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The Digital Impact Alliance Open Source Center Announces Strategic Grants to Foster Ecosystem Change


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OSC continues to support projects aimed at improving the capacity and use of technology to advance development and humanitarian efforts

WASHINGTON, DC — The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) Open Source Center announced its Request for Applications (RFA) for strategic grants to fund open source projects serving the international development and humanitarian sectors. The Strategic Grants Program supports solutions to common challenges many technology for development (T4D) projects face when designing and implementing free and open source software (FOSS) projects. This is the first round of strategic grants and the Open Source Center recently closed its second round of catalytic grants.

Up to five grants totaling $900,000 will be awarded along with up to 480 hours of in-kind support to projects that foster a healthy, sustainable, open source community and products. Eligible proposals will involve one or more of the following activity categories: Enterprise-Level Quality Improvements; Multi-stakeholder Collaboration; Platform Building and Generalization; Product Consolidation; and Managing Upstream Dependencies and Downstream Forks.

Over the last decade, the international development community has been exploring how digital technologies, such as open source software, can extend the reach and increase the quality and efficiency of development efforts. The DIAL Open Source Center’s mission is to convene a vibrant and inclusive community for builders of free and open source software – promoting knowledge sharing, collaboration and co-investment in technology and human capacity to support positive social change in communities around the world.

The grants programs, which includes both strategic and catalytic grants, are designed to support existing FOSS projects to further their reach, functionality, and creativity. Through the Strategic Grants program, DIAL and its partners are committed to addressing the systemic barriers to open source projects and promote practices that better align with the Principles for Digital Development. While these grants aim to promote all aspects of the Principles of Digital Development, the categories in this round of funding are focused on Understanding the Ecosystem, Building for Sustainability, Reusing and Improving, and Using Open Source.

“The themes addressed by the Open Source Center Strategic Grants Program represent a unique effort to create systemic change in the T4D ecosystem,” said Jake Watson, Senior Director at DIAL. “We believe these grants will amplify the efforts of open source communities by promoting concrete, practical and technologically-sound projects that demonstrate alignment with the Principles for Digital Development.”

Proposals for funding of new and existing open source projects may be submitted now through July 31, 2018. Software project leaders should coordinate applications within their open source communities, and submit no more than one proposal per open source project. Submissions should represent the community’s best idea(s). Interested applicants can visit for more information on the Open Source Center and its grant programs.

About the Digital Impact Alliance

The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) aims to realize a more inclusive digital society in emerging markets, in which all women, men and children benefit from life-enhancing digital services. A partnership among USAID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Swedish Government and the United Nations Foundation, DIAL’s efforts help accelerate the collective efforts of government, industry and development organizations to realize this vision.

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