Digital Square Notice E0 and E1: Request for Proposals

Dear Community,

Digital Square has released another call for applications, consisting of two different opportunities (E0 and E1). OpenMRS Inc has growing experience with Digital Square awards, both as a sub-contractor for Notice C: Quality Assurance and as a lead for Notice D: Patient Level Indicator Reporting.

As with previous Digital Square RFPs, they will follow an open application process that kicks off with submission of a Concept Note - due May 8, 2020. Here is some more information about the two opportunities, along with links to the full RFPs.

Notice E0 is focused on Shelf Readiness. According to the RFP:

Examples of investments that will be made available through this call for applications include (but are not limited to):

  • Aligning a solution to leverage key metadata / registry interoperability workflows.
  • Aligning technologies to theDevOps guidelines and containerizationdeployment that is illustrated through use within the Instant OpenHIE project.
  • Improvement for quality assurance and testing to improve data captured in the software tool.
  • Development of quality assurance and testingframeworks and strategies for interoperability workflows and contribution to the OpenHIE Testing Framework.
  • Enhancements of installation functionality to better support implementers as well as focused sets of key documentation updates and deployment and implementation strategies.
  • Aligning of technologies to be better framed within the OpenHIE architecture and supporting the required workflows as per the OpenHIE architectural specification (as well as the associated test cases).

Notice E1 is focused on Client Registries:

Under Notice E1, Digital Square is accepting applications for investments in support of a fully functional, open-source and standards-compliant client registry that supports “Registration as a Service” and is designed to support longitudinal management of patient data in low resource contexts. Applications must align their solutions to be part of the Instant OpenHIEproject and initiative to ensure harmonization and leveraging of work undertaken in that project.

We’d like to find out about ideas for proposals or about community members or organizations who are interested in submitting a proposal(s). We are open to providing our support with developing and submitting proposals in any way needed. This could be brainstorming ideas, assisting with narratives, contribute to community coordination, thinking through budgets, etc.

Please post your ideas here if you are interested in collaborating with the community on a proposal(s). You’re also welcome to PM me directly if you prefer.

@paul @terry @janflowers @hamish @ibacher @wanyee @akanter @burke @dkayiwa @christine @k.joseph


perhaps another proposal to proceed with improving our QA processes after June is a worth while one, what do you think @christine?


So, one thing I was thinking would make sense under Notice E0 use this to fund some of the work that’s been on-going in the community around metadata management, which is a key factor in getting an OpenMRS instance up and running. In particular, OpenMRS currently has two projects underway related to metadata: OCL for OpenMRS, which has frequently been discussed as the future of concept management for OpenMRS and the OpenMRS Initializer Module, which was initially developed by Mekom Solutions, but which is seeing increased adoption within both the OpenMRS community and the Bahmni coalition.

What I would propose is that we aim at undertaking a project to leverage the momentum around these existing projects to produce an integrated solution for loading and maintaining metadata in OpenMRS in a way that can easily be handled without requiring programming resources (or at least with minimal programming resource).


Ian, what do you think in particular about metadata. Is this concepts and value sets, or something more like form objects and indicators? We clearly are working on getting a configurable startup app where concepts and data can be preloaded into OpenMRS. Do you see this including the necessary forms, a la the COVID starter package?

@akanter Both :grin:.

The initializer package has a lot of the baseline functionality we need to get an OpenMRS instance up and running (including concepts, concept mappings, forms and most of the rest of OpenMRS metadata), but it’s probably not the best setup for terminology management, especially in terms of on-going, cross-site maintenance. OCL for OpenMRS is probably the better solution there, so what I’d really like to see is finding a way of getting these two projects to work together (so, e.g., Initializer configures OCL for OpenMRS and perhaps serves to load an initial concept set; also we should have some mechanism for easily exporting the concept dictionary in an initializer-compatible format).

As a slightly separate goal, I’d like to have a format that I can package something like the COVID response “module” in a way that will automatically load the forms and metadata. Currently, it relies on being installed in a system with the CIEL dictionary from earlier this month pre-loaded.

(I’m aware that metadata sharing packages exist, but they are very opaque and hard to work with and maintain in version control in a sensible way).

1 Like

Some good news for a Monday: two concept notes based on the ideas above have advanced to the next phase! They are:

OpenMRS Quality Assurance for Interoperability

Shelf-Ready Content Management Using OpenMRS for OCL

Here’s what happens next:

The preliminary technical application co-creation stage runs June 8 through June 19 at 5pm EDT. Using feedback received in the Concept Note Phase, applicants will begin preliminary application development. Applicants must use the technical application template [1] and post an application iteration on the open application platform [2] by June 19, 2020 at 5pm EDT. Digital Square will then close the ability to upload new content to the open application platform.

From June 22-July 3, other applicants and other stakeholders in the community should provide feedback, comments, and suggestions. From July 6-July 24, using feedback during the preliminary technical application comment period, applicants will revise the technical application, develop a budget and budget narrative, and submit these to the Digital Square open application platform. Applicants must use the provided technical application [3], budget [4], and budget narrative [5] templates. The budget and budget narrative are not shared publicly on the platform. Commenters see only the high-level summary budget provided in the technical application.

The final application is due July 24, 2020 by 5pm EDT.

Anyone interested is welcome to be a part of the teams working on the full technical applications.


It’s Friday, July 24 and that means that final technical applications for Digital Square Notice E0 are due in…33 minutes. OpenMRS submitted two proposals, one in partnership with the UW.

A shout out to @janflowers and @christine for all of their hard work on our OpenMRS Quality Assurance for Interoperability submisssion.

And to @burke, @ball, and @akanter for their contributions to our Shelf-Ready Content Management Using OCL for OpenMRS submission.