Here is a piece I co-wrote about the iHRIS Open Source HRIS software project I’ve been working on. It provides some history and context of the project, and it looks ahead to next developments. Read: iHRIS: Where Are We Now? | www.ihris.org.
I have been working lately, and here’s what I’ve been working on. I’ve been revamping the website for iHRIS: Free and Open Health Workforce Information Software. This is a project to create open source human resources information systems that governments in the developing world can use to manage their health workers. We just launched the new website along with a major new release of the software. Check it out. There’s a blog, a Twitter feed, all the goodies.
My former employer, IntraHealth International, recently held a multimedia expo and day-long event called “It Takes a Workforce: Improving Global Health Services” to mark the end of their five-year project to strengthen the global health workforce, the Capacity Project.
The Capacity Project was also a major part of my life over the last five years, as I was a member of the human resources information systems strengthening team, which developed open source HRIS software and deployed it in several countries in Africa. According to USAID, the funder of the Capacity Project, HRIS strengthening was one of the significant contributions of the project, laying the groundwork for future health systems strengthening.
According to all reports, the event and expo was very successful. Please go read more about it on the HRIS Strengthening team’s blog.
It was nice to see our iHRIS Suite of Open Source HR information systems included on this list of 50 successful open source projects that are changing medicine, published by the Medicine 3.0 blog.
Since I’ve been working part-time for the last few months, I’ve tried to focus my efforts on just a small number of very distinct projects. One of them was our big deliverable for this, our final year of the Capacity Project: the HRIS Strengthening Implementation Toolkit. The Toolkit is a distillation of everything we’ve learned and developed over the last 5 years of HRIS strengthening work in sub-Saharan Africa. It comprises tools, case studies, briefs and resources for implementing our HR information systems strengthening process from start to finish (although in truth, the process is never finished).
We created print and electronic forms of the Toolkit. The print version comes in a snazzy three-hole binder so that you can photocopy tools, attach notes, etc. The electronic version, distributed on our website as well as on flash drives and CD-ROMs, also includes the Windows version of our iHRIS Suite of HR information system solutions, as well as all of the software documentation.
So far, the Toolkit has been getting good reviews from our donor, USAID, and it has been distributed to WHO’s Health Workforce Observatory list. Next week, it will debut at the HRIS Strengthening workshop our team is holding in Arusha, Tanzania. I’m proud of the Toolkit, which I produced in collaboration with a great team of folks. I know it wouldn’t have been possible to put together something like this and coordinate all the inputs and editing without the focus I’ve given to it over the past 6 months.
Although I am still working on some minor projects for our HRIS strengthening project, namely expanding our knowledge base and improving our software documentation, I don’t have another big project on the horizon yet to replace this one. I am sure the right project will present itself at the right time, but for now I am grateful for the downtime.