OpenMRS USAID BAA Opportunity...

Hi all,

Some of you might be aware of this funding opportunity:

It’s an interesting (and somewhat unique) type of funding mechanism called a “broad agency announcement”, which focuses on the role of interoperability and health information systems in the support of recovery work in west Africa. It is fundamentally different than a typical grant application in that parties collaboratively develop concept notes which are considered for funding by a peer review team.

Thanks to work from @judy, @terry, @burke, @michael, and @jthomas… our community submitted an EOI in October.

We were invited to participate in the collaborative design workshop which followed in November, and it became obvious that there were a few strategic areas of alignment. Many of you know the challenges and opportunities around the development, use, and deployment of standard terminologies (like CIEL). We served as primary authors in the development of a concept note around funding these terminologies as a public good that OpenMRS and other parties could benefit from.

That concept note has been selected to go to the next stage of development. I suspect that some of us will be bringing comments and questions to you all as it relates to this opportunity, but this represents a potential opportunity to garner sustaining funding for terminology services within the OpenMRS community. We suspect to hear news of successful proposals in the March/April 2016 timeframe.

Super thanks to the folks mentioned above for doing the hard work for the rest of the community!

Thoughts, questions?


This is excellent. I am sure I speak for the others in saying that those of us who have been working with TW and others on the ebola response (DJ, JT, HF) are happy to pitch in where we can be helpful. Regards


1 Like

Excellent news and great for the community 2016 and ahead …

1 Like

A quick update for those of you tracking this:

There are two concept notes that have moved to the next round of review and are directly relevant to OpenMRS:

The first is a Terminology Services concept note, which OpenMRS participants had a pretty big role in conceptualizing. As you’ll see below, the reviewers are pretty strongly enthusiastic about it:

Greetings Terminology Services Team!

Congratulations, your concept note has been identified to move forward to the next stage of the Health Information Systems Interoperability collaborative design process!

This note was the last to be launched. There is much excitement from the community of donors on the important of potentially interoperable, shared or inherited Terminology components for Health Information Systems. Thank you for your patience as we worked to share the theme of this concept note within the community to build advocacy for supporting and further developing some of the ideas outlined in this note.

In the coming weeks, we will be your point of contact for further collaboration and iteration of the Terminology Services concept note (this title may change as we co-develop this concept note together). Please note that this is hopefully the ONLY email you will receive from us! Let’s move the rest of this discussion and process to Slack! Right now I am only emailing the people who were involved in the original development of the concept note. Within the next week, we will create a private Slack channel and will be adding this group to it for starters. However, please note that many other people have expressed interest in the co-development of this note and we plan to include at least some of them on future communication. The list of interested parties can be found within our Concept Note Tracker, on the Terminology Services tab. Please advise USAID as quickly as possible if you have any objections to any one of the interested organizations joining your collaboration efforts.

To get your note ready to move to the Peer Review Board, we would like you to start taking it from note/ outline form to a more formal proposal. Let’s plan to work collaboratively on this process - we had the lead for a while because we know the process and what potential donors are looking for, but consider us a participant in this next process, since our primary role is as your advocate. That said, over the next few weeks we need to we’d like to ask you to start incorporating the following into your proposal:

A rough budget (i.e. a high-level number with a few specific line items) - please note this specific guidance that Rebecca also posted in Slack: Please see below some budget guidance for the first draft of your proposals. The budget exercise is not meant to be a major piece of this draft - we are looking for technical merit. The budget gives us an idea of the scale and feasibility.

Please provide ~1/2 page high-level budget, linked to proposed activities: -One number for a pilot project (ex. 6 months - 1 year, 1 country) -One number for a full, longer-term project (ex. 3 years, 3+ countries) -Both of the above numbers should be total price, including all proposed organizations involved -More detailed, concept-specific feedback will be provided after the first draft on the proposed budget -Budget numbers will not make or break your proposal in the Peer Review Again, please put the majority of your time and collective brain power into the why and the how of your proposal. We will work closely with you after this draft to make sure the budget numbers are realistic before submitting for Peer Review. Scope: a 6-month to one-year pilot, and a 2-3 year program, please identify the specific activity you are proposing Sustainability considerations - how will this concept be carried forward?

Additionally, our team has come up with the following questions for you to answer in the document / consider as you flesh out your concept. Where is the Terminology Service going to live (at first?) Is there a technology component that will serve as the hub or base, such as DHIS2’s data dictionary or similar? If you can add any more details around the software components that need to be invested into and built out, this would be helpful for the first draft. The partnerships model has very unique value and is pivotal for this concept note. Can you elaborate on how/who you will partner with specifically within the context of Government/Ministry of Health representatives? Could you elaborate on what the “governance mechanism” would be for shared/interoperable and/or referable for HIS Terminology Services? Identify any potential test sites for some of the activity-related work. Include an explanation of the need for this in places like Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea with regards to building HIS infrastructure in these countries are part of the Ebola recovery in routine health services. Who owns the TS registry and how will it be potentially be sustainable/developed further after potential USAID funding ends? Let’s plan to do this over Slack and Google Docs for now and tentatively plan for a phone call, ideally next week. Please begin by posting your availability for a call in that time frame on Slack.

So, in summary! Next steps: Let me know if you are not able to access Slack so I can send you a personal invitation. Start responding to the above questions to flesh out the concept note further Advise USAID staff via Slack when your first phone call will be to discuss development of this concept Refine this note into a first draft of the concept for USAID review & feedback by Wednesday, January 27th. A USAID representative will work with you and do their best to attend any teleconferences or meetings with the group to provide feedback through that date and beyond. Include a half- to one-page summary of your proposal for us to circulate to other partners.

Thanks again for your collaboration and I’m looking forward to pushing this note forward to the Peer Review Board with you!

We also are participants in another concept related to reconceptualizing IDSR within the context of patient level record systems. I talked about it in another thread: