Research Consultant needed

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Deadline May 27, 2016: Call for Expression of Interest for a Research/ Evaluation Consultant – eParticipation for Improving Governance & Public Service Delivery in Uganda and Kenya

Background

Toro Development Network (ToroDev) was founded in 2005 as an indigenous non-profit organization in Uganda, East Africa. It works to mobilize communities, sensitize, orient and train marginalized population groups in strategic use of ICT for Development tools for maximum resources utilization for self-sustainability. ToroDev’s activities focus on ICT-enabled public accountability and democratic engagement for improved service delivery, public policy research and advocacy, and, innovation and entrepreneurship development. The organization has previously worked in partnership with the Association for Progressive Communication (APC), National Peace Corps Association/Africa Rural Connect-USA, Stem van Africa (SvA) – Netherlands. Currently, it has partnership with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – USA, Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER), Stockholm University, ICT4Democracy Network in East Africa, Collaboration on ICT Policy in Eastern & Southern Africa (CIPESA), Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and Development Initiatives – Africa Hub in Nairobi.  ToroDev’s website is http://www.torodev.co.ug for more information on programs and recent projects and activities.

For purposes of this call for expression of interest, ToroDev has secured a two years’ funding (2016-2018) from SPIDER – The Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions at the Department of Computer & System Sciences (DSV) Stockholm University and other partners to implement the proposed “MML – Me & My Leader” eParticipation System that uses MobileSMS – Radio – Online/Internet technologies to promote citizens’ engagement with duty-bearers in Uganda and Kenya to improve prioritized public service delivery. Before this system is piloted, a preliminary Baseline study & Needs Assessment is required in the four (4) proposed project pilot sites (South Western, Mid-western/Rwenzori sub-region, Northern Uganda and Nakuru County -Central Kenya) to inform short and medium term project implementation process.

Why baseline information is needed?

The baseline study is aimed at identifying the prevailing factors that influence general data generation, information access and use to promote good governance processes in the selected pilot regions, especially active participation of citizens to determine priority public service delivery needs in their communities. It is also intended to identify target groups of influence for the proposed eParticipation system project for the implementation to be successful, the tools (ICTs) currently available for use by the target groups. Many tools might be available, but information is needed about the specific tools that are currently used by target groups. The nature of the communication infrastructure (network, broadband, electricity) to influencing usage of ICT tools in both countries should also be surveyed and clearly documented. In addition, the baseline shall bring out aspects of the public policy environment that influences the gathering, access and use of data and information for planning and budgeting processes both at sub-national and national levels in Uganda and Kenya. The baseline assessment should identify and articulate possible political, economic, social and technological (PEST) risks which the project (eParticipation) implementation in the selected pilot sites may encounter.

The baseline assessment should bring out community needs as identified by the target groups, social demographics: gender, age, level of education for the key system users, and how these will influence the attainment of the project objectives.

Key deliverable from the assessment

A baseline report in a structure and format proposed and agreed upon between the researcher and ToroDev project team in the inception plan.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities of Consultant

  • Design data collection and analysis tools, and develop a plan, subject to initial approval/validation by ToroDev, to conduct a baseline study that addresses the above issues.
  • Clearly outline the needs of the target communities in the final report that advises what issues should be incorporated in the design, development and implementation of a generic eParticipation system in the four (4) proposed pilot sites in Uganda and Kenya ;
  • Design a follow-up plan, subject to validation by ToroDev, to offer corrective measures as the system implementation process is conducted. This shall be consistent to the project implementation plan available at ToroDev.
  • Act as an external, independent and immediate advisor to the project implementation team throughout the project period (18 months).
  • Actively participate in both low and high level workshops aimed at discussing and building consensus from all stakeholders on the progress of the project, both in Uganda and Kenya;
  • Advise the project team and lead the process of authoring a research publication to inform future practice and academic discourse in the area of eParticipation and public service delivery in Eastern Africa.

Qualifications

Education

A minimum of an advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in ICT for Development, Information Systems/informatics, Monitoring & Evaluation, Project Planning & Management or public policy development and/or analysis. A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualification in social Sciences, public administration and information technology will be added advantage.

Work experience

A minimum of 3 years of progressively responsible experience in an area of relevance in direct public service delivery monitoring and evaluation, research, publication and reporting; in either a government or civil society agency is required. Experience in the East African democratic and governance context, especially in Uganda and Kenya is also crucial.

Competencies

Professionalism – Extensive knowledge of all aspects of information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) policy development, management and monitoring. Conceptual and strategic analytical capacity to understand ICT systems, governance, devolution/decentralization and public service delivery issues so as to thoroughly analyze and evaluate critical systems matters; in-depth knowledge of specific country democratic environment and governance status, poverty reduction strategy and other development agendas.

Creativity – Original and creative thinking in advising on and resolving major issues and problems related to mainstreaming ICT, public policy and gender issues in development agendas.

Teamwork – Good interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds

Communication – The lead consultant shall have effective written, oral and presentation skills, particularly ability to present information in a concise and accurate manner; ability to defend difficult issues and positions to senior sub-national and national government officials; ability to interact with high-level government officials. 

Planning and Organizing – Proven ability to prioritize, plan and organize own work and ability to integrate work into an institution’s department or program; ability to monitor and adjust plan and priorities as necessary and to work according to deadlines.

Language

For the work of the consultancy, fluency in written and oral English is required. Knowledge of the other languages like Kiswahili, Acholi, Langi, and Runyakitara is an advantage.

HOW TO APPLY

Interested individuals and firms who wish to be considered are requested to write a concise and precise initial proposal explaining their approach to the above assignment with an itemized, but summarized budget quoted in United States Dollars (USD). Legally registered firms are encouraged to apply. All applicants shall provide a detailed CV of the lead consultant, with an addition of at least one extra support individual with a qualification and experience in the areas listed above.

Please address your proposals to; The Executive Director, ToroDev, P.O Box 161 Fort Portal – Uganda. Send attachment of proposal as PDF to; admin@torodev.kabissa.org ONLY. Deadline is Friday, May 20th, 2016 at 17 Hours Eastern Africa Time

After the initial screening process, persons and firms found to meet the eligibility requirements indicated in this call will be contacted for verification of their academic and professional credentials. The consultant who will be selected to undertake the consultancy will have a period of at least eighteen (18) months to complete the assignment.

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