Digital Square Investments in Global Goods

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Calls for Proposals

Digital Square routinely releases calls for proposals to invest in Digital Health global goods.

Current and Upcoming Calls for Proposals and Applications

The Notice C Call for Applications is now open! Notice C has two open opportunities, Announcement C0: Open Call for Global Goods, and Announcement C1: Modular Transformation of OpenIMIS. More details can be found on our Open Proposal Process and Platform.

The timeline for this opportunity is listed below:

    • 19 June - 20 July: Concept Note Phase
    • 21-31 July: Pre-Proposal Co-Creation Phase
    • 1 August - 3 September: Proposal Co-Creation Phase
    • 04-18 September: Proposal Finalization Phase
    • 19 September - 10 October: Peer Review Committee Review
    • Mid-to-Late November: Board Review
    • Late November to Early December: Awards Announced

Past Calls for Proposals

Proposal Process Timelines

The following outlines the timelines of proposal process:

Step # Action Approximate Timeline
Step 1: Concept note phase Digital Square issues call for proposals, and submitters upload concept notes to Digital Square's public facing Open Proposal platform. During the 3-4 weeks, the Peer Review Committee, other submitters, and other stakeholders can provide feedback, comments, suggestions, and identify potential areas for collaboration.
Concept notes should be <= 3 pages or less in length and include the following:
  • Executive summary - Describe in 2-3 paragraphs, for a non-technical audience, the context under which this proposal or work plan is being submitted to Digital Square and the expected outcomes.
  • Consortium team - Describe in brief the composition of the consortium, the skill sets each organization will bring to bear on the proposal or work plan. Identify the organizational management lead who will serve as the point of contact for the proposal or work plan. You can also indicate that you are looking for collaborators during the Concept Note phase.
  • Project description - Provide a few paragraphs describing the project/proposal/idea.

Instructions on using the Open Proposal Platform

3-4 weeks
Step 2: Proposal co-creation phase Using feedback received in the Concept Note Phase, submitters begin proposal development. Iterations may be posted on the forum. The Peer Review Committee, other submitters, and other stakeholders can continue to provide feedback, comments, and suggestions. Proposals should include the following:
  • Use Cases, User Stories and Activities - Summarize key use cases and user stories that will be addressed by this intervention. More detailed information may be provided in an appendix.
  • Digital Health Technologies - Provide an overview of key digital health tools, technologies and standards that the project will be utilizing or investing as well as the interactions between them. Detailed information (e.g. architecture or sequence diagrams) can be provided as supporting documents.
  • Community Feedback - Describe how the consortium proposes to engage with the broader digital health community for feedback and input. Indicate the expected frequency of such engagements as well as the type of expected input (e.g. feedback on architecture/design, use case alignment).
  • A self-assessment on the Global Good Maturity Model (submitted as a link or an Excel attachment).
  • Workplan, Project Deliverables & Timeline - Indicate the expected timing of and responsibility for activities and high-level milestones for the project by consortium member. Use of GANTT and RACI charts are encouraged and we recommend linking activities to anticipated areas of improvement on the Global Goods Maturity Model.
4 weeks
Step 3: Proposal finalization phase Using feedback, submitters develop budget and finalized proposal and submit to the Digital Square public-facing platform. The budget is not shared publicly on the platform. The PRC sees only the high-level budget and LOE percentages. 2 weeks
Step 4: PRC review phase The Peer Review Committee reviews proposals according to Peer Review Committee criteria and votes on green-, amber-, or red-lit status. 3 weeks
Step 5: Board review phase Digital Squares presents the proposals, budget, and breakdown of Peer Review Committee votes to the Governing Board, which votes for investment. 1 month
Step 6: Award phase The result of the Governing Board vote and Peer Review Committee feedback are communicated to the submitters.


Current Investments

Notice B Investments

Strengthening the Open Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (OpenCRVS) System

Open Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (OpenCRVS) is an open source system supporting the digitization of common processes for civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS), particularly those found in low resource countries. OpenCRVS is a partnership between Plan International and Jembi Health Systems with a number of other collaborators. To date, the project has documented requirements and business processes in a number of countries in Africa and Asia and developed a prototype application. This proposal will supplement other funding streams and allow for the expansion of the software capabilities of the OpenCRVS project.

Strengthening and Expanding the Open Health Information Mediator (OpenHIM)

The Open Health information Mediator (OpenHIM) provides an interoperability solution that makes it as easy as possible to connect systems and exchange relevant data, whilst ensuring security and privacy. The OpenHIM is a an existing open source middleware used to enable interoperability between component health information systems, either individually or as part of a health information exchange (HIE). It is currently one of the reference technologies for the interoperability layer of the Open Health Information Exchange (OpenHIE) community project.

DHIS2 Community of Practice

DHIS2 is the national scale health management information system (HMIS) across 55 countries and Indian states, and scaling up in an additional 33. Beyond the principal application of DHIS2 as an HMIS, we see DHIS2 being applied as national WASH, logistics, agriculture, land tenure, community health, and education information systems. Additionally, DHIS2 is now being used as the central information system for several multinational donor databases and thousands of NGO projects. The University of Oslo aims to minimize the barriers to DHIS2 adoption and full utilization.

DHIS2 MM.PNG

Illuminate Data with a DHIS2 Business Intelligence Connector

Population Services International (PSI) would like to partner with technology firm BAO Systems and the University of Oslo (UiO) to develop a connector between Power BI, Microsoft’s suite of business analytic tools, and DHIS2. The connector will enable non-technical users to easily share data between DHIS2 and Power BI in order to visualize and compare vital information from multiple data sources. Power BI allows health program managers to affordably and quickly generate dynamic infographics that better communicate data, thereby informing health program strategy and improving health outcomes.

OpenMRS Sync 2.0 Module Development, Implementations and Maintenance

This proposal is about building a new Sync 2.0 module that will be a replacement for the OpenMRS legacy Sync module. The new module will be based on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), a flexible next generation standards framework created by HL7, and atom feeds as a communication channel between different nodes. This new solution will be secure, reliable and provide OpenMRS a completely new level of interoperability. After implementing FHIR it will be possible to synchronize data between OpenMRS and other systems, that implement the FHIR specification.

Packaging OpenSRP for Scale and Community-Driven National Adoption

OpenSRP (Open Smart Register Platform) is an open-source mobile health platform to empower frontline health workers and simultaneously provide program managers and policy makers with current data for decision and policy-making. A committed community of technology, research and implementation partners has evolved the software to a point of early maturity characterized by multiple deployments, high performing technology at scale, and emerging documentation around specific use cases for RMNCAH, TB, HIV, Malaria and Early Childhood Development.

Global Healthsites Mapping Project: Building a Curated Open Data Commons of Facility Data with OpenStreetMap

The Global Healthsites Mapping Project is building a global commons of health facility data by making OpenStreetMap useful to the medical community and humanitarian sector. This open data approach invites organizations to share health facility data and collaborate to establish an accessible global baseline of health facility data. Understanding the health capacity of a region is a vital asset in times of emergency and for day to day operational work in the health sector. Maintaining a high quality, global Healthsites dataset cannot be done in isolation. Over the past few years we established partnerships with The MissingMaps, CartONG, The International Committee of the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières The International Hospital Federation, The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, Kartoza and others to inform both the system design and provide data for the platform.

Building an Open Source LIS Technologies Community of Practice

Our team aims to support the building of a community of practice to serve as an organizational home for the open source laboratory information systems, OpenELIS Global and BLIS, and the independent open source laboratory instrument interface software, OpenLabConnect. In addition, the team aims to support building out of the laboratory sub-community of practice under the OpenHIE community to develop the workflows, transactions, technologies, and supporting materials for integrating laboratory information systems into the larger facility-level and upper-level eHealth ecosystems using the OpenHIE design pattern and technologies.

OpenLMIS Advocacy and Community Engagement

OpenLMIS is an open source electronic logistics management information system (LMIS) that has been designated a Global Good by the Digital Square initiative and is supported by a community of health, technical, and financing partners working collaboratively to advance health logistics data management globally. The primary purpose of this proposal is to request support for advocacy activities for the Initiative.

Expanding the Bahmni Hospital System as a FOSS Project

Bahmni is an easy to use, complete, open source Hospital Information System (HIS) and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) that has been built in the Global South to meet the needs of low resource environments. Bahmni is a distribution of the OpenMRS medical record platform, with a user interface built from the ground up. It also supports Odoo (formerly OpenERP), OpenELIS, and dcm4chee, providing an integrated robust solution that manages patient information in a flexible fashion through the care cycle, including registration, various points-of-care, investigations, lab orders and results management, PACS and billing.

Notice A Investments

Bahmni: Transition

In collaboration with DIAL, Digital Square is supporting the evolution the Bahmni governance by creating a new Bahmni Coalition and giving it full ownership over the Bahmni product and initiative, transforming Bahmni from being a ThoughtWorks-owned-and-operated project to a collaborative open-source one hosted through OpenMRS Inc. To speed up and smooth this transition, Digital Square and DIAL are supporting the following activities:

  • Collaborative development work on community-prioritized product evolution
  • Set-up of processes and tooling for FOSS development
  • Creation of a Development Team Reference Manual
  • Development of Standard Processes for Subcontracting
  • Transitioning of Bahmni IP from ThoughtWorks to the coalition

Digital Health Atlas: Core Development and Implementation Support

In collaboration with the WHO, we are supporting an upgrade of the existing Digital Health Atlas to provide country portals and country requested functionality. The Digital Health Atlas is a web-based based technology registration and assessment system that enables governments, technologists, and implementers, as well as donors, to manage information about existing and new digital health deployments. It supports cataloging related to scale, functionality, data capture and use, interoperability and standards, as well as use-cases and geographical scope of deployment. Collaborative functional requirements gathering with intended users of the registration system in the West African region will guide the specific functionality of the system and ensure usability, stakeholder relevance, and uptake. Support will be provided to Ebola affected countries.

eIDSR: Core Development

Jembi Health Systems, Vecna Cares, Dimagi and Fio are developing an integrated disease surveillance solution that leverages the value of each of their technological innovations and our community of practice in interoperability. At the core, the solution would see the enabling of CommCare and Fionet to leverage published health standards (OpenHIE, HL7 FHIR) to communicate with a Health Information Exchange through the OpenHIM and submit and query patient level data. The system would also show the ability to trigger alerts based on submitted data and create the opportunity to have patient level data feed a national data warehouse (such as DHIS2) and leverage mHero for communication. This system would ease the burden on community health workers, clinicians, laboratory technicians, and health center admin in under-resourced areas through a more seamless connection between and visibility of data collection points, diagnostics, and workflow support. Government bodies and implementing partners would have better visibility into the data collection and management through this cohesive integrated approach to infectious disease data management. Most importantly, this sustainable solution would provide beneficiaries in critical areas a faster, more reliable connection to critical care and diagnostics for the disease burden pertinent to their district, region, or country.

Global Open Facility Registry (GOFR): Core Development and Implementation

A consortium comprising eHealth Africa, IntraHealth, JSI, and RTI are working on the development of curation tools for managing multiple list of health facilities in order to support ministries of health efforts to develop and maintain a Master Facility List and link with existing public sources of health facility data. Country specific support for implementation of the GOFR tools is being provided to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

iHRIS Foundation: Core Development and Community Support

The iHRIS Foundation , with IntraHealth as secretariat, will focus the development of features and functions to respond to requests from the iHRIS community, including ministries of health and health professional associations; as well as prepare the platform for broader use in new domains. Freed from the strict structure of projects and dependency on piecemeal funding, the iHRIS community, led by the Foundation, will be able to address longstanding issues that affect all users and offer support for new architectures to optimize the functionality and power of iHRIS. New tools, documentation, and capabilities for iHRIS will make it easier to use, more powerful, and more interoperable with the various health information ecosystems utilized by the global community. Improved and more readily available training and learning materials will increase the number of users and their capacity for making full use of the software. These improvements to iHRIS will provide the men and women who make decisions regarding human resources in the health sector with the data they need to better understand how their health systems are working, where their needs are greatest, and how to best meet those needs.

IHRIS MM.PNG

Open Data Kit 2 (ODK2): Core Development and Transition

Global development organizations, and country-based programs increasingly rely on mobile data collection and management tools for a wide range of activities relating to the measurement, evaluation, and delivery of health programs. The collection and use of accurate and timely data is essential to organizations, their intended beneficiaries, and donors. ODK 2.0, from University of Washington, builds on the experience of ODK 1.0. ODK 2.0 has been under development for a number of years and needs to be transitioned to a multi-stakeholder open source community as part of support for more complex mobile data collection scenarios:

  • Data management needs are increasing as mobile data collection moves away from collecting one-time survey data to collecting longitudinal data.
  • As tools extend to more sophisticated applications, a deployment architect must be able to perform the necessary customizations to locality and over time. ·
  • With a growing ecosystem of global good software tools, it is important to have seamless configuration, interoperability and linkages between tools
    • Network infrastructure and connectivity continue to pose significant challenges to mobile data collection, so it is essential that tools function in environments with intermittent mobile connectivity.

OpenLMIS: Core Development and Community Support

A consortium comprising VillageReach, JSI and Ona will develop the features identified during the recent gap analysis work. The consortium seeks to provide the following outcomes:

  • Provide feature parity between TZM eLMIS and OpenLMISv3 to the greatest degree possible within funding limits, thereby enabling a cost-effective and efficient path for existing eLMIS countries to upgrade to v3.x
  • Add compelling new features and enhancements to existing and new modules using the improved architecture for new country adoption
  • Grow the OpenLMIS community by developing Africa-based resources that can eventually serve as software development and implementation partners, regional support centers and code schools.
  • Support the OpenLMIS community by continuing to support the Core team providing fundamental support to the community and facilitate the governance, product and technical committees.

OpenLMIS MM.png

Past Investments

OpenLMIS: Gap Analysis

In the spring of 2017, Digital Square, in collaboration with VillageReach, supported JSI to conduct a gap analysis between the functionality present in eLMIS and that in OpenLMIS 3.x to ensure that countries wishing to adopt OpenLMIS 3.x have an upgrade path. Identified functional gaps were prioritized based on country needs.