Introducing the decODE blog

| 14 April 2021

Dear Reader,

At Omidyar Network India we believe Open Digital Ecosystems (ODEs) have the potential to be the new frontier of ‘Good Tech’ i.e. technology that is both beneficial for society and at the same time is responsible. Digital platforms are being built rapidly by businesses and governments around the world, across sectors like digital payments, education, health, agriculture etc. The ODE approach advocates for designing such platforms in a way that enables interoperability between siloed systems, so that innovators can build solutions on top, by leveraging open source software, open data, open standards, open licenses and open APIs. 

Such platforms can enable service delivery at an unprecedented scale, and open up new opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators. But they can also leave us vulnerable to certain harms and risks. Concerns about data centralization, institutional accountability, privacy and security of personal data, ensuring citizens at the last mile have access to services – all these need to be addressed when designing such platforms. Hence, the ODE approach draws attention to the critical ‘non-tech’ layers of such platforms i.e. governance and community – getting these two layers right, can make such platforms truly transformative for society.

Chances are, if you’re visiting this blog, you may be involved in building ODEs – as a bureaucrat or technocrat working within the government or an advisor. You might be a researcher at a tech policy think tank or a university, you might be an open source developer or designer. Or you might be a concerned citizen, eager to understand and engage with the technological revolution that is transforming the way we interact with each other and with businesses and government entities around us. We hope that these blog posts will help you stay informed and up to date with the latest happenings in the world of ODEs, so that we can together build a more connected and collaborative community.