- The exact number of Steering / Governing Committee members shall be specified by the committee itself and at not less than seven.
- The Steering / Governing Committee will be led by a chairperson, appointed internally. The chairperson will be supported by a co-chair (also appointed internally), who can oversee meetings when the chairperson is unavailable.
- The Steering / Governing Committee will be comprised primarily of in-country leadership: at least 50% of members will be direct ministry of health or ministry designated members.
- Other members should ideally be direct beneficiaries of the community’s proceeds to insure community is moving in the proper direction
- The Steering / Governing Committee shall be a permanent consultative and adjunct part of the OpenHIE community, and works to provide direct guidance and oversight to the Working Committee.
- The Working Committee will help identify a Steering / Governing Committee leader on a rotating term to be determined.
- The Steering / Governing Committee should include individuals that represent critical areas of expertise that are relevant to the OpenHIE community, and embody the following attributes:
- desire to improve health equity throughout the world
- an ability to communicate advice in a way that can tangibly be acted upon
- openness to other perspectives
- understanding of the health information system landscape within low and middle income countries
- Members shall initially be appointed for a two or three year term and can be renewed as appropriate (as needed to stagger member transitions over time); the Steering / Governing Committee can recommend the terms and appointment and reappointment process once the Committee is established. These recommendations will be approved by the Working Committee.
- The steering committee Steering / Governing Committee is supported by a light secretariat team that will arrange for meetings, manage intergroup communications, keep notes for meetings, and perform related support functions.
- The Steering / Governing Committee shall meet regularly for at least one hour on a quarterly basis, and shall provide recommendations to the Working Committee through:
- Direct feedback in meetings,
- Subcommittees as relevant to the needs of the OpenHIE community,
- Written comments on OpenHIE Discourse,
- Individual availability as needed to members of the Working Committee for advice and organizational guidance, and
- Asynchronous information and interaction.
- The Steering / Governing Committee shall be responsible for developing a schedule for regular meetings, using the monthly Steering / Governing Committee agenda developed by the Working Committee as the basis for the quarterly meeting agenda, and working with the Steering / Governing Committee members as well as the Working Committee as needed.
- One or more representatives of the Working Committee shall attend each regularly-scheduled Steering / Governing Committee meeting.
OHIE Steering / Governing Committee Recommendations
Decision Making Process
While the Steering / Governing Committee is not responsible for making routine operational decisions, it is tasked with providing overall direction and recommendations to the Working Committee from a basis of often rather complex socio-technical and socio-political content. As such, varying perspectives amongst the Steering / Governing Committee is expected, and a welcome part of the engagement. Therefore, a decision-making process to provide recommendations on behalf of the Steering / Governing Committee can sometimes be important.
In general, the Steering / Governing Committee will strive to find unanimous approval for its recommendations. If that is not possible, a lightweight, structured process to arrive at consensus approval can be used. Essentially, achieving consensus occurs when there’s an absence of sustained opposition around a given issue. This typically happens when the group has heard conflicting arguments, and taken into account all of the views of the members. While arriving at consensus, a number of techniques may be used informally to assess the position of members of the group. Achieving general consensus doesn’t require everyone to agree.
Quorum for Steering / Governing Committee meetings requires that at least 51% of committee members are present. Attendance for all meetings is recorded in the meeting minutes. All recommendations will therefore be qualified as either consensus or unanimous recommendations from the Steering / Governing Committee upon publication.
The decision making process is a derivative of ISO consensus definition.