The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) celebrates two years of the “Code for Development” initiative, which seeks to open the software to a broader public.
Code for Development is an IADB initiative to promote the potential of open source in Latin America and the Caribbean while seeking to transform how technology projects are undertaken.
The IADB founded this initiative in 2017. In its conception, open source software is considered a product of valuable knowledge. The impact of this type of software is multiplied when it is shared and reused with more users.
Code for Development goes beyond a software exchange. It also seeks digital development, as well as forming an interconnected regional and international community. At the same time, it is part of the IDB’s efforts to promote open knowledge.
In the blog “Open to the public,” the IADB highlights the progress of this initiative after two years of work.
A broader view of open source opportunities
Thirty-five software tools have been incorporated into the Code for Development catalog. The IDB team identifies new software to contribute continuously, after a review process concerned about having a quality code.
Most of the software also includes functionalities created with artificial intelligence, including computer vision and unsupervised machine learning.
Code for Development has incorporated additional resources to strengthen collaboration within the open source model.
The core of the initiative is the contributions. Code for Development highlights software development in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the work of civic technology communities in the region.
Despite being an initiative focused on Latin America, its objectives are global. As an example, there is an association with the Technology Transfer Center of Spain in 2018.
Anyone can nominate a tool to appear in the catalog or connect through GitHub to make an extraction request or work on problems.
A model to work in development
In the past, it was prevalent for software to develop and share in isolation. Documentation was not usually available to provide long-term support.
To change this, the IDB has worked on the approach of software projects. Code for Development provides a framework to accompany these projects throughout an extended life cycle.
A successful case in collaboration is BA Obras, which was developed in Buenos Aires to monitor public works in the city. The Mexican municipality of San Pedro Garza García had a similar need and adopted the tool. Thanks to the Code for Development model, the code and documentation were prepared in such a way that facilitated collaboration between the two communities.
Finally, Code for Development invites the public interested in working with them to improve, expand and generate a more significant impact.