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openIMIS Newsletter March 2021

During the month of March the community took place over three days spread across three consecutive weeks. The aim of this virtual community meeting was to bring together implementers, developers, user organisations, and partners of the openIMIS Initiative under three thematic blocks – community, product development, and implementations. In this it succeeded. With a total of 36 participants across the three days and 16 workshopstyle sessions the community meeting allowed for new forms of collaboration.

The first day of the community meeting focused on community building, and covered a number of topics including the capacity building development and the expectations for future collaboration in the openIMIS community. In the afternoon of this day the group elaborated on additional social protection mechanisms which could be supported by openIMIS.

A particular highlight of the first community meeting day was the launching of the francophone chapter of the openIMIS community. This was led jointly by Jean Brice Tetka from the coordination desk, and Simeon Nsabimana from SwissTPH, and received a lot of engagement. The meeting was so successful in fact that it had to be extended past its allotted time slot, and a follow-up meeting independent of the community
meetings was immediately scheduled for the 30th of March.

The link to the first community day and the sessions can be found here: Community (Day 1, 17.03.2021) - openIMIS - openIMIS Wiki (atlassian.net)

The second day was mainly focused around contributions from the developers community, though not primarily aimed at developers as a target group. After a short overview of the midterm development roadmap and current projects Eric Darchis from Bluesquare gave an outlook on the planned migration scenario towards a code base, that does not require commercial software to run. The session was followed by a colourful bazaar by the diverse developer teams, each introducing their projects. The morning was completed with a structured discussion on how to manage quality assurance scenarios, led by Jean Brice Tetka (openIMIS coordination desk) after a short appetizer on the testlink-platform by Patrick Delcroix from SwissTPH.

After a short break, the group took a deep dive into analysing several finance schemes that were proposed for a future support during the first day of the workshop. The rest of the day was occupied with two practical sessions: Yogita Thakral from HISP India presented the dashboard solution under DHIS2 and an educational on how to install openIMIS under Windows by Dragos Dobre from SwissTPH. The link to the second community day and the sessions can be found here: Product Development (Day 2, 25.03.2021) - openIMIS - openIMIS Wiki (atlassian.net)

The third and final day of the community meeting focused on the implementations of openIMIS. Kicking off the morning sessions were presentations from Neema Massawe from PharmAccess Tanzania, George Atohmbom from BEPHA Cameroon, and Purushottam Sapkota from GIZ Nepal. These presentations set the scene on how openIMIS is currently being used and what the experiences of implementers in the field have been. The discussions during this session and the one following it provided a fantastic opportunity for developers’ and implementers’ of openIMIS to identify topics for exchange needed between the two groups and how they could work together more closely to improve the openIMIS product further.

In the afternoon, the session on a feature roadmap shed light and helped to indicate priorities in the needs of the broader health financing/social protection community for MIS functionality. The session provided a platform for potential implementers to also share their expectations with a tool such as openIMIS. The penultimate session of the day was a demonstration of the interoperability between openIMIS and the Bahmni EMR by Laxman Manandhar of Possible Health Nepal. Wrapping up the day and the community meeting was a session dedicated to providing more details and clarification around the newly formed openIMIS Catalytic Implementation Fund. The link to the third community day and the sessions can be found here: Implementations (Day 3, 31.03.2021) - openIMIS - openIMIS Wiki (atlassian.net)

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