In line with the commitment to “leave no one behind” and promoting an inclusive development agenda that fosters equal opportunities for all, the Bureau of Management (BMS) is implementing an integrated project that aims to eliminate physical, communication, technical, psychological and cultural barriers to the employment and retention of persons with disabilities (PWD) in UNDP as well as to the more effective engagement of UNDP clients and partners with disabilities in UNDP’s policy/programme work. The scope of the project includes the development and implementation of a number of specific initiatives that will enable the assessment of accessibility of communications materials, as well as IT platforms, systems and tools.
Accessibility is one of the fundamentals of inclusion and, as such, one of the key focus areas of the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS). In the times of digital revolution, where information technologies have emerged as strong drivers of progress and have led to a major change in the way organizations and persons work and collaborate, accessibility of information systems and tools has become equally important. The UN Department of Public Information (DPI) has developed detailed Accessibility Guidelines for UN Websites and UNDP has to consistently implement these across the organization.
UNDP intends to enter into a Long-Term Agreement (LTA) with 10 to 15 service providers (Individual consultants) providing the best value for the money to UNDP for the requested services. Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. An LTA is a written agreement between the selected Consultant and UNDP that is established for specific services at prescribed prices or pricing provisions for up to three years, against which specific orders can be placed at any time during the defined period and with no legal obligation to order any minimum or maximum quantity.
UNDP will award LTAs to more than one Consultant according to the scope of services detailed below. UNDP intends the resulting LTAs to be used for its headquarters office in New York, USA as well as various offices around the world, for a period of up to three years.
UNDP would conduct a secondary competition among the Consultants holding an LTA, which is a much more simplified procedure that focuses on factors such as availability of the Consultant at the time of the requirement, the financial offer, etc.
Duties and Responsibilities
SCOPE OF WORK, RESPONSIBILITIES AND DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ANALYTICAL WORK
The Consultant would be responsible for the following key deliverables:
- Assess accessibility and usability of the Corporate ICT platforms, digital content, PDFs, applications, systems and software and provide feedback.
- Conduct automated and manual tests to assess accessibility and user-friendliness.
- Write reports to describe the user experience, note which features are accessible and why, identify which features are not accessible, and make recommendations for how they can be made more accessible with clear, thorough and actionable feedback
- Conduct a follow-up test to confirm that the issues identified have been properly resolved, as needed.
- Create accessibility test scarious, as needed.
- Other related duties as assigned.
Expected outputs and deliverables:
- Based on the WCAG 2.1 guidelines, perform accessibility tests on ICT platforms, applications, PDFs, web pages and other digital content .
- Accessibility testing may include manual exploratory testing, inspection for visual issues, keyboard navigation testing, screen reader testing, and inspection of HTML, CSS and ARIA markup, as needed.
- Issue a report that describes user experience, accessible barriers and recommendations to enhance accessibility with clear, thorough and actionable feedback. It should include criteria, methodological notes, and means of verification.
- Present testing results with internal teams, as needed.
- Timely completion of accessibility assessments.
- Timely reports of specific work completed, and days/hours worked.
- Plans, prioritizes, coordinates and delivers tasks on time;
- Strong communications skills. Ability to translate technical terminology into easy-to-understand language;
- A detail-oriented, process-driven analyst with attentiveness for the smallest details;
- Excellent time management, organizational and planning skills.
- An adaptable multitasker who can independently prioritize multiple complex projects and adjust to accommodate unexpected changes;
- Displays cultural and gender sensitivity;
- Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
- Demonstrates openness to change and adaptability;
- Responds positively to feedback.
Required Skills and Experience
- Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, or related field is required.
Experience and knowledge:
- Minimum of 1 year of experience performing accessibility testing is required;
- Experience in web accessibility guidelines, such as European Accessibility Act, American Disability Act or similar, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is required;
- Certified accessibility expertise is an asset;
- Minimum of 2 years of experience using screen readers such as JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, Talkback, and others is required;
- Self-starter with a demonstrated record of acquiring knowledge beyond what is needed to complete assigned tasks is desired;
- Excellent ability to communicate clearly in writing is desired;
- Experience working with the UN System or other large organizations is desirable.
- Fluency in written and spoken English is required.
- Fluency in Spanish or French is desirable.
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity and inclusion in all its forms. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.
It is to be noted that this assignment is ‘home-based’ and the candidates will work remotely from any location provided that they have the necessary connection/home-office arrangements that will allow them to deliver on the expected outputs.
The application package containing the following (to be uploaded as one file):
- A cover letter with a brief description of why the Offer considers her/himself the most suitable for the assignment;
- Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects and specifying the relevant assignment period (from/to), as well as the email and telephone contacts of at least three (3) professional references; and
Note: The above documents need to be scanned in one file and uploaded to the online application as one document.
Shortlisted candidates (ONLY) will be requested to submit a Financial Proposal.
- The financial proposal should specify an all-inclusive daily professional fee.
- The financial proposal must be all-inclusive and take into account various expenses that will be incurred during the contract, including: the daily professional fee; (excluding mission travel); living allowances at the duty station; communications, utilities and consumables; life, health and any other insurance; risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions (e.g., personal security needs, etc.), when applicable; and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract.
- While the financial offer during this initial selection will be based on daily fee, the specific projects after contract awards will be based on all-inclusive lumpsum fee which will be requested from LTA holders during the secondary competition stage.
- This consultancy is a home-based assignment, therefore, there is no envisaged travel cost to join duty station/repatriation travel.
- In the case of unforeseeable travel requested by UNDP, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between UNDP and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed. In general, UNDP should not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.
- If the Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.
The Financial Proposal is to be submitted as per the instruction in the separate email that will be sent to shortlisted candidates.
Applicants are reviewed based on Required Skills and Experience stated above and based on the technical evaluation criteria outlined below. Applicants will be evaluated based on cumulative scoring. When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
- Being responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
- Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation where technical criteria weighs 70% and Financial criteria/ Proposal weighs 30%.
Technical evaluation - Total 70% (70 points):
Desk review (45 points)
- Relevance of experience in web accessibility guidelines, such as European Accessibility Act, American Disability Act or similar, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI); Max. 15pts; Weight= 15%%.
- 1+ years of experience performing accessibility testing is requested. Max 5 pts Weight = 5%.
- 2+ years of experience using screen readers such as JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, Talkback, and others is requested. 1 point per additional year up to a maximum of 10 points. Weight = 10%.
- Certified accessibility expertise. Max. 10pts; Weight=10%.
- Experience working with the UN System or other large organizations is desirable. Max. 5pts; Weight=5%.
Having reviewed applications received, UNDP will invite the top 10-20 shortlisted candidates for interview. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
- Interview. Max. 25pts; Weight=25%.
Candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (49 points) of the maximum obtainable points for the technical criteria (70 points) shall be considered for the financial evaluation.
Financial evaluation - Total 30% (30 points)
The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:
- p = y (µ/z), where
- p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated
- y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal
- µ = price of the lowest priced proposal
- z = price of the proposal being evaluated
UNDP plans to enter into the Long-Term Agreement (LTA) with the 10-15 TOP ranked successful Individual Contractors to assure resources availability at the required time fame and/or increased demand for services requested. The service will be used on an intermittent and repetitive basis when needed and based on the fixed all-inclusive lumpsum price. Other prospective applicants that are not contracted, at the UNDP’s discretion, may be placed in the roster of consultants to be used based on an on-call basis for similar services.
Please note that the LTA does not form a financial obligation or commitment from UNDP at the time the LTA contract is signed, and that such an agreement is non-exclusive. When a specific need arises, the successful Individual Contractor/s will be approached and be provided with a specific TOR and deliverables (and time frame) but still within the scope of the responsibilities stated in the LTA. The successful Individual Contractor(s) is expected to provide Confirmation of Interest on the specific services required at an all-inclusive lumpsum fee based on the agreed LTA Daily Rate Consultancy Fee. Financial commitments will only be established each time a Purchase Order for the specific services/TOR for Individual Contractor is committed.
This LTA has a cumulative ceiling amount that may accrue to the individual contractor during the life of the LTA, but said amount shall remain as an upper limit, and must not and cannot be interpreted nor understood as neither a financial commitment nor guarantee of business volume.
Candidate obtaining the highest combined scores in the combined score of Technical and Financial evaluation will be considered technically qualified and will be offered to enter into contract with UNDP.
The consultant will work in close consultation with the HR Business Partner or their designated authority. The deliverables will be closely monitored to ensure timeline and strategy plan remain on schedule.
The consultant must disclose any perceived or actual conflict of interest on any panel they are assigned with.
This global LTA will be used by various UNDP Country Offices and as such, the consultants will be required to work on different time zones.
- Payments will be based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services to be specified in the Terms of Reference during secondary competition and deliverables accepted and upon certification of satisfactory completion by the manager.