November 23, 2020 *Special Partnership Review Call

Monthly OpenLMIS Governance Committee Call. This meeting includes members of the governance committee, as well as anyone else interested in participating. 


  • 7:00 - 8:30 AM PST - Seattle
  • 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST - New York, DC
  • 3:00 PM CET - Geneva, Copenhagen (4PM during daylight saving time of the year)
  • 5:00 PM EAT - Dar (6PM during daylight saving time of the year)

Call Details

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Action items for next call  - Voting members of the GC to submit their votes in the next 48 hours (by EOD Nov 25)

Action Items 





Chat Captures

Introductions and Call opening (5 min)


Voting members or an alternative should be in attendance; will record

Voting Members in attendance today: (8 out of 9)

  • USAID- Lindabeth D
  • BMGF- Kelly H
  • VillageReach-Brandon B
  • CHAI- Gaurav B
  • PSM- Jean Miller (arrived a few minutes late) 
  • SolDevelo-Jakub S (arrived halfway through)
  • Ona- Absent
  • PATH- Brian T
  • JSI- Edward W

Review agenda for this call:

  • Recap of where we are and how we got here (Brian)
  • Review of comparison slides and Partner Evaluation rubric scores (Kim)
  • Summarize Working Group vote/recommendation and qualitative feedback (Rebecca)
    • Additional commentary from Working Group?
  • Group Discussion

Source document for slides:

Summarize partner evaluation process, outputs and WG RecommendationBrian TaliesinKim CouriRebecca Alban (Unlicensed)

Brian Taliesin gave a quick presentation highlighting Slides 1-34 – the choice to conduct a Handover Partnership, our EOI and selection process, the voting and the next steps.

Kim presented the differences in terms and an overall comparison of the 3 partners.

Rebecca shared the Working Group final votes which are recommendations to the Governance Committee.

Jean: Voted for Vitalliance because they are well structured, professional, and good past experience, confidence in them

Ashraf: Upselling OneNetwork is a logical approach for them to fill the existing gap. Good growth potential given their location; their ERP suite has been tested well in these markets. They have a cooperative partnership approach, and express interest in subsuming our existing team 

Gaurav: Business model is important, but it is also important to think about the end result- enabling govts to manage supply chains effectively & efficiently. OpenLMIS happens to be the best tool available for this. Giving countries a path to maturity is important. IQVIA's Plus version doesnt exist yet so there are more risks there; it takes time to mature a tool and get revenue from it. Entuition is also new and has limited use cases compared to OneNetwork

Wes: Vitalliance was only partner that came to us with a clear plan; show that they value the core, some cultural aspects we will want to address and make sure we're on the same page.

Brandon: Vitalliance revenue is mixed from different sources including private; tap into OneNetwork tool set and possibility to tap into Imperial

Lindabeth: From donor perspective it was a clear choice for Vitalliance

Kelly H: Although we were prepared to try to fund the next phase if needed, it's good news that the strongest partner, Vitalliance, was not requesting funding. Really excited for this next phase.

Group DiscussionBrian Taliesin to facilitate

Group discussion with questions for reflection: 

  • What is your reaction to Vitalliance as the Working Group’s top choice?
  • Is there any information missing/anything you wish you knew more about to make an informed decision?
  • Do you want to move forward with the Partnership to Handover process, or should we re-consider a “break-the-glass” scenario?
  • Do you feel that you can stand behind the Community in its decision of a Handover Partner?
  • Are there any concerns that you have, which we should weave into the final contract (i.e. Definitive Agreement)?
  • (Brandon suggested question): What will it take to make this a success?

Brandon: this is way more consensus than we had anticipated. We have our work cut out for us to introduce this partner to our stakeholders. We have a busy year of change mgmt ahead of us...The partner decision might be the easy part

Gaurav: Do any non-working group members have questions for us?

Edward: Given this material and previous background conversations, Vitalliance makes sense as a top choice.  In terms of change management, getting our interaction with countries and stakeholders, and Vitalliance's vision for OpenLMIS and what's going to happen. Vitalliance will really have to make the pitch. They will have to articulate well how they will work together with the community. 

Jean: Is there any impact to the original proposed annual membership fee with this partner?
 Kim: As you know, we launched this in October but had a hard time getting signed up customers, so now we expect to reset our outreach and work together with the partner to roll out the Enterprise Support in a way that is favorable.

Brandon: At our office hours last week, someone brought up that with ANY partner it would be possible for them to raise prices so much that it would be unaffordable. Vitalliance understands the customer base so hopefully are motivated to keeping a similar pricing structure; hopefully can entice countries to pay for additional services. If in 5 years no revenue materializes, then they would not be incentivized to maintain OpenLMIS and would resort to the 'unsupported release' option.

  • Brandon: The worst case scenario the partner goes out of business or partner pulls out and the code will still be on GitHub and we could still pull it and maintain it because we care about our countries

Brian: With our fallback being an Unsupported Release, that's possible in a worst-case scenario, right?

Jean: Question about license, can we try to avoid using the term "license"? It is confusing. 

Gaurav: In the Soft Terms we are committing to an 'exclusive license'; it is important to understand what this means and the bounds it covers

Emily B: With open source there is always a license; it is actually the license what makes it open and available; regarding Gaurav's comment, this is rather complex to explain. The difference in the exclusive license is that the Handover Partner can choose whether things they invest in with their own funds will go in the public version or not–it is that aspect of choice this is exclusive and unique. This is complex to explain so we will need to spend some work making this clear and articulating it to the community.

Gaurav: If they fail to generate revenue and maintain OpenLMIS, does exclusivity of the license continue to be held by Vitalliance?  What does it mean for partners and logo-use? It would be good for us to understand the scope of what the license covers; the communications materials should be very carefully crafted

Emily: Use of the name will be addressed in the (final) Definitive Agreement. These will be set before we make any public announcements about the partner. If there was no revenue, VR wouldn't be able to sustain it either so choices would need to be made. Our lawyers recommend that VR maintain the original license/IP; and give Vitalliance a new license that would not require them to contribute back. The question up in the air is whether VR transfer the original license over to a Software Conservancy type organization to increase transparency. Donors have been clear that their investments must remain a public good.

Jean: DHIS2 is also open source, are there any lessons learned from them and the way they operate? 

Ashraf: They do have a successful open source penetration, receptiveness. They do not have AGPL3. VillageReach could consider BSD or similar ones since those have wider acceptance.

Dan C: DHIS2 always had funding from HISP, and it snowballed into more funding, which is not comparable with the level of OpenLMIS funding. They have lots of external funding, as well as funding from Norway. 

Brian T: Yes, and they bring individuals into University of Oslo for advanced work on the system too.

Ashraf: Since we have existing implementations and relationships with MoH, in terms of messaging, need to make sure there is alignment with the expectations of the countries. Issues like difference between v2 and v3 for example. We could hold sessions to try to educate them on topics to make sure they are educated and we are communicating in the same way. 

Brian T: One of the positive aspects of Vitalliance is that they also see implementing countries/partners as critical 

Brandon: Our next governance call could be an opportunity to discuss a communication plan; as well as a Change management plan. What does it take to reach out to all the right people? Like Ashraf's idea of educational sessions. How to we get people to 'meet the partner' and ask questions? We will need your help re: what formats will work, especially remotely. How do we get the country teams up to speed and engage them in the right format?

Wes: We as the community need to make sure we are making a strong showing; being engaged . If we lose our voice now it will be hard to get that momentum back. Suggest/ask that people stay involved as we think about the direction of OpenLMIS and set up a working relationship with our new partner

Brian T: Does everyone have the information that they need to make a decision?

One word Summary Reactions from the group

  • Edward: Excited,
  • Sachin: Excited (Wes too)
  • Lindabeth: (positive?) Thank you for the hard work
  • Gaurav: optimistic (Brandon & Kelly too)
  • Brian: you all have exceeded our expectations from what we set out to do in Johannesburg- WOW
  • Rebecca: grateful
  • Kim- Proud -this has been a long haul and people have been insightful, honest and proactive. Proud of the group to come together and find consensus and make a partnership that will be fruitful. This is a hard problem to solve and hope our efforts can lay a groundwork for other global goods as well
  • Dan: hopeful


ATTENDANCE:  Brian TaliesinRebecca Alban (Unlicensed)Brandon Bowersox-JohnsonKim CouriGaurav BhattacharyaAshrafChristine LenihanDan Cocos (Unlicensed)Edward WilsonEmily BancroftJean MillerJosh ZamorKelly HamblinLindabeth DobySachin Jagtap (Unlicensed)Steffen TengesdalWesley BrownJakub Sławiński