DRC Unicef- vaccine opportunity

Date Dec 10, 2020

OpenLMIS participantsWesley BrownRebecca Alban (Unlicensed)Brian Taliesin

Unicef DRC: Gibson Riungo-  responsible for tech for development; work with Howie Business Analyst; bring forward solutions for DRC; his role is facilitation


They have a huge warehouse for vaccines; got a request from HQ to develop a solution to manage movement and inventory of vaccines; interested to look at public goods; there is funding from Gavi available (2 million) and have had several meetings with colleagues

  • Urgency re: timing; haven’t done any scoping; don’t understand what needs are yet. Traditionally would do this internally (assessment, user stories, deep dive to collect requirements) but there is no time to do this now. Within first 3 months of next year they want this to be under way

Scope of what they want to do:

  • Gibson: Would need immediate support with scoping mission—needs assessment, requirements documentation. Scope: 2 provinces initially. Deciding whether to bring a 3rd party (yes they would need that to manage the deployment); would need support to identify the correct partner
  • Gibson: The key result for the scoping mission is a requirements document; this is what they want. They want to take that document and have us to recommend a partner who can carry out the implementation. This will be a technical document and operational document that will recommend the implementation plan (training/deployment, etc.)
  • Costing of the implementation itself would take place after the scoping mission
  • Brian: We can leverage existing vaccine processes would input into how system would be configured (push/pull, etc.). Then need facility list, cold box list, (master data), then do facility mapping of where there is existing infrastructure
  • Brian: Requirements are less around the software and more around the configuration; hopefully this could be done quickly and set up a demo instance for the team’s use. System has language capabilities and is available in French
  • Gibson re: coordinating with parallel efforts: There could be difficult managing this at the political level; you get different fiefdoms. ex: there are 3 different teams managing COVID response in DRC
    • Could try to see if both efforts are being funded by Gavi to see if they can push forward on this coordination between the different efforts
  • Gibson: Desired characteristics of Scoping person; would prefer someone based in DRC, strong communication, French speaking; could be a team of multiple people if we want. Would expect for help with prioritization of the requirements, bring stakeholders together, have insights into the system and help to move the process forward. Need to be able to articulate the benefits of the system/value prop of system to stakeholders and get their buy-in
  • Question on hosting:
    • In DRC they are adamant about local hosting; cloud is not received. No decision is made yet but just want to prepare for us that this will be a debate
    • Wes: Local hosting can increase the lead time of getting the system up and running; and takes some extra steps (backups, routing, etc.)
    • Brian: maybe we could do some configuration in the cloud and then doing some hardware work in parallel; Are there any other cloud hosted systems? I think so; can check. Think that CFC is cloud hosted. DHIS2 is locally hosted
    • Connectivity will play a big part on the architecture so we need to anticipate this

Next steps:

  • Unicef continue to gather and provide us with some basic information:
    • Scope of implementation (geographic); define what success looks like/key milestones; Implementation details such as # of facilities, people to be trained etc they wil not have these details yet
    • Another system, open source platform, being used by community health workers; which needs to have end to end visibility with this system. Interoperability is vision for the future
  • Coordination: Possibility to coordinate with other program areas who are also considering use for OpenLMIS; perhaps can leverage some kind of basket funding so we don’t pay for the same system 3 times over.
  • Rebecca and OpenLMIS stewards to investigate available partner resources for who can carry out the scoping work

Internal debrief w/ Wes & Brian :

  • PATH is the implementing partner in DRC for M-RITE (USAID); Brian can investigate any synergies and see what info other in-country colleagues can provide
  • In previous call, Alex & team from PATH are primarily interested in asset mgmt. (for USAID provided ventilators which need to be tracked)
  • How do we approach this given the other parallel efforts? The MoH effort is moving so slow so we dont want to stall this. -->We move forward this as a parallel effort and if Gavi can fund in-country hosting of this, great, in parallel we determine if there are multiple instances and who funds what. Gavi and Global Fund might need to coordinate basket funding
  • There may be dunging from Digital Square on architecture side
  • Next steps for coordination: 
    • Determine who has team capacity, (and initial funding support?) to do the scoping. Rebecca Alban (Unlicensed) to send coordination email to VR, CHAI, and PATH
    • Brian: this is pretty solid opportunity for future funding, but who is willing and has resources to act fast; The funding might not be in place yet for the scoping. They want to get this in place before vaccines are there
    • Wes: could this be a good lever to push forward this other MoH work? Could see value in working on this to push forward other MoH efforts
    • DRC is Gates focus country; could they be interested in funding the scoping with some 'pocket change'?