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We're the OpenFn core team

We're a group of software developers, data engineers, designers, and automation specialists. Scattered around the world, we are the stewards of the OpenFn Digital Public Goods.

We believe that automation & interoperability can make "technology-for-good" so much better.

About us
Mission oneMission twoMission threeMission fout

Our story

From our founder

In 2008 I was working for a public health NGO in South Africa and focusing on youth curriculum development, monitoring, and evaluation. I found that the organization lacked the data to make timely, informed decisions. Working with two colleagues, I started a company that focused on implementing modern, results-oriented data systems for the sector. That company, Vera Solutions, has now served more than 400 organizations.

By 2014, having worked with so many NGOs, it became clear that the sector wasn't only lacking good systems, but the digital infrastructure that allows those systems to work together and achieve their full potential. Our solution, an automated workflow and interoperability layer, was born in mid-2014.

Since then, our team has built a strong track record with UN agencies, international iNGOs, and local non-profits, but began to see that without a viable pathway for our customers to take complete ownership over the solutions they built on our platform, we'd be unable to achieve the scale with governments that we think is necessary for legitimately transformative change.

Many organisations, low or low-to-middle-income country ("LMIC") governments in particular, have been burned by lock-ins with proprietary software. We realized that we need to go 100% open-source.

Today we provide secure, high-quality, affordable solutions to governments and NGOs around the world - all open source. We host the OpenFn platform as a service, train local partners to implement OpenFn projects, and provide setup and support services to key customers.

The open source Digital Public Goods movement is ultimately about choice. The governments and NGOs we serve need the freedom to choose what tools they need, where they should be running, and how they'd like to implement them. Building everything in the open keeps us honest in our commitment to providing quality, value, stability and freedom.

Some of the most high-impact organizations in the world choose OpenFn, not because they have to, but because they want to. And that feels good.

Signature of Taylor Downs
Avatar of Taylor Downs
Taylor DownsFounder, CEO

Mission & Vision

Our mission is to double the efficiency of the social sector in 10 years.

We will not achieve this alone and we'll work closely with our community. Our team is good at making a handful of very hard problems related to integration and interoperability much easier—our contribution will be to build the best open source workflow automation platform in the world.

Our vision is of a diverse public sector that does so much more with its limited resources. It's supported by a number of varied and successful IT projects (no "silver bullets") and those projects are delivered by local actors with the right long-term incentives.

To make this happen we need more than a great product, but a world-class partner program and a customer success team that can help nurture the growing community of implementers and contributors.

3 million

Workflow runs each year

~40 million

Records handled each year, approx.

41 countries

Benefiting from OpenFn

The people behind OpenFn

Meet the team that makes OpenFn possble.

Want to join us?

We are always on the lookout for folks excited about our mission to help us build OpenFn.

Get in touch

Where we work

Just like our users, OpenFn's core contributors live all over the world. We get together as often as we can, but also take pride in our differences and think that distinct perspectives will, ultimately, help us build a better product.

16 core contributors

The core stewards of the OpenFn digital public good

11 countries

Mostly within the Africa/Europe timezones

8 languages

Ar salmine mine hé Fula!

14 cities

Spanning 10,121 kilometers from Cape Town to Riga

Our values

We're united in our belief that what we do matters. We are not defined by our jobs, but we also wouldn't be here if we didn't think that our work—and the work of the LMIC governments and NGOs we serve—is important. That brings us together, along with these shared values.

Humans > teammates > friends

We try to treat each other with huge amounts of kindness and respect—not because we are friends—but because we are human beings with much bigger and more important lives than who we are at work. Next, we prioritize our relationship as teammates, trying to accomplish a mission. Finally, we may form friendships along the way—a delightful bonus, though not a prerequisite for our collective success.

Working in the open

Keeping the "open" in Open Function, we are proud to maintain an open-source codebase. This empowers collaborators and stakeholders to directly contribute to, and understand the inner workings of, tools they rely on to provide critical services. This also enables our remote team and partners to learn from each other, reuse, and not "re-code the wheel".

Soft passes

We rely on each other constantly, whether it's asking a colleague for help on a gnarly problem or assigning a task to a direct report. How we ask for help makes all the difference, so we try to set each other up for success as best we can—put those extra 5 minutes into crafting the request and providing the right level of context so that your teammate has the best possible chance to deliver... and score!


We face hard problems every day and curiosity is a tool we can use when faced with the temptation to check out, to switch off our minds, to distract ourselves from whatever feels hard or unpleasant. It's the superpower that helps us actually pay attention to the task at hand, and it rewards us back by making our work enjoyable.

Accountable for results

We are a small group of thoughtful people. We know where we are going. While there is not a single checklist for how to "do well" for each role in the organization, we have clear domains of authority and we hold each other accountable not for procedures, but for results.

Professionalism, not formalism

Hierarchy and ceremony can mask a lack of substance. At the same time, structure and process can help us be more effective. We show up on time and double-check our work not because it looks good, but because it helps us achieve our mission.

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