Chapter 8
The HISP project in Ethiopia

In this chapter I will give an account of my experiences from working in Tigray. Our team were assigned to the health authorities in Tigray. Ethiopia had previously expressed interest in testing DHIS and five regions were selected as pilot sites. The five regions were Addis Ababa, Amhara, Benshangul, Oromiya and Tigray. Tigray is located north in Ethiopia, at the border to Eritrea. As previously mentioned it is from this region the uprising that overthrew the old communist regime grew. Because of this Tigray have much power in the current government. It is in this region the border war between Eritrea and Ethiopia took place.

In total I spent just under four month in Ethiopia. As I have FLOSS as the main subject for my thesis I am going to interpret my experience in the light of FLOSS. My work in Ethiopia was not to ask people about FLOSS and what they knew about it, but to participate in an ongoing FLOSS project, namely Health Information System Program in Ethiopia (HISP-ET). I have made no formal interview, but where relevant I will refer to conversation I have had with people in Ethiopia.

As my experience from the field work in Tigray consist of a multitude of situations, words, sights and impressions I am going to choose some themes to use as a skeleton to hang my experiences on. FLOSS is the theme of my masters thesis, so this is one part of the skeleton. My work in Tigray is related to FLOSS in the sense that the software we installed is FLOSS, and that I participated in adapting this software to the needs in Tigray. I will start with some facts about Tigray.

 8.1 Tigray Demographics
 8.2 The Tigray team
 8.3 EPI-info
 8.4 Adapting DHIS for Tigray
 8.5 Problems with the DHIS software
 8.6 Getting support from the HISP community
 8.7 Being the farench/faranji