HFOSS Education Overview

From TeachingOpenSource

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:

HFOSS is found at the junction of open source, 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.

HFOSS Projects

There are many communities working on humanitarian open source projects. Many of these projects are based on platforms like GitHub or GitLab. There are also smaller platforms like SourceForge that host thousands of project, including some that are widely known.

For a fairly large list of humanitarian open source projects, see this page.