"This paper describes how a typology was developed and used between 2008 and 2010 to investigate three different open educational resources (OER) initiatives in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). The typology was first developed by careful scrutiny of the many OER and OER-related initiatives both globally and in Sub Saharan Africa. The typology was then both tested and further developed and refined by applying it to the TESSA, Thutong Portal and Rip-Mix-Learn initiatives. The typology uses four main categories – creation, organisation, dissemination and utilisation – and 18 sub categories to examine and analyse each initiative, with each sub category having a number of properties and possible dimensions. This typology was used to distinguish one type of OER initiative from another while grounding each in a wider context. As there are different levels of categorisation the typology is simple at the highest level, with just four elements, for use by practitioners; but is detailed enough at other levels to enable researchers to generate research questions. Furthermore the typology is flexible enough to evolve over time as it is applied to more and more OER initiatives both within and outside Africa and also as existing initiatives change and develop over time and while new initiatives emerge."