Recommended Projects

Students in the course are required to contribute to an existing open collaborative project.

The quintessential open collaboration project is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). However, students may choose an open content (like Wikipedia) or open data (like OpenStreetMap) project if they desire. They may also make non-software contributions (like documentation, design, analytics, or marketing) to a software project.

Here are the descriptions of a number of open source projects that we encourage you to investigate for your course work. This list has been adapted from here.


From SourceForge: "Mifos is an MIS purpose-built for the microfinance industry. It provides MFIs the key functionality to better serve the poor: client management, loans & savings portfolio tracking, reporting, & social performance measurement. "

From the web site: " is a diverse community of microfinance institutions, technology professionals, business people, volunteers, and contributors.



From the website: "Open Medical Record System (OpenMRS®) was created in 2004 as a open source medical record system platform for developing countries – a tide which rises all ships. OpenMRS is a multi-institution, non-profit collaborative led by Regenstrief Institute, a world-renowned leader in medical informatics research, and Partners In Health, a Boston-based philanthropic organization with a focus on improving the lives of underprivileged people worldwide through health care service and advocacy. These teams nurture a growing worldwide network of individuals and organizations all focused on creating medical record systems and a corresponding implementation network to allow system development self reliance within resource constrained environments."



Sahana Eden is a flexible open source humanitarian platform with a rich feature set to provide effective solutions for critical humanitarian needs management, either prior to, or during, a crisis. Eden can be rapidly customized to adapt to existing processes and to integrate with existing systems. Eden is designed for most organizations and agencies engaged in humanitarian activities, including UN agencies, NGOs and government agencies, and provides solutions to challenges involved in resource management, information management, coordination, decision support and stakeholder communications. It is built with Python using the Web2Py framework. Sahana Eden currently supports a diverse set of humanitarian organizations, including the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department, the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), the American Red Cross, the Helios Foundation, the UN World Food Programme, and several CERT chapters and VOAD organizations in the United States.



From the website: "We are a non-profit tech company that specializes in developing free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping."

" "Ushahidi", which means "testimony" in Swahili, was a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Since then, the name "Ushahidi" has come to represent the people behind the "Ushahidi Platform". Our roots are in the collaboration of Kenyan citizen journalists during a time of crisis. The original website was used to map incidents of violence and peace efforts throughout the country based on reports submitted via the web and mobile phones. This website had 45,000 users in Kenya, and was the catalyst for us realizing there was a need for a platform based on it, which could be used by others around the world.

Since early 2008 we have grown from an ad hoc group of volunteers to a focused organization. Our current team is comprised of individuals with a wide span of experience ranging from human rights work to software development. We have also built a strong team of volunteer developers primarily in Africa, but also Europe, South America and the U.S."


GNOME Accessibility

From the web site: "The GNOME Accessibility project develops and fosters compelling free open source accessibility solutions for graphical user interfaces. Through a worldwide community of developers and users, we continue to empower everyone, regardless of physical or mental abilities."

The GNOME Project was started in 1997 by two then university students, Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena. Their aim: to produce a free (as in freedom) desktop environment. Since then, GNOME has grown into a hugely successful enterprise. Used by millions of people across the world, it is the most popular desktop environment for GNU/Linux and UNIX-type operating systems.

The GNOME Accessibility Team works to ensure the GNOME Desktop and the software therein can be used by everyone, regardless of age or ability. Its efforts include the Orca screen reader, the GNOME Shell magnifier, and the Accerciser testing and debugging tool, Evolution (Contact manager, address manager and calendar), Empathy (Chat client), and Nautilus (File manager).


Public Lab



Mozilla Badges


Project developed at UC Berkeley aiming to change how science is done. It should be a collaborative and open experience. First step is to build a collaborative discussion platform for open access scholarly literature.


Free Law Project / CourtListener

Project begun at the I School. Providing free access to primary legal materials, developing legal research tools, and supporting academic research on legal corpora.

See Free Law Project and CourtListener brings community peer review to The Internet through a web application which enables rich annotation of web content. It is non-profit organization, funded through the generosity of the Sloan, Shuttleworth, Mellon Foundations, as well as hundreds of individuals. GitHub Page

Khan Academy

KhanAcademy Exercises is KhanAcademy's repository for contribution to their math and statistics exercises. They have really great new contributor documentation, Getting Involved Docs, and a ton of opportunities to get involved in the project at varying technical level. The have a lot of interesting infrastructure set up to support peer production of exercises. I found their bug reporting infrastructure, where user report bugs are immediately created as Github Issues, to be particularly cool.

KarmaNotes is a shared collection of academic resources created by students for students. Like the give-a-penny jar, KarmaNotes aggregates digital knowledge for the common good. Best of all, our capacity for learning resources is practically limitless, and withdrawals are entirely free.

KarmaNotes is a project of the FinalsClub Foundation, which continues to grow thanks to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and generous scholars like you.

Your contributions are welcome in the form of code, learning content, curation, and community support. If you'd like to get more involved, simply contact Thanks for helping to open education, one lecture at a time.

Learn more about KarmaNotes

A Code for America initiative through which "technologists, journalists, and city staff [are] collaborating to build a better Oakland using open civic web technologies."

Take a look at the list of current projects for more info.

A constituent relationship management application for civic and community organizing groups.

Main site Basic info on getting involved Developer info


LocalWiki are a grassroots effort to collect, share and open the world’s local knowledge. For example, see OaklandWiki. It is using custom software for geo-based wikis. The project is being developed with many people from Oakland, so in-person communication and involvment is possible as well.


Blogracy is a simple and secure peer-to-peer social networking system, built on top of Bittorrent. code

References : * Distributed Social Platforms for Confidentiality and Resilience link