Community Meeting 2019

This page is for debriefing on the key discussions and outputs of the OpenLMIS Community Meeting

Meeting details: November 18, 19, & 20th  Protea Hotel by Marriott, Balalaika Standton   Johannesburg, South Africa

OpenLMIS Sponsorship: OpenLMIS Core funding was available to sponsor OpenLMIS partners and implementers to be represented at this meeting; this information was circulated to OpenLMIS stakeholders transparently via community channels. Details are below regarding which meeting participants were sponsored with community funds. 

Meeting objectives

  1. Empower the OpenLMIS community to guide the decision-making process for the OpenLMIS Future State
    • Solicit community input regarding next steps to shape the 'future state' of OpenLMIS; explore the options discuss fears, weigh pros/cons, gauge desired partner engagement
    • Collaboratively map out goals and priorities for the coming year
  2. Determine critical elements of OpenLMIS to be maintained in the Future State
    • What functions do we see as essential? What processes could be changed or improved in the future state?
  3. Learn about how OpenLMIS is being implemented currently
    • Presentations and sharing of lessons learned from current implementers
    • Discuss how current implementations could be affected by our transition to the future state

Community Meeting Attendees:

(In order Left to Right, starting with the back row. Josh Zamor, Guarav Bhattacharya, Satish Choudry, Matthew Kumboyo, Sierra Petrosky, Christine Lenihan, Ashraf Islam, Sebastian Brudzinski, Wes Brown, Momad Megji, Akinsola Fadeyi, Carl Fourie, Brandon Bowersox Johnson, Kelly Hamblin, Rebecca Alban, Dercio Duvane. Not pictured: Emily Bancroft, Edward Wilson, Lindabeth Doby)

Overview of sustainability sessions and outputs

A copy of the full detailed agenda and participant list is available here 

Title & presenter/sSession Objective/sSession MaterialsKey outputs and or/decisions made by the community
Day 1

OpenLMIS Sustainability Project Overview

Facilitator: Kim Couri (Resonance)

-Review where we are today re: sustainability research

-Review results of OpenLMIS Partner Engagement Survey

-overview of Future State options for consideration; including review prototype for private health 


OLMIS Community Meeting_Slides Day 1 Final.pptx

OpenLMIS for Private Health-concept pitch

Reviewed research to date and 3 options on the table:

Results of OpenLMIS Partner Engagement Survey show most positive reactions for Option 2Partnership to Handover

Day 1

Presentations by IQVIA

Steven Harsono, head of public health for IQVIA

Introduce concept of OpenLMIS/IQVIA partnership-how would each party benefit? what are some considerations for how we would shape the partnership?


IQVIA-OpenLMIS Concept 6 Nov 2019.pdf

Summary of Feedback about IQVIA from Meeting Participants: 

-How would a commercial and core version of OpenLMIS relate to eachother? Would one feed the other? Commercial version fund core?

-IQVIA sees the idea of maintaining 2 products risky- one could 'cannibalize' the other; so they are open to maintaining one open source product

-We agree on a desire to continue supporting implementations; IQVIA seems open to this

-''It is up to us to guide the approach and determine what is important to us''

-''We need to find a way to manage data concerns re: privacy & data ownership''

-''They have relatively high market penetration, geographic presence & resources to mobilize''

Summary of participant feedback- re IQVIA.pptx

Day 2Presentation by Mezzanine, Dale Sandberg

Introduce Mezzanine as a company, their model of work, and how OpenLMIS & Mezzanine could potentially work together



Summary of Feedback about Mezzanine from Meeting Participants:

-Common concerns about their narrow model of working as well as size/resourcing to take on OpenLMIS; unclear what their implementer role would be as not open to on prem support

-''This sounded mere like a hosting partnership with much stewardship of the product; the singular focus on SaaS does not seem to reflect the market realities

-''I am not sure Mezzanine’s SaaS only model is good fit for OpenLMIS current user base & implementers''

-'' They felt a bit warmer & like their mission aligns more closely with ours than IQVIA does but still unsure''

Summary of participant feedback- re Mezzanine.pptx

Day 2

Identification of Community Priorities

Facilitator: Rebecca

No matter what future path is chosen, we recognize that there will be a need to change from the status quo.

This small group exercise was designed to create consensus around what the community thinks is most important to retain, versus aspects that are negotiable. Clarification on these points this will be important when we engage in negotiations with any future partner

Process for this session: 4 small groups listed priority topics that they felt were important to retain. Then the large group went around to the different flipcharts and placed colored votes to indicate which points they agree or disagree with. Green votes indicate agree, yellow is tentative, and red indicated disagree

Feedback from this session is divided into 4 topical groups. The main takeaway points with community consensus (indicated by number of green votes) are listed below:

  1. OpenLMIS Product:
  • “Free” version of OpenLMIS as a global good continues to exist; implementations can contribute to the global good
  • The “free” version of OpenLMIS is a subset of the paid version and benefits from the paid version
  • There is one product roadmap that is publicly available

2. Partner & Community:

  • Community should be open to change and evolution; there is value in community but need to redefine
  • Current and future community members need to have opportunity to engage in implementations and won’t be required to upsell any commercial product
  • Need commitment between partner and community which at a minimum includes  :
    1. Mechanism to contribute code back to core version and cannot be removed
    2. A product roadmap (ideally with input on roadmap
    3. Clear roles around implementation (see #2)
    4. Commitment to community as important part of product
  • Need to leave with clear messaging on how we talk about future state

3. Current & Future Implementations:

  • Have options for local ownership and implementation
  • Product should maintain upgrade paths
  • OpenLMIS+ is built on core
  • Sensitise the value of data towards data sharing
  • Development of fair data use/sharing agreements
  • Implementers must have a choice of a global good version (OSS) & plus version ($$)
    • (Only tentative consensus around the following ideas)
      •  Implementers can contribute to core
      • Releases “premium” futures into OpenLMIS after set time period (moving window)
      • Options for technical support packages that can be bought

4. Explanatory phase for future state:

  • Future out how to define success
  • Address concerns about partner fit and fears around 'selling data'
Day 3Messaging for our next stepsAlign on how we will speak about the OpenLMIS Sustainability work with stakeholders; our current process; and how we will move forwardNA

Agreed messaging around our next steps for the exploratory phase in 2020:

  • ''OpenLMIS is exploring public private partnership models that will enable us to continue supporting our open source product and public health mission''
    • Terms of any new partnership will stay true to our community goals and principles, as well as ensure that current and future implementations receive continued support
    • Our community has now aligned on what elements of OpenLMIS we prioritize and wish to retain in the future state; these will be used to guide conversations/negotiations with any future partners
    • We are exploring multiple private sector partners (we do not need to be name specific at this stage)
    • We should consider starting to sensitize stakeholders and country implementations around the value of (and possible future need to) contribute financially to for core maintenance/stewardship (for example adding USAID budget line annually)
Day 3

Definition of priorities for 2020 'Exploratory Phase'

Facilitator: Brandon Bowersox Johnson

This exercise allowed us to prioritize what type of activities for the steward team and wider community to  focus on in 2020.

We voted using Green (agreement), yellow (tentative), and red stickers (disagree). Therefore, items with the most green are where the community consensus lies

Topics were divided into 5 buckets for this exercise. Overall, there was agreement to focus on creating the right partnership, continuing community & capacity building activities, our public health mission, exploring data sharing and the value of our data. There were very mixed feelings about continuing to explore applications for the private health markets. Details below:

Overview of Learning Sessions and materials

Learning Session / presenterSession Objective/sResource Materials
Day 2

Lessons Learned from the OpenLMIS Implementation in Angola (SIGLOFA)

Presenter: Dercio Duvane

Share implementation milestones from Angola; as well as highlight challenges and insights from the ground
  • Angola is first implementation to implement stock management module and super set reports; also use Point of Delivery function
  • Implementation process guided and governed by a multi-stakeholder TWG
  • Contributed many UI and security improvements to the core
  • In addition to planned users, they also trained students at the health schools to promote sustainability of the system
  • Challenge: many users have no basic computer skills and needed to fill that gap (teach them basic computer skills, turn on computer, etc.)
  • 2020 will focus on finishing national expansion; site and system evaluations; and maybe get SIGLOFA on a tablet 
  • Key Lessons learned from their process to date are documented here; SIGLOFA - Release 1 - Key Findings & Lessons Learned - final.docx. Slide presentation is available here: Lessons_Learned_Angola Implementation_Dercio D_Nov 2019.pptx
Day 3

Key Considerations for supporting an OpenLMIS Implementation

Presenter: Matthew Kumboyo

Share perspective from Malawi implementation v3 and overview of post-deployment tech support
  • Implementation has resulted in improved reporting rates and timliness
  • Common tech issues include; cacheing, user access, reference data issues
  • Users can inform support team of the challenges through OpenLMIS WhatsApp Support Group, 24/7 Support Phone Lines and E-mails

  • User communities have been successful and resulted in overall less user requests for support; users feeling a sense of ownership is important
  • Malawi is working now on integration with DHIS2
  • Full slide presentation is available here: Supporting OpenLMIS Implementation_Matt K_Nov 2019.ppt

Day 3

Product Catalog Management Tool (PCMT)

Presenters: Brandon Bowersox Johnson & Josh Zamor

Provide an overview of a new open source tool (PCMT); and highlight how it 
  • PCMT is a re-usable open source software product that allows organizations to publish and manage product catalogs and interoperates with other systems used in LMIC countries using global standards including GS1.
  • The system facilitates product information management, master data management and interoperability.
  • A Product Registry is a key registry in an OpenHIE ecosystem
  • Purpose: Provide a consistent list of products (medicines, vaccines, & commodities). This is critical for all systems to interoperate and share data
  • Version 1.0 to be developed in Dec 2019; version 2.0 in April 2020. Partners include: VillageReach, USAID, FP Global VAN, BMGF

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