Progress Continues for Developers and Managers at the Unconfererence

Today, Wednesday, is our second day of training. We have one more full day tomorrow, and hopefully more on Friday. I think we all could have easily spent two weeks here based on everyone's interest and enthusiasm. What is particularly amazing to me is the engagement of the HR Managers and HR Directors, even though the material has gotten, at times, pretty heady with technical information. It shows that they really care about how the human resource information that is captured in iHRIS is managed.

Dykki Settle started the day having everyone introduce themselves -- we have around 25 participants from Sierra Leone, Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Togo and more ranging from HR Managers, to IT people to HR Directors.

Next, Kofi Afari introduced everyone to the Custom Reporting mechanism in iHRIS.

Participants were running iHRIS on their own laptops, and by the end of the session, everyone had created their own Current Staff report. It was great to see the participants that already had experience with iHRIS jumping in and helping their colleagues from other countries. Everyone was so intent on finishing that we were late to lunch.

After lunch, we discussed the decentralized data model used by iHRIS:

This is very important in that many of the countries were considering rolling out iHRIS to the districts. In these resource constrained countries, they need to be able to easily send data from the districts to national level while not assuming any kind of internet connection.

We closed out the iHRIS tract for the day with a discussion of the various country needs and concerns for HR Management, and appropriate ways to address them within iHRIS or through interfacing with other systems.

Today was also the first day of the SDMX-HD connectathon , and at the end of the day, all the separate tracts joined together. Patrick Whitaker ended the day with a discussion of the SDMX-HD data sharing standard as well as the Indicator and Metadata Registry (IMR) from the WHO. This is some very important and long term work that is finally coming to fruition. SDMX-HD provides the common language for the various Health Information Systems (such as iHRIS, DHIS and openMRS) to exchange data. The IMR provides a central repository to register indicators they require by various agencies, and by identifying common definitions, this takes a big step towards reducing the reporting burden that funding agencies are placing on countries.