Want to help fight poverty? Grameen Foundation is updating the user manual for its Mifos software, an open source management information system (MIS) that helps microfinance institutions more efficiently deliver loans and other financial services to poor women around the world. The actual content of the new user manual is almost complete but there’s tons to do to get it published in FLOSS Manuals. We need your help! This one-day sprint will be dedicated towards formatting, proofreading, and standardizing the text towards agreed-upon writing conventions. Read on to learn more!
This is a follow-on post to our original post on the widespread reach of open source community back on November 11, 2009.
In that post we explored the participation that open source community enables by allowing our customers, support providers, and technology developers all to communicate in one place to advance a common vision. This time, we’d like to highlight another powerful force that our open source platform and community enables: a local technology ecosystem of Mifos Specialists who can build a market-driven business bringing our software platform to microfinance institutions, implementing and supporting Mifos, and extending it to fit their unique and specific needs.
Jeff Brewster and I had a great time at the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2009 Mentor Summit. We were royally welcomed, well-fed, and given a great springboard for mind-melding with the other GSoC mentors.
The summit was decidedly unconference style: meeting ideas were shared beforehand but the sessions themselves scheduled and run on-the-fly. I wanted to learn more about project hosting since we recently worked the Mifos project through some issues with hosting at java.net (and ended up moving to SourceForge), so I co-hosted a session called Project Hosting Horrors. The session filled up a room and we got useful feedback from lots of projects about what works with hosting, what doesn’t, and ideas on different approaches.
The beauty of open source community lies in the open participation and freedom of contribution that it enables. For technology to both reach and be relevant in the regions where microfinance institutions are serving the poor, open source is the means of enabling that accessibility. Within our Mifos community, through open minds and open technology we can deliver technology that accelerates growth across the industry.