Saturday, September 19, 2009

First post in NYC

So after 24 hours in transit I am home in lovely NYC. I am holding up rather well. My husband however wants to nap - I dont think he has been sleeping well this past month.

Before I left Lilongwe, we finally had a meeting with the Ministry of Health. They finally got funds to go into the field and engage with training. Let me say that this rapidsms system we are deploying is essentially a new system built in 3 weeks and the MoH wants to roll it out without any testing! In the future, I think it is important to build testing time and deployment time into these RapidSMS projects and to help stakeholders understand that this is not a trivial task to build and deploy one of these systems.

I sat down with the MoH and we revised the deployment plan. Rather than start monday and roll out to all 15 sites, they are going to roll out to 5 sites monday. I will monitor from NY - and bug fix the following week. If I am happy with the program - the MoH will roll out to the other 10 sites the following week. If necessary the MoH will also redeploy to the initial 5 sites.

I think this will be fine - all that matters is that the sms messages generate appropriate responses. I am not even concerned with if everything flows properly through the db - although it should. Worst comes to worst, I am logging all messages with the logger app - so we can go a post process the messages later. The most important thing is that the sms service works as expected for the heath workers and the trainers.

I think the travel is starting to catch up with me - my head is swimming -

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