GIZ Tender 3 - 2020

GIZ is tendering for the work package of openIMIS modular migration.

The specific aim of the tendered services is to finalise the process of a slow migration from the monolithic legacy code base of openIMIS under the MS .NET programming framework to a modular software design under a platform-independent open source programming framework.

In order to achieve the aim of the project, the following objectives shall be pursued:

  1. Analyse the current status of the migration into the new software architecture of openIMIS based on the current experiences from the activities mentioned in chapter 3.II.b) “Previous Results in the Maintenance and Support of openIMIS” and draft a strategy for fully migrating the remaining legacy codebase.

  2. Successively port the remaining modules of the legacy stack into the new architecture.

  3. Constantly support the openIMIS Initiative in the development of new functionalities and the maintenance and optimisation of the already migrated modules.

Period of assignment: From Contract Start until 31.08.2022.

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Tasks to be performed by the contractor

The contractor is responsible for providing the following services:

      I.        Work Package 1:  Architecture Design & Migration Strategy

  1. Analyse and compare the architecture of the legacy system and the new modular architecture (compare chapter 3.II.b) as a basis for a strategic decision on how to successively transition the remaining legacy code into the new modular architecture.

  2. Analyse the current data models and business processes to identify further opportunities for enhancing the customisability of openIMIS in terms of user-defined attributes and business processes.

  3. Analyse options for a further optimisation of the open design of the system, allowing user exits for custom code and plugins for user defined modules.

  4. In a collaborative process with involved partners (compare chapter 3.II.b), propose a strategy for the full migration of the remaining legacy codebase based on the analysis results from the previous points and update the technical roadmap accordingly.

    II.        Work Package 2:  Migration of the Codebase

  1. Migrate the remaining functionalities of the legacy code base into modules under the new architecture.

  2. In close co-operation with the software maintenance project, define change requests for changes that are necessary in the legacy system to allow for a smooth transition.

  3. Equip the new modules with HL7 FHIR compliant APIs for interoperability with the OpenHIE ecosystem, also allowing the extraction of bulk data.

  4. Communicate gaps in the HL7 FHIR definitions to the FHIR working-groups and propose additions.

  5. Migrate the database layer from MS SQL Server to PostgreSQL and provide adequate mechanisms for data migrations of legacy data into the new structures.

   III.        Work Package 3: Community Support and Capacity Building

  1. Support the openIMIS Implementers Committee in the definition of new requirements and feature requests.

  2. In close co-operation with the openIMIS Developers Committee, identify issues from the code review meetings that remain to be solved under the new architecture, especially prioritising security aspects.

  3. In close co-operation with the Product Group, align the roadmaps for new feature requests and module migrations in an agile approach.

  4. Prepare basic training materials and documentations to enable contributions and local adaptation under the new architecture by new developers.

  5. Conduct online and/or offline training sessions for new developers.

  6. Support the integration of code contributions from external developers in close co-operation with the Product Group.

  7. Participate at international events and support in the organization / preparation of side-events & workshops during such events.


  1. Inception report specifying a work plan and a technical roadmap for the planned activities for each work package.

  2. A draft strategy of the final migration path that is accepted by the openIMIS Product Group. The design must cover all aspects from work package 1 and must provide sufficient detail to support software development.

  3. A conceptual design of all needed API endpoints based on HL7 FHIR including a gap analysis in sufficient detail to allow software development based on the results. The document must cover all new modules.

  4. A fully functional openIMIS software package without any dependencies on proprietary software components is available for user acceptance testing.

  5. The openIMIS database layer is fully migrated to PostgreSQL and all scripts for legacy data migration exist.

  6. The openIMIS source code repository contains a branch of the complete code needed for a complete installation package of the modular openIMIS.

  7. Adequate and up-to date documentation and training material for developers available

  8. Two developer training session of 3 days held

  9. Quarterly reports and updated work plans.

  10. Final report based on a GIZ reporting format.

Other specific requirements

a)    General Conduct

The here tendered service package falls under the outcome 2: The openIMIS software is further developed with new functionalities, and in-line with security standards.

The staff members seconded by the Contractor must cooperate closely with the GIZ project officer who is responsible to BMZ for the German and Swiss contributions to the openIMIS Initiative and the programme officer appointed for this contract. All activities of the Contractor have to be done in line with and on the basis of ongoing activities of the openIMIS Initiative to achieve all programme outputs (see chapter 1.IV above).

Ongoing activities that must be taken into account and built upon during this assignment are:

  1. activities of the openIMIS Initiative geared towards community building and regional support structures. This activity is supplemented by additional contracts for regional openIMIS hubs.

  2. a commission on software maintenance and 3rd level support of the openIMIS software stack.

  3. a co-funded pilot project on the further transformation and enhancement of openIMIS co-ordinated by the Digital Square platform (Notice D).

  4. activities of the openIMIS Initiative geared towards implementation support for new scheme operators.

Developments that may lead to difficulties in a later project phase should be identified as quickly as possible. Furthermore, in view of the focus on the results described above, results monitoring is crucially important. An efficient monitoring and evaluation system must therefore be proposed and set up that allows all entities of the openIMIS governance structure, the Contractor and the GIZ Global Programme Social Protection Innovation and Learning to monitor project progress. Progress reports are submitted quarterly based on a format which will be agreed upon during the inception. Regular feedback sessions may be convened by the GIZ Global Programme Social Protection Innovation and Learning depending on the progress of the assigned tasks. The Contractor is expected to respond to changes flexibly, especially if the project is in danger of straying from outputs mentioned in Chapter 1.

b)    Previous Results in the Maintenance and Support of openIMIS

The openIMIS Initiative together with other development partners has previously supported the maintenance and support of the openIMIS product. The results include among others:

  • A harmonised master version was created from the country specific adaptations of the openIMIS software package and partially migrated to a modular architecture using open source technologies and implementing international interoperability standards. It is available in a public code repository and updated regularly with recent code contributions. ( )

  • A regular release cycle according to a defined change management process was established and successfully applied to three software releases.

  • A technical roadmap was developed as a living and constantly updated technical document based on a series of workshops with different stakeholders and ongoing technical strategy discussions. ( )

  • Community platforms were set up as resource repositories and communication channels for the openIMIS community (compare chapter 1.III). A regularly maintained helpdesk was set up and established.

c)    Adherence to Strategic Principles and International Standards

The openIMIS Initiative is committed to operate according to international development principles that are endorsed by the supporting GDC and SDC and correspond to the guiding principles of GIZ. The Contractor is especially expected to comply to

  • the Principles for Digital Development ( )

  • the Digital Investment Principles ( )

As one direct consequence, the development towards the new modular architecture of openIMIS is oriented at standards set by

  • the Business Process Framework for National Health Insurance Information Systems elaborated through the Joint Learning Network (JLN)

  • the digital health architecture of the Open Health Information Exchange (OpenHIE) community of practice.

  • the interoperability specification for Fast Health Interoperability Resources (FHIR) by the Health Level Seven International Organisation (HL7) 

The Contractor is expected to align with the ambitions of the openIMIS Initiative to further harmonise openIMIS with those standards in terms of terminology, workflows and interoperability.

d)    Integration into the existing openIMIS structures

The openIMIS initiative builds upon an existing software for health insurance management that is being used by insurance organisations in several countries already. Continuous support for smooth operations of those legacy implementations is key to this commission. Opening up functionalities to cover further social protection schemes even beyond the health domain is envisioned. Besides simply operating openIMIS, these local organisations also support the openIMIS Initiative with own code developments, which need to be integrated into the core system on a regular basis.

The existing repositories, communication channels and community platforms that were established by the openIMIS Initiative shall be used. Specifically, these are

Within the openIMIS governance structure regular exchange meetings are foreseen for different stakeholders, some of which are also relevant for the Contractor. In the context of this commission, the Contractor is currently especially expected to take part in the weekly calls of the Developers Committee and the monthly review calls but might be invited for additional events.

e)    Co-operation with partners of the openIMIS Initiative

In order to build a sustainable community of practice, the openIMIS Initiative is co-operating with various international partners and sub-contracting other consultants. The Contractor is expected to work together with these partners in a co-operative and friendly way, respecting and supporting the work of others and disclosing relevant information where necessary. Apart from the consultants that work on the ongoing activities mentioned in chapter 2.I.a and those who work on short term consultancies, the openIMIS initiative currently co-operates closely with other players such as the OpenHIE community and other open source software projects in the health sector. Finally, it can be expected that free implementers and developers who are interested in the project want to associate and contribute to the project. The openIMIS Initiative has a special interest to nourish this kind of relations through a welcoming community culture of trust.

f)     Open source policy

Being an Open Source project itself, the openIMIS initiative strongly supports the use of Open Source Software in the given context. The Contractor must be willing to use Open Source Software where possible and at the same time accept that the openIMIS Initiative might release any code that is being produced in the project under an Open Source Software license (GNU Affero General Public License, Version 3). For non-software products such as documentation or training materials, a Creative Commons license will be applied (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License). The Contractor is expected to avail software and non-software products in a timely manner to the openIMIS Initiative in source versions that can be further maintained with Open Source tools without loss of product quality.

g)    Data protection

In the course of the commission, the Contractor might be exposed to data on health issues and financial transactions of individuals. The Contractor is expected to treat any personal information of individuals according to the highest applicable data confidentiality standards. At the same time, the Contractor is expected to contribute to the security of individual data by applying adequate quality standards.

h)    Branding

The Contractor is expected to comply to the corporate identity guidelines of the openIMIS Initiative and GIZ where appropriate. This applies especially to the use of logos, colour schemes and fonts. Existing templates for presentations or training materials have to be used.

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