openIMIS Tender 2018 - 03


Modular Transformation

The specific aim of the tendered services is to support the process of 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.

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Terms of Reference

I. General Terms of Reference for the Firm of Consultants

a. General Conduct

The here tendered service package falls under the outcome 3 " ICT infrastructure for insurance is complemented by openIMIS or specific modules". The following outputs were defined for this outcome 3:

  1. Community Tools have been created and are maintained on a regular basis.

  2. Communities of practice for users have been established in existing networks (e.g. JLN, P4H).

  3. Insurers have received support to assess insurance schemes regarding ICT infrastructure.

The work of the Firm of Consultants will contribute to the achievement of output 3 in the sense that insurers are able to profit more from an openIMIS distribution with a more modular and more customisable architecture.

The staff members seconded by the Firm of Consultants must cooperate closely with the GIZ project officer who is responsible to the BMZ for the German and Swiss contributions to the openIMIS Initiative and the programme officer appointed for this contract. All activities of the Firm of Consultants has 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.I.).

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

  1. A commission on software maintenance and third level user support.

  2. A co-funded pilot project on the modular transformation of openIMIS co-ordinated by the Digital Square platform (Notice C:

  3. A commission on capacity building and regional support structures. This activity is supplemented by additional contracts for two regional openIMIS hubs in South-East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

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 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 Firm of Consultants and the GIZ Sector Programme Social Protection 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 programme depending on the progress of the assigned tasks. The Firm of Consultants is expected to respond to changes flexibly, especially if the project is in danger of straying from the above mentioned outputs.

b. 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 three countries already. A modular transformation of the legacy system must under all circumstance uphold the functionality of the overall system and allow for a smooth transition of existing implementations into the new architecture. Besides simply operating openIMIS, these local organisations also support openIMIS with own code developments and have to be involved into discussions about the architecture.

The existing 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 Firm of Consultants. In the context of this commission, the Firm of Consultants is currently especially expected to take part in the weekly calls of the IT & Product Group but might be invited for additional events.

c. Co-operation with Partners of the openIMIS Initiative

In order to achieve its aim, the openIMIS Initiative is co-operating with various international partners and sub-contracting other consultants. The Firm of Consultants 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 who 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 Open Health Information Exchange (OpenHIE) community or 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.

d. 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 Firm of Consultants must be willing to use Open Source Software where possible and at the same time accept that the openIMIS Initiative will release any code that is being produced in the project under an Open Source Software license. For non-software items such as documentation or training materials, a Creative Commons license will be applied.

e. Previous Results in the Modular Transformation of openIMIS

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

  • A harmonised master version was created from the country specific adaptations of the openIMIS software package and made available in a public code repository. It is updated regularly with recent code contributions. (

  • A technical roadmap was developed as a living and constantly updated technical document based on a series of workshops with different stakeholders, code reviews of the master version and ongoing technical strategy discussions.(

  • Community platforms were set up as resource repositories and communication channels for the openIMIS community (compare chapter 2.I.b).

f. Data Protection

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

II. Detailed Specifications

a. Aim and Objectives of the Project

The specific aim of the tendered services is to support 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. Define the new software architecture of openIMIS based on the current experiences from the activities mentioned in chapter 2.I.b.

  2. Ensure the integration of the new architecture into the legacy software stack of openIMIS and into the software eco-system of the openHIE community.

  3. Develop new functionalities and successively port existing modules into the new architecture.

b. Specific Tasks of the Project

The three objectives above translate directly into the following work packages that the Firm of Consultants will be expected to complete. Note that the work packages are strongly interrelated and require an integrated approach.

Work Package 1: Architecture Design

  1. Analyse and compare the architecture of the legacy system and the new approach from the Digital Square project (compare chapter I.b) as a basis for a strategic decision on how to successively transition into the new modular architecture.

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

  3. Analyse options for an 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 I.c), propose the new system architecture based on the analysis results from the previous points and update the technical roadmap accordingly.

Work Package 2: Integration & Interoperability

  1. Analyse existing interfaces of openIMIS regarding interoperability within the openIMIS architecture and with other software packages in the openHIE eco-system.

  2. Analyse the HL7 FHIR standard regarding it's suitability to map data structures needed to persist openIMIS data and to qualify openIMIS as an interoperable component of the openHIE landscape.

  3. In a collaborative process with involved partners (compare chapter I.c), propose RESTful API definitions for openIMIS interoperability.

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

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

Work Package 3: New Software Development

  1. Support the community building project in the definition of new requirements and feature requests.

  2. In close co-operation with the IT & Product team, identify issues from the code review meetings that need to be solved under the new architecture.

  3. In close co-operation with the IT & Product team, prioritize which new feature requests and module migrations are to be developed under the new architecture in an agile approach.

  4. 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.

  5. Develop new and migrated modules under the new architecture using the new programming framework.

  6. Integrate code contributions from external developers in close co-operation with the IT & Product team.

  7. Develop efficient API endpoints that allow external data warehouse solutions to efficiently extract bulk data.

c. Expected Deliverables

The following deliverables are expected from the Firm of Consultants:

  1. Inception report to be submitted 4 weeks after commencement of services specifying a work plan and a technical roadmap for the planned activities in each work package.

  2. A conceptual design of the new systems architecture and the migration path that is accepted by the openIMIS governance structure. 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 aspects from work package 2.

  4. At least two openIMIS modules were successfully ported to the new systems architecture and integrated into the openIMIS distribution.

  5. A functional data warehouse pilot with meaningful dashboards under DHIS2 was set up as a proof of concept for the data warehouse APIs.

  6. Quarterly reports and updated work plans to be submitted by the 5th day of every third month after the acceptance of the inception report.

  7. Final report based on a GIZ reporting format to be submitted on 15.07.2020.

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