To the Community -
As the OpenLMIS Community Manager, I have been thinking quite a bit recently about how to not only build support for OpenLMIS, but how to also strengthen the community which supports the initiative. One of the most unique and noteworthy characteristics of the OpenLMIS initiative is its community. When partners, implementers, and donors work collaboratively toward the common good of the countries they work in, it is not only efficient, it is inspiring. As an open source community dedicated to improving global health outcomes, our commitment not only to each other, but to the people we serve, can only be strengthened.
In line with this, I have considered some of the unanswered questions from the 2015 community meeting: “How do we make the OpenLMIS community sustainable in the long run? How do we build capacity to support OpenLMIS locally and regionally in Africa?” I have also thought quite a bit about this statement that was made:
*“OpenLMIS should be a collaboration environment for implementers, a place for discussion and advice.” *
These thoughts and questions are communicating the same ideas – how we talk as a community, how we engage those with the most experience, how we empower managers of the product on the ground to make informed choices.
A few months ago I developed a
country engagement strategy, aimed at capturing some of the ideas from the September meeting around increasing the sustainability of the initiative through in-country ownership and participation. From this, the idea for a new forum was drawn: the OpenLMIS Country Users forum (via Google Group). This forum is focused on engaging in-country contacts in countries where there is currently an implementation of OpenLMIS, providing a place for discussion and knowledge-sharing amongst those with the greatest experience in the actual utilization of OpenLMIS – our country partners.
Please feel free to sign up for the forum to follow the discussion, and suggest other country user contacts you feel could also benefit. Please also either forward the link to sign up to interested contacts, or write to me directly for outreach. Key contacts from Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Benin, and Cote d’Ivoire have been invited to the forum.
Follow the link and select, “Apply for Membership” : https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/openlmis-country-users
The link to the Google Group is also available here: https://openlmis.atlassian.net/wiki/display/OP/Community