The overall objective of this project was to investigate ways to strengthen the OpenMRS community by (i) developing capacity and implementing a network focusing specifically on the needs of OpenMRS implementers, (ii) strengthening community-driven aspects of OpenMRS and providing a dedicated forum for implementation-specific issues, and; (iii) providing regional support for OpenMRS implementations as well as mentorship and training. The methods used included (i) face-to-face networking using meetings and workshops; (ii) online collaboration tools, peer support and mentorship programmes; (iii) capacity and community development programmes, and; (iv) community outreach programmes. The community-driven approach, combined with a few simple interventions, has been a key factor in the growth and success of the OpenMRS Implementers Network. It has contributed to implementations in at least twenty-three different countries using basic online tools; and provided mentorship and peer support through an annual meeting, workshops and an internship program. The OpenMRS Implementers Network has formed collaborations with several other open source networks and is evolving regional OpenMRS Centres of Excellence to provide localized support for OpenMRS development and implementation. These initiatives are increasing the range of functionality and sustainability of open source software in the health domain, resulting in improved adoption and enterprise-readiness. Social organization and capacity development activities are important in growing a successful community-driven open source software model.
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