By Foundation for Media Alternatives MANILA, Philippines, 24 November 2004
The Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA), together with key free and open source software (FOSS) advocates in the country organized a training-workshop for Philippine non-government organizations (NGOs), probably the first of its kind for the country’s CSO community.
Held on 28-29 October 2004 and attended by 30 participants from 18 organizations, the learning activity sought to impart not only with the necessary skills and knowledge of FOSS but more importantly, to provide the trainees with the confidence in using FOSS-based applications.
The training-workshop consisted of three modules which included: a socio-political orientation about the “value and values proposition” of opting for FOSS; hands-on training, both on running FOSS applications in a Windows environment, and running the local Bayanihan Linux operating system; and a session on institutional and community planning, which tackled migration strategies.
As FMA stated in its invitation letter, “Aside from the unquestioned technical advantages of FOSS, it is also becoming a political imperative for NGO workers, development actvists, social movements, and even policy-makers especially in countries of the so-called Global South. As a technical and political option, there is a need for more learning sessions to popularize the FOSS alternative more widely paticularly for users within the broad social development community in the Philippines.”
FMA convened a multi-stakeholder training team from other NGOs, academe, government advocates, and the local Linux Users Group. It also invited representatives from various institutions who have migrated to FOSS to share their experiences with the participants.
Aside from these modules, the training-workshop provided an opportunity for FOSS advocates to dialogue with the newly appointed Commissioner of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), Dr. Emmanuel Lallana. The dialogue was held as the last activity of the workshop.