Under Notice F1, Digital Square is accepting applications from existing digital health software tools (with a strong, but not exclusive, focus on point of care tools) that meet the definition of global goods and / or are existing approved Digital Square global goods to implement and align to the World Health Organization (WHO) published Digital documentation of COVID-19 certificates: vaccination status (DDCC:VS): technical specifications and implementation guidance. The key output is to showcase the tools as reference implementations of the technical guidance.
Applications are expected to align and strengthen the shelf-readiness aspects of the technologies and are encouraged to focus on strengthening capacities of new implementers/innovator groups in working and advancing global goods.
The guidance document is aimed to support and provide direction for countries and implementing partners on the technical requirements for developing digital information systems for issuing standards-based interoperable digital certificates for COVID-19 vaccination status, and considerations for implementation of such systems, for the purposes of continuity of care, and proof of vaccination.
The guidance document covers a range of topics and outlines scenarios such as "continuity of care" and "proof of vaccine", as well as frames the core data set and a national trust architecture for the DDCC:VS.
In addition to the published guideline, the WHO and community have created a HL7 FHIR implementation guide that is to be considered and adhered to in the application. More information can be found here:
Technologies and software being proposed in the applications must meet the following three 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; or
- 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 clearly identify how they plan to incorporate the guidance into their tool/solution as well have clearly outlined data exchange / interoperability solutions as well as metrics and means of testing these.
Applications must align to the principles of shelf-readiness and where appropriate ensure that the proposed technical development is aligned to the principles of shelf-readiness as a whole and with particular consideration to quality, documentation and installation
Applications must align their solutions to be part of the Instant OpenHIE project (as appropriate for deployment) and build into the testing approaches and infrastructure to ensure data exchange, the ability to showcase the exchange, and provide interoperability profiles required for the WHO DDCC:VS technical guidance.
Applicants are required to segment the applications into work packages. Work packages must be modelled around core areas of the proposal and any aspects of shelf readiness that are being proposed. Care must be given to clearly indicate the gaps, activities and expected outputs/deliverables that the requested funding will go towards.
Applicants must 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 incorporate key data standards and align to workflows.
- Ensuring that applications can fulfill the data exchange needs of the WHO DDCC:VS technical guidance
- Showcasing the technical guidance scenarios in their tool
- Generating and or querying for data from trusted architecture
- Aligning technologies to the DevOps guidelines and containerization deployment that is illustrated through use within the Instant OpenHIE project; and
- 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 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.
- Investments that are aimed to fund the implementation of the solution within a project (i.e. the funding is intended for technical development and not implementation work / activities).
Applications must include a motivation as to the focus of the selected technology and why the inclusion of WHO DDCC:VS technical guidance within is the tool to a valued/important investment tied to health outcomes and opportunities. Connecting the motivation to existing field implementations requests and potential use is encouraged.
Local capacity development
Digital Square is committed to enhancing and expanding the capacities of local enterprises and new team to support the development, enhancement and deployment of global goods. As such applications are encouraged to seek out opportunities to build local capacity in local teams and new innovators and expand the global good communities through this opportunity.
Open source and global Access
Work proposed in the applications must align to global access principles and be made available under an appropriate open-source license. Applications must clearly outline the licensing of proposed work items in the application.
Click here to access: Notice F1 (RFA #2021-056) | Implementation of the WHO digital documentation of COVID-19 certificates: vaccination status (DDCC:VS) technical specifications
Notice F1 Modification #1: Click here to access the modification
- November 3, 2021 - December 1, 2021: Concept note development and community review
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. Before the final submission other applicants and/or other stakeholders in the community may provide feedback, comments, and suggestions, as well as identify potential areas for collaboration if the early draft of the concept note is published on the platform. Digital Square encourages an agile approach of development with early publication of draft concept notes to the platform and applicants are encouraged to edit and respond to community feedback, on their concept note, during this time Following this the final version of the concept note must be submitted and applicants must use the concept note template.
- December 2, 2021 - December 15, 2021:Digital Square review of concept notes
Following the concept note review, Digital Square (comprised of the technical and operational team representatives) assesses concept notes to ensure alignment with the initiative vision and funding objectives identified in the open application process. 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 open application process criteria and emails applicants who are eligible to advance to the application phase.
- December 16, 2021 - January 12, 2022: Technical application co-creation, comment period and application finalization
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.
Applicants will be able to request interim reviews of their applications. Only one review may be requested from Digital Square, and unlimited reviews from the community are allowed.
Using feedback, 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.
At the conclusion of this step, Digital Square will restrict the ability to upload new content to open application platform.
- January 13, 2022 - February 2, 2022: Peer Review Committee (PRC) review
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 provided in the technical application. Proprietary information including salaries, indirect rates, or other factors are not shared with anyone outside of the investor and Digital Square.
- February 3, 2022 - February 9, 2022: Digital Square OAP recommendation
Digital Square compiles the evaluation provided by the PRC by clustering the applications according to the Prioritization Framework for Investment Review Committee (IRC) review, and assigning values based on green, amber, or red light scoring.
Digital Square creates an investment package recommendation of the highly scored applications, as collated from the PRC reviews and synthesized into a single scoring metric that assigns numerical values to the color associated to the proposals, for the Investment Review Committee based on the funding round objectives, investor priorities, and Digital Square vision.
- Feb 10, 2022 - Feb 23, 2022: Investment Review Committee (IRC) review
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 funding packages and reserves the right to modify the recommendation at their discretion. The recommendation is made to the Digital Square board for ratification and final approval.