Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS)

Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS), or sometimes called Humanitarian FOSS, is open source software that somehow benefit the human condition in areas such as health care, economic development, disaster management, ecology, education and more.  Some examples of projects include OpenMRS, the Open Medical Record System that is “the world’s largest and most flexible technology platform to support delivery of health care in some of the most challenging environments on the planet.”

HFOSS sits at the junction of Free and Open Source Software, Humanitarian Computing and Computing Education:


Research indicates that involvement in computing that benefits humankind is motivating, especially to women. As the focus of most HFOSS communities is on “doing good”, these communities tend to have a supportive and welcoming environment that is conducive to student learning. Read some of the research supporting HFOSS project work.

For more information on HFOSS, visit foss2serve.org

  • HFOSS Research – studies on HFOSS project work in undergraduate CS/SE courses
  • HFOSS Projects  – find an HFOSS project that welcomes student work