This document describes the terms of reference (ToR) for the activities of the openEHR Localisation Program. The Localisation Program has members drawn from the wider openEHR membership and will include individuals from multiple language groups, cultures as well as with a diversity of technical, clinical and informatics backgrounds for the purpose of extending the reach of openEHR deeper into their locales.
All kinds of localisation activities with the purpose of enabling openEHR's penetration into national/regional eHealth environments with a different mix of languages, cultures, objectives and resources. This includes translation and adaptation of specifications and related artifacts or their extensions as well as instantiation of new content. It is imperative that we support the creation of educational materials in local languages, actively engage with the communication and dissemination of these materials and events, get involved in R&D projects (e.g. with local universities), and liaise with other local standards (clinical guidelines, manuals, white papers, ebooks, etc.)
The Localisation Program consists of Qualified Members for the Localisation Program, Localisation Program Committee (LPC) and Local openEHR Representative(s) and Organisations. In addition, individuals that are enthusiastic about openEHR who work with the openEHR Representative(s) (most probably affiliated with Local Organisations if any) are also recognised as Local Members.
Qualified Membership (QM): local openEHR activity will happen through qualified members where individuals can join from any country or region (can be a specific territory, language group etc. depending on what local needs are). Acceptance will be based on relevant experience and skills required for localisation activities. It is this group that will do most of the work!
Localisation Program Committee (LPC): consists of up to nine (minimum of 5) individuals with appropriate background and skills for the localisation work. LPC will decide about who can be qualified members in this arena. Main focus of this Committee is to work with the Community and Board, and to describe how to establish local presence, what processes are required to getting activity in that country and eventually having an affiliated organisation that takes on local representation. LPC has up to 2 co-chairs and the Program Lead acts as the interim chair during initial establishment.
Local Representative(s): A Qualified Member (can be more than one depending on local needs and skills available) to be designated to lead local work and officially represent openEHR in their own country/region. LPC will assist QM to nominate, propose and get permission from the Board to represent one or more national representatives. These appointments should be approved by the Board before one can be appointed as the national openEHR representative.
Chapter Organisations: when there's some maturity around localisation in one country/region and firm demand, instead of individual leadership around openEHR Representatives, establishing a formal organisation that would function as a Chapter Organisation might be advantageous. In the open and free spirit of openEHR these need to be not-for-profit organisations and bound by openEHR Foundation's principles and rules. It is expected that existing organisations relevant in this area (e.g. national HL7 affiliates, health informatics associations, local standardisation bodies etc.) might actually act as the umbrella organisation saving hassle and cost of new establishments. It is yet to be decided as to how membership and money matters can be dealt with within an organisation with other purposes though. This organisation should be approved by the Board before it can be appointed as the national openEHR Chapter.
Local Membership: these are enthusiastic individuals who have an interest in and potential to contribute to openEHR but limited in experience, skills and/or resources to become Qualified Members. This local membership will provide recognition in this space (e.g. as evidence of peer esteem for academics etc.) and the grounds to work with them. They will most likely be formal members of local organisations (e.g. not-for-profit associations etc.). They will be led by qualified members but have no representative or executive powers.
This is the body of people who will do the actual work and is not locale specific (e.g. there is only one group). New members (either self nominated or by existing QM) can be added by the decision of LPC based on membership criteria.
The responsibilities of QM are:
This section describes the conditions for membership for Qualified Members.
Note that a high level of technical competency is not a necessity as Localisation work will involve substantial amount of work related with content (which may actually require clinical or organisational skills more than technical). However a basic level of technical knowledge will be required to appreciate the foundational principles of openEHR as well as skills around software localisation when adapting tools and components.
Candidates should submit, in writing, where they stand with regards to the cause of openEHR and provide evidence about their qualifications in these main areas:
This is the formal governance body for review and decision-making.
The responsibilities of LPC are:
The responsibilities of the LPC co-chairs are as follows:
The LPC members will be selected (initially pulled together by the interim Board and interim Program Leader but later on the basis of democratic election by the QM). Maximum of nine and minimum of 5 members is recommended.
Up to two LPC members are elected as co-chairs by the its members.
New members come from nominations among the QM. Candidates are elected to the LPC via voting by QM. Elections are held regularly depending on the term, or earlier in the case of resignation. At election time, the positions of all LPC members who have spent 2 years in the position come up for re-election by the QM.
Membership of the LPC is for 2 years.
Co-chair positions last 2 years. Elections are held regularly depending on the term or earlier in the case of resignation.
an LPC member can leave or may be removed by the Board due to inappropriate conduct.
LPC members are expected to contribute sufficient time to carry out the work and meet quality and schedule requirements.
Any potential conflicts of interest must be declared by the LPC members , and the they must agree to indicate any such conflict of interest in discussions and decision-making processes of the Program in which they are involved.
Decisions are primarily made by consensus, i.e. general agreement with no serious objections voiced. Where there are objections, the following process will be used:
The Localisation Program needs to keep the Board up to date on its activities and emerging issues. There is a need for support from the Foundation and concerted action during promotion of openEHR locally (e.g. national programmes/governments usually sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the openEHR Foundation).
The Localisation Program needs to maintain communications with the other openEHR Programs on a fairly constant basis. Necessary communications include:
In order to keep the openEHR community at large informed about events in the Localisation Program, regular and visible communications is needed. These include the following:
Online meetings are the norm and the LPC and other QM will meet by teleconference at least bimonthly.
Face to face meetings should be sought whenever and wherever possible (e.g. conferences).
It is acknowledged that this may be a 'hard' topic! While the copyright (of left) and licensing issues can be become quite complicated the rule of thumb is to provide maximum freedom in the use and dissemination of local openEHR resources while ensuring ownership and quality is retained.
The governance structures and procedures described above will inevitably need to change over time. QM through LPC will convey any amendments to the openEHR Board for approval.
Resources Learn More