Senior Biometric Voter Registration Advisor


Location : Honiara, SOLOMON ISLANDS
Application Deadline :20-Feb-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :2d 11h 20m
Additional Category :Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
01-Mar-2018
Duration of Initial Contract :120 working days
Expected Duration of Assignment :120 working days

Background

In Solomon Islands, the “Strengthening the Electoral Cycle in the Solomon Islands Project” (SECSIP) phase II seeks to support the enhancement of the Biometric Voter Registration System adopted by the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) which contributed to the success of the 2014 elections by establishing a reliable electoral roll and reducing the likelihood of fraud. 

Due to limited resources and other challenges faced by SIEC and also in view of the 2018 provincial elections and 2019 national elections, the SIEC requires urgent support in ensuring the continuity and integrity of its BVR operations and data. The SIEC also needs to build its capacity to maintain its BVR infrastructure independently in the future. 

The following components have been identified as a way forward to secure the upcoming BVR operations and to build the sustainability of the biometric voter register:

1. Strengthen the SIEC’s data-centers: UNDP will support the SIEC in securing its systems and ensuring service continuity, either by re-enforcing its existing IT infrastructure or by cooperating with other entities such as ICT SU as needed.

2. Upgrade SIEC’s systems: UNDP will support in the development of the necessary modules of the BVR systems and other software to make the SIEC’s operations more secure and efficient in compliance with best international practices. While immediate actions can be initiated, actions with a view to long-term sustainability of the BVR can start in parallel while building on the existing systems, data available and human resources. This will require to build on the investments made to date and to identify, set up and establish a national team with a view to build national capacities to fully own and manage the BVR in a medium to long-run. 

3. Establishment of provincial offices: these offices would reduce some of the workload from HQ and provide regular registration services, in compliance with the law. Implementation could be done with minimal investments through MoUs with the Ministry of Provincial Government and/or other relevant entitites. This is in accordance with the findings and recommendations of the assessment for the strengthening of the institutional capacities of the electoral authorities commissioned by SECSIP in 2016 and this need has been acknowledged by SIEC.

4. Deployment beyond provincial capitals: this expands on the previous components, to increase proximity to citizens, and therefore inclusiveness. Schools or clinics could provide the infrastructure for permanent registration and identification services.

5. Cost-sharing with the Civil Registry: in addition to infrastructure costs, joint operations with the civil registry would further reduce SIG investments as the BVR and the CR have natural synergies.

Recent developments have also seen the departure of essential human capital in the SIEC’s IT department, posing additional challenges to the sustainability of the BVR. It will be a matter of priority to capitalize and disseminate the necessary knowledge to maintain the current BVR.


Duties and Responsibilities

Scope and Objectives

The Strengthening the Electoral Cycle in the Solomon Islands Project (SECSIP) seeks to engage a senior consultant to provide advice on issues and support in the implementation of ICT components concerning the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system implemented for the 2014 national general elections. In particular, the senior consultant is expected to support SIEC and other national authorities on the establishment of mechanisms to enhance the protection of the existent database and to promote the sustainability of the BVR system. 

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Summary of Key Functions:

The Senior Advisor will support the SIEC and the SIG in upgrading their BVR systems and operations as well as create a pool of national skills capable of maintaining the BVR infrastructure and systems. In particular, the consultant will provide technical advice to SIEC, other national authorities and UNDP SECSIP on all technical and strategical aspects in connection with the BVR Information Systems and their application to the mandate of the electoral bodies. This will involve in-depth knowledge of BVR technology and its application to elections including aspects such as updating and upgrading, protection mechanisms of BVR data and as a secondary objective, the future sustainability by the national authorities.

Core responsibilities

• Design the specifications and architecture and validate the delivery of electoral software components related to the following areas:

   a) Audit or traceability records on user actions

   b) Voter records history and lifecycles

   c) Ability to capture additional fingerprints for each voter

   d) Clustered deduplication and data storage 

   e) Online data transfers

   f) Graphical User Interface improvements to reduce operational and training costs

   g) Improvements on data quality and integrity

• Setup an e-learning platform as needed for the graduate program, adapt training curriculum as needed when agreements with partner education institutions are completed, and 

• Deliver up to ten training modules and guidance to interns in Honiara or through e-learning within the context of a graduate program with the objective of creating a local capacity to maintain the BVR system independently;

• Provide guidance on the finalization of the setup of the new SIEC datacenter;

• Provide guidance as needed to BVR electoral/voter registration activities related to various provincial and national updates for the upcoming elections of 2018 and 2019.

Activities related to the different deliverables may not be strictly sequential and may overlap to some extent.

Potential stakeholders include all potential partners of the SIEC for data exchanges such as the Civil Registry, the Ministry of Provincial Government, Solomon Islands based universities, or any other designated Solomon Islands Government agency, ministry or department.

Expected Outputs

The key products to be delivered are as follows:

1. Specifications, architecture and documentation to the initial upgrade of the BVR system to a new baseline software with ability to capture additional fingerprints for each voter that specifically caters for the needs and priorities of the SIEC

2. Specifications, architecture and documentation to improvements on data quality in compliance with the electoral legal framework

3. Report on guidance and validation of new electoral datacentre setup

4. Specifications, architecture and documentation to creation of the online data transfers features for BVR electoral related demands

5. Specifications, architecture and documentation to the audit or traceability records on user actions for BVR electoral related demands

6. Specifications, architecture and documentation to voter records history and lifecycles for BVR electoral related demands

7. Specifications, architecture and documentation to clustered deduplication and data storage for BVR electoral related demands

8. Specifications, architecture and documentation to graphical User Interface improvements to reduce operational and training costs, such as production of voter rolls and other items requested for BVR electoral related demands

9. Setup of an e-learning platform as support material for the graduate program.

10. Ten training modules for the graduate program.


Competencies

Organisational Competencies and Attitudes

• Maturity and confidence in dealing with senior members of national institutions. 

• Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability. 

• Excellent written communication skills, with analytic capacity and ability to synthesize relevant collected data and findings for the preparation of quality analysis for the project proposal.

• Excellent coordination skills and result oriented collaboration with colleagues –

Results

• Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP. 

• Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback.

• Good team player who has ability to maintain good relationships. 


Required Skills and Experience

QUALIFICATIONS :

Education:

• University Masters’ Degree in Engineering, Computer Science, Information Technology, other similar relevant studies. Additional degrees in Management, specialization in biometrics and information technology applied to elections will be considered strong assets.

Experiences:

• At least 10 years of working experience including specialised advice on design and upgrading of IT technology applied to BVR electoral systems;

• Experience in development of technical specifications for BVR electoral related procurement actions;

• Experience in the design of courses and curricula for the transfer of technical skills is required;

• Working experience in electoral assistance support in developing countries is required, experience in Solomon Islands or  in the Pacific region will be considered an asset;

• Experience in the identification, selection training of IT officials with a view to developing BVR software solutions that address BVR electoral voter registration needs is required


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.


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