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April 24, 2023, was a remarkable day in the history of Drupal as it got certified as a digital public good. Its proposal was finally approved by the Digital Public Good Alliance (DPGA), and Drupal got added to the Digital Public Good Registry. Accomplishing this milestone isn’t easy. After all, aspiring software products have to adhere to the stringent Digital Public Good Standard. However, Drupal triumphed after undertaking a tedious journey filled with struggle and strife, and hence, validated its enormous potential again.
Getting established as a digital public good (DPG) has opened new avenues for Drupal development. It is now drawing the interest of more and more governments and nonprofit organizations across the globe. If you wonder why so much hype about Drupal becoming a DPG, this blog will help you satiate your curiosity.
What is a Digital Public Good?
In alignment with the UN Secretary General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, the DGPA defines digital public goods as open source software, open data, open AI systems, and open content collections that obey the privacy and other applicable laws, do not harm, and aid in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations.
The Digital Public Good Standard establishes 9 well-defined requirements a software has to meet in order to be approved as a digital public good. Drupal proudly met all of them and got certified as a digital public good.
Why is Becoming a Digital Public Good Such a Big Thing?
Becoming a digital public good isn’t a piece of cake. Every aspiring software has to meet all the requirements of the Digital Public Good Standard. In order to understand why Drupal becoming a digital public good is a big thing, let’s dig into the Digital Public Good Standard.
The 9 building blocks of the Digital Public Good Standard:
1. Alignment with Sustainable Development Goals
Digital public goods should possess seamless alignment with the UN’s sustainable development goals.
2. Utilization of Approved Open Licenses
It is mandatory for digital public goods to exhibit the usage of approved open licenses. Only OSI-approved licenses are acceptable when it comes to open-source software. Creative Commons license is required for open content collections. In the case of open data, an Open Data Commons Approved License is mandatory, and so on.
3. Clear ownership of assets
In order to emerge as a digital public good, software products should exhibit a clearly defined ownership of their assets through copyright, trademark, or other publicly available information.
4. Independence of platform
If the digital public good has some mandatory dependencies that generate more restrictions as compared to the original license, it is imperative for it to prove its independence from the closed components.
Besides, it can also showcase the existence of some functional and open alternatives that can be effortlessly utilized without incorporating any changes into the core product.
5. Crystal clear documentation
Digital public goods require crystal clear documentation of their source code, use cases, and functional requirements. For software solutions, this refers to the technical documentation that would enable technical professionals unfamiliar with the software project to launch and run it effortlessly.
6. Data extraction mechanism
Non-personally identifiable information (PII) design is required for digital public goods to extract or import non-PII data and content in a non-proprietary format from the system.
7. Absolute adherence to privacy and applicable laws
In order to emerge as digital public goods software should exhibit absolute adherence to the privacy and other laws applicable.
8. Proper adherence to standards and best practices
Digital public goods should comply with all the relevant standards, best practices, and principles. For instance, the principles for digital development should be properly adhered to.
9. No harm by design
It is imperative for digital public goods to be designed in a way that they anticipate, prevent, and do no harm by design. This requirement is further divided into three segments:
a) Data privacy and security
All digital public goods that store and distribute data should clearly define how they ensure its protection and security.
b) Inappropriate and illegal content
Digital public goods that store and distribute data should have proper measures in place to identify inappropriate and illegal content such as child sexual abuse. Besides, a proper process should also be in place for reporting and removing such inappropriate content.
c)Protection from harassment
All digital public goods should have proper measures to protect users against harassment in case they allow interactions with and between users. The system should also have effective provisions to secure underage users at all costs.
After going through these stringent requirements which aren’t easy to fulfill, you must have already understood why Drupal becoming a digital public good is an issue of such great importance. A software solution goes through multiple rounds of improvisations and upgradation before finally becoming congruent with all the requirements.
LN Webworks congratulates all the developers who worked day in and day out to help Drupal turn into a digital public good governments and nonprofits can place their valuable trust in.
Drupal’s Enchanting Journey of Becoming a Digital Public Good
The Drupal community rolled its sleeves to get Drupal approved as a digital public good when Daniel Cothran (John Snow, Inc) publicly asked them why Drupal wasn’t a DPG. Consequently, discussion threads were initiated on the Drupal Governance Project.
Renowned personalities such as Tim Lehnen (The CTO of the Durpal Association), Tim Doyle (The CEO of the Drupal Association), and Von Eaton (Director, Programs, Drupal Association) were involved in the process. Dries Buytaert (The founder and project lead of Drupal) reviewed the application for Drupal’s approval as a digital public good. As ‘FarmOS’, the Drupal distribution had already attained the stature of being a digital public good, the community was quite hopeful about Drupal itself attaining the certification too.
Then, Tim Lehnen submitted the application and coordinated with the Digital Public Good Alliance throughout the evaluation process. Finally, on April 24, 2023, the Drupal community basked in waves of immense joy when the software finally got the certification it deserved. As a Drupal web development company, LN Webworks is proud of Drupal’s achievement which has taken it to a whole new dimension of success and popularity.
With unfathomable glee, LN Webworks also celebrates its good fortune of being a part of the Drupal community which led it to play a vital role in Drupal’s enhancing journey of becoming a DPG.
After undertaking a daunting journey, Drupal has finally got itself certified as a digital public good (DPG). This implies that it has validated itself as a cutting-edge software that is in alignment with the UN’s sustainable development goals, meets the stringent Digital Public Good Standard, and possesses incredible data security measures. Consequently, more and more governments and nonprofit organizations are looking forward to making Drupal their companion.
If you also aspire to switch to Drupal, LN Webworks, a reputed Drupal development company, can help you with the process. We possess a knowledgeable and experienced team of Drupal developers that can help you tap into the unfathomable potential of the CMS. So, without any second thoughts, reach out to us today.
Pankaj KumarCo-Founder & Managing Director
Pankaj is a Senior UI/UX specialist with more than ten years of industry experience who focuses on usability, user experience, and user research in his designs. He has worked with small and large teams, including management of LN Webworks Organization.