Issues > strategic use and foss

Participants in Costa Rican Women's Hackathon develop software applications to solve social problems

By Flavia Fascendini

On 30 and 31 August 2014, 39 women engineers and technologists created nine prototypes of software applications aimed at solving social problems in the north of Costa Rica, at the First Women's Hackathon, organised by APC member organisation Sulá Batsú through its TIC-AS project, with the support of UN Women's Fund for Gender Equality.

Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF, India)


Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), a Delhi based not-for-profit organization initiated its activities between 2002 and 2003 to find solutions to bridge the digital divide. DEF´s mission is to inspire individuals and communities to use technology for their upliftment and empowerment. DEF is the APC member since 2009.



Ushahidi [oo-shah-hee-dee] is a non-profit technology company that specializes in developing tools for democratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories. In particular, the company develops free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. Ushahidi was initially developed to map online eyewitness reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout in 2007. Since then, the software has been used for a number of similar projects around the globe, and the name "Ushahidi" has come to represent not only the platform but also the people behind it.

Open Institute Cambodia


The Open Institute is a non-governmental and not-for-profit organization that works toward widespread access to high quality education, information, communication, and technology, in the belief that this will lead to a more developed and just society. The mission of the organization is to ensure that the benefits of technology for social and economic advance are available to in Cambodian society. At present, the Open Institute's main programs are: Women Empowerment for Social Change, Open Schools, Khmer Software Initiative, Mirror Publication, Lexicography and River of Knowledge.

Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET)

Africa, Uganda

Initiated in May 2000 in Uganda by several women's organizations, Women of Uganda Network's (WOUGNET) mission is to promote and support the use of ICT by women and women organizations in Uganda, so that they can take advantage of the opportunities presented by ICT in order to effectively address national and local problems of sustainable development. WOUGNET activities are carried out under three major program areas: Information Sharing and Networking, Technical Support and Gender and ICT Policy Advocacy.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. It provides free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination of these.

HINARI Access to Research Initiative

The HINARI Programme, set up by the World Health Organisation together with major publishers, enables developing countries to gain access to one of the world's largest collections of biomedical and health literature. Over 6200 journal titles are now available to health institutions in 108 countries, areas and territories benefiting many thousands of health workers and researchers, and in turn, contributing to improved world health.

Foundation for Media Alternatives

Asia-Pacific, Philippines, Southeast Asia

The Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) is a non-government organization based in the Philippines, formed in 1986. FMA seeks to enhance the popularisation and social marketing of development-oriented issues and campaigns through media-related interventions, social communication projects, and cultural work.

Linuxchix Africa


Linuxchix Africa, founded in 2004 by African women and for African women is the Africa chapter of a world-wide group. In Africa, this chapter hopes to help build the critical mass of Linux skills among African women. It will also evangelise the use of FOSS for the many community development challenges being faced by Africans, especially African women. That is, opening access in what is meant to be a 'free and open' technology sphere.

Guides or Training Materials

Strategising Online Activism: A Toolkit

By Cheekay Cinco and Edna Aquino

“Strategising Online Activism: A Toolkit” was designed for and by women activists but can be used by everyone. Key chapters include: strategising and planning your online activism; creating your campaign’s identity; social networking and security on the internet. vioThe guide provides practical and accessible step-by-step advice, while keeping a political and feminist eye. It was developed by APC’s women’s programme (APC WNSP) and our partner Violence is Not our Culture (VNC).