Governance Overview

The OpenFn open-source integration toolkit (the “integration toolkit”) is a Digital Public Good (DPG) governed by Open Function Group (OFG), LLC under the supervision of its Open Source Steering Committee (OSSC).

Open Function Group and the OSSC are guided first and foremost by the project’s Code of Conduct and Mission and Values. The remainder of this document lays out how specific decisions are made.

Open Function Group (OFG)

Open Function Group is a New York-based Public Benefit Corporation which has been building free and open source software (FOSS) for data integration projects in the health, humanitarian, and international development sectors since in 2014. Their software and services are now in use by governments, NGOs, and impact-first businesses in over 40 countries.

OFG’s first integration platform was entirely FOSS, but they soon shifted to an “open-core” (think GitLab) in order to sustain their impact-focused integration work. Their main hosted offering, the OpenFn “platform”, is proprietary but makes extensive use of the open-source integration toolkit; in fact, the “platform” may be thought of as an enterprise/hosted layer running on-top of the basic, open-source building blocks provided by the integration toolkit DPG.

The OpenFn integration-platform-as-a-service

Sometimes just referred to as “the platform”, “the OpenFn platform” or “the iPaaS”, OpenFn’s integration-plaform-as-a-service is a proprietary, enterprise offering that provides a secure, stable, and scalable implementation pathway for organizations to design, build, deploy, and manage enterprise-grade integration, interoperability, and automation projects. It can be deployed locally or accessed via the cloud.

OFG’s commitment to use and sustain the integration toolkit

Our mission is to make health & humanitarian interventions more efficient & effective, and we see investment in the integration toolkit as strategic for three main reasons.

  1. Governments provide an important pathway to scale our work and many prefer open-source and locally deployed solutions.
  2. We don’t intend to grow OFG into a large consulting shop and we think that a stronger open-source offering will create more independent implementers of our tools and decouple success in achieving our mission from our growth as a single firm.
  3. As we’ve already started to see, other stakeholders may be able to build newer, better, more context-appropriate technologies with the applications, frameworks, and standards we’ve developed—a future where there are dozens of competing, interchangeable integration solutions connecting hundreds of now interoperable ICT4D technologies is one we want to be a part of.

OFG strives to preserve the integration toolkit as a healthy and bona fide open source project and sustains its operations through business activities related to the toolkit and their other proprietary and/or service offerings.

We have designed the tools in the toolkit to be useful as standalone pieces of software and as modules, used by other applications. Because a substantial portion of OFG’s revenue comes from contracts related to the platform, and because the platform relies on OpenFn/core, OpenFn/engine, and the OpenFn adaptors, we hope to ensure that OFG will always be incentivized to continue their investment in the integration toolkit.

In other words, we’re attempting to ensure that as OFG succeeds, they will continue enhancing the open source integration toolkit regardless of whether or not additional funders and/or stakeholders contribute to the project.

The Integration Toolkit

Separate from “the platform”, the integration toolkit is the suite of applications and modules provided by OFG and the community which enable data integration, interoperability, and automation solutions via OpenFn-compliant jobs, triggers, and credentials. The key components of the toolkit are:

  1. OpenFn/lightning
  2. OpenFn/docs
  3. OpenFn/core
  4. OpenFn/engine
  5. OpenFn/microservice
  6. OpenFn/devtools
  7. the OpenFn adaptors

Unless otherwise noted, all open-source repositories found at are part of the integration toolkit.

Unless otherwise noted, all of these applications and modules are LGPL licensed to ensure that (a) derivative works of those applications will continue to be open-source and (b) they may be used as sub-modules of proprietary applications, such as “the platform” or any other software which the community may want to build on top of this toolkit.

Open Source Steering Committee (OSSC)

The Open Source Steering Committee (OSSC) represents the OpenFn community of end users and implementers. It reviews and gives feedback on major roadmap decisions, new designs, specifications, features, and protocol changes.

Concretely, its members will (1) prepare for and participate in a 60 minute meeting once each month, (2) review our product roadmaps and implementation plans for the toolkit, and then (3) help us prioritize our investments in a very practical way—by thinking through their and their networks’ project pipelines to identify upcoming implementation opportunities and real functional, legal, and technical requirements for those upcoming implementations.

The OSSC’s membership and decision making process are defined in the OSSC’s internal governance policy.


As the integration toolkit is an open source project, anybody may file issues on or propose code changes to any of the various integration toolkit repositories. Proposed code changes must be approved by a project Committer.

Integration toolkit code is permissively licensed with code copyright remaining with the original author. In this sense, no one entity “owns” the project’s intellectual assets.


Committers are community members who have shown that they are committed to the continued development of the project through ongoing engagement with the community. Commit/write access allows contributors to more easily carry on with their project-related activities by giving them direct access to the project’s resources.

OFG awards Committer status to individuals making significant and valuable contributions to the project. Current Committers and the OSSC may also suggest individuals deserving of Committer access, but OFG has final say.

Note: If you make a significant contribution and are not considered for commit/write access on the appropriate resource, file an issue, post on the Community (, or contact an OSSC member directly and it will be brought up at the next OSSC meeting.

If a Committer becomes inactive, having not participated substantially in the project for six months or more, their Committer status will be revoked. They may regain status again by resuming substantial participation.

Notwithstanding any of the above, OFG may revoke the Committer status of any Committer at its sole discretion.

Change approval

Proposed code changes must be approved by a project Committer with sufficient expertise who is able to take full responsibility for the change.

In the case of changes proposed by an existing Committer, an additional Committer is required for review.

Committers should elevate significant or controversial modifications to the OSSC for discussion. The OSSC should seek to achieve consensus on the question and offer its recommendation.

As OFG has commit access and controls the release process for all tools, it effectively has final say on any code changes. The above procedures are designed to foster a collaborative, community-oriented process, and should be followed in most cases.


A “project roadmap” is the plan of upcoming changes to a project’s code. In integration toolkit projects, OFG and the OSSC collaborate to set the roadmap. Suitability of items for the roadmap is determined by community need and the availability of resources to support development.

As stated above, anybody may submit a pull request against any of the repositories. The change approval section above covers how such pull requests may be approved. It should be noted, though, that major changes to the project stand a much better chance of being accepted if they are on the roadmap and/or if OFG and the OSSC have agreed in advance they are a good fit for the project and that the chosen design and implementation strategy are suitable.


Revisions to any document in this repository must be approved by both OFG and the OSSC. Even though these documents exist within an integration toolkit repository, this requirement supersedes the change approval policy above. Committers should not effect changes to documents in this repository without the approval of OFG and the OSSC. Exceptions may be made for small changes such as typographical errors.


This a derivative work of the ODK Governance repository. Given similarities between ODK’s structure (a single entity driving most of the work, but a responsibility to a large community of external stakeholders) and OFG’s structure, OFG feels that a similar governance model is a good place to start.