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Consultancy Firm to Develop a Detailed Electronic Document Tracking and Work Flow System Design & Implementation Plan

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TERMS OF REFERENCE

Recruitment of a Consultancy Firm to Develop a Detailed Electronic Document Tracking and Work Flow System Design & Implementation Plan

Client

Smart Africa Secretariat

9th Floor, Block C, Makuza Peace Plaza, 

10 KN4 Avenue, Kigali, Rwanda

+250 788-300-581/ 732-310-014

PO Box: 4913 info@smartafrica.org  www.smartafrica.org  

RFP#:

045/S. A/RFP/06/2021

Release date:

21st July 2021

Closing date:

21st August 2021

12:00 pm (Local time, Kigali)

Contact

For any questions or inquiries, please write to:

enquiries@smartafrica.org  

1.    ORGANISATION BACKGROUND

Smart Africa is a bold and innovative commitment from African Heads of State and Government to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent, ushering Africa into a knowledge economy through affordable access to Broadband and usage of Information and Communications Technologies.

The Transform Africa Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda on 28th-31st October 2013 culminated in the adoption of the Smart Africa Manifesto document by seven (7) African Heads of States (Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Mali, Gabon, Burkina Faso) in which they committed to providing leadership in accelerating socio-economic development through ICT’s.

On 30th-31st January 2014, The Smart Africa Manifesto was endorsed by all Heads of State and Government of the African Union at the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa. This development places the Manifesto at the heart of the ICT agenda in Africa beyond just the 7 original signatories at the Summit to all the 54 African countries. The Smart Africa Alliance has since grown to include 30 African countries that represent 750+ million people.

The Smart Africa Manifesto aims to put ICT at the center of national socio-economic development agenda of member countries; improve access to ICT especially Broadband; to improve accountability, efficiency, and openness through ICT promoting the introduction of advanced technologies in telecommunication; to put Private Sector first, and to leverage ICT to promote sustainable development.

2.    PROJECT BACKGROUND

The Smart Africa initiative aims to connect the continent, innovate and transform it into a single digital market, fostering global competitiveness and job creation. In this view, the African continent has been challenged to develop a digital economy that will reap the benefits of job and wealth creation, and inclusive growth through ICTs.

The Government of Kenya was entrusted with championing the digital economy initiative within the SMART Africa Alliance and developed the Digital Economy Blueprint for Africa which was launched in May 2019 by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, in Kigali, Rwanda during the Transform Africa Summit.

Building on this shared vision for supporting countries on their journey to digital transformation, the Digital Impact Alliance at the United Nations Foundation (DIAL/UNF) and the Smart Africa Secretariat (Smart Africa) have developed a multi-phased partnership aimed at supporting country governments in developing and implementing their national digital strategies and sharing lessons across countries on the African continent, based on the Digital Economy Blueprint for Africa.

Under Phase I of this Digital Economy Initiative, the Digital Impact Alliance at the United Nations Foundation and the Smart Africa conducted a study involving 10 countries to benchmark their progress against key pillars of the digital economy as well as understand related barriers and challenges to national digital transformation. This Phase I culminated in the publication of the digital economy benchmarking study.

Under Phase II of this Digital Economy Initiative, DIAL/UNF and Smart Africa will work together to support one (1) country in developing their national digital strategy and operationalizing activities within the scope of digital government, informed by both the benchmarking assessment from Phase I and a country landscape assessment conducted by DIAL/UNF. In addition to identifying and providing necessary country technical support in coordination with partners, Smart Africa and DIAL/UNF will work together to promote collaboration with stakeholders and drive initiatives that address similar challenges and promote peer learning across countries.

Smart Africa Secretariat accelerates digital transformation through its project development process and identifies projects that countries can implement and later be scaled up within the country and across Smart Africa. To this end, the Smart Africa Secretariat in collaboration with DIAL/UNF will support the Government of Sierra Leone in developing a pilot project for Digital Government as part as part of its contribution to this Phase II support.

3.    REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) OBJECTIVES

3.1.    RFP GENERAL OBJECTIVE

The overall objective of the consulting firm's mission is to design and develop an implementation plan of the Document Tracking and Workflow system (DTWS) for Sierra Leone that will digitize operations and enhance information flow and decision making between the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and agencies.

The DTWS will be a comprehensive computerized and web enabled DTS which is fully functional and user-friendly. It will also help track and manage transactions in a manner that provides the right information to the right set of people at the right time for efficient process flow and decision making. Documents have a broad description for this assignment, including audio files, video files, text-based files, spreadsheets, photographs, CAD drawings and PDF files. Documents also include non-digital media such as paper, film, or videotapes.

The activities and outcomes of the consultancy will be guided by a Digital Economy Working Group to give overall strategic guidance with the support of the Smart Africa Secretariat, and will be supported by another consultancy by DIAL/UNF providing support digial government strategy. The purpose of this document is to present the details of hiring a consulting firm to help achieve the stated objective of the DTWS project.

3.2.    RFP SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

The mission of the consulting firm will specifically consist of:

I. Designing the Document Tracking and Workflow System for Sierra Leone Ministry of ICT and agencies that includes detailed proposed solution technical specifications that ensures interoperability through open standards.
II. Develop an implementation plan for the Ministry of ICT and eventual rollout to the whole of Sierra Leone government. This should include supervision for the deployment of the system.
III. Develop a comprehensive capacity-building gap analysis and training management plan from both the management, technical and non-technical user levels for the eventual government wide rollout of the DWTS.
IV. Develop detailed guidelines and an implementation toolkit for development of DTWS projects that will be disseminated in other Smart Africa member states.

4.    DELIVERABLES

This assignment is made up of the following detailed deliverables:

4.1    Document Tracking and Workflow System Project Design.

The design will contain the following at the minimum:

1. User Requirement Assessment:  The Consultant shall determine detailed user requirements for the Information System based on business requirements of Ministry of ICT and agencies including:

  • Determination of stakeholders (all who have a role in data acquisition, processing, reporting, or use/decision making)
  • Determination of several types of reporting content, formats, and frequency
  • Basic information/data flow requirements (into, within, and out of the ministry and agencies)
  • Additional hardware/ software/ dataset requirements, as well as assessment of the national enabling requirement.

The Consulting firm shall detail design recommendations in a Systems Requirement Study for the proposed DTWS. The design should be based on close interaction with the Ministry and should be flexible to incorporate changes in activities or future phases of the project/program.

2. An Enterprise Document Management (EDM) platform for creating, capturing, managing, delivering, and archiving large volumes of documents and contents: This should include design of the dashboard, search/filter functions, navigation, capability to search through documents through optical character recognition (OCR). The system should detail user management roles and responsibilities to make it easy to use for all levels of staff despite their tech background.  The system should allow easy administration of the system including security management.

3. Detailed Workflow Management System: Defining how a document is transferred from one user to another for a required action.

4.    Document Scanning System:  A document scanning system with built-in OCR, document recognition and separation capabilities.

5.    Data Management Tool: A data management tool to simplify, plan, build, deploy and manage data tables for a centralized source of accurate business intelligence.

6.    Back Up Management and security solution:  This module should have robust backup and security features. These features should include:

  • automated backup to ensure security of the database structure,
  • automated backup cycles, ideally every 24 hours,
  • system that can be accessed anywhere through the internet in case of a catastrophic event.
  • a restore function in the unlikely event of catastrophic failure which re-creates data even when it has been destroyed at its origin.
  • should provide administrative controls, to enable setting up user permissions that will enhance security.

7. Enterprise Solution(s): An enterprise solution that measures business activity to provide a real-time summary of business activities to operations managers and the top management and generates reports for performance measurement and monitoring.

8. Other: Other features based on best-in-class experiences of the DTWS systems experiences with detailed technical KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for the features will be included to enable tracking and management.

9. An analysis of existing Open-Source document management systems and the distinct options for sourcing the system from buying off the shelf, public private approaches, and in-house development to justify the development/purchase decision.

4.2  Development of a Detailed Project Implementation plan.

The consultant should develop and include comprehensive details on the following:

  • Carry out associated government policy analysis gaps and make recommendations for any revisions if necessary.
  • Develop detailed cost benefit analysis, Total cost of life projections for the proposed system in whole of government deployment.
  • Develop detailed project timelines (phased approach) for the progressive rollout throughout the government. A revenue model (if possible) can be generated.
  • Develop a proposed project governance for government wide rollout over the lifetime of the project,
  • Development of key performance indicators for system usage and a monitoring and evaluation plan (including post deployment KPIs) to measure progress.
  • Risk analysis and mitigation plan
  • Maintenance and operations plan for 3 years including institutional setup to manage the project/system rollout with the digital government/Ministry of ICT and/or related agencies. Detailed system management manuals and user training manuals should be provided.
  • A digitization and archive management plan for older non digitized documents and recommendations on licensing.
  • A project development and implementation guideline/toolkit that will be used to send to other Smart Africa Member States to also implement this project. This may include a definition of the possibility of cross border integration between governments on this workflow.

4.3 Capacity Building/Training Plans to Train Government Officials on the DTWS.

The consultancy firm will advise on the capacity building strategy for government officials, including management, technical/system managers, and non-technical/daily/frequent users of the system.

5. CONSULTANCY ARRANGEMENTS 

The mission will be carried out by the Consultancy firm in collaboration with the Smart Africa Secretariat, Sierra Leone Ministry of ICT and United Nations Foundation/DIAL (Project team).

The Consulting Firm will be given access to all the stakeholders in Sierra Leone through the Ministry of ICT to gather information and conduct the study. Support and facilitation will be provided from the Smart Africa Secretariat for exchanges with the country and the collection of documents for the scope of the study. 

It is expected that the Consultancy firm’s work will be in line with following methodology and rules: 

  1. The Consultancy firm will assume primary responsibility for drafting the expected deliverables, in both French and English. The working languages for the Working Group will be English and French. 
  2. The Consultancy firm will work closely with the designated staff of Smart Africa/UNF-DIAL and Sierra Leone Ministry of ICT official (s) to carry out the task. The consulting firm will report to the Smart Africa Secretariat and to Ministry and partners by preparing the necessary meeting reports, slide shows and summaries of documents. 
  3. The Consultancy firm will write an interim draft version of each planned deliverable and provide a presentation of these interim deliverables at workshops to be organized jointly with the Smart Africa Secretariat. Every deliverable will be submitted to the assigned project team members and discussed during consultation and validation workshops. The Consultancy firm will collect comments on each interim deliverable and make consequential revisions in the final version. 
  4. Support and facilitation will be provided from the Smart Africa Secretariat for exchanges with countries and the collection of documents for the analysis of the current situation. 
  5. The Consultancy firm will guarantee the confidentiality of information shared by the Smart Africa Secretariat, Smart Africa Member States and other stakeholders participating in this assignment. Publication of content can only take place after validation by the project team. 
  6. The Consultancy firm shall submit each deliverable in three (3) printed copies and all working documents in soft copies, editable files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), in both French and English. 
  7. The Consultancy firm shall be able to communicate with the Project Team and Smart Africa Member States in both French and English and cover the costs for necessary translations of documents. 

6. INDICATIVE TIMELINES AND EXPECTED RESULTS

The selected Consultancy Firm must carry out the project within five and a half (5 ½) months from the date of signing the contract.

The indicative timetable is as follows: 

Timeline

Deliverables

Expertise required

T + 2 weeks

  •  An “Inception Report” validated by the Smart Africa Secretariat and submitted to the Digital Economy Working Group
  • Team (ALL)

T + 2 months

  • Systems Requirement: All key aspects of design (DTS structure, indicators, report formats, information flow, and additional hardware/ software/ data/ connectivity requirements, institutional arrangements, etc.)
  • Lead Consultant
  • Senior Programmer/Systems Analyst
  • Systems/Software Documentation

T + 4

  • Detailed Project implementation plan
  • Documentation and Training.  DTWS documentation (design, use, and training manuals, organizational roles, etc.) and workshops
  • Lead Consultant
  • Senior Programmer/Systems Analyst
  • Systems/Software Documentation
  • Digital Transformation Expert (Socio-economist) 

T + 5 months

  •  Validation of project in country workshops
  • Detailed Implementation guidelines for DTWS projects in Smart Africa
  • Workshop to validate the implementation guidelines on DTWS projects in Smart Africa
  • Lead consultant
  • Digital Transformation Expert (Socio-economist
  • Senior Programmer/Systems Analyst

 

 

 

 

 

T + 5½ months

  • Final Project Report
  • Lead consultant
  • Team (all)

7. FIRM PROFILE AND EXPERIENCE

In addition to the human resources required to assemble its team, as described below, the firm must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for the evaluation:

  • Demonstrate technical, economic, and regulatory expertise and experience for the development and implementation of government wide/corporate wide systems/solutions in Africa.
  • Have work experience in DTWS/whole of government solution design, development and deployment development in Africa, and in particular in the member countries of the Smart Africa Alliance;
  • Firms should submit signed recommendation letters from previous clients of similar projects (in the field of development of governmentwide/organization wide system/solutions design development and deployment) with the same magnitude and complexity in the ICT and/or digital sector
  • Ability to work in a French and English environment.

 The work shall be carried out by a team of at least (4) four highly qualified consultants/experts in the requested specialties, namely:

1. Lead Consultant/Head of Mission (1)  with the minimum requirements below to be considered for the evaluation:

  • A minimum of a master’s degree in computer engineering, electronics engineering, IT or any other related, with specialization in System Architecture with 10 or more years of experience in Africa.
  • Experienced in leading and coordinating project teams comprising a range of expert profiles, in the development of information systems for government in Africa
  • Having at least 5 years of proven experience in the project planning, development and review, resource planning, role and responsibility definition, coordination across multiple teams, project risk analysis and mitigation techniques related to MIS/IT projects for African governments especially within Smart Africa member states
  • Experienced in supporting the development of multi-stakeholder institutional frameworks and mechanisms.
  • Fluent in both French and English.
  • Having participated in at least two (2) similar projects in the last 5 years.

 2.    Digital Transformation Expert  (1)

  • Minimum of a master’s degree in development economics, development studies, or related discipline or relevant experience in lieu of an advanced degree; and with a specialization in digital transformation and ICTs, combined with a minimum of 5 years leading and implementing socio-economic development projects at the continental level in Africa. 
  • Lead and successfully negotiated synergies across multiple African partners from the public and private sector with digital transformation strategies
  • Proven track record on direct contribution to African digital economies, with at least 5 years of experience in implementing ICT projects on the continent. 

 3. Senior Programmer/Systems Analyst (1) with minimum requirements as below

  • Proven experience with information systems, applications and software development. Advanced university Masters degree and proven technical expertise in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Systems Engineering, information technology, information systems or other relevant areas.
  • Must have at least 5 years’ experience of successful system analysis and design for IT project implementation.
  • Experience in software development/programming for MIS for Governmental bodies or parastatals would be an advantage
  • Good organizational, analytical, conceptualization and problem-solving skills.
  • Other: Having participated in two similar projects in the last 5 years

4. Systems/Software Documentation Specialist (1) with minimum requirements as below

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, data analytics, data Science, communications or related field
  • Proven experience directly related to developing technical and/or software product information
  • Excellent communication planning skills
  • Knowledge of software documentation tools
  • Minimum 5 years implementing or managing web sites or intranets
  • Having participated in two similar projects in the last 5 years

The consulting firm shall propose additional staff as part of the consulting team as necessary with adequate justification towards the realization of study objectives. The related financial quotation should be included for additional staff.

5. EVALUATION CRITERIA

The following model will be used to evaluate all respondents and proposals submitted:

a) Technical Evaluation Criteria

Item

Assigned Points

Point Range

Approach, Methodology, and Work Plan

including the approach to working remotely with social distancing norms
imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic

  •  The relevance of the suggested approach and methodology for the African context and alignment with the Smart Africa digital economy blueprint.
  • Feasibility and comprehensiveness of the work plan.                                                                        

20

 

 

10

/30

 

 

 

Staff Experience

  •   Lead Consultant, Head of Mission

i) Leading and Coordinating project teams across digital government/organization wide systems deployment in Africa

ii)  Development of multi stakeholder projects

iii)  Experience working with more than four (4) African countries

iv) Having participated in more than two (2) similar project in the last 5 years.

 

10

5

2

8               

 

 

/20

  • Digital Transformation Expert 

i)  More than 5 years in deployment of digital government systems / ICT projects

ii) Development of multi stakeholder projects

iii) Experience working with more than four (4) African countries

iv) Having participated in more than two (2) similar project in the last 5 years

 

 

3
2
 

2

 

3

 

/15

  • Senior Programmer/Systems Analyst

i)  More than 5 years of proven experience in programming and Web development

ii) Experience with developing and deployment of organization wide/government wide systems

iii) Experience working with more than four (4) African countries

iv) Having participated in more than two (2) similar project in the last 5 years.

 

 3

     3

 

     2

     2

 

 

 

/10

Systems/Software Documentation specialist

i) More than 5 years of proven experience in programming and Web development

ii) Experience with developing and deployment of organization wide/government wide systems

iii) Experience working with more than four (4) African countries

iv) Having participated in more than two (2) similar project in the last 5 years.

 

3

3

2

 

2

 

 

 

/10

Firm Experience

  •  Related assignments

Three (3) signed and stamped recommendation letters from previous clients of similar projects including at least one (1) past assignment to develop national ICT related strategies and its index.

 

 

15

 

/15

         

The financial proposal of only those individuals which secure a minimum score of 70/100 in the technical evaluation will be opened.

St= Score for the Technical Evaluation

b)    Financial Criteria

Once the technical criteria have been evaluated, the costs of all bids will be listed from low to high. Computing the cost criteria score will be accomplished by use of the following formula:

 = Sf

The Applicant getting maximum marks on 80-20 weightage (80% for technical and 20% for financial) will be considered for the assignment. The weights given to the Technical (T) and Financial Proposals (F) are: T = 0.80 and F = 0.20

The Final Score (S) is calculated as follows: S = St*T + Sf*F

6.    SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL PROPOSALS

A specific outline must be followed to facilitate the Smart Africa Secretariat’s review and evaluation of the responses received.

A response to this RFP must include the following sections in the order listed:

  1. A cover letter confirming the firm’s interest to provide the services required
  2. A technical proposal containing the following content:
  • Executive summary
  • Business experience/Profiles
  • Approach and Methodology
  • Work Plan / Schedule
  • Mission team experience/profiles
  • Updated Curriculum Vitae for the team and academic certificates requested
  • Recommendation letters signed and stamped
  • Company registration certificates and tax clearance

3.    Financial Proposal containing the following tables.

  • Summarized Total Cost VAT Inclusive (Value of tax indicated on final cost)
  • Breakdown of a remuneration package
  • Breakdown of reimbursable expenses

Notes:

  1. All Financial Proposals/offers should be password protected and Smart Africa will request for it for bidders who have been qualified in the technical evaluation.
  2. Only consulting companies/firms are eligible to apply to this assignment, no individuals will be accepted.

7.    SUBMISSION PROCESS

Soft copies of both technical and financial proposals must be submitted to procurement@smartafrica.org in separate folders zipped together  each showing the nature of the offer concerned (technical or financial offer), the firm’s name and both put in a third anonymous envelope marked as follow: “045/S. A/RFP/06/2021: Consultancy Firm Develop a Detailed Electronic Document Tracking and Work Flow System Design & Implementation Plan the firm’s name not later than 21st August 2021 at, 12:00 pm local time (Kigali)

8.    RIGHTS RESERVED

This RFP does not obligate the Smart Africa Secretariat (SAS) to complete the RFP process. SAS reserves the right to amend any segment of the RFP before the announcement of a selected firm. SAS also reserves the right to remove one or more of the services from consideration for this contract should the evaluation show that it is in SAS’s best interest to do so. SAS also may, at its discretion, issue a separate contract for any service or groups of services included in this RFP. SAS may negotiate a compensation package and additional provisions to the contract awarded under this RFP.

Late proposals will be rejected.

9.    VALIDITY

Proposals and quotes must remain valid for 180 days after the date of closing noted above. After, the closing date and time, all proposals received by the Smart Africa Secretariat become its property.

10.    ENQUIRIES

Any inquiries will only be received and addressed 3 days or more before the bid submission deadline. Prospective respondents who may have questions regarding this RFP may submit their inquiries to enquiries@smartafrica.org