Free Software as Public Service in Brazil: An Assessment of Activism, Policy, and Technology

Benjamin Birkinbine


Brazil has been one of the more progressive countries in adopting free and open source software as part of broader social and digital inclusion initiatives. Many of these policies and projects have their roots in activism during President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s presidency. Since then, free software projects and policies have continued to advance within state institutions, but the effectiveness of these projects and policies remains relatively unexplored. To that end, this article focuses on three recent projects aimed at using free software to expand social and digital inclusion. However, I argue that these projects do not adequately link intention to outcome when assessing the effectiveness of the projects or policies.


Brazil, digital inclusion, free software, open source software, social inclusion

Full Text: