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September 16, 2008 / yolynne

IOSN-InWEnt-USM Call for Participation: International Conference on Open Source Software for Health (INCOSSH2008) Penang, Malaysia November 23 to 25, 2008

IOSN-InWEnt-USM Call for Institutional Participation: International Conference on Open Source Software for Health (INCOSSH2008) Penang, Malaysia November 23 to 25, 2008

Conference URL:


TARGET AUDIENCE: managers and implementers of health information systems, developers, programmers of health applications


September 15 – October 10 (application period)
October 10-15 (evaluation period)
October 15  (selection and notification of qualified applicants)
October 16 – November 20 (pre-conference discussions and networking)
November 22 (arrival of participants)

November 23 – 25 (conference proper)
November 25 (departure of participants)

Applications are open for institutional participants from CAMBODIA, INDONESIA, PHILIPPINES and VIETNAM.


Everyone is requested to carefully read and understand the criteria, objectives and conditions prior to submission of their applications for evaluation and consideration.

The Southeast Asian node of the International Open Source Network (IOSN ASEAN+3) and InWEnt Capacity Building International, Germany are sponsoring  the participation of 20 institutions to the International Conference on Open Source Software for Health 2008 (INCOSSH2008) organized by the AMDI-Universiti Sains Malaysia.

This conference brings together developers and end users of health information systems and allows them to interact closely and exchange their experiences with free and/or open source software, open standards, and open content. The official conference site is here.

In 2007, IOSN together with Open Source Health Care Alliance, co-sponsored OSHCA’s Annual Convention in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With InWEnt’s assistance, twenty developers from ASEAN attended the conference on the first three days and an intensive training session on the last day. One of the output from this event was the networking of technical and health domain experts which allowed for cross-pollination and interaction. Several FOSS health care projects presented their applications in this conference and a potential collaboration on the development of an open source electronic health record (FreeFeathers EHR Extension) available at was started.

Coming from this conference, a logical next step is to show demonstration of how these software actually work and get domain experts from the health sector to comment on how these fit or not fit their current situation. The idea is to let the end users discuss their concerns and requested features with the actual developers. This interaction has numerous benefits, to wit:

* For the developer: an understanding of what features are important to end users and what major components are still lacking from their application
* For the health workers: an understanding of the benefits of free and/of open source method of application development and the importance of connecting closely with the original developers whether or not their services will be employed
* For the e-health expert: insights on how to best implement health information systems cost-effectively using FOSS

Various open source electronic health records abound on the Internet already with some of them emanating from ASEAN and EU. This conference aims to dissect the opportunities and obstacles to deployment of FOSS health applications in the workplace.


For this Regional Conference, the call for participation will be sent to institutions with a requirement to clearly signify their commitment to designate their representative/participant to train other staff members/communities upon their return within three months (re-entry plan). This institutional approach assures that there is an echo seminar that is offered to local staff members / communities and the knowledge gained is shared to others.

During the selection process, a high score will be given to institutions which will be able to embed a training course on FOSS for health into their regular plantilla of activities and services offered. These will be expected from the re-entry plan they will be submitting as a requirement for application.

Though applications of institutions will be prioritized, individual FOSS trainers and experts are also eligible to apply.


The programme provides monitoring after the conference (through their institution) for a sustainable implementation of follow-up activities. The monitoring will be done through a special website to be created for that purpose.


IOSN-InWEnt can sponsor 20 participants from as many institutions from the four aforementioned countries.

Nominated participants should also comprise a mix of private sector, public sector, and civil society.

Applying institutions are invited to designate one representative/trainer. The Institution is also ask to clearly signify their commitment to designate their representative/participant to train other staff members/communities (of FOSS for Health — materials will be disseminated in the conference) upon their return within three months. Organizations are ENCOURAGED to nominate and give preference (where appropriate) to FEMALE participants.


Accepted participants are expected to shoulder the subsidized conference fee of USD 100 (full price USD250). Other subsidies may be granted after appropriate documentation is submitted.


Interested institutions and individual FOSS ADVOCATES are invited to apply for participation as soon as possible by fillin gup the online form below:





IOSN is a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Centre of Excellence in Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) for the Asia-Pacific region. It was established by UNDP Asia Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP) in 2002 through the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada. Through a virtual secretariat – and now a network of sub-regional centres, IOSN South Asia (based in India), IOSN Pacific Islands Countries (Fiji), and IOSN ASEAN+3 (Philippines), it shapes its activities around FOSS technologies and applications; awareness and advocacy; and capacity building initiatives.

IOSN ASEAN+3 sub-regional centre for the Southeast Asian countries is based at the University of Philippines Manila. The geographical mandate of IOSN ASEAN+3 encompasses Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan and Korea. IOSN ASEAN+3 is tasked specifically to facilitate and network FOSS advocates, experts, and developers in these 13 countries to foster the adoption of FOSS. The vision is to have developing countries in these countries achieve rapid and sustained economic and social development with the utilization of affordable yet effective FOSS ICT solutions to bridge the digital divide.



Through its it@inwent programmes, InWEnt helps multiplying partners in Africa, Asia and the Middle East to provide advanced knowledge in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The key objectives of the programmes are to strengthen IT sectors in various regions of the world, foster key innovations in ICTs for development and use ICTs as enabling tools for poverty reduction.

Within its it@foss project (URL:, InWEnt supports the development and application of local innovative software solutions and business models based on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in the ASEAN region.


AMDI-Universiti Sains Malaysia


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