Past Events

ORF roundtables encourage voices from all quarters, geographies and gender to furnish engaged discussion between policymakers and audiences across the globe. Details and brief reports outlining resultant debates and policy recommendations can be found here.


Health policy workshop

Free and open source software and standards for public health information systems in India: “Making them work” by bridging the policy-practice gap

The Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, notified in 2015 that a policy to prefer the use of Open Source Software (OSS) in all central government departments and ministries will be in place, with use of Closed Source Software (CSS) only being considered as an exception with sufficient justification. This policy decision is termed as a watershed moment for open source in India. Through a number of related policies, the government wants to promote reuse of existing developed applications as well as Open Standards for software interoperability across various government departments and agencies.

The implementation of SDGs has made data requirements within the health sector more diverse, and a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) driven Health Management Information System (HMIS) can play a key role in improving data quality and availability. The broad aim of the two-day workshop is to identify policy-practice gaps with respect to using FOSS based health information system applications and standards, and approaches to address them.

The themes to be discussed include:

• The policy landscape in India with respect to free and open source software and standards in the public health sector.

• Experiences with using free and open source software and standards in the public health sector, and the learnings.

• Global experiences with the use of free and open source software and standards in the public health sector.

• Recommendations to help address the policy-practice gap around FOSS use for the Indian public health system.

Click here to read the agenda.

The workshop is being organised in association with the University of Oslo and HISP India.