Notice E0 Phase 1 Shelf Readiness

Notice E for promoting investments in digital health global goods

Under Notice E0, Digital Square is accepting applications from existing open source digital health software tools as well as any existing approved Digital Square global goods, to improve their commoditization as stand-alone, interoperable, open-source software products and become “shelf ready” (see Appendix A: Shelf Readiness).  

Technologies and software being proposed in the applications must meet the following minimum requirements to be seen as a global good: 

  • Be an existing software that has been deployed in three or more low-resource contexts. 

  • Be a global public good. Software tools will be considered a global public good if either: 

  • The source code is made available under an Open Source Initiative–approved software license; or 

  • The software is freely accessible and adheres to the Open Definition for access to data. 

  • Software has been applied to a health domain to manage, analyze, or transmit health-related data. 

  • Content may be considered a global good if it is a resource, toolkit, or data standard that is available under an open license and that is used to improve or analyze health data management processes. 

Applications must align their solutions to be part of the Instant OpenHIE project and initiative to ensure harmonization and leveraging of work undertaken in that project. 

Applicants are required to segment the applications into work packages modelled around the identified aspects of “Shelf Readiness.” Care must be given to clearly indicate the gaps, activities and expected outputs/deliverables that the requested funding will go towards and how these would advance the software towards shelf readiness. Applicants should ensure that the work packages are self-contained and not overly reliant on another. If there is a reliance this must be clearly called out and justified. 

Examples of investments that will be made available through this call for applications include (but are not limited to): 

  • Aligning a solution to leverage key metadata / registry interoperability workflows. 

  • Aligning technologies to the DevOps guidelines and containerization deployment that is illustrated through use within the Instant OpenHIE project. 

  • Improvement for quality assurance and testing to improve data captured in the software tool. 

  • Development of quality assurance and testing frameworks and strategies for interoperability workflows and contribution to the OpenHIE Testing Framework. 

  • Enhancements of installation functionality to better support implementers as well as focused sets of key documentation updates and deployment and implementation strategies. 

  • Aligning of technologies to be better framed within the OpenHIE architecture and supporting the required workflows as per the OpenHIE architectural specification (as well as the associated test cases). 

The following will be considered out-of-scope, and therefore make the concept note ineligible for funding: 

  • Investments in country implementations or adaptations intended for country-specific deployments. 

  • Investments that are not applicable outside of a single health program area. 

  • Investments in new functionality that are not justified in making the tool a shelf-ready solution. 


Click here to access RFA #2020-018: Notice E0 "Phase 1 Shelf Readiness"


Watch this Notice D video tutorial on how to create an account and upload a concept note

  • April 20 - May 8: Concept note development

    Digital Square issues a call for applications, and applicants upload concept notes to Digital Square's public-facing open application platform. In the first few weeks, as outlined by the solicitation, applicants will submit concept notes.  

    Applicants must use the concept note template

  • May 11 - May 22 2020: Concept note review

    In the few weeks following the concept note submission deadline, other applicants and/or other stakeholders in the community may provide feedback, comments, and suggestions, as well as identify potential areas for collaboration. 

  • May 25 - June 5 2020: Digital Square review of concept notes

    Following the concept note review, Digital Square assesses concept notes to ensure alignment with the initiative vision and funding objectives identified in the Notice. Digital Square eliminates concept notes that are not strategically aligned with the above. 

    Digital Square identifies a set of short-listed concept notes based on the Notice criteria and emails applicants who are eligible to advance to the application phase. 

  • June 8 - June 19 2020: Preliminary technical application co-creation

    Using feedback received in the Concept Note Phase, applicants will begin preliminary application development. 

    Applicants must use the technical application template and post an application iteration on the open application platform in the first 2 weeks. 

    At the conclusion of this step, Digital Square will close the ability to upload new content to open application platform

  • June 22 - July 3: Preliminary technical application comment period

    During this time, other applicants and other stakeholders in the community should provide feedback, comments, and suggestions. 

  • July 6-July 24: Application finalization

    Using feedback during the preliminary technical application comment period, applicants revise the technical application, develop a budget and budget narrative, and submit these to the Digital Square open application platform. Applicants must use the provided technical application, budget, and budget narrative templates

    The budget and budget narrative are not shared publicly on the platform. Commenters see only the high-level summary budget provided in the technical application

  • July 27-August 14: Peer Review Committee (PRC) review

    Digital Square groups applications for PRC scoring and technical feedback. Three PRC members will review each application. 

    The PRC reviews applications according to the Prioritization Framework, notice scope of work technical requirements and evaluates applications as green-, amber-, or red-lit per the PRC Membership Policy. Green-lit applications are recommended for funding immediately; amber-lit applications are recommended for future funding or further exploration; red-lit applications do not fully meet the selection standards/criteria. 

    The PRC sees only the high-level summary budget. Proprietary information including salaries, indirect rates, or other factors are not shared with anyone outside of the funder and Digital Square. 

  • August 17-28: Digital Square recommendation

    Digital Square compiles the evaluation provided by the PRC by clustering the applications according to the Prioritization Framework for Governing Board Investment Review Committee (IRC) review. 

    Digital Square creates an investment package recommendation of the highly scored applications for the Governing Board Investment Review Committee based on the funding-round objectives, donor priorities, and Digital Square vision. 

  • Investment Review Committee (IRC) review (Per schedule)

    Digital Square presents the applications, high-level budget summary, PRC feedback within the Prioritization Framework, and Digital Square recommendation to the IRC

    The IRC evaluates whether to approve the investment packages and reserves the right to modify the recommendation at their discretion. 

  • November 2020: Award Phase

    Digital Square shares the investment decisions approved by the IRC with applicants. Upon applicant request, PRC feedback shall be shared with applicant. 

    Digital Square notifies the Governing Board of the IRC evaluation and investment decision. This step will occur during routine Governing Board communications. 

    Investment decisions are contingent on funder approval. 

Applications (16 total)

Displaying 1 - 5

Advancing Instant OpenHIE

Two-sentence overview: 

The Instant OpenHIE project aims to reduce the costs and skills required for software developers to rapidly deploy an OpenHIE architecture for quicker initial solution testing and a starting point for faster production implementation and customisation. Instant OpenHIE provides a simple way for technical persons to install and see a complex system working against a real-world use case, allowing technical persons to illustrate how interoperability can work to solve health challenges and demonstrate how an interoperability architecture could be created using open-source tools and standards.

Application Status: 
Approved - fully funded

Advancing OpenELIS Global Shelf-Readiness through Improved Quality Assurance

Two-sentence overview: 

OpenELIS Global aims to improve its Shelf-Readiness through a transition from a manual software release testing model to a robust, comprehensive, and systematic automated testing process that will improve efficiency and reliability, reduce maintenance costs for the software, and facilitate re-use of OpenELIS Global code by community members. This investment will result in: adoption of the OpenHIE testing framework and tooling for automated testing of OpenELIS; collaboration with the OpenHIE Laboratory Information Systems Community of Practice (LIS CoP) to establish re-usable LIS interoperability test cases; and dissemination of LIS/LIMS software testing protocols, guidance, and learning resources which can be adapted by other global goods communities to improve software testing practices. (updated 19 June 2020)

Application Status: 
Approved - partially funded

An open source calculation engine for DHIS2

Primary Author: Mireille Ntchagang
Two-sentence overview: 

Hesabu allows health programs (M&E, PBF, LMIS and others) that use DHIS2 as a data management tool, to define and execute complex, chained computations (Excel-like) on their data and reload the results directly in DHIS2 to be used as any other data value.

 While Bluesquare has been focusing on turning Hesabu into a powerful open source tool to provide easy to manage computations on top of DHIS2, with this investment we would like to improve its shelf-readiness through supporting the users in the set-up, improving modules and documentation.

Application Status: 
Not Approved

Cryptographic protection of PII and PHI using opensource software

Two-sentence overview: 

The goal is to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Protected Health Information (PHI) that are utilized in digital health software tools or approved Digital Square global goods. StrongKey’s appliances, deployed in an on-premise or managed service mode, run an open source software stack that protects PII and PHI by with strong authentication and data encryption. StrongKey has 18-years of related cyber-experience delivering such capabilities to organizations on six continents.

Application Status: 
Not Approved

Healthsites alignment with OpenHIE architecture

Two-sentence overview: plans to support the maintenance of baseline health facility data with OpenStreetMap.

In order to support the Health Information Systems being used within Ministries of Health such as DHIS2 , intends to support the FHIR standard for exchanging electronic health records as it relates to health care facilities. 

During the notice B development phase Healthsites specified a phased implementation plan. Our developers and digital producers will implement this standard and test with project partners.

Application Status: 
Not Approved