Digital Public Infrastructure and What It Means for FOSS: A Policy Outlook

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Abstract: - India's remarkable success with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has ignited global interest in the technology and has initiated the discussion around Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI). This proposed talk aims to introduce the audience to the significance of Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) within the DPI ecosystem. The objectives of the talk majorly include:

  1. Policy Developments in DPI: the talk tries to delve into the evolving policies and their positions within various national and international organizations and institutional forums regarding DPI, with a specific emphasis on FOSS. By analyzing these developments, we aim to provide insights into the evolving landscape of digital public infrastructure and what it means for FOSS and the community.
  2. Clarifying Open Source in DPI: There exists a misconception that DPIs are inherently open source, which requires clarification. (see. To clear the confusion, we will explore the standards set by the Open-Source Initiative (OSI) and differentiate when DPI and Digital Public Goods (DPG) can genuinely be considered open source.
  3. Role of Open-Source Communities in the DPI Ecosystem: DPIs are often constructed using open-source resources, making it essential to discuss the pivotal role that open-source communities play within the DPI ecosystem.

The above points are not exhaustive, and additional points might be included during the final talk. Nevertheless, in the end by addressing these critical aspects, this talk aims to foster a deeper understanding and interplay between FOSS and Digital Public Infrastructure, sparking valuable discussions within the community and contributing to the ongoing global dialogue around DPI.

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