IC2021/WSM/052 Consultant to develop mobile system for beneficiary access to info [Social Protection, Cook Islands]

Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme


Background

The ‘Strengthening Resilience of Pacific Island States through Universal Social Protection’ (also called the Social Protection Joint Programme) is a joint initiative by the United Nations Country Team (UNCT)and Governments in Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau, implemented from July 2020 to December 2021, to help strengthen sustainable, inclusive, and evidence-based social protection systems in these Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs). Social protection systems include social insurance schemes (for the active population seeking/holding jobs, self-employed or voluntarily contributing); non-contributive social welfare (for all people in need); and labour market interventions (to facilitate access to decent jobs). In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and UN Pacific Strategy 2018-2022, the SP-JP intends to work through five strategic interventions in developing and strengthening inclusive and coherent SP systems: data and evidence; participation and partnerships; sustainable finance; institutional capacity and coordination; and outreach.

The Cook Islands has an estimated population of 17,459 (as of 2016) of which 32% are children. The country consists of 15 small islands scattered over 1.8 million square kilometers in the South Pacific.  The main Island, Rarotonga remains the most populous island with 75% of the population. The country’s narrow based economy is highly vulnerable to natural disasters, climate change and external shocks, with 60% of the Gross Domestic Product from tourism. Remoteness, geographical spread, small internal markets, and limited natural resources are distinctive challenges confronting the development progress of a small island economy like the Cook Islands. Close to one third (28%) of the population live below the national basic needs line poverty. Access to a decent source of livelihood remains critical to sustain basic needs like shelter, food, health, and education for example. As most commodities are imported, the cost of living is relatively high, particularly in Rarotonga.

The Cook Islands has one of the most extensive formal social protection systems in the Pacific region. Recognition for the critical role of social protection interventions to social and economic development came as early as 1965, when the Cook Islands gained self-governance from New-Zealand. This commitment was translated through the introduction of the formal social protection system initially with three programmes in 1965, and today has expanded into multiple non-contributory benefits. The Government also strengthened the legislative framework through the adoption of the Welfare Act (1989); inclusion of poverty reduction as a key priority in development plans; and the consistent funding allocation for programme implementation.    

In line with the Government’s continued commitment, the Cook Islands 2020 National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP) envisions a just, educated, healthy and wealthy Cook Islands. The vision ‘to enjoy the highest quality of life consistent with the aspirations of our people, and in harmony with our culture and environment” is set to be delivered in a manner that is sustainable; balancing social, economic and environmental goals. The NSDP 2020 comprises sixteen key indicators of which Goal 1:  focuses on improving welfare, reducing inequity and economic hardship through improved distribution of wealth and alleviating economic hardship.   

Cook Islands social protection systems are legislated through the Welfare Act 1989, National Superannuation Fund Act 2000, Cook Islands National Superannuation Amendment Act 2017 and the Workers Compensation Ordinance 1964. Policies support gender equality, children, youth, disability inclusion and the aged. The 1989 Welfare Act established these cash transfer programs: Child Benefit, New Born Allowance, Old Age Pension, Infirm and Destitute Allowance. Other social protection programs established by Government policy include Caregivers Allowance, Power Subsidy, Funeral Allowance, Christmas Bonus and Special Assistance. Social protection has been central to the government’s national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All benefit payments stood at NZD8,809,640 in 2007 and continues to increase reaching NZD18,336,410 in 2017.   Expenditure on welfare is funded by the Government and has increased substantially over the past decade, with both new types of benefits and higher payment rates. 

A review of social welfare system in 2010, states that despite “substantial proportion of national spending on social protection, the existing social welfare system, in its broad distribution of payments, does not fully meet the needs of the most disadvantaged people”. The report further suggests review of existing welfare program eligibility criteria, recipient responsibilities, coverage, condition on benefits and analysis of beneficiaries to improve targeting of welfare and service delivery program in future. The January 2021 ‘stock take and review of social protection systems in the Cook Islands’ states that “there are also a number of limitations in terms of inclusion in that include foreign workers are not eligible for most benefits and the incomplete support that is provided to people with disabilities which requires significant consideration”. This latest assessment highlighted several key gaps such as the lack of “digital information systems to administer, coordinate and provide information on social welfare benefits” and “disaggregated data that is monitored, analysed and utilized to inform policy and practice”.  It recommended the development of “a digital information management system to manage and administer social welfare benefits”.

To respond to the above need to utilise digital information management system for improving inclusive and coherent social protection systems, the UNICEF is currently providing support under the SP-JP to the Cook Islands Government in the development of a comprehensive Social Welfare Management Information System (MIS). With a well-developed MIS, it is expected that there will be a shift from manual processes to automation; improved capture and maintenance of accurate data to monitor performance; expansion of services to other areas; creation of a more secure database to uphold client confidentiality; and other improvements in the administration, service delivery and outreach in social welfare programmes, especially in communities that are geographically harder to reach by traditional means of service delivery. The effective use of MIS in social protection programmes and schemes have proven to facilitate faster, more accurate and efficient administration and services, improve data management, transparency in operations and accountability through secured transactions, and aid monitoring, evaluation, reporting functions and more informed decisions.  This includes the potential of using mobile technology (given its increased penetration in the Pacific) to improve digital data and innovative data systems and better administration and service delivery of social protection programs, schemes and mechanisms. 

It is expected that following on from the development of a Cook Islands Social Welfare Management Information System, further support will be provided under the SP-JP through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to:

1. Develop and test mobile platform for beneficiaries’ improved access to information on social protection schemes and programmes, as a means for outreach and as an interface for people to register and access benefits (via SMS and via mobile data); and 

2. Develop and pilot citizens’ reporting mechanisms and data analysis tools that use mobile phone technology to report cases of unavailability of and delays in the delivery of social protection services and programmes, of their uneven quality.

The services of a qualified consultant is needed to work with the Government of Cook Islands in the successful implementation of the above two key activities under the SP-JP. 

  

Duties and Responsibilities

Objectives

Within the integrated design of the SP-JP to strengthen inclusive, coherent and forward-looking social protection systems in the four PICTs, the objectives of the consultancy are to:

  • Develop and test mobile platform for beneficiaries’ improved access to information on social protection schemes and programmes, as a means for outreach and as an interface for people to register and access benefits (via SMS and via mobile data); and
  • Develop and pilot citizens’ reporting mechanisms and data analysis tools that use mobile phone technology to report cases of unavailability of and delays in the delivery of social protection services and programmes, of their uneven quality.

The emphasis is on adapting and applying the mobile technology already used by citizens in Cook Islands to improve access to information on social protection, and to report on social protection services/programmes.

Tasks

Phase 1:  Scoping and feasibility

  1. Use the findings from the UNICEF MIS scoping and feasibility and design project as the baseline to inform the initial scoping for the development of the requirements for the development and testing of the mobile platform, and reporting mechanisms and data analysis tools using mobile phone technology.
  2. Take stock and assess existing mobile technology and applications available in the Cook Islands.
  3. Take stock of mobile technology and applications used by other social protection systems around the world, especially those proven to have worked effectively in similar contexts to the Cook Islands.
  4. Carry out additional scoping, feasibility and assessments to determine the needed specification requirements. This will involve desktop reviews, literature reviews and stakeholder consultations.
  5. Assess the capabilities of the in-house mobile technology and identify strengths and key gaps.
  6. Prepare and submit scoping and feasibility report to the key stakeholders including the SP-JP Cook Islands Technical Committee.

Phase 2:  Design and develop

  1. Develop detailed functional and technical specification documentation taking into consideration the scoping, assessment and specification requirements undertaken under Phase 1.
  2. Develop and present the mobile platform prototype for beneficiaries’ improved access to information on social protection schemes and programmes.
  3. Develop and present the mobile phone technology citizens’ reporting mechanism and data analysis tool prototype.
  4. Present the platform and reporting mechanisms and data analysis tools to the SP-JP Cook Islands Technical Committee.
  5. Seek other expert views/inputs on the platform and reporting mechanisms and data analysis tools.

Phase 3: Testing and implementation

  1. Carry out installation, configuration and deployment of the fully functional system.
  2. Provision of system test results.
  3. Conduct training to identified users.
  4. Develop technical system documentation, training guide for users and administrators, maintenance guide and licensing requirement.
  5. Technical support for migration of existing data and information
  6. Provide data migration and reconciliation report.

Expected outputs and deliverables

In line with the scope of work outlined above, the Consultant is expected to ensure the effective and efficient completion and submission of the outputs and deliverables within the timelines specified in Table 1 below:

Table 1: Outputs, deliverables and timelines

Outputs

Deliverables

Timeline

Inception Report.

Outlining the approach, methodology and work plan for the consultancy.

2 days

Scoping and feasibility report.  

Detailing available in-country mobile technological applications and capabilities, as well as those used in other social protection systems around the world.

10 days

Design and development of agreed mobile platform and  citizens’ reporting mechanism and data analysis tool using mobile phone technology.

Documenting the detailed functional and technical specifications/requirements for the:

  • mobile platform prototype.
  • mobile phone technology citizens’ reporting mechanism and data analysis tool prototype. 

10 days

Implementation and testing.

Installation, configuration, deployment and testing of the platform, reporting mechanism and data analysis tool.

Conduct training to identified users.

Develop and provide technical system documentation.

Training guide for users and administrators,

Testing and improvement.

Maintenance guide and licensing requirement

10 days

Support and maintenance.  

 

10 days

Total

 

42 days

Competencies

Functional Competencies

  • Strong technical understanding of ICT and its use in social protection systems.
  • Strong technical know-how about ICT and social protection systems interfaces and applications.
  • Strong analytical skills and critical thinking skills.
  • Strong policy, planning and programming knowledge and skills.  
  • Excellent research and evaluative skills.
  • Excellent report writing skills.
  • Excellent inter-personal and teamwork skills, networking skills, and proven ability to work well in multicultural environments.
  • Excellent facilitation and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with various partners including government, civil society, the private sector, UN agencies, development partners, and communities.
  • Strong interpersonal and cross-cultural skills and ability to foster relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Ability to work under pressure, effectively coordinate others and meet tight deadlines without compromising the quality of work.

Corporate Competencies:

  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards.
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP.
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
  • Fulfils all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.

Required Skills and Experience

The assessment of individual consultants will be in accordance with the evaluation criteria below:

  • 70% for Technical; and
  • 30% for Financial.

Technical Evaluation Criteria will be based on the information provided in the CV and relevant documents that are to be submitted as evidence to support the above required criteria.

Only the candidates that have achieved a minimum of 70 points (70% of 100 points) will be deemed technically compliant and considered for the interview assessment[SPA1] .

The technical competencies will be assessed as per criteria and scoring outlined in Table 3:

Table 3: Evaluative criteria for the consultancy

Competency

Evaluative points

  • Minimum Master’s degree in information communication and technology (ICT) areas.

10

  • At least 10 years of work experience at international level in the application of information communication and technology in the areas of social protection, with a proven understanding at theoretical and practical levels in the field.

25

  • Proven experience in providing policy and programming advice in the area related to ICT and its application in social protection, social security, social welfare and labour market social protection.

15

  • Demonstrated experience working in the interface between ICT and social protection systems, including involvement in developmental and strengthening work in that interface.

10

  • Proven track record of experience in undertaking ICT and social protection development and strengthening work.

10

  • Substantial experience in research related to ICT and social protection or similar areas such as poverty reduction, analyzing poverty and vulnerability, etc.

10

  • Relevant work experience in the Pacific Islands is a strong advantage.

10

  • Relevant work experience in developing countries in a multi stakeholder environment with a development organization, Government, civil society, private sector, or a research/academic institution.

5

  • Sound understanding of project results-based management would be an asset.

5

Total

100

 

Given below is the recommended format for submitting your proposal. The following headings with the required details are important. Please use the templates provided to submit your proposal to the UNDP Jobs Site (search for the Reference number for the job as listed in the title of this advert) by due date from the UNDP Procurement site.

 

Kindly note to upload only ONE document to the UNDP Jobs site link only.  Emailed submissions will not be accepted.

Incomplete applications will not be considered and only candidates for whom there is further interest will be contacted. Proposals must include:

  • Letter of interest and availability specifying the available date to start and other details (Annex I)
  • CV or P11 form addressing the evaluation criteria and why you consider yourself the most suitable for this assignment. The selected candidate must submit a signed P11 prior to the contract award.  (Annex II)
  • Financial Proposal specifying the daily rate and other expenses if any (Annex III)
  • A brief methodology on how you will approach and conduct the work (Annex VI)
  • Statement of Good Health (Annex VII) – needs to be signed off by the winning candidate before contract signature.
 

Background

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Multi-Country Office (MCO) for the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau, based in Samoa, is seeking the services of one (1) App Developer. The consultant will lead the development of a mobile app that will help the local Ministries and NGOs to:

  1. provide a platform that will connect households to recyclers to contractors to Government Ministries;
  2. collect, store and share all data on plastic, paper and glass waste streams, with the option to include other waste streams;
  3. provide an interactive platform to educate the public on waste management;
  4. provide a platform to share and disseminate information about waste, and
  5. provide a platform to report on illegal dumping to assist with enforcement.

This project aims to pilot value chain development in waste management in Samoa and Tokelau, pairing climate action with COVID-19 socio-economic recovery to explore and test innovative, scalable, in-country, circular solutions for the recovery of low-value waste streams, namely glass, plastic and paper with the overall aim to divert waste from landfill to address immediate waste management and pollution issues in these contexts.

 

 

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the guidance of the UNDP Assistant Resident Representative (ARR), Governance and Poverty Reduction (GPRU) and the direct supervision of the CERO Waste Project Coordinator, the App Developer will be required to meet with the Project Coordinator to discuss and approve the methodology and execution plan, integrating suggestions, recommendations, and requests where applicable.

Objective:

To develop a business-to-public (B2P) and business-to-business (B2B) app that connects waste generators, both commercial and household, and exporters with waste collectors and recyclers

Duties and Responsibilities:

The consultant will be responsible for the creation, maintenance and implementation of the source code to develop mobile apps and mobile platform programs that meet the needs and requirements of UNDP and its Implementing Partners under the CERO Waste Project using computer programming languages.

The consultant will be responsible for the prototype applications design, provide the unit structure, and help the application development team with the plans.

This person will have an excellent working knowledge of Modern Language Programming Skills. particularly in C++, Java, and trained in web development languages such as HTML 5 and CSS.

The consultant must be familiar with mobile platforms API such as Apple iOS, Android and Windows Mbl, The consultant must have the ability to use the cross platform mobile suites like Antenna and AMP.

Specific Duties:

  1. Liaise with Ministries and NGOs to plan features for the app’s concept, design, test, release and support for its lifecycle.
  2. Produce a fully functional mobile applications source code
  3. Gather specific requirements on how the app should function
  4. Ensure safeguards are in place to test and identify any malfunctions/cyber attacks
  5. Ensure optimum performance is achieved
  6. Design interfaces to improve user experience
  7. Liaise with Ministries and NGOs to plan optional features
  8. Ensure new and legacy applications meet quality standards
  9. Ensure applications and protocols are up to date with new technology trends

Expected Deliverables:

  1. An approved methodology and execution plan, including knowledge transfer and timeframe.
  2. A fully functional app tailored for the Implementing Partners (Relevant Govt Ministries and NGOs) needs and requirements
  3. User and Maintenance Manual
  4. App source code
  5. All security and licensing information and timelines for renewal
  6. Training (Knowledge Transfer) for stakeholders

Reporting:

The successful candidate will administratively be under the overall guidance of the ARR GPRU and report directly to the CERO Waste Project Coordinator and work closely with the Implementing Partners of the Project to deliver the expected deliverables within the required timeframes for this assignment.

Duration:

The consultancy will be for 30 working days over 3 months, to be completed tentatively by February 2022.

 

 

Competencies

Functional Competencies:

  • Strong background in information technology
  • Experience in developing database.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure
  • Excellent research and evaluative skills.
  • Excellent report writing skills.
  • Excellent inter-personal and teamwork skills, networking skills, and proven ability to work well in multicultural environments.
  • Excellent facilitation and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with various stakeholders including government ministries, civil society, the private sector, development partners, and communities.
  • Strong interpersonal and cross-cultural skills and ability to foster relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Ability to work under pressure, effectively coordinate others and meet tight deadlines without compromising the quality of work.

Corporate Competencies:

  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards.
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP.
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
  • Fulfils all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.
  • Ability to be flexible and respond to changes as part of the review and feedback process;
  • Participate effectively in team-based, information-sharing environment, collaborating and cooperating with others;
  • Focus on impact and results for the Project.

 

 

Required Skills and Experience

Evaluation Criteria and Method

  • A degree in Computer Science or Information Systems (10 marks)
  • Minimum 5 years of progressive experience as a software/app development and excellent knowledge of Modern Language Program skills (20 marks)
  • Demonstrated UI experience and good understanding of UI designing (10 marks)
  • Excellent working knowledge of cross-platform App development such as Androids, iOS and Window phones (10 marks)
  • Excellent working knowledge of Backend Computing (Security, Database management, hardware interaction and implementation of memory allocation) (10 marks)
  • Demonstrable portfolio of released applications on the App store or the Android market (5 marks)
  • Excellent analytical skills with a good problem-solving attitude (10 marks)
  • Previous work in the waste management area is desirable (10 marks)
  • Strong time-management, organization, and communication skills, with a demonstrated ability to work in close collaboration with other team members. (10 marks)
  • Fluency in both written and spoken English is a requirement. (5 marks)

The consultancy will be awarded to the candidate with the highest combined weighted scoring from both the Technical and Financial proposals.  The proposal is deemed technically compliant only if it achieves 70% (70 marks out of total 100 marks as mentioned above) or more of the total technical score. If it is technically responsive, only then will the financial proposal be considered and to be given a full total of 30%.  The financial % calculated as follows;

Rating the Financial Proposal (FP):

              FP Rating = (Lowest Priced Offer / Price of the Offer Being Reviewed) x 100

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DOWNLOAD THE FULL TEMPLATES FOR SUBMISSION OF YOUR PROPOSAL from the UNDP Procurement site link https://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_notice.cfm?notice_id=86087

NOTE YOU NEED TO USE THE COMBINED FILE (FROM ABOVE LINK) to submit your proposal.  This online application portal will only allow ONE document to be uploaded only, therefore combine your proposal into one file and upload.

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