by Rebecca Alban, OpenLMIS Community Manager; originally posted on ICTWorks
OpenLMIS is looking toward the future. After launching in 2012 in two countries, OpenLMIS has grown to serve over 11,000 health facilities across 9 African countries. Now our vision is only getting bigger; as we embark on a new partnership with Vitalliance.
OpenLMIS was founded on the principle of cross-sector collaboration for a scalable and sustainable logistics solution that would create healthier communities around the globe. We knew finding the right partner to steward the future of OpenLMIS was crucial not only to maintain and grow OpenLMIS as a global good, but also to remain true to the collaborative nature upon which it was built.
This is why we chose a partner with a commitment to our mission and vision and a strong worldwide reputation in global health supply chains to maintain the OpenLMIS software and the community at a global level. This new public-private partnership with Vitalliance leverages radical collaboration to expand upon the quality of our services and our impact.
“Vitalliance provides a clear path for OpenLMIS implementations to receive high quality technical support and adapt their services as countries grow in maturity. They also are approaching this partnership with an alignment of our existing OpenLMIS community values.” Kelly Hamblin, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, OpenLMIS Donor
Vitalliance is a joint venture between Imperial, one of the largest logistics providers in Africa serving 20 countries on the continent, and U.S.-based One Network Enterprises, a leading global provider of supply chain control towers, which give users real-time data to drive supply chain efficiency. This public-private partnership will marry and accelerate industry best practices, while also making OpenLMIS more sustainable as a global public good and less reliant on donor funding.
Please attend our Partnership Launch Event to learn more on March 31st at 11am EST / 5pm SAST, hosted by Digital Square.
Vitalliance Transition Benefits
This partnership will accelerate OpenLMIS’ impact to strengthen public health supply chains in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), enhance its software capabilities, expand its reach to more African countries, and gain access to advanced technologies such as intelligent control towers. Vitalliance brings strong technical capabilities to continue our global level work of managing the product roadmap, continuing to add new features to OpenLMIS, listening to our users, and sharing resources and experiences through our Community.
Vitalliance is committed to maintaining OpenLMIS as an Open Source public good, as well as providing ongoing core support. Some feature expansion will be enabled through Vitalliance and its partners, so that OpenLMIS will continue to grow and respond to evolving user needs, and move away from its reliance on donor funding.
Some of the benefits from this partnership include:
- Access to additional software features
- Opportunities to engage with new users in new geographies
- A stronger OpenLMIS Community
- Access to aggregated data for better planning and logistics
- Ability to grow sustainably with dedicated private sector funding
- Deeper integration with other ecosystems such as hospital information systems (HIS), regulatory systems, and global platforms
- New service tiers that offer rich capabilities and services that will further its ability to reduce stockout rates and enable health workers to focus on patient care
As partners we will use our shared vision to transform and digitize health supply chains in LMICs. Together, we aim to increase use of OpenLMIS across the globe among governments and non-governmental organizations to achieve greater impact and improve the health of communities everywhere.
“OpenLMIS is excited to begin this next phase of supply chain evolution with Vitalliance and the management expertise they bring from Imperial and One Network. Their alignment with our community values and vision promise a strong and sustainable future.” Brian Taliesin, OpenLMIS Director
Throughout the remainder of 2021 the stewardship of OpenLMIS will gradually transition to Vitalliance who will maintain and grow the core software at the global level. Because we built OpenLMIS alongside users and partners, they will remain vital to enhancing and growing the digital solution. And country implementers will continue managing the day-to-day operations of OpenLMIS for their country’s public health system.
We know transition takes time and patience, and we remain committed to our users throughout transition and beyond. We believe in the long-term sustainability of open source projects, and believe this strategic partnership will enable OpenLMIS, and the communities it serves, to thrive for many years to come. Stay tuned for further updates on our website to see how our transition is shaping the future of the OpenLMIS software and community.
OpenLMIS Transition FAQs:
Any change for current OpenLMIS implementers?
OpenLMIS guarantees continued services to Ministry of Health users. Users can expect software maintenance and technical improvements over time. Technical support is not going away, and the software will remain Open Source and operational. This partnership is an opportunity to further engage and expand current implementations.
Will it remain Open Source and freely available?
Yes, Vitalliance has committed to maintaining OpenLMIS as an Open Source public good that can be accessed via Github at no cost.
Will the transition shift in priorities for OpenLMIS?
Vitalliance interests are aligned with those of OpenLMIS and its users. Vitalliance has been chosen because of its dedication to supporting new and existing implementations. OpenLMIS’ top priority has always been and will continue to be supporting governments and their public health supply chains.
Can current partners participate in OpenLMIS Community?
Yes! The current OpenLMIS Community will continue to work together to build the future of OpenLMIS. Some of the names of the committees and OpenLMIS core team members may change, but the key function of community engagement will continue. User voices will continue to be represented through a Key User Group.
What is the transition timeframe?
The transition will be gradual over the next year from March 2021 to March 2022, with hands-on participation and coaching from the current OpenLMIS team.