DHIS2 collaboration

Date: May 26, 2020

Participants: OpenLMIS Team: Josh ZamorBrandon Bowersox-JohnsonRebecca Alban (Unlicensed)Christine Lenihan

DHIS2 Scott Russpatrick, and George McGuire (Humanitarian/medical logistics)


Brandon: Looking to hear how DHIS2 and OpenLMIS can interoperate in new ways; both are used widely in many countries; help think of new use cases; how can that data map togeteher and be more useful than the sum of its parts

Josh: involved in Interoperability; standards, openHIE; curious to hear what we are thinking

Scott; hopes this is the beginning of a continuous dialogue

Immediate COVID response:

  • Shocked at number of comments at webinar about COVID response via dhis2 for supply chain
  • Future roadmap/future perspective; demands they have coming in; explore how OpenLMIS can complement those things

COVID response w/DHIS2:

  • Critical infrastructure monitoring, case detection. Are getting repeated requests for simple COVID supply chain; aggregated data capture; for ppe, ventilators, treatment tools/testing commodities. This was initially developed Sri Lankan MoH to aggregate on a weekly basis (SoH, consumption and needs); so now Cameroon and South Africa potentially interested as well
  • Aligning the data into a usable form into the rest of the supply chain is the challenge for them;
  • They have an obligation to put out the basic supply chain package for COVID; but they want to say ‘when you need complementary functionality for your warehouse mgmt., etc.’ you should use OpenLMIS
  • à Brandon: clear articulation of what the tools do/overlap (what can you do out of the box); what’s the difference and advise on how to choose; review/contribute to what info is being put out there;
  • DHIS2 would be used at the facility level and only there (as they do for HMIS); they don’t think it will work to use it in warehouse or other levels; logistics provider use OpenLMIS and they two systems can integrate to provide end to end
    • They don’t want DHIS2 applied at any higher of a level than facility level. They want to use it for analytics too
    • àScott to connect us to covid response team to come up with a comms package to articulate what the softwares are; to help countries with decision making

Scott: Overwhealmed with supply chain requests that they are getting as a core product

LMIS Country level survey conducted by global fund to find out what countries have; WHO and Unicef appreciate that we need to be able to triangulate data to find root causes (HR bottlenecks, geographic, etc.). European donors are starting to align on this. HMIS need to have supply chain data.

Exercises in interoperability have not been getting off the ground; countries often have no supply chain system; a few have custom/proprietary systems; some using old/customized versions of OpenLMIS

Core DHIS2 should never be an LMIS; database model is different and not conducive to that; but they want to be able to put in the resources to have the missing supply chain components. DHIS2 is a n application based platform- they are thinking about having applications existing in DHIS2 ecosystem that cover supply chain components that they currently can’t cover. They want to present this to countries to say that now DHIS2 has seamless analytics supply chain analytics in supply chain and service delivery. Have started a roadmap in this regard, identified countries, and identified resources to start working on it. Products don’t have to be developed by us;

Objective/vision: to have supply chain next to the service delivery data. Countries want to perform their own bottleneck analysis; countries are demanding to see this data side by side.

In the short term: will build out back end infrastructure components to produce the supply chain analytics that they are aware of (George helping in this regard) ; beef up their interoperability; and want seamless data flows between products like OpenLMIS. Can’t change their back end; but the applications can have their own back end

Questions for us about our sustainability/transition process; he was a little shocked to hear that we are changing our strategy a little 

Brandon: OpenLMIS could be an app inside DHIS2 (?) –these ideas are worth exploring; these different ‘worth scenarios’; that we want to talk about more. Another use case is like the Malawi one where OpenLMIS is used in some facilities but data entered shortly after (where they are both deployed at all levels; use case is data triangulation). Different use case is OpenLMIS as an appl inside DHIS2; Different use case is what George mentioned (Dhis2 is facility level and OpenLMIS plugs in at other levels). If we can identify these different scenarios and articulate those/map them out; along with their differences/pros/cons to help countries co-exist and share data between their data systems

Scott: if there was a newer implementation they could use it as a use case;

  • At DC meeting of digital global goods last year; they want to hear that there is a standard product that they can work with across the board; they can put in the resouces; propped up by a stable institution; can generate significant value within the ecosystem;
  • Prospect of setting up interoperability layers is daunting;
  • They are taking to a number of partners; some with products; some without; that could be development partners with us. Don think any of them would being a commercial component but have deep enough pockets to maintain core
  • If there were 20 countries to adopt this; it’s easier to go to donors to call it ‘critical donor infrastructure’ that needs continual core support

If product roadmap is focused around interoperability, he knows of some partners that would be very interested in working with us

They would bring with it the DHIS 2 community; implementation countries

George: Which countries have DHIS2 integration? Tanzania and Malawi (what he wants is data entry at facility level and that integrates with OpenLMIS at higher levels

George: Could we set up a OpenLMIS server instance for both sides to test; a ‘sandbox’ to explore how this could work. Josh: you could use the demo server which is re-set every day. We also have a test server and a couple of UAT server

Brandon: Would love to see the Oracle/ERP use case

Scott: We have to develop a metadata package; metadata standards that countries are encouraged to implement in different program areas (TB, Malaria, etc.) and there is a request for WHO to develop one for supply chain. They are using workflow of where data is captured in DHIS2 at facility level and then that data can be analysed via DHIS2 dashboard. But the missing component is to push the data somewhere else to be able to do more supply chain specific functionalities (ERPs, etc.). Uptake can be quite fast once they get the package together and WHO approves it.  George is leading an effort with WHO to map the supply chain indicators they have.

Scope out functionality: this is where DHIS2 ends; this is where OpenLMIS begins; align metadata package

Roadmap in the next month or so to hire the LMIS Product Manager; responsible to develop roadmap for DHIS2 to support integration of another platform, like OpenLMIS, to have seamless perspective for end users. The LMIS Product Manager's job is to work through a roadmap for DHIS2 functionalities to support the known use cases and work with developers of other platforms like OpenLMIS on a seamless approach. They want to connect their DHIS2 team to the LMIS developer teams on a bilateral way to get the products lined up.

George’s organization is also mapping out a paper-less supply chain vision including using barcode scanners.

Next steps:

George to work through OpenLMIS to appreciate the feature set- we answer his questions

Link OpenLMIS and DHIS2 COVID development teams to articulate the differences/comparisons between response efforts to help countries to choose

Link OpenLMIS and DHIS2 on metadata package development

Start talking about country use case to build future collaboration around; we might be able to bring that (find a willing country) to start using their partner resources

Request to us: the sooner you have a sandbox/lab to test integration; thinking of advancing logistics to move to paper based system. Want to use barcode scanners to record issues/recipets; in  

Rebecca: follow up email (send partner criteria/transition info, demo site, propose new meeting)