Ideas for openIMIS community building

Participants of the implementers call 16.09.2020: Kristine/AeHIN, Siddharth/SwissTPH, Nirmal/Implementation .. /Bluesquare, George/Implementation Cameroon, Saurav & Konstanze/openIMIS coordination desk



Focus for openIMIS coordination desk for next three years:

  1. Strengthened/enhanced community

2. Enhanced product/widened applicability

3. Increased implementations (new/extended use cases)


Part I: Strengthened/enhanced community

 1. How would you define strengthened/enhanced community? (what characteristics/features)

 Make the community more inclusive and inter-connected – with regards to existing as well as new community members

o   Existing members (expand network in this range):

  • “inclusive agenda” - develop agenda of points relevant to community members of diverse background/perspectives (implementers, regional hubs, developers, users..) to facilitate their exchange and stimulate engaging discussion  (e.g. discussion on  useof insurance data, enable ‘non-implementers’ to also take part in discussions

  • engage academia (universities)

    • links to wider digital health agenda

    • use it as practical (lab) tool?

    • delivery of openIMIS content regionally/locally: capacity development aspects

    • sustainability

    • use of openIMIS as a teaching aid (feedback of students on usability)

    • Testing

  • Strengthen links and facilitate feedback between users (and students/academia) and developers esp. on

    • usability and requirements of migrated modular version in analysis phase (mocks, iterative development) and testing

    • coordination of local customisations that should be integrated in the master version

 o   New members:

  • Additionally invite/involve francophone countries (increase implementation)

  • involve local operators and NGOs working in social protection, not just ministry/government level - How to support the inclusion of user organizations (eg. SSF, HIB)?

 Strong ownership and driving product development

  • Community should drive product definition and development (functionality, features), increased ownership among community members

 High relevance and visibility, connected to latest agenda

  • position openIMIS community/product in COVID-19 context: openIMIS as lab management - track vaccine delivery


2. How would you define ‘strengthened/enhanced community’ when linking this objective also to the two other objectives – enhanced product and increased implementations?

Community feedback and guidance to product development

  • User feedback for developers as stated above on usability of software and requirements/customization that is relevant to take into master version (What needs to be in the master-version vs stay in country specific implementations?)

 Community to support/increase country implementations

  • e.g. country case Cameroon:

    • How can local schemes (like BEPHA) benefit from the openIMIS community of practice?

    • How can new schemes get support? what support?

    • Need for financial/technical support to implement the tool ‘in the field’

 Capacity building to strengthen community in these support roles:

  • Develop skills locally (regionally?) - act as a support structure for the various implementations


 3. What can you do to strengthen/enhance the community?

  AeHIN, regional hub

  • Regional promotion and capacity building via

    • webinars: AeHIN hour

    • Disseminating info: mailing lists, social media accounts

    • Regional level capacity building programme

    • Regional instances

    • Customised demos through virtual openIMIS lab

  • Bring in medical student networks from AeHIN to bring in the medical knowledge

 Implementers - country implementations (e.g. Cameroon, Nepal ..)

  • Knowledge/experiences from country implementations.


  • Facilitate discussions on …

  • On-the-ground support and training for country implementations

  • ….


  • Facilitate discussions on usability and requirements, …

  • Finalize the architecture transition and make advantages of modular structure “visible” (testimonials of developers on advantages/gains for users and implementers)

  •   ….


 4. With regards to the upcoming 5th anniversary (in 2021) what community features/activities would you highlight (to appeal to others)?

  • finalised new modular architecture of openIMIS – promote advantages/gains for users/implementers

  • organise virtual conference (format) – with plenaries in which implementers  demonstrate various use cases; create links with government agencies



5. To strengthen the community in terms of outreach (new community members/partners) who should openIMIS approach – why (with what objective!)?

  •  Academia (as stated above)

    • To bring in medical know-how

    • to provide feedback on usability, requirements

    • to discuss it in wider conceptual context of health/social protection that opens access to new use cases

    • To promote openIMIS tool to students who can later on promote it to potential implementing organisations

    • … 

  • Local implementing organisations and NGOs that are deeply rooted in social protection delivery

    • Contribute insight into requirements for openIMIS customisation to serve new use cases

    • ..

    • ..

  •  Francophone connections

    • TA providers - Acadys, CHAI, CIDR ..

    • attractive features for this target group:

      • French interface and guiding docs, peer-learning between implementers (*challenge of connecting knowledge pools - EN-FR)

    • sub-group discussion in FR

  • ILO

    • mediation to policy maker level in SP context (recommend openIMIS as a software solution when providing policy advice)

    • extensive country presence

    • entrance to wider SP schemes

    • support requirements definition

    • clarify role/mandate in the context of the openIMIS Steering Group

  •  WHO (strengthening existing collaboration)

    • entry points have to be clearly defined - focus health financing team (openIMIS presentation scheduled for Dec 2020), digital health

6. What capacity building measures can support you / other community members to strengthen/enhance the community?

  • On-the-job training for developers and implementers to strengthen their maintenance/customization capacities on openIMIS to apply their knowledge and skills in case of further modifications of the original scheme or implement openIMIS for other schemes

  • Regional capacity building measures e.g. via webinars, facilitating peer-learning between implementers at different stages of software customising




Part II: Enhanced product

  • base on features request - issue queue

  • country specific vs master-version determination


Part III: New implementations

What can we as a community of practice do to increase implementations?

  1. Integration/interoperability of openIMIS

    1. showcase use cases

      1. What functionalities does interoperability increase?

      2. Case followed by country examples


    2. costs for interoperability?


  2. Modularity of openIMIS

    1. Functional modules might be interesting for specific insurers

  3. Advantage already:

    1. customization

    2. individual data

  4. Capacity building of decision makers on using and owning an open source software

  5. Reach out to insurers

    1. IAIS (int. asso of insurance supervisors?)

    2. Mutuelles?

    3. Tracking of nutrition?


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