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Research: Development, Ethical Trading, and Free Software

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This paper makes the political and ethical case for the adoption of free software by Community Aid Abroad and other members of Oxfam International. It should be applicable to development agencies generally and to other organisations with similar values.

Free software has obvious pragmatic advantages for community development processes, most notably in its empowerment of users. But the ideological foundations and social/organisational structure of the free software movement are also consistent with community development at a theoretical level.