PIH/SAP/GSK Featured at UN Conference –Robin in Rwanda #5

This is an update on an earlier post about  one of my assignments at PIH/IMB.  The GSK PULSE team joined forces with SAP (German Software company, similar to Microsoft) and their Social Sabbatical team to solve one of PIH/IMB’s (Partners in Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima) technology challenges. This is the first time two corporate volunteer teams have come together on a joint project of this kind.  The partnership was featured at a UN Conference (scroll to bottom for a link to the video)

PIH, IMB, SAP, GSK – it sounds like Alphabet Soup. But really, it’s less about letters and more about numbers. Our mantra is:  1+1=3!!  We all came together hoping that the whole would be greater than the sum of its parts and that we could make a difference by solving an important problem for the NGO.

By listening carefully and partnering closely with the PIH/IMB team, SAP was able to expand the use of a current PIH system, and customize and pilot a centralized database repository and content management system at only a marginal cost to PIH/IMB.  We’ve affectionately nicknamed the system CITRUS.  Our role, as GSK, is to continue with project management; assist with data migration and quality and to introduce a change management process to the project team to ensure the system is successfully implemented.

While the SAP team left in early August, they continue to be accessible to the team.  It’s still a work in progress, and we GSK volunteers remain in Rwanda through year’s-end to support the implementation of the project.

In late September this project was featured at the UN’s Impact 2030 Summit in New York City.  Ahsiya Mencin, PhD, Director for the GSK PULSE Volunteer program, co-hosted the segment with her counterpart from the SAP Social Sabbatical Program, Alexandra Van Der Ploeg. If you are interested in learning more about this initiative, please take a few minutes to watch the segment. The SAP/GSK segment starts at 3hrs:10 mins into the video. http://webtv.un.org/search/impact-2030-summit/5126580378001?term=IMPACT%202030


  1. Hey there Mrs Wilson-Tolbert! Well I have finally caught up on all of your blogs and you have no idea that whilst sitting in a quiet Sanders office at RTP just how much you have inspired today. I am thoroughly enjoying following your journey; “experiencing” Rwanda through your eyes and I am already looking forward to the next “episode” (this is even better than waiting for the next episode of Scandal each week!).

    ln addition to the blogs about what you are doing work wise, the eloquence and insightful perceptiveness (not sure if that’s actually a word) in which you wrote “An African-American in Africa” really touched me and highlighted valuable and thought provoking views. I think it was spot on and incredibly important that you shared! What you are doing is so special and not wanting to repeat myself, and risking the dilution of the word “inspire”, but you truly have to me and I’m already thinking about how I can follow in your footsteps and make a real change somewhere. So thank you for “re-focusing” my day today and I can’t wait to catch up with you in the New Year to hear all about it first hand. Take care, from a very humbled me : )

    1. Hi Stefania, it is great to hear from you. Thank you so much for your kind words! I hope you will think of applying this year!!!!

  2. Great to see you focus on the “Alphabet Soup” partnership in this blog, Robin – thanks so much for sharing! You guys are really trail-blazing… & setting a shining example for the rest of us in the process! Look forward to hearing how next few weeks go for you and Robin as you close out this first phase of our “1+1=3” collaboration 🙂

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