Bringing global best practices to US public health response: Key learnings from 20 years of building open source health solutions internationally

Recorded: Wednesday January 26, 2022

Webinar Speakers: Lily Olson, Sr. Director of Partnerships, Dimagi

For 20 years, Dimagi has partnered with international NGOs, researchers and governments to build and scale open source digital solutions for use by frontline workers in some of the most remote areas in the world. Our international focus shifted abruptly in Spring of 2020, when Dimagi’s COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing solution was selected for immediate scale up by the governments of Alaska, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, the city of Philadelphia, and the Navajo Nation. Dimagi’s team of technologists, project managers, and public health experts rose to the challenge, bringing 20 years of experience globally, including work on Ebola in West Africa and Zika in South America, to tackle COVID-19 in the US.

Though the landscapes are divergent, the transition from global health to domestic initiatives revealed to our team the many common themes in designing and deploying meaningful solutions regardless of geography.

In this discussion, we will share our top lessons learned, as well as the global best practices that served us and our users both globally and domestically. We’ll highlight the open source technology features and design approaches that this experience proves are important in all settings. We’ll also share our approach to unlocking complex workflows, following agile methods, and empowering non-technical staff.

About Lily Olson

Lily Olson is a Senior Director of Partnerships at Dimagi, a certified Benefit Corporation and leading social enterprise that develops innovative, open source technology for public health programs. Over the course of her career, Lily has served in a variety of leadership capacities in helping frontline organizations better deliver critical community health services with open source technology. She has played a key role in driving the adoption of large-scale open source systems in several countries around the world, including the world’s largest digital nutrition system reaching more than 100 million households. In the wake of COVID-19’s impact on health outcomes in the United States, Lily directed her focus on expanding best of breed open source systems throughout the U.S. public healthcare system. She oversees Dimagi’s portfolio of new business, including the company’s recent expansion into Behavioral Health solutions.