Achieving Financial Sustainability in Open Source with Yaw Anokwa of ODK

Aid, Evolved
Aid, Evolved
Achieving Financial Sustainability in Open Source with Yaw Anokwa of ODK

In November of 2020, I sat down with Yaw Anokwa, founder and CEO of ODK, to talk about the unsustainability of open-source software in global development. Despite building a data collection platform that was used by countless organizations in every country in the world, Yaw’s team struggled to find the financial resources necessary to keep ODK going.

Today, ODK is celebrating a huge milestone: in a single year, Yaw has transformed the organization, rebuilt their revenue model, and achieved financial sustainability. We catch up with Yaw to talk about the many different business models ODK tried which failed to take off… and the one that finally made it.

ODK helps social impact organizations build powerful offline forms to collect the data they need wherever it is. It is used for everything from COVID-19 contact tracing in Somalia, to monitoring parliamentary elections in Albania, to managing school attendance across Honduras.

Related Episodes

In this conversation, we refer to a few previous episodes of Aid, Evolved:

Starting by Luck and Succeeding by Grit with Yaw Anokwa of ODK

If you liked this episode, you need to listen to our first conversation with Yaw in November 2020. In it, he dives deeper on the full story behind ODK and how it grew from a research project to the industry standard it is today.

Behind the Scenes with Marie Ahmed of USAID

Marie Ahmed of USAID sheds light on why it is so hard for USAID to fund small organizations based outside of the United States – and why sometimes it’s not even a good idea.

The Tip of the Spear with Matt Berg of Ona

Matt Berg of Ona was an early adopter and implementer of ODK.