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UNDP Program Sets Up Asia Pacific Open Source Centers

THREE open source "centers of excellence" were recently established to aid research and development, and advocate the use of free or open source software in the Asia Pacific region, has learned.

The centers will be part of the International Open Source Network (IOSN), according to the website of the Asia Pacific Development Information Program (APDIP) of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The IOSN has been advocating the adoption of free or open source software, as well as open standards, the website said.

The three centers of excellence - IOSN ASEAN+3, IOSN PIC (Pacific Island Countries), and IOSN South Asia, will also being involved in the "institutional strengthening" and training on open source software.

The University of the Philippines is now involved with the IOSN Asean+3. In the launching IOSN ASEAN+3, Professor Ramon L. Arcadio,

chancellor of the University of Philippines Manila, said that the university is currently leading advocacy efforts for free and open source software in the Philippines.

IOSN PIC is hosted by the University of the South Pacific in collaboration with a consortium involving the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, Secretariat of the South Pacific Community, and Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society.

Meanwhile, the IOSN South Asia is hosted by the Center for Development of Advanced Computing in Chennai, India.

Free and open source software is software that can be used, copied, studied, modified and redistributed without restriction.

"These freedoms that are for all developers and users are highly significant to the developing world as FOSS represents a viable alternative to the traditional licensing model that can help to free up public funds," the APDIP website said.

APDIP believes that the adoption of free or open source software presents opportunities for industry and capacity development, software piracy reduction, and localization and customization for diverse cultural and development needs.

The IOSN is an initiative of APDIP and supported by the International Development Research Center of Canada.

First posted 04:22pm (Mla time) April 09, 2006
By Erwin Lemuel Oliva

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