Join the Discussion About Implementing Open Source Software

A longer version of this post was originally published on the Global Health Workforce Alliance Members’ Platform. CapacityPlus is the featured member in March. We encourage you to join and contribute to the discussion. 

The World Health Organization recognizes a key component to achieving universal health coverage is “a sufficient capacity of well-trained, motivated health workers.” For many countries, successfully managing the distribution of their health workforce is reliant upon a human resources information system (HRIS). The better systems are developed with a user-centered approach and focus on data use. Good HRIS turn data into information that can inform the decision-making process.

The implementation of iHRIS has revealed a number of questions that each situation prompts, but often does not provide ready answers. We invite you to comment on the following:

  • Implementing open source solutions is a process, not a one-time event. Donors cannot simply go into a country, install iHRIS, leave, and expect the implementation to succeed. Even after the implementation has ended, regular monitoring and updating of the system will keep it useful and used. How can ministries of health and other organizations advocate for the resources needed to initiate and sustain the system?

  • Planning is important, but so is flexibility. The unexpected will arise. Even after thorough planning, there will be last-minute changes. Plans can and should be adjusted throughout the process. How have you utilized agile or iterative approaches in contexts where such an approach may be unfamiliar or lacking in support?

  • An information system is valuable only to the degree to which its data are used. This can be challenging in countries that do not have a culture of data use. What approaches have you seen succeed (or fail) to promote a culture of data use and effective feedback loops?

  • We described some of the emerging health workforce problems that open source health workforce technologies are helping address. From your perspective, what other health workforce problems could benefit from stronger information system technologies?


Please comment below or join the conversation on open source information systems at the Global Workforce Alliance member's e-platform. If you're not already a member, it takes 30 seconds or less to join. There is a great conversation going on and we'd love to have members of the iHRIS Community participate in the discussion.