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International Consultant for Development Of Technical Specifications And Piloting Of Automated Data Transfer Of IATI Data Into A National AIMS


Location : Home-based With Dhaka Visit, BANGLADESH
Application Deadline :18-Jul-15 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :90 days over a period of 5 months

Background

Bangladesh’ Aid Information Management System

Foreign aid plays an important role in Bangladesh’s development. Over the last ten years, Bangladesh received foreign assistance amounting on average to US$ 2 billion per year. Although aid only accounts for roughly 2% of GNI, it constitutes more than 30 % of Bangladesh’s development budget.

The Aid Effectiveness Project in Bangladesh is a project managed by UNDP, executed by the Economic Relations Division of the Government and funded by DFID, DANIDA, Australian Aid, UNDP and the Government of Bangladesh. With the support of this project, the Government of Bangladesh has developed an Aid Information Management System (AIMS: http://aims.erd.gov.bd ). This is a one-stop-shop for all information related to foreign assistance in Bangladesh, covering all sectors, projects and donors. AIMS offers a single software application that records and processes information on development activities and related aid flows in the country. The AIMS captures project-level information on commitments, disbursements and expenditures, by donor, implementer, sector and geographic location. The data are easily publicly accessible online, to any government official, development partner, civil society organization, journalist or interested citizen.

The overall objective of an AIMS is to provide a common information sharing platform for Government, Development Partners and all other stakeholders, in order to increase aid transparency, strengthen mutual accountability, improve aid coordination, strengthen alignment and allow for more efficient aid management. AIMS is an essential tool to implement international mutual commitments on aid transparency reflected in the Paris Declaration of Aid Effectiveness (2005), the Accra Agenda for Action (2008), the Busan Partnership Document (2011) and the Mexico Communique (2014).

Rather than purchasing an off-the-shelf software, Bangladesh has developed its home-grown AIMS using local expertise. The web application was formally launched in October 2014 and this far 14 major development partners have provided extensive data into the system. The source code along with the documentation (e.g. Software requirement specification, Software design document) of the software are available. The software development team is available locally and can be liaised for further consultation.

International Aid Transparency Initiative

Globally, in order to make information about aid spending easier to find, use and compare, the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) was launched in September 2008. IATI is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative that seeks to improve the transparency of aid in order to increase its effectiveness. IATI brings together donor and developing countries, civil society organizations and other experts in aid information who are committed to working together to increase the transparency of aid.

IATI began its work by consulting developing country stakeholders on their information needs, and discussing with donors the most efficient and effective way of meeting these. On the basis of these consultations, IATI developed and agreed a common, open, standard for the publication of aid information – the “IATI Standard”. Donors implement IATI by publishing their aid information following agreed common definitions, in IATI’s agreed common electronic format. This usually happens on their website, with a link to a central registry, the IATI Registry. In the Bangladesh AIMS, as per the present design, the common definitions for sharing project information (e.g. sector, currency, country, aid type, organization type, etc.) have been classified according to both IATI standard and local classifications. In order to reduce the reporting burden of donors and access more data, UNDP and ERD now wish to develop a data import module that will pull data from the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) repository and transfer these into the Bangladesh AIMS.

Therefore, an international consultant will be engaged to carry out the tasks related to the automated data import from the IATI repository, develop technical specifications and pilot automated data transfers of IATI data into a national AIMS. Automated data import may imply automatic import, or it may imply supplementing local data, or it can imply suggesting changes to local data based on data available in IATI. The IC will be expected to make suggestions for the best options in this regard.

The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Project Manager and in close coordination with ICT Specialist of the Project. The Economic Relations Division of the Government, represented by the National Project Director, will provide strategic guidance.


Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

In order to pilot an automated data import from IATI data to Bangladesh AIMS the consultant will need to articulate all the required process interventions, prepare technical specifications for the data import module and guide the software development team in order to develop the data import module which enables automated import of data from the IATI repository to Bangladesh AIMS ensuring integrity and consistency of the project related data. Key tasks include:

  • Analyze existing data structure and interface of Bangladesh AIMS and mapping the data fields with IATI xml schema;
  • Establish the variety of roles that IATI data can play in the Bangladesh AIMS (automatic import, supplementing local data, suggesting changes to local data, identifying missing DPs, humanitarian data, regional data etc.) and advantages and disadvantages of the various options;
  • Design an effective transferring mechanism that verifies the merging projects from IATI repository with projects recorded in Bangladesh AIMS in a way that data integrity and consistency are preserved;
  • Provide guidance on modifications to existing processes, and on methods and workflows which need to be followed for the import of data from IATI repository including roles and responsibility of concerned personnel for mapping projects and sectors between systems, for maintaining data integrity and consistency, and for local staff to evaluate whether IATI import or local import is easier on a case by case basis;
  • Identify how the IATI import module would change capacities requires to maintain AIMS – in particular in the light of future IATI upgrades;
  • Explore, in dialogue with the IATI secretariat and AIMS experts in other countries, options for an open source import module which can be used by other countries with an AIMS and which may increase sustainability of the module as the IATI standard evolves;
  • Facilitate a sensitization session for DPs and one for ERD officials on the process, options and challenges in introducing automated data transfers from IATI and facilitate agreement on the way forward;
  • Based on options agreed with DPs and government, prepare technical specification following standard software engineering principles and practices for automated data import module for software development team;
  • Provide assistance to the software development team as and when necessary;
  • Conduct the pilot exercise by importing 3 major development partners’ data into Bangladesh AIMS and prepare a detailed analytical report for the pilot exercise mentioning its advantages, bottlenecks and way forward;
  • Provide a training to ERD officials and a training to DPs on automated use of IATI data in AIMS with the new module;
  • Prepare an operating manual for automated transfer of IATI data into the national AIMS, for administrators and users of the module.

Documentation/lessons learned from countries where pilot work on automated data import has already been undertaken, such as - Myanmar, Rwanda, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, DRC, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, should to be considered while prepare processes, methods and workflows.

User guide 'The use of IATI data in country systems' published by the IATI Secretariat’s technical team should be considered as main guidance note. The user guide available at https://sites.google.com/site/useofiatidataincountrysystems/

The need for follow up assignments and a possible extension of the assignment will be evaluated after completion of the first pilot importing data from three donors, including DFID.

Expected Outputs and Deliverables

  • Inception report on automated data import from IATI repository (Estimated duration 10 days);
  • Submission of methodology for automated data import from IATI repository to Bangladesh AIMS and dissemination of the same with major development partners of Bangladesh (Estimated duration 25 days);
  • Submission of technical specification for developing software module (Estimated duration 15 days);
  • Successful completion of pilot exercise of three donors and submission of final report regarding outcome of the exercise (Estimated duration 40 days).

Institutional Arrangement

  • The consultant will report to the Project Manager of Aid Effectiveness Project.

Duration of the Work

  • Assignment will be for 90 days over a period of 5 months.

Duty Station

Travel twice to Dhaka, Bangladesh. First travel will continue up to submission of technical specification for developing software module. Second travel will start after development of software module for automated data import, which will end with completion of pilot exercise and submission of final report.


Competencies

Functional competencies:

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities skills;
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback;
  • Ability to plan, organize, implement and report on work;
  • Ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines;
  • Positive, constructive attitude to work;
  • Comprehensiveness knowledge of information system and design principle;
  • Outstanding communication, project management and organizational skills;
  • Excellent presentation and facilitation skills.

Corporate competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity and ethical standards;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • At least Bachelor Degree in Information Technology/Computer Science/Business Administration/Development Studies or related social science fields with formal IT education.

Experience:

  • A minimum of 8 years of relevant working experience, including experience in developing data mapping module between two systems;
  • Of which at least 2 year experience with aid information management system and global aid architecture;
  • Of which at least 2 year experience in data management and analysis;
  • Of which at least 1 year experience with xml schema as well as database driven web applications;
  • Of which at least 6 months experience in working with IATI standard and data.

Language requirements:

  • Fluency of English language is required;

Evaluation of the Candidates:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology:

Cumulative analysis:The candidates will be evaluated through Cumulative Analysis method. The award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • 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.

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points in the technical evaluation would be considered for Financial Evaluation.

Technical Evaluation Criteria (Total 70 marks):

  • Years of work experience in designing information systems - 10 marks;
  • Experience in developing data mapping modules between two systems - 10 marks;
  • Experience with aid information management systems - 10 marks;
  • Understanding of the global aid architecture - 5 Marks;
  • Proven experience in data management and analysis - 10 Marks;
  • Experience with xml schema as well as database driven web applications - 10 Marks;
  • Experience Good understanding ofin working with IATI standard and data - 10 Marks;
  • At least 3 months experience in developing a data import module between IATI repository and a country system - 5 Marks.

Financial Evaluation (Total 30 marks):

  • All technical qualified proposals will be scored out 30 based on the formula provided below. The maximum points (30) will be assigned to the lowest financial proposal.

All other proposals received points according to the following formula:

  • 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.

Financial Milestone

Candidates are requested to submit their financial proposal (per day in USD) using the template from the below link;

http://www.bd.undp.org/content/dam/bangladesh/docs/Jobs/Interest%20and%20Submission%20of%20Financial%20Proposal-Template%20for%20Confirmation.docx

  • 1st Installment: 20% of the total contract amount will be paid after submission Inception report on automated data import from IATI repository submitted and acceptable to ERD and UNDP.
  • 2nd Installment: 20% of the total contract amount will be paid after submission of methodology for automated data import from IATI repository to Bangladesh AIMS and acceptable to ERD, UNDP and major development partners of Bangladesh
  • 3rd Installment: 30% of the total contract amount will be paid after submission of technical specification for developing software module and acceptable to ERD and UNDP.
  • Final Installment: 30% of the total contract amount will be paid after 4 Successful completion of pilot exercise and submission of final report regarding outcome of the exercise, acceptable to ERD and UNDP [30% of total contract amount].

Documentation required:

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. Please group them into one (1) single PDF document as the application only allows to upload maximum one document:

  • Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided in Annex II;
  • Personal CV indicating all relevant experience, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
  • Technical proposal, including a brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment;
  • Financial proposal, as per template provided in Annex II.

Annexes


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