Local IT Consultant to support LEPL the National Assessment and Examinations Centre (NAEC) in ICT Infrastructure and software Architecture


Location : Tbilisi, GEORGIA
Application Deadline :23-Aug-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :Up to 60 working days within period of August-December 2021

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

The legal entity of Public Law (LEPL), the National Assessment and Examinations Centre (NAEC) of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia (MoES) was established in 2002 to manage and administer standardized, high-quality exams for schools, universities and vocational educational entities.  In 2005, the very first unified national examinations were conducted that played a crucial role in the development of the higher education system. Over the 16 years, NAEC administers a range of testing programmes, including school graduation, university and Master’s degree entry exams, vocational education professional programs, student grant competition, teacher competency testing: this process includes authoring the items, assembling the test, administering the test delivery, scoring the test, and analysing the data. Furthermore, the Centre administers international educational research - PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS - in Georgia to identify the national performance in literacy, numeracy and sciences and compare countries’ achievements globally. Over the years, NAEC has become one of Georgia’s “success stories” in terms of institutional reforms in the region by administering corruption-free and fair university entrance examinations. These achievements are highlighted in the World Bank Report “Fighting Corruption in Public Services: Chronicling Georgia’s Reforms” of 2012 (WB report of 2012 -https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/2234/664490PUB0EPI0065774B09780821394755.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y).

The unified national examinations are centralized, high-stakes examinations using blended model (tests are computer-based but applicants complete tests on answer-sheets). The entire process is standardized - every procedure, including test development, administration, marking and appellation, is in accordance with established regulations and applicants are in similar conditions. By means of valid, fair, and reliable educational assessment NAEC contributes to the improvement of the quality of education in Georgia.

However, to fulfil its function efficiently, it is crucial to have a well-develop ICT infrastructure, NAEC’s existing infrastructure needs to be updated to meet the modern assessment requirements. Hardware and software are no longer supported by the vendors. Therefore, to update the technology and be in line with international standards as well as to meet the security norms, the system needs to be reviewed both to change the outdated infrastructure and meet modern assessment standards technologies. NAEC needs to establish a clear baseline for future Assessment Technology development, a comprehensive review of current assessment and examination of ICT technologies and infrastructure.

This should contain a description of the current system but also an assessment of existing gaps and opportunities to efficiently address them in the future.

As part of this joint effort and to support NAEC in this exercise, UNDP in Georgia, through its Governance Reform Fund (GRF) Project, is seeking the services of an IT Consultant in the field of ICT Infrastructure Architect to assess ICT technology and infrastructure of NAEC and develop relevant solutions for further of ICT infrastructure in order to meet modern requirements. The consultant will provide analysis of infrastructure design, software solutions and security standards.


Duties and Responsibilities

The overall objective of this consultancy is to conduct NAEC’s ICT technologies and infrastructure needs assessment, offer modifications based on good practices, and elaborate recommendations for the future assessment/e-assessment framework development. The work should be performed in close cooperation with NAEC’s respective representatives and the active involvement of other key stakeholders.

Description of the purpose, tasks and functions of the assessment framework for NAEC ICT and assessment/e-assessment software environment:

  1. Server Infrastructure Assessment:

1.1.    The current state of server hardware infrastructure;

1.2.    Compliance of server infrastructure with modern technological requirements;

1.3.    Assessment of the status of server software licensing;

1.4.    Analysis of reliability and security of server infrastructure operation;

1.5.    Assessment of the level of continuous operation of the server infrastructure;

1.6.    Defining the main risks of server infrastructure;

1.7.    Defining the urgent, critical need analysis;

1.8.    Possible server infrastructure development strategy.

         2. Network Infrastructure Assessment:

2.1.    Compliance of network equipment and architecture with modern requirements;

2.2.    Assessment of the current situation in terms of unauthorized penetration;

2.3.    Analysis of the level of network infrastructure reliability and continuous operation;

2.4.    Suggestion of main risks of network infrastructure;

2.5.    Defining the urgent, critical need analysis;

2.6.    Suggestion of network infrastructure development strategy;

         3. Software evaluation (both assessment and e-Assessment):

3.1.    The relevance of the technologies used to create the software to the tasks to be solved;

3.2.    Inventory of software blocks;

3.3.    Assessment of the possibility of unauthorized penetration of existing software;

3.4.    Assessment of the reliable operation of existing software;

3.5.    Assessment of the Interoperability with Global Standards including QTI and LTI;

3.6.    Evaluation of the continuous operation of existing software;

3.7.    Suggestion of key risks;

3.8.    Suggestion of urgent, critical need analysis;

3.9.    Assessment of the need to create new software;

3.10.  Suggestion of possible software development strategy;

         4. Human Resources Assessment:

4.1.    Assessment of human resources and financial condition allocated to them;

4.2.    Evaluation of the administrative structure of the department.

  • Develop a strategic plan for unified national examinations system improvement and transformation according to assessment findings and industry trends.
  • Develop a Strategic Plan for establishing the centralized diagnostic school assessment system;
  • Identify the roles of the NAEC and involved in the assessments/e-assessments ICT infrastructure partners in terms of large-scale examinations throughout the country, determine the rights and responsibilities of each organization.

The payment schedule is given below and will be made upon competition, submission and approval of deliverables by the GRF Project Manager:

40% of the consultancy fee:

  • Documented Evaluation report on current testing and Assessment technology (ICT and assessment/e-assessment software environment of NAEC and relevant stakeholders), which should include all above description of the purpose.

60% of the consultancy fee:

  • Documents of recommendations and solutions for testing and assessment technology (ICT and assessment/e-assessment software environment of NAEC and relevant stakeholders), which should include the above-described purposes for beneficiary review;
  • Report with recommendations and solutions for assessment technology (ICT and assessment/e-assessment software environment of NAEC);
  • Final consultancy report.

Management Arrangements:

The IT Consultant - ICT Infrastructure and Software Architect will work under the overall supervision of the Governance Reform Fund (GRF) Project Manager and in close coordination with respective personnel from UNDP IT, ICT and assessment/e-assessment team of NAEC.

The service provider will be directly responsible to, reporting to, seeking approval from, and obtaining certification of output acceptability from the above-mentioned persons. In addition, the respective GRF team will be responsible for sharing relevant documents, contact details and other necessary information with the service provider.


Competencies

Corporate competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN's values and ethical standards;
  • Understanding of the mandate and the role of UNDP would be an asset;
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.

Functional competencies:

  • Strong communication and analytical skills;
  • Demonstrated skills in drafting reports;
  • Ability to work under pressure with several tasks and various deadlines;
  • Actively generates creative, practical approaches and solutions to overcome challenging situations;
  • Excellent writing, presentation/public speaking skills;
  • A pro-active approach to problem-solving;
  • Computer literacy.

Leadership and Self-Management skills:

  • Builds strong relationships with the working group and with the project partners
  • Focuses on impact and results for the project partners and responds positively to feedback;
  • Cooperates with the working group effectively and demonstrates strong conflict resolution skills;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy, positivity and a constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates strong influencing and facilitation skills;
  • Remains calm, in control and good-humored under pressure;
  • Demonstrates openness to change, new ideas and ability to manage ambiguity;
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrates the ability to transfer knowledge and competencies;
  • Is able to work independently and hurdle competing priorities.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Higher education in Information Technology, assessment/e-assessment or other technical sciences (minimum requirement) - 15 Points

Experience:

  • At least five years of experience in planning and implementation of complex IT projects; (minimum requirement)  - 10 points , more than 5 years – additional 5 points
  • At least five years of experience in analysis of complex IT projects and solutions in government organization (preferably in assessment / e-assessment examination projects (minimum requirement) - 5 years – 5 Points  more than 5 years – additional 5 points
  • At least three years’ experience (preferably on the same position) in working on IT policies and technical documentation related to International standards of information systems’ development; (minimum requirement) – 5 Points.
  • Good Knowledge of Planning & Modeling Business Processes will be an asset - 5 Points.

Evaluation:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis method. Offerors will be evaluated against combination of technical and financial criteria. Maximum obtainable score is 100, out of which the total score for technical criteria equals to 70 and for financial criteria – to 30. Offerors that do not meet Minimum Qualification Criteria will be automatically rejected, while the rest will form up the long list. The offerors who obtain minimum 35 points as a result of the desk review will be invited for the interview. Offerors who pass 70% threshold, i.e. obtain minimum 14 points, as a result of the interview will be requested the financial proposal.

Financial Proposal:

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (i.e. whether payments fall in installments or upon completion of the entire contract). Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the ToR.  In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this lump sum amount. Maximum 30 points will be assigned to the lowest price offer. All other price offers will be scored using the formula (inverse proportion):  Financial score X = 30* the lowest price offer/suggested price offer. All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal as well.



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