National Consultant for the Review, Enhancement and Deployment of the Lao Disaster Information (LaoDi)


Location : Vientiane, LAO PDR
Application Deadline :28-Sep-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
04-Oct-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :30 days
Expected Duration of Assignment :October 2021 - March 2022

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

UNDP is implementing the Urban Risk Management and Resilience - Integrated Resilience Building for Lao PDR’s Sustainable Growth to address immediate disaster needs and gaps while providing support to the Government of Laos in catalysing policy and programmatic action across administrative levels and sectors to reduce, mitigate, prepare for and respond to disasters in a holistic manner. The outcome of the project is Enhanced Urban Risk Management and Resilience to Disasters & Climate Risks.

To ensure capacity for national and urban risk management and resilience building, a well-functioning disaster and climate data collection systems with data disaggregated by sex, age and disabilities, and statistical analysis capacities is essential. And with improved ease of access to data and information, it is expected that awareness of potential hazards, areas of vulnerability and exposure will be increased. Improved data and information will encourage analysis and research that can be area-specific, hazard-specific as well as comprehensive in scope. Data and information obtained from this platform would be useful for national and localized land, urban and rural planning and management of resources and aid decision-making activities.

The Government of Laos has established the Laos Disaster Information Management (LaoDi) system, which is based on the Desinventar system, that serves as a repository for disaster information at the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare. LaoDi is envisaged to be where all of Lao PDR’s risk data can be located and updated in a centralized platform accessible to Government agencies and the public. It is also a conceptual and methodological tool for the generation of National Disaster Inventories of Disaster Damage and Losses in general effects of disasters in Lao PDR. The LaoDi captures disaggregated data about disasters and their impacts at national, local, village and sectoral levels which in turn facilitates assessment of impacts of disasters allowing government and other stakeholders to identify most disaster-prone areas for risk reduction interventions.

The LaoDi Platform began operations approximately 10 years ago which was initiated under UNDP supported project ‘Integrated Disaster and Climate Risk Management Project in Lao PDR (2013 -16)’, to help the government keep track of disasters and their impacts on at-risk populations and vulnerable sectors. The LaoDi was further updated to include extensive data about impacts on the roads sector under an ADB supported regional project ‘Enhanced use of Disaster Risk Information in South East Asia’ (2015-17).

LaoDi however became inactive due to changes in portfolio of the Ministries in charge of the Disaster Risk Management mandate, from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) to the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MoLSW). Due to changing mandates of Disaster Risk Management, the LaoDi has not been institutionalized effectively and the required capacities have not yet been developed in the government.

The Urban Risk Management and Resilience - Integrated Resilience Building for Lao PDR’s Sustainable Growth project supports the institutionalization of LaoDi and in enhancing capacity at NDMO to collect, maintain, update and analyze disaster data to understand disaster risks and implement contextual risk management interventions with particular focus on vulnerable communities and segments of society.

Under this project, the existing LaoDi platform will be updated, launched and institutionalized at NDMO under the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MoLSW). LaoDi outlines the following as targeted users:

  • Both levels of government, Local and Central in collaboratively planning and implementing mitigation measures including warning systems;
  • Local Authorities for land use planning and mitigation works;
  • Public officials involved in developing regulations, taking enforcement actions, performing risk assessments, evaluating investments, approving developments, etc.;
  • Risk researchers and practitioners;
  • Individuals or organizations that are subject to hazard-related regulations/activities;
  • Property developers, their architects and planners to make their own limited assessments of risks, and to ensure their designs comply with Government regulations and take advantage of environmental benefits (protection services, fisheries, recreational areas);
  • Emergency Services in order to plan for situations that may arise before, during and after the onset of a hazard;
  • Insurers as an input to risk assessment and pricing;
  • Homeowners, renters and business owners making decisions around where to live or operate a business, and how to manage their exposure and vulnerability to existing hazards;
  • Lending/ Mortgage institutions to assist them to value properties that are subject to mortgage; and
  • Public and private organizations providing economic infrastructure (for example; water, electricity and transport services) and other community infrastructure like hospitals and nursing homes.

The LaoDi is conceptualized as a Platform that allows users to visualize and download data relating to hazards; social, ecological, physical and economic vulnerability and loss from natural and technological hazards. The users' experience will be enhanced through their ability to visualize and interact with hazard, vulnerability and risk data through a series of map layers that can be activated and deactivated based on scenarios or analysis that the user wants to perform. Each map layer will have supporting attribute data including links to detailed information on hazards, vulnerability and losses contained in tables, photographs and reports that provide added information for analyses for specific locations.

The purpose of the platform is to promote a culture of safety and risk reduction by providing access to knowledge and information on hazard, vulnerability, exposure and loss and making it available to be utilized to support improved decision-making in disaster risk reduction and resilience, development and land use planning, investments in social, economic and environmental sectors and risk transfer strategies. The platform will also support risk reduction of future losses.

LaoDi will assist facilitating a strategic risk reduction approach led by the GOL and incorporating broader national stakeholders – including the business community and civil society.

The model proposed for LAODI will see several agencies who generate risk data being able to maintain autonomy over their data and will be given access to upload data directly to the platform without transferring the data to a third party. These agencies and access points are referred to as data sources.

LaoDi is likewise expected to provide Government and users information in order to report on its commitments and achievements to the 9th NSEDP, the UN Sendai Disaster Risk Reduction Framework and other relevant frameworks and treaties as appropriate.

The LaoDi will require hardware, software and human resources to implement a stable and efficient infrastructure and further, the development of a robust system that is scalable and able to satisfy the needs of all the stakeholders.

The platform will be managed by the NDMO, while a host server will be designated later.

A Technical Working Group (TWG) will be organized composing of focal persons for DRR in relevant Government ministries, NDMO and UNDP. The TWG will provide guidance during LaoDi development ensuring that it caters to the needs of individual ministries, users and overall risk reduction needs of the country. Consultant will work closely with the TWG during LaoDi development process.


Duties and Responsibilities

Objectives: 

To objective of the consultancy is to strengthen Lao PDR’s culture of safety and risk reduction by improving access to the country’s information on hazard, vulnerability and risk, making it more readily available for use in development decisions.

NDMO and UNDP are looking to engage a Full-Stack Web Developer consultant  who will review, update and design the layout and user experience of the LaoDi as a modern open-source platform for interaction and sharing of multi-hazard risk data among diverse users, engaging national stakeholders in the process. Consultant is to develop the wireframe, code, test, and review the platform, and offer support for training, maintenance and debugging services to NDMO.

The Individual Consultant is expected to work in collaboration with the Technical Working Group to achieve the following objectives, which are defined further under the TOR’s Scope of Work:

  1. To review, update and design both front-end and back-end development, leading to a functional Lao Disaster Information System, which streamlines the collection, storage, presentation, and generation of DRR related data from both manual data uploads and from relevant databases through interoperability solutions (e.g. LaoDi linked with MONRE database and other ministry databases/data);
  2. To support the generation and presentation of data analytics, insights, and trends that can facilitate the assessment of disaster data to provide timely and evidence-based results that will enable effective and efficient implementation of DRR and recovery interventions in the country; and
  3. To build capacities of NDMO to manage and update data collection and regular reporting of disaster data from provincial and local/municipal to national administrations as well as its statistical analysis for generation, dissemination of risk information and its application across development sectors and to inform resilience building initiatives.

Scope of Work

The Individual consultant is expected to review, further improve and design a functional LaoDi system, including front-end and back-end development, which shall streamline key functions such as reporting, updating, collation, storage, presentation, and generation of DRR related data from local stakeholders and key government agencies.

The Developer shall ensure that critical digital functions such as user credentials, data storage, accessibility, security, analytics, quality control and assurance, user experience (UX) design, overall system sustainability, and the likes are considered in developing and further enhancing LaoDi.

General Scope

  • Develop a thorough knowledge of the LaoDi to gain an understanding of the objectives of the platform, content, key stakeholders and the concept for the design, implementation and use;
  • Consult other available literature and other risk information platforms developed worldwide to understand the existing and potential challenges with risk information collection in Lao PDR;
  • Design and refine the LaoDi’s architectural design for appropriate scalability, interoperability and functionality determined by identified user and system requirements including link/migration of LaoDi to Desinventar and the Sendai Monitor;
  • Develop an inventory of existing data sets that are available to be uploaded and published on the platform. This should be done with assistance and in coordination with the TWG, various stakeholders, and NDMO which serves as focal DRR agency of Lao PDR;
  • Assess the data processing that may be required to adapt existing risk information data to the format specified in/required for the platform;
  • Develop and implement the open-source platform using the agreed upon design that the consultant would have created after conducting assessments and meetings with the TWG, NDMO, UNDP and stakeholders;
  • Create technical system and user documentation as stipulated in tasks and deliverables;
  • Develop arrangements for the sharing, transfer and upload of data from data sources/owners to the platform; and
  • Identify any challenges related to the sharing or transfer of data and recommend solutions to acquire the data;

Tasks:

TASK 1: Review and enhance user and system requirements of LaoDi

The Individual Consultant will liaise with the TWG, NDMO and UNDP to undertake a User Needs Assessment leading to the system requirements for the platform. The assessment will target various stakeholders and will require that the Consultant:

a. Identify the end-users of LaoDi and determine user accessibility to the respective data required

b. Review the platform’s functional requirements as determined by end-users for decision making, inclusive of but not limited to:

  • Links to enable LaoDi to download information from other platforms
  • Interconnectivity between platform and existing user systems
  • The type, format, timeliness and quality of risk datasets and end products required

c. Determine the non-functional requirements from end users with regards to;

  • Recoverability of tasks conducted on the platform in case of any disruptions (e.g. power outage)
  • Capacity – temporary storage, database storage for platform etc.
  • Expected reliability and availability of platform to be operational
  • Security and regulatory requirements for end-users, particularly user access/restrictions
  • Data integrity including policies and preventative procedures to be in place
  • Usability and interoperability to suit users’ needs to be incorporated in current work activities.

d. Ensure that LaoDi can interface with existing platforms or portals of other Ministries where relevant. The Consultant will also facilitate Laos risk data from two global platforms, DesInventar and Pacific Disaster Centre (Disaster aware) and any other relevant source identified, being seamlessly linked or transferred to the LaoDi.

  • Provide recommendations on how to enhance data sharing between platforms and agencies.
  • Review, identify and define tools to manipulate the data on the platform such as; search and discover features, query builders and tool boxes;

e. Identify and prepare a gap assessment of data, human, hardware, software, institutional readiness and other resources required by key stakeholders identified in the stakeholder analysis to successfully establish and sustain the platform[1]. The gap assessment should identify strategic and operational recommendations for capacity building that would address identified gaps, during and after the establishment of the platform. The key stakeholders include: The NDMO, key Ministries and sub-national authorities from provinces.

  • Provide specifications for the procurement of new hardware and software and upgrade of existing hardware and software or other resources or materials required for the establishment of the platform.
  • Identify any shortcomings in the extent to which the data requirements are being met and proposed system requirements
    • Propose how the data needs can be met, distinguishing those that can be met by the platform (include this in Gap Analysis)

f. In consultation with stakeholders, the Consultant will recommend the priority resources and capacities that should be implemented for the deployment of LaoDi and where they should be located.

 

TASK 2: Design, Develop and Deploy the Platform

The Consultant will make presentations to the TWG and stakeholders as required to seek feedback and finalize the system design and functional graphic user interface.

  1. Develop and ensure functionality of user-interface components as identified from needs assessment in Task 1.
  2. Design and create diagrams to describe the information structures in the platform as well as the communication with its users to propose options for implementation.
    • Diagrams include; Wireframes, storyboards, structural and Unified Modelling Language (UML)
    • Oversee the successful upload of all data required and provide documentation for replicability.
  3. Develop, integrate and ensure functionality of modules and tools identified in Task 1 for the designated end-user, based on the end-users’ requirements and with respective user access restrictions.
    • Establish levels of user access/restrictions within platform as identified in Task 1.
    • Develop a list of system roles and responsibilities.
  4. Develop and ensure functionality of tools to monitor the use of the platform and provide user feedback. These include but are not limited to;
    • Receive user queries, comment and other feedback for custodians or system managers;
    • Send alerts in the form of system messages or email, (for example for requests to custodians of data, queries and comments from users);
    • Security tools with necessary warning or error popup messages to avoid incorrect inputs which may cause the platform to crash;
    • Track and report changes to inputs;
    • Monitor and track platform usage and trends in operations and system runtime and periods of failure.
  5. Design and perform tests on the platform including white box testing (backend of platform), and black box testing (frontend of platform) to ensure functionality.
    • White box testing should include Unit and Integrated Testing of system modules and the overall functionality of platform and interoperability with existing systems (as stated in Task 1) based on agreed-upon design.
    • Black box testing should include System and Acceptance Testing with representation from all target groups/end-users to ensure user needs are met as identified in Task 1.
  6. Implement the design agreed upon as an integrated open-source platform.
  7. In collaboration with stakeholders, test and deploy LaoDI.
  8. Versions of the platform, associated drafts of manuals, tests and other documentation are to be provided as required under the supervision of NDMO. This is in recognition of the iterative process of software and product development of which the specific objective of this project states. Section 6.1 provides the deadline for the submission of the final product and documentation after changes are made as requested in order to receive payment.
  9. A successful platform will be determined by the positive results of a User Satisfaction Assessment and the User Acceptance Test. The data collection forms for the assessment and the test are to be submitted to NDMO for approval. The approved forms will be administered to the respective participating users.

 

TASK 3: Develop Technical and User Manuals (in Lao and English)

  1. Use/content management policies and standards
    • Include Data standards for inputs to the platform created in Task 1
    • Provide procedures for interaction with and use of data and custodians of the data.
    • Include information, disclaimers and guidelines based on relevant MoUs, policies, data sharing agreements and roles related to the inputs and manipulation of output data from the LaoDi.
  2. LaoDI Technical Manual
    • Outline data file types, formats and quality requirements for all inputs with respect to the platform modules/tools and updating procedures.
    • Include information on the basic technical requirements for hardware and software for potential users to access the full capabilities of the platform as intended for their access.
    • Provide a section for troubleshooting to resolve issues identified from the white box and black box test reports and user training conducted.
  3. LaoDI User Manual
    • Develop an operational manual of the LaoDi with specific roles, data sharing agreements, updating procedures etc.
    • Provide illustrated instructions to navigate users through the platform.
    • Include tips and instructions to use the various modules to avoid challenges in comprehension observed from System and User testing and training feedback.

Drafts of all documentation will be required as guided under the supervision of the partners, NDMO and UNDP. Section 6.1 provides the timeline for the submission and acceptance of final documentation.

 

TASK 4: Sustainability of the Platform

  1. Undertake training of key stakeholders, specifically NDMO, in the use and maintenance of the Platform. This should include stakeholders with responsibilities to upload data to the platform, maintain the platform and update the platform after implementation.
    • Develop a training plan and material including training manual with relevant exercises.
    • Develop a Training Plan and Trainer of Trainers (TOT) manual for end-user training.
    • Undertake training in the use of the platform for end-users.
    • Develop training material and submit draft and final material prior to trainings.
  2. Participate in awareness-raising activities about the LaoDi during design, development and deployment where required.
  3. Provide maintenance support as part of contractual deliverable to ensure platform and system is working properly.
  4. Develop a sustainability plan and maintenance policy for the platform.
    • Include recommendations for future software upgrades after project implementation – defined periodically or otherwise
  5. Submit all source codes to NDMO (or National IT Center) related to the development and final implemented platform and associated software.
  6. Develop Fee and Cost structure for maintenance of the platform.

Approach and Methodology

An Individual Consultant (IC) will be engaged to perform assigned activities and deliver outputs outlined in this TOR. Through the submission of an inception report, the selected Consultant must describe how he/she will provide the activities and outputs outlined in this TOR; providing a detailed work plan including timelines, activities, outputs, list of stakeholders, data collection methodology appropriate to the work context, reporting condition, and quality assurance mechanism. The IC may have his or her support team to deliver the outputs of this project.

1Reporting and Institutional Arrangements

Reporting Arrangements

The Consultant will be interfacing with several stakeholders nationally and locally to adequately fulfil the objectives of the ToR. Prior to project start, the Consultant will be invited to participate in an inception meeting to be held with the NDMO, relevant Government agencies, UNDP and other key agencies.

On contractual or other matters, the consultant will report to the NDMO (Director of Disaster Prevention and Risk Reduction Division) and UNDP (DRR Specialist). The Consultant should request problem solving meetings as soon as there is any indication of a variation in the scope of work or changes in the timeline. No variations are to be made to the agreed time or cost without the prior approval of NDMO and UNDP.

NDMO and UNDP is responsible for liaising and setting up meetings and stakeholder consultations with national agencies, local government units, NGOs, and other identified stakeholders. Where necessary, consultant will conduct follow-up meetings. The NDMO and UNDP may provide key persons to contact in selected organizations.

The duty station is in Vientiane, Laos. The engagement may be home-based and for accessibility and availability to allow for discussions and reporting on the progress of activities regular online meetings shall be conducted.

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic and declaration of State of Public Health Emergency in the Country, all work and travel of the Consultant shall be done within the guidelines and protocols set by the local and national government.

The Consultant will not be required to report to the office regularly but a status report on the outputs shall be expected monthly or as needed.

Submission and Approval of Outputs

All deliverables are to be submitted to NDMO and UNDP who will convene a meeting of the TWG and other relevant agencies, to review the deliverables and provide comments.

A final version of the outputs with submitted taking into account proposed revisions, comments and suggestions from the TWG. An acceptance letter will be issued to the contractor upon satisfactory acceptance of deliverables by the NDMO and UNDP.

 

Support to be provided to the Individual Consultant

 

The Consultant is expected to use his/her computer and communication equipment and other resources that are required and may be needed to conduct activities in this TOR.

NDMO will:

  1. Organize a TWG to provide guidance and review submitted Outputs/Reports
  2. Provide a list of stakeholders with whom the Consultant should consult in the development of the end-user requirements and system requirements.
  3. Appoint a focal point at NDMO who will interface with the Consultant during the execution of the assignment.
  4. Allow access to its hardware, software and databases to facilitate analysis required for the design, development, testing and deployment of LaoDi.
  5. Provide support for the deployment of LaoDi.
  6. Provide office facilities for up to two members of the consulting team at any one point in time during the execution of the assignment.

 

UNDP will:

  1. Provide a list of stakeholders with whom the Consultant should consult in the development of the end-user requirements and system requirements.
  2. Appoint a focal point at UNDP who will interface with the Consultant during the execution of the assignment.
  3. Provide support for the deployment of LaoDi.

 

Please find more detail information on the Deliverables, Timeframe, Payment Terms, others and How to apply on the TOR

 


Competencies

  • A portfolio of similar work completed for the last three years;
  • Hands-on modern PHP and knowledge of PHP front-end frameworks such as Symfony;
  • Proficient with popular JS application frameworks such as Angular, Vue, React, Node, and Ember;
  • Excellent working and demonstrated knowledge of HTML, CSS, jQuery, and experience with responsive design and development;
  • Ability to write secure and clean code and documentation;
  • Excellent knowledge of MySQL;
  • Good communication skills;
  • Ability to conduct performance debugging, benchmarking, and able to identify resolutions;


Required Skills and Experience

University degree in IT and/or computer science course

  • Degree in Computer Science.

-  Strong organisational and project management skills.
- Proficiency with fundamental front end languages such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
- Experience with database technology such as MySQL, Oracle and MongoDB.
- Excellent verbal communication skills.
- Good problem solving skills, attention to detail.

  • At least five years of experience as backend developer;
  • Experience in developing and implementing custom and complex WordPress websites;
  • Experience in editing WordPress plugins;
  • Experience working with UN and other nonprofit organizations.

 

Requirements for submission of proposals:

All interested and qualified International Consultant should apply on-line using the following links:

 

https://www.la.undp.org/content/lao_pdr/en/home/jobs.html 

 

In order to make your submission, please read the relevant documents available at the links below:

  1. TOR (Annex I)
  2. IC General Terms and Conditions _ Annex II;
  3. OFFEROR’S LETTER TO UNDP CONFIRMING INTEREST AND AVAILABILITY _ Annex III
  4. P11 Form

Documents to be included when submitting the proposals:

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

  1.  A cover letter, explaining why you are the most suitable for the work;
  2. CV or P11 Form indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
  3. Financial Proposal Annex III indicates breakdown costs that may arise.
  4. Portfolio of previous relevant work assignment for the past 3 years

NoteAny request for clarification must be sent in writing to the following e-mail: surith.sengsavang@undp.org  and copy khatthaneth.sensathith@undp.org

UNDP Lao PDR will respond in writing by standard electronic mail and will send written copies of the response, including an explanation of the query without identifying the source of inquiry, to all consultants.

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be notified.

Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

 

For more detailed information about UNDP Lao PDR please visit our website at https://www.la.undp.org/content/lao_pdr/en/home/jobs.html



If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact the eRecruit Helpdesk.

© 2016 United Nations Development Programme