OpenMRS Academy: Ideas and Feedback

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One of our community’s strategic goals is to build and maintain capacity within the community and among partners to develop and implement OpenMRS and related health information technologies. Achieving this goal involves action across a number of areas, from strengthening and expanding our /dev/ stages to participating in mentoring programs such as Google Summer of Code to a potential fellowship program.

GSOC is already off and running this year. GSOD is in the proposal development stage. And we’ve been gathering and working through ideas about a fellowship program - and identifying potential opportunities to pilot something.

Having a formal way of training developers and implementers also plays an important role in achieving our capacity and education goal. A few years ago, there were calls for volunteers to support an education project, conduct a jobs analysis, gather existing materials, and discussions about an OpenMRS Udemy course, etc. More recently, some of you may recall the opening remarks of OMRS19, where Professor Orlando Quilambo, Rector of the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM), express UEM’s “intention to collaborate with the OpenMRS Community in the creation of an OpenMRS Academy to professionalize and strengthen the capacity of the local OpenMRS community.”

That was six months ago. What has happened since then? A few people from the OMRS19 Planning Team and Dr. Jose Nhampossa from UEM started to brainstorm ideas about who would attend an OpenMRS Academy, what critical human resource gaps could be addressed through an OpenMRS Academy, what content would be included in an OpenMRS Academy, and so on. This included ideas and outlines that came up in some of our historical discussions. @christine, @akanter, and I shared our own experiences and what we know about our community’s history and past efforts around OpenMRS training.

All of this has been brought together in a draft concept note. Now is the time for us to take a look and share our experience, thoughts, ideas, give feedback, and ask questions. Here are a few to get us started:

  1. What specific aspects of this concept note will help us achieve our community’s educational strategic goal? Are there any aspects that go beyond our goal?
  2. What would you like to see in an OpenMRS Academy? Is it captured here - at least at a high level?
  3. What content can be offered as distance/eLearning? What content is more implementation-specific and should be offered on-site, at the country level? Who should deliver it?
  4. What else?

@paul @janflowers @terry @burke @dkayiwa @hamish @ibacher @ball @wanyee @chris @tmvumbi @suthagar23 @mozzy @ssmusoke @mcropp2019 @danfuterman @herbert24 @gracebish

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Thanks @jennifer for this Lets do the needful :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Thanks for reviving this Jen…looking forward to engaging further on this - I have some ideas☺

Thanks @jennifer and the openmrs administration. We are glad to have this opportunity and looking forward to a positive future with this new invention.

Jen et al

As we continue to develop this concept and strategy, a very important factor now is to double up our efforts to rapidly build up competent local capacity. As the current health crisis has taught us, the “first line” capacity is increasingly becoming the most critical. Not that we didn’t know that, but we have now been thrust into that space where as a Community, with limited travel, we have to accelerate the capacity of each block of the Community chain particularly the in-country.

I hope we can hear a lot more from various countries their response to; How can the OpenMRS global Community through the Academy support them build all the capacity they need to effectively support their in-country implementations with minimal external support? The stronger, more competent each block is, the stronger and more competent the Community chain is - the Community Chain is as strong as the weakest block.

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This is great @jennifer looking forward for this, lets do this together.

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