Sigmah is a collaborative project run by a Steering Cooperative made up of 14 NGOs (Acting For Life, Action Against Hunger, CARE Nederland, Comité de Secours Internationaux, the French Red Cross, the Luxemburg Red Cross, Équilibres & Populations, Etc Terra, Groupe URD, Handicap International, Doctors of the World, Première Urgence-Aide Médicale Internationale, Solidarités International and Triangle Génération Humanitaire) and facilitated by Groupe URD.
These organisations have come together to develop information management software for humanitarian projects. The software is being developed under an open source licence so that it can be of benefit to as many organisations as possible and thus help to improve the quality of aid delivered to those affected by crises. The project is therefore in the public interest, and aims to be of benefit to all organisations in the international aid sector.
It is funded by a number of donors (see financial partners), and developed by a number of technical partners (Adergo, Atold C&D, Code Lutin, Netapsys) and a community of developers (students, volunteer developers, etc.).
The project has gone through a number of stages since 2008, and has gradually established substantial know-how and a community of designers, testers, users, etc. Indeed, as the aim of the project is to develop open source software, a large number of professionals have taken part, often on a voluntary basis, and everyone can contribute in their own way.
The objective is to widen the initiative to new donors and contributors of all kinds, and to involve more NGOs in the project, whether as users of the software or as members of the Steering Cooperative.
The objective of the project is to pool the resources available in the sector in order to produce a high quality software that is available to all, including the smallest organisations.
The Steering Cooperative plays a central role in running the Sigmah project. The term “cooperative” was chosen because this open group is responsible for the project in the long term, in the spirit of a property that is mutually owned by several members.
The Steering Cooperative aims to meet the evolving needs of organisations and ensure the long-term economic sustainability of the project. It meets regularly to:
- Decide and plan the major orientations of the project
- Validate and plan priorities for the development of the software
- Help member organisations to adopt the system
- Test the validity of the software
- Support fund-raising
In addition, each member organisation contributes to the cost of running the project based on their needs.
The involvement of the member NGOs in the Steering Cooperative means that Sigmah remains pertinent, effective, efficient and sustainable.