Request for proposals: Defining standardized GitHub metrics

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September 20, 2021 update: The original October 4 deadline has changed to November 1, 2021.


The GitHub Social Impact and Policy teams are issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a researcher to define a list of publicly available GitHub platform usage metrics by country for international development, public policy, and economics disciplines.

GitHub is the home for more than 65 million developers from all corners of the world, making it the world’s largest code hosting platform. Metrics on platform usage can play a valuable role in research across many disciplines. Already, GitHub platform usage has been used to inform digital engagement, digital readiness, and tech maturity at regional (multi-country) and national levels. An example is the Portulans Institute’s Network Readiness Index 2020.1

While GitHub publishes an annual snapshot of platform engagement through its State of the Octoverse reports, it doesn’t currently maintain its own publicly available standardized list of platform usage metrics.2 Third-party platforms, like GHTorrent, are used by researchers instead. While GHTorrent has been a valuable resource for the computer science industry, it’s not designed for research in international development and public policy. Researchers have expressed the need for a smaller list of metrics that are updated regularly, grouped by country, and are in a more accessible format such as a .csv file.3

About the RFP

The GitHub Tech for Social Good and GitHub Policy teams are issuing this RFP for background research and guidance on what a list of publicly available GitHub platform usage metrics by country should include and how frequently it should be updated. The metrics would be targeted to researchers in international development, public policy, and economics, but may be used in other disciplines. Example platform usage metrics may be the number and location of active entities, which include users, repositories, and organizations. Metrics may also include pull requests, repository forks, and engagement on issues and Discussions. The scope of this RFP does not include data from private GitHub repositories or GitHub Enterprise accounts.

We invite individual(s) or organizations to apply by Monday, 1 November 2021. If you have any clarifying questions, please send an email to the contacts listed in the RFP.


1 GitHub has conducted desk research to find other examples. For more information, please reference the document here.
2 GitHub releases global time-based data on platform usage through the GH Archive program: https://www.gharchive.org/.
3 GHTorrent geocodes user entries. See here for more information: https://ghtorrent.org/relational.html