Notice C

Promoting the collaborative development of proposals for investments in digital health global goods

DHIS2 as an analytics, reporting and visualization solution for OpenIMIS

Notice C Opportunity: 
Announcement C1: Modular transformation of openIMIS
Application Status: 
Pending Review & Investment

DHIS2 as an analytics, reporting and visualization solution for OpenIMIS

Executive Summary

HISP India proposes to develop the OpenIMIS analytics solution using DHIS2 as the core and primary platform. DHIS2 is an open source data warehousing platform functional in more than 70 countries around the world. Rationale for making this choice is twofold - one, because of the generic nature of DHIS2 as a configurable system and two, the scope for development of new functionalities through plugins/apps. We plan to build the system on robust foundations and with a proven track record for functioning as a data collection and dissemination tool.

Three options have been considered in response to the call : 1) Upgrade IMIS, 2) Rewrite IMIS on a new platform 3) Build on DHIS2. We have chosen option 3 because of the following reasons:

  • DHIS2 is a generic tool and has scope of both customization within the platform and new development using plugins/apps.

  • Using DHIS2 enables us to leverage a mature body of work already running in more than 70 countries. We can build upon a robust user base.

  • Customizable nature of DHIS2 means several countries specific requirements can be modelled within the platform without changing the core base.

  • DHIS2 has an existing vibrant community of health programme, developers and implementers and can be approached for support.

  • Since the DHIS2 is already being used for HMIS in many countries, and a key function of IMS would be to integrate/interoperate with HMIS data, this approach will be an effective approach to build this linkage.

We understand that DHIS2 has previously not been used in the health insurance domain, and there would be the need to significantly enhance the business understanding of insurance in this design and development process. To address this gap, we propose to engage extensively with the community, especially those involved with health insurance in low and middle income countries (LMICs).

HISP India proposes to carry out this project in multiple phases encouraging a collaborative approach wherein the stakeholders and implementation partners provide the necessary feedback for sound and comprehensive assimilation of multi country use cases.

HISP India proposes to engage the wider community through direct meetings with the stakeholders as well as users of the application. This meetings can be in person or through webinars/fortnightly calls as per situation.


Hi Harsh, 

Which DHIS2 building blocks do you forsee to implement OpenIMIS?

How would you plan to distribute the OpenIMIS-on-DHIS2 system to existing DHIS2 instances?

If a DHIS2 instances with the OpenIMIS configuration have been used in production (contains live data) and customized (for example additional fields), how would you keep that system updated if a new OpenIMIS-on-DHIS2 version is released?


Hi Nils

Thanks for the reply, these are all excellent questions.

We forsee a standard set of metadata configuration which can be imported/exported to other instances. This metadata will obviously involve a collection of data elements, attributes, organisationunits , programs etc. We propose that through our interaction with the GIZ/Swizz TPH and partners we will arrive at a common set of metadata configuration which serves as a starting building block for new instances.

Having such a configuration makes it possible to transfer it to other dhis2 instances, any external apps can also be plugged into the DHIS2 instance this converting it to a OpenIMIS-DHIS2 instance.

We are not planning to change the core DHIS2 unless there is no option left, this making the transition from one version to other smooth and not requiring developers, but even in case such a change has been done, we can keep a seperate branch of OpenIMIS-DHIS2 which is maintained by us and the OpenIMIS community in the long run and updated / fixes etc can be acquired from that.

Let me know if you need further clarifications!




Hi Harsh,

It looks like openIMIS is currently heading towards a rearchitecture to a more modern tech stack instead of a rewrite using DHIS2. However, there are interesting usecases of leveraging the flexibility of DHIS2 for reporting and visualising key indicators - i.e. using DHIS2 as an analytics / reporting / visualisation platform

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on that.



Hi Nils

Yes, using DHIS2 as a dashboarding and reporting platform is gaining in popularity due to flexibility of configuration and scope for making customized reports and dashboards. Although there is an extra step of getting all the data into the system since data is captured elsewhere and has to be imported into DHIS2. 

We have done such integrations where the data gets synced with DHIS2 through backend service and the users extract/view the data on the dhis2 side. One such intergation was with the ODK platform, where the data from the ODK was fetched nightly into DHIS2 for analysis/reporting purposes.

There are several ways to do such integrations API, database level, excel imports and the method of choice depends on the nature of the applications , hardware resources and manpower available. 

With OpenIMIS, the key indicators once identified can be configured into DHIS2 and the raw data can be imported on a daily bases or a agreed upon frequency of time, although this means that multiiple systems are operational at the same time and maintainance of both can be a challenge but a complex system like this should not shy away from such a approach as well since there are obvious benefits of using a proven tool in the same domain.