New HRIS Internship Program in Uganda

The Uganda Capacity Program (UCP), a five-year Capacity Project Associate Award, recently launched a new internship program to help carry out its HRIS initiatives and to build Open Source development capacity in Uganda.

UCP’s HRIS initiatives include supporting the country’s national implementation of the iHRIS software. iHRIS Qualify, licensure and certification software, is used by the four professional health councils, and iHRIS Manage, HR management software, is deployed  at the central Ministry of Health. Planned HRIS activities also include expanding iHRIS Manage to each of the country’s 80+ districts.

Until now, experience supporting the iHRIS software has been limited to UCP’s small HRIS team. As more installations are added (iHRIS Manage is now installed in 20 districts), UCP recognizes that more people are required to provide timely and reliable technical assistance to users throughout the country. To this end, UCP leadership reached out to the nearby Makerere University to create the internship program.

Six new interns, representing this year’s top graduates from Makerere University’s department of Computing and Information Technology, started at UCP on June 21. It is important to note that although the department produces over 400 graduates per year, it does not provide specific training in Open Source programming. With additional hands-on training that will be provided by the UCP internship program, some of these graduates can become experts that can adequately provide the necessary support for the iHRIS software and help ensure its sustainability after UCP ends.

The UCP HRIS team is supervising the interns. Tasks for the interns to address over the next six months include completing any outstanding data entry for the MOH and professional councils, cleaning and analyzing data, and training users in data analysis. In addition, the interns will assist with the iHRIS Manage rollout. So far, they have learned how to install the software and make customizations. Next week they will be shown how to upgrade the software to newer versions. Soon they will begin accompanying the UCP HRIS team to the district locations to install the software and perform any necessary upgrades.

This is the first known HRIS internship program for any of IntraHealth’s projects. As UCP learns from this first round of interns, hopefully their program will be scaled and modified by other countries and Capacity Project Associate Awards.