  All this big tech hyper

    scalers, basically what we work with them if they want open source.

        For example, they will suggest a budget of zero license

    because they would like to for fit and have it popularized if it's

    useful.  Commercialize -- commercialization is okay.  If they want

    to have the property.  You need to pay the -- and this is very,

    very dangerous game we're facing.  It's ongoing.  Especially now

    with (?)

        So change the culture.  I know it sounds like Utopia, but

    really can -- pass a couple times.  Some were wrong, some were

    right.  It's less tech, it's more culture.

        >> MALA KUMAR:  Thank you, same question to Samson and I would

    like to add, including questions, so how can people get involved in

    your work and what would be a meaningful contribution to you.

        So Samson, would you like to yield?

        >> SAMSON GODDY:  Sure.  So for me I think the Muslim --

    (Audio Distortion) finish from the governance side of thing, I

    think it's -- work with the African union to sort of get more

    reach.  I think more reach in terms of like -- communities part

    of -- but also I think obviously the biggest aspect of -- one of my

    biggest challenges actually has been coming from funding.  But

    obviously think of like clever ways to bring funding into the (?)

    So basically the Open Source Community Africa run a one big event

    called Open Source Festival, which we use to like get to like --

    teach to public companies and we get funding from those

    organisation and then we get -- give that fund into the

    organisation.  And then spread it across the smaller community that

    we run locally.

        So I think the most important thing here would be to you know

    work with communities, organisation, and nonprofit, and governments

    that would basically help in terms of getting more funds.  But

    second I think awareness as reported as the funds, so yeah, that's

    a -- will be my add.

        >> MALA KUMAR:  Thank, so much.  Kriti, if you can respond


        >> KRITI MITTAL:  Sure.  So Mala, in the Indian context I

    think of what should be the way forward or what needs to improve to

    support open source communities here, I think the key thing is a

    kind of institution that can bring together both capital and


        And so one of the ongoing conversations you know that we've

    been having is the idea of setting up some kind of Open Source

    Center of Excellence that can act as a kind of institutional back

    borne.  Promoting the development and adoption of open source


        And a range of interventions, you know, can be housed under

    this kind of an institution.  From you know advocating for open

    source-led curriculum and tech schools to facilitating

    collaboration amongst the existing open source communities, to

    funding and incubating high impact open source projects.

    Especially for sort of population scale use cases.

        To you know, many other such initiatives.  Including some of

    the ones that Samson spoke about that he is working on with the

    Africa open source community as well.

        In terms of collaboration actually I think some of the folks

    on this panel are a great example of the kind of collaborators we

    would seek.  You know, so you'd love to learn from folks who

    have -- who sort of set up successful, sustainable models of open

    source communities in the developing country context.

        And GitHub as well, we've been speaking to UN India as a

    potential partner for the Center of Excellence and certainly Dusan

    to bring in sort of learnings in terms of visual infrastructure at

    a very large scale.

        Yeah, you know, pretty much anybody who's working on large

    scale open source use cases would be a great potential collaborator

    for this kind of work.

        >> MALA KUMAR:  Wonderful.  Allan I know you had a quick

    question but unfortunately we're almost out of time so I will do my

    best to make sure that question gets answered after this panel.

    Thank you all to the audience and of course our panelists for

    joining today.  I know it's always challenging with hybrid events

    and I do appreciate your patience as we got everything settled.

    Just a quick closing remark.

        So I -- there's obviously a lot of expertise here in this

    room.  And I think one of the expertise that's kind of our --

    undervalued really is cross sectoral, whether it's the private

    sector, the social sector or the government, public sector.  There

    are institutions and organizations that do very well in different

    aspects of open source governance.  So I do encourage you to reach

    out to people at different parts of the industry and really figure

    out how to play off of, you know, those strategies.

        So thank you all for coming.  And have a great conference.