Sahana, an entirely volunteer effort to create technology for managing large-scale relief efforts, is the recipient of the 2006 Free Software Foundation Award for Projects of Social Benefit. Sahana was created by the Lanka Software Foundation, in the wake of the tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia in 2004, to compensate for the devastating consequences of a government attempt to manually manage the process of locating victims, distributing aid and coordinating volunteers.The Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to a free software project that intentionally and significantly benefits society through collaboration to accomplish an important social task.
Sahana is built completely on donated funds and volunteer effort coordinated by Lanka Software Foundation. It has been officially deployed by the governments of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Indonesia. It was also part of the Strong Angel III, a test of US civil and military disaster response.
The members of the founding team that traveled from Colombo to Cambridge to accept the award were, Chamindra de Silva, project lead, as well as lead developers Pradeeper Dharmendra, Ravindra de Silva and Mifan Careem.
Every year, three finalists are nominated for the award by the free software community. This year’s other two finalists were Project Gutenberg and the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC).