CapacityPlus Offers Its First "Code Bounties" to the Global iHRIS Community

CapacityPlus recently began offering “code bounties” to engage more people in the global community that supports the iHRIS Suite of open source software for the health workforce.

These code bounties are small projects with narrow scopes of software development work and small monetary awards intended to incentivize more developers to contribute to advancing iHRIS.

So far the project has posted three code bounties, which are aimed at improving the iHRIS software documentation, translation into Arabic, and data exportation from iHRIS for importation into other health information systems. Sovello Mgani, a developer in Tanzania, won the first bounty. With this award, he will create documentation to guide the decentralization of iHRIS to districts in Ghana.

More than a dozen countries are adopting the iHRIS software, which provides health managers and other health leaders with information to track, manage, and plan their health workforce. IntraHealth’s global project, CapacityPlus, along with a network of other projects and organizations, is assisting these countries to install and adapt the software for local needs. As more countries seek to employ iHRIS, CapacityPlus is striving to meet these needs by broadening and strengthening the community of developers with the skills to support and sustain the software.

As more code bounties are offered and completed, the hope is the developers will hone their skills, and the pool of qualified iHRIS developers will grow. These developers can also start offering their expertise directly to ministries of health, professional health councils, or other organizations that want to implement iHRIS.

The code bounties follow the successful model of innovative and collaborative approaches used by several IntraHealth-led projects to establish the iHRIS developer community. For instance, the Uganda Capacity Program offers an internship program for local developers; the Tanzania Human Resource Capacity Project partners with a university information science department; and CapacityPlus collaborates with the West African Health Organization and West African developers to implement the software in the region.

This work has resulted in several noteworthy achievements for iHRIS over the last year, including the forthcoming iHRIS Retain, which was developed by two developers from the internship program in Uganda and is the first iHRIS product to be coded in-country. More recently, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of the University of Dar es Salaam received an award from the World Health Organization to assist the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone with customizing and deploying iHRIS, an example of true South-to-South collaboration leveraging USAID’s investment and CapacityPlus’s technical leadership.