May 15, 2018

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


Extended Meeting Time

Please note that this meeting begins at 7:30 AM (PST) and is extended to 90 minutes.  This meeting will run from 7:30-9:00 AM PST. 

7:30 - 9:00 AM PST - Seattle

10:30 AM to 12:00 PM EST - New York, DC

3:30 PM CET - Geneva, Copenhagen

5:30 PM EAT - Dar

Call Details

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +16465588656,,214188477# or +14086380968,,214188477#

Or Telephone:
Dial: +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll) or +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 214 188 477
International numbers available:

Action items for next call  

  • Review Version Comparison Document

Action Items from May Governance meeting





Chat Captures

Introductions and call opening

Carl Leitner

Amanda BenDor (Unlicensed)

Amanda Bendor is engaged with OpenHIE and currently works for PATH. Planning the first-ever OpenHIE community meeting. 

July 31-Aug 4, Arusha, TZ 

Some structured connectathon/hackathon sessions; other sessions for implementers, community partners, open discussion 

For OpenLMIS Community: Reach out to Amanda or Carl to propose sessions or indicate interest. 

Will have the TZ HF registry loaded to look at links with VIMS and eLMIS 

MOH leaders have expressed high interest. MOH leaders from Kenya, Uganda, TZ, Liberia, South Africa 

Registration should be up mid-week. There is a fee. They are looking for funds to provide scholarships. Will provide a link to request support for travel. Not sure how many scholarship "packages" will be available. Registration includes lunches, transport to/from airport and hotel.

Connectathon is not an additional cost but has limited space. 

Trusted Partner document 

Tenly Snow (Deactivated)

Sustainability Conversation

Brandon Bowersox-Johnson

Facilitated by Brandon Bowersox-Johnson (VillageReach) 

Questions & Comments

Kyle Duarte (PSM) 
Need to understand the lead time for implementation. 
We can't do more than 1-2 countries at a time due to the number of implementers in the Community. 
Without having more developers, it's difficult to move forward 

(C/P from chat) an LMIS requires a relatively long lead time per country. Without a large implementaiton pool its very hard to onbarod more than 1 country at a time
we will need to factor this into the sustianability discussion

(C/P from chat) Also another perspective in LMIS for all commoditites vs a smaller/focused- vaccines/immunization and how/what are shared resources from a sustianability perspective

Kaleb Brownlow (BMGF) 

Product code, implementation, business models. Acknowledging the limitations. Collectively, need to understand our user base and what the future customer base could be. Do we have enough support within the Community? We don't have enough implementations to support 10 different implementing partners. 

Need a clearer understanding of our user base

Global code side and implementation side 

How to bring in new trusted partners into the process

Edward Wilson (JSI) 

There's still a question about what is the value of getting everyone on the same code base versus getting new countries on the new code base.  

Carl Leitner (Digital Square) 

Is dissolving/reforming Governance reflective of the SaaS or more private sector/closed model? 


Depends on the business model. Governance may keep the same structure, or there may be a larger pool of people and organizations that could have a larger stake in the governance discussion of the initiative. 


Looking back at the 5 steps. First part is understanding the business models. I think we need to pause and understand the business models from an industry sector, business sector, expanding the user base sector, to understand what next steps will mean.

We don't have an exit strategy for Malawi (lower cost, local resource utilization). We need to look both at the global sustainability and implementation sustainability. 

We need to understand the implementation methodology - wanted to add that perspective to the steps/planning. 


We need an external organization to help look across different sectors - similar and dissimilar. One question as an investor: Single model or multiple models? Is there a model of how to maintain the global code and then each implementation partner has their own flavor of support and implementation model? Guidance for countries on how to make choices. 

Aware of the urgency around funding and long-term support. Gut-check: Do we all share that sense of urgency, separate from our own internal capacities? Do we share that feeling as a Community to figure this out? Want to understand the different perspectives. 

Sustainability process: USAID and Gates as the principal investors in supporting this process. This should be something that funders sign off on but that Governance owns and leads. 


Agreed that there is urgency. We don't necessarily need to know the upgrade path for all countries. Useful to do 1-2 as a model. Risk losing track of our direction. 

Wendy Bommet (JSI Zambia) 

Question about SaaS. We've talked about this being open source software for the global public good. Trying to understand that business model. Brandon response: A key question to include in this conversation - we don't have the answer now but it needs to be included in conversations about sustainability. This sustainability project should include those questions in its scope. 


We're looking at business models, market opportunities, sustainability - also needs to include product competitiveness. Investments to keep the product competitive and updated. GS1 compliance (just one example). We'd like to make recommendations for a product that is current and working toward accepted standards.


May be worthwhile to review what we mean by sustainability? Implementations, market competitiveness, etc. Should review this as we're kicking off this process. 


There is urgency to figure out the niche and future for this product and how we all contribute to that. Understanding current and previous versions and how those fit into the same ecosystem. Then how does this product fit into the marketplace in relation to others and what its lifespan is. 


We've been talking about sustainability for several years. Urgency has increased. We see funding changing. Other donors = Gavi? This is the best way forward at the moment since it's been an ongoing discussion. 

Emily Bancroft (VillageReach) 

There's been an increased focus on the product and the Community and great progress has been made. What we at VR are feeling is that we'd like to see a path for the core team to move beyond the VR umbrella. Important to us that we're doing that with the full buy-in and support of the Governance Committee and the broader Community. Quite a bit of urgency but also want a better, more inclusive process. 

Satish Choudhury (CHAI) 

Agreed that there is a sense of urgency. As you noted however in an earlier slide, within CHAI this is not a funded stream of work. Gaurav and Satish have been participating but around product competitiveness teams end up going with bespoke development. Hard to get funding for this type of solution. We feel like this will be a valued addition, working to build support and momentum. 


Some existing inputs to reference in the proposal? USAID sponsored a TOC for a number of open source tools, different existing models. Vet that beforehand?


For consultants, want to  be clear about what the expectations are. Clarifying question: DIAL and Digital Square - DS has a mandate as a funding mechanism. Would be interesting to know to what extent they are drivers of this process or vehicles for sustaining this process. 


DIAL is the ICT4D sector for which Digital Square acts as the advisory group. If we're looking at different sectors, DIAL would play a role.

Because OpenLMIS isn't necessarily single-sector, both DIAL and DS have a role to play.

In terms of what DS can do: Have the proposal process around 3 times a year. For Global Goods that we need to support as a global community, looking at $50-75 million budget annually that isn't yet fully resourced.

Some resources to get through the next year or two, with some opportunities to bridge that gap in 2019. New round of funding announced in June as well as in October timeframe. There will be a fairly competitive pool.

Realistically it's not going to be next year that DS can fund $1-2 million annually for OpenLMIS. Will need to work to identify additional resources. 


One danger I see is that the Community hasn't been particularly nimble. How quickly the environment can change and if what we're doing remains nimble enough to respond. It has taken a long time to produce version 3 and to re-architect the product. As the Community has done that, users have new needs, new products have come onto the market. It will be important to be able to respond. 

Hard to know what the level of engagement required is going to be. Trying to fund ongoing engagement with the Community will be challenging. It would be good to know what the expectation will be. 


My interpretation of the "surge": Timebound 6-9 months, how does Governance help to get us on the right steps.

There is a longer term question that Edward raised (how to keep orgs. engaged, resources needed).

The surge though is defining the key questions, what we're trying to achieve, potential organizations or entities that could be helpful. Selecting and engaging with them. Make sure they're providing a service to us.

If we do things through a monthly call the process won't move quickly. Trying to be cognizant of time. Getting us on the right path to answer most of the questions and accelerate the work. 

(C/P) from 

Mary Jo 

One suggestion. Brandon could send a quick survey after the call for orgs to say yay/nay. 


Building on that suggestion. Detailing out potential roles and participants in the surge. Estimates of level of involvement required.  

Ongoing value of existing OpenLMIS versions

  • How do we talk about these versions to stakeholders and present them on the OpenLMIS website/Wiki?
  • What is a realistic expectation for feature compatibility between v3+ and existing versions?
  • Can or should we align in how we present different versions (so that different members of the OpenLMIS community are not creating a confusing landscape of different version options for decision-makers)?
  • If existing versions have features that meet country needs better than v3, how/should we be recommending those versions or presenting them as an option?  Is there a recognized value proposition for them?
  • Version Comparison document (proposed by Carl)

Brandon Bowersox-Johnson

Edward Wilson


We don't talk about different versions on the website. 

Note: Implementations map includes all countries and their local names, but does not explicitly explain the version being used) 


Version comparison document: We confuse local names of the implementations with the actual software version. In this case we should talk about versions versus the local name. 

The reason for moving toward microservices was because of issues that we had with replicability and forking, maintenance, and support of previous versions. There isn't feature parity but we also need to look at what it takes to implement and support beyond just the initial start-up costs. Recognize that we aren't aligned on this. We're not really yet having the conversation we need to have. There was a reason to move to v3 and to make this a long-term product. If we're not aligning new implementations on that version then we're not meeting that goal. We're not necessarily providing countries with a full understanding of the costs and values of different versions. 


We haven't done a TOC for any version. Would be worth looking at for any version. 


Draft version comparison doc: Just a way of ensuring that information is available for all versions. Suggest that organizations review the document and provide feedback on whether these are the right dimensions. There will obviously be missing dimensions for different versions. 

Recent effort to map OpenLMIS against SCOR. Should we do that consistently with other versions? 

For next Governance: Review this at next call once partners have reviewed. 


Tech, support, funding, etc. If a past version isn't supported for new features, or if support decreases over time, add those nuances to the document (this is included). 

The origins of the product were for shared value and reuse. Because we don't have a strong existing base, we struggle to tell our story well. If we're having multiple versions, a country like Malawi (example) can't take advantage of other features. Perhaps this was acceptable in the past but at least for Gates, it negatively affects the ability of Kaleb (and others) to make a value proposition. Critical for maintaining investment support. 


Suggested slides around how we explain this? An Angola delegation is working on implementing version 3. A delegation is traveling to Mozambique (language) - will see SELV and SIGLUS. Encouraged them to also visit Malawi to see v3. 


Bigger question first. JSI operating paradigm. Continue to support OpenLMIS. But if a customer has expressed a decided preference for something else, to what extent do you honor that preference? 


We shouldn't/can't decide anything. We can put this on the following month's agenda. 

Mary Jo

Donors are having a harder and harder time supporting us if we can't get on a cohesive plan. They have invested a lot of money in the rearchitecture. We need to acknowledge their fatigue.


Reiterate that we all have a commitment to the shared value of the platform. Addressing marketplace issues. 

Opportunities roundtable & conferencesAll
Additional Governance Committee meeting to review and approve the Gap Roadmap. Scheduled for  at 8:00am Pacific. Pre-reads will be circulated in advance to ensure folks are informed.
Community and Product Updates

Upcoming webinars 

  •  French 3.3 webinar
  •  Portuguese 3.3 webinar

Demoing 3.3

New videos


Carl Leitner

Tenly Snow

Mary Jo Kochendorfer

Brandon Bowersox-Johnson

Amanda Bendor

Lindabeth Doby

Emily Bancroft 

Mattias Wiklund

Ashraf Islam

Chris Opit 

Edward Wilson

Kyle Duarte 

Satish Choudhury 

Kaleb Brownlow 

Alpha Nsaghurwe 

Craig Appl 

Josh Zamor