2018 12 13 Global Goods Implementer Meeting

When: December 13, 2018

Where: Washington, D.C.

AttendeesWesley BrownRebecca Alban (Unlicensed) and Mary Jo Kochendorfer (Deactivated) 

Table of Contents

Agenda and Slides

The Agenda here. The slides presented during the day are here.

Key Takeaways

The following is from Amanda at Digital Square.

“We (Digital Square) walked away from this meeting with a few take-aways and next steps that we are especially excited about.  Some of them include:

  • A collaborative communications plan to strengthen the message of global goods and amplify our platform.
  • A deep dive into Cloud hosting and interoperability standards.
  • Discussion around emerging governance structures to better support global good communities.
  • Leveraging the Global Goods Guidebook to inform donor investments.
  • Exploring the basket of services that both Digital Square and DIAL can offer to support global goods.
  • UI is still a very low priority for projects and (presumably) donors. DS expressed tentative interest in helping in this area but acknowledged that there is not a funding priority (reading between the lines). This presents an opportunity to us (OpenLMIS) as our UI is already better than most and anything that we can do to improve it will stand out.”

OpenLMIS Team Takeaways

  • OpenLMIS should continue to build relationships with the other global goods.
  • Continue to follow up with DIAL about additional services (support with lawyers, shared resources, business models).
  • Ask Digital Square for communication strategy support.
  • Make sure someone is always part of the Digital Health and Interoperability working group conversation (DS will be discussing what a GG is there).

Follow up

  • Once the team connects again with Meaghan at WHO, let’s discuss with her about how she wants to engage around OpenLMIS implementations.
  • DHIS2: Mary Jo to follow up with Patrick to learn about how they prioritize work and lessons learned from the DHIS2 Community. - DONE
  • I-TECH: Mary Jo Kochendorfer (Deactivated) to follow up on the Notice C efforts and connecting with the OpenELIS product. She will reach out to Jan Flowers, Casey and Joanna. The group plans to meet in the new year.
  • Rebecca Alban (Unlicensed) to follow up with Daniel Messer from PSI- he wants to continue the conversation about potential collaborations with integration OpenLMIS and DHIS2 --going in on future proposals together. What our future collaborations can look like. dmesser@psi.org
  • Mary Jo to follow up with Merrick about the valuation tool that BCG made and did for CommCare, iHIS, DHIS2.  - DONE
  • Mary Jo Kochendorfer (Deactivated) to follow up with DIAL to see what list of services we can share with the OpenLMIS governance committee. We want to ensure the community is aware of the additional services we can access through DIAL.
  • Carl Leitner to connect Rebecca with Alicia from GIZ- she is interested in more information about our Trusted Partner model
  • Wesley Brown to follow up with Jan Flowers (OpenMRS board), mostly related to some ongoing OpenMRS work but will also share about OpenLMIS and possible integrations (this could also include discussions about Bahmni as well)
  • Wesley Brown to follow up with Steven Wanyee (Bahmni and Intellisoft) about their experience implementing Bahmni and to familiarize the Intellisoft team with OpenLMIS. This will happen in January, once I am back in Kenya
  • Wesley Brown to contact Jennifer Antilla, the OpenMRS community manager, to discuss lessons learned from that community. Wes will include Rebecca Alban in the conversation.


Current funding from Digital Square:

  • Lots of funding for interoperability
  • Supporting the DHIS2 community of practice was just launched

Objectives for DS

  • Build awareness and interest in funding Global Goods
  • Ear-marked funding for Global Goods


  • Says there is a need for Global Goods.
  • Understands there is a shortfall in funding at the moment

Digital health and the Global Goods

  • WHO recently passed resolution to support interoperable/affordable/adaptable solutions
  • Global ‘public’ good, means that by using it, yuou are not preventing others form using it
  • ‘Common pool’ resource- is something that is resource limited, but can be usef by many people (ie: Cloud services, and maybe funding?)
  • Software is a tool that is free and open source (OpenLMIS, OpenSRP, etc); but there can be tools that provide a service (not necessarily open source, example is Digital Health Atlas), then there is also content ( a toolkit or info being shared)
  • Lots of big donors signed up for the Digital Investment Principles- pledged to support global goods infrastructure. Architecture to fund things collaboratively still needs to be built--donors need to push to innovate how they fund things, which takes time

What about the data collected within the system? (clayton)

Merrick (USAID) - evaluation tool from USAID to value the global good.  Mary Jo has a copy of the tool from Merrick.

OpenMRS is valued at 76 million dollars- this type of data helps to articulate ROI to donors

Global Good Guidebook (advocacy tool for funding country implementations and core development)

  • How often is it updated? Carl - ad hoc or as new global goods join? We can connect with Amanda
  • Merrick - would like to have the valuation of each tool in the guide book
  • Objective for the guidebook is for USAID to promote their new strategy with the Missions. KEEP THIS IN MIND WHEN REVIEWING THE CONTENT!
  • To be launched in late Jan; Bianca will coordinate discussion on how to improve next version

USAID digital strategy is being drafted

What is a global good?    

See the slides: (longer question that still needs answering)

  • Just because you don’t get funding from Digital Square, does not mean you aren’t a global good. Who is the body who defines/identifies global goods? Could it be WHO?

Gerett (WHO) doesn’t know if WHO is the right place to determine who is a global good. Merrick mentioned that WHO could release “Target Product Profile” without naming the product.  Or potentially have Mozzilla or another foundation with open source to “evaluate” the codebase and activity in the community.

Clayton: what is the vetting process for? For donors to determine what good to invest in for core development or for donors to use/deploy?

  • Merrick: both- a 3rd party objective opinion of the global goods would be useful for them in advising their investments. They want ‘proof’ that their investment will bear fruit
  • How does the global good maturity model fit in? It may not address all the complexities

Guidelines for using cloud services (end of January something needs to be delivered)

  • Even if you have an interoperability layer, you still have to go into each global good to change the architecture (which would cost a lot and is hard to get funding for)
  • There is a lot to unpack re: developing guidelines for use of cloud services. To ensure they are cost effective and that they promote global goods
  • The ask from Carl, we are working on this and want our input. If anyone is interested we need to talk to Carl.
  • Jake: we are interested in making GG instant deploy and easier to go across host services.
  • Is it ‘open’ to accept in kind free hosting from private companies like Microsoft?

Merrick: Service for offering commodity purchasing and procurement… how is this related to what PSM is doing? Is this coordinated with them?

Matt raised: what about indemnity and GRDP issues/challenges

Health: risk to your products and relevance in the future


DIAL provides mentorship programs--should we looking into these? They seem mostly coding related…

Services to follow up on and see if it is useful to OpenLMIS

  • Licensing, can they support us in reviewing to guiding us what to look at
  • Mapping against open source archetypes NOTES
    • benevolent dictator, with single organization leader
    • Still single vender managed
    • Small software tool, developed and maintained by a single person or small team
    • Most common
    • B2B (example, Android)
    • Multi-Vendor Infra (Kubernetes, who else??)
    • Controlled Ecosystem (example, what was the one he said?
    • Mass Market (ex. DHIS2 perhaps….)
    • Trusted Vender (
    • Upstream Dependency
  • Discourse for free??
    • I wonder if this would include hosting, or just the setup/config?
    • We could consider transitioning to this once our current contract ends in a year
  • Microsoft isn’t supporting Azure and moving to Kubernetes
    • No… Azure will be using Kubernetes, not going away
  • Matt: Is it still a global good if you start to develop proprietary features and make clients pay for it?
    • Rebecca: I like the idea he keeps mentioning about adding a 2% budget line for implementers to contribute back to core maintenance (sounds like Measure Eval did this?)
  • We eventually want donors to be able to recognize the benefits that come with working with a platform that has the ‘professional services’ associated with Open Source (ie the OpenLMIS community support)

Request from the group to DIAL

  • Is there a map or journey for what has worked?
  • We should talk about building beautiful products that people want to use.

Global Goods Governance

While there are some commonalities, each project seems to have figured out their own way to do this. I think our vocabulary about what each group is doing could be clearer; different groups mean different things by the same term (committee, team, leader, etc).

Wes: This session generated a lot of conversation and it was interesting that each group that shared had a different type of organization for their governance. However, one thing that I did hear from a few of the groups was that they had gradually adapted their structure based on their experience and feedback from the community. It seems like sharing this type of knowledge would be quite helpful and allow more mature groups to assist less mature ones so that the same kind of mistakes don’t happen over and over.


Community was/is: ⅓ Devs, ⅓ Implementers, ⅓ ?

Have representation from donors, implementers and governments on their Advisory Council

Providing feedback on feature set for new development

Looking for country-level training, who provides training, how to do so cost-effectively

How do they support national health workforce


They are a non-profit so that they can more easily get grants; thus they also have a board of directors. They have an Advisory Committee that feeds into strategy and operations decisions

Move away from term “leader” and “leadership” as others can find is limiting. Still a work in progress.

Wes: I wonder how realistic it is to get away from this terminology given that, for most projects, there is a core leadership group which helps to shepherd the community ends up being a net positive for the project as a whole.

Struggling with knowing who has authority over which areas- they might re-structure a little in some aspect of the leadership roles

Also has an advisory committee which includes non-community members


We knows this


OpenIMIS is the first open source software that manages social (health) protection schemes. It links beneficiary, provider and payer data.

I (Wes) don’t really understand what this system does, they need some help to simply explain what their product does.

Complex governance structure-important to invest in governance structures early, so that the initiative can eventually sustain itself

National Health Insurance system is the payer into the system


Donor Advisory Council (USAID, CDC, look at roadmap and agree on features etc.), DHIS2 Advisory group within U of Oslo. There are 5 product streams 1) liaise with product community 2) dev team 3)Country Advisory teams 4)...?

Community is growing because it is more open community of practice, previously did not engage much with NGOs

  • They don’t respond well to feature requests from donors. *Different from OpenLMIS

Matt: Where does MoH fit into governance? They probably don’t have time to participate in governance, but they are not usually embedded into governance structures

Interesting Comment: Does the OpenLMIS Trusted Partner process inadvertently exclude smaller Africa-based organizations?

  • Build governance structures only as large as you can manage
  • Be transparent
  • Language issue for ownership

UI Breakout Session

Wes helped to facilitate this session and the notes can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DARDiMtKy6V1Wk43i09d6KttTYDWKCfZwkyE5fpBX90/edit#

Basket of Services for Implementers

DIAL wants to understand what services we need; and what other services we could provide to others

Communications team at Digital Square- what guidance can we get to market our global goods?

  • Article on Digital Square blog-use to share with funders
  • Strategic Communications Workshop- deliverable is Comms Plan
    • What channels to post blogs to? Other than ICT works and GDHN, can we all cross-post?

The group voiced a desire to get some ‘community’ support in terms of: communication/ marketing to governments, what events to go to, landscape activities, coming up with united messages that we would share with donors and governments.

Suggestion of a quarterly communications call

Exercise- OpenLMIS SWOT (minus the T):


  • Architect/technical leadership
    • Interoperability, technical design, reporting stack
  • Experience with scale
  • Package of services associated with implementation
  • Governance, technical structures are in place to support a robust community (for when we eventually get one)
  • *Mary Jo is a beast
  • We have applied country-wide deployments
  • Community is growing- adding new Trusted Partners
  • Strong coordination for product development- 4 organizations collaborating


  • Technical HR capacity
  • Engagement with country level actors/users/implementers
  • Complexity of implementation--from the tech side and the scale
  • Margin for failure is extreme- if software fails repercussions are serious
  • Confusion about what OpenLMIS is- marketing/explaining it can be complicated
  • Access to end users for feedback; need to go through implementers, blocks


  • Grow community as a whole, including implementers
  • Capacity building
  • Community is engaged in sustainability conversations- eager to have a plan and vision that we can all get behind

Common ICT Building Blocks to accelerate progress to the SDGs

If you apply for 1 million and get approved for 250k from Digital Square, can you go to USAID to get remaining funding? What does pre-approval mean?

Ghana office wants to do xx, and they can buy into Digital Square to execute that project. Additional USAID funding in country can be used to support our global good. Merit is the AOR. This allows the missions to access our organization and it’s cheap for them

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