AU Watch

Request for Proposals (RFP) For Development And Maintenance Of AU Watch’s Online Tooklits

AU Watch is developing two online toolkits – a voter and civic education toolkit and a citizen observation and advocacy toolkit.

AU Watch is seeking the services of a Digitization/IT consultant for the development and maintenance of these toolkits. Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Digitization/IT consultant, outlining specific requirements, are enclosed in this Request for Proposals (RFP). Interested applicants are requested to submit a proposal that meets the requirements. AU Watch will evaluate the proposals for knowledge and experience; clarity and relevance; creativity and innovation; simplicity and user-friendliness; cost-effectiveness and sound costing; and maintenance and sustainability of the systems to ensure they meet the requirements in the TOR.

Submission process
Interested applicants should send a proposal that explains how the requirements listed in the TOR will be addressed. Proposals should be developed with due consideration to the assessment criteria outlined above. Proposals should include the following:
1. Technical proposal
2. Cost breakdown
3. CV or company profile
4. References
5. Sample of relevant previous work
Previous applicants will be considered and need not reapply.

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR ADIGITIZATION/IT SPECIALIST
DURATION OF ASSIGNMENT: 30 JULY2020 –31 AUGUST 2021

1. Introduction
Within the framework of its Leader with Associates (LWA) cooperative agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), AU Watch is implementing the Supporting Transitions and Electoral Processes (STEP) program. The STEP program is a 5-year multifaceted intervention, which AU Watch is implementing in selected transitional/fragile democracies in Africa for the period October 2017 to September 2022. The purpose of the STEP program is to achieve more inclusive, transparent, and accountable political and electoral processes in Africa, by drawing on and sharing lessons regionally. The STEP program seeks to achieve the following specific objectives in the Africa region:

• Objective 1: Improved enabling environment for electoral governance and political
processes

• Objective 2: Enhanced independence and professionalism of electoral administration

• Objective 3: Increased citizen participation in elections and political processes,
including political transitions

• Objective 4: Effective election observation and oversight of electoral processes

• Objective 5: More representative and competitive multiparty systems

To contribute to the third program objective of increased citizen participation in elections and political processes, including political transitions, AU Watch is developing the following two online resources: a voter and civic education toolkit and a citizen observation and advocacy toolkit. Over the past years, AU Watch, in partnership with different civil society groups in various African countries, has developed democracy education materials for civic educators and election observers. These materials were produced in manual form that required face-to-face training. Through the STEP program, AU Watch seeks to provide these resources in multiple languages and in interactive digital formats that will be widely available, including to the hearing and visually impaired, as far as possible. The toolkit development and digitization process will unfold in phases based on an outline of the components of these online resources developed by AU Watch. It is against this backdrop that AU Watch seeks to recruit a Digitization/Information Technology (IT) Specialist to advise AU Watch on the development of the digital toolkits and assist AU Watch in creating them. During the period of assignment, the Digitization/IT Specialist will perform all relevant tasks at critical stages of the online toolkit development process. These Terms of Reference for a Digitization/IT Specialist set out the objectives and requirements of the digitization services as well as the roles and responsibilities of the specialist tasked with the provision of these services. They also outline the profile of the specialist and the tasks and outputs expected to be completed during the period of his/her assignment. The Terms of Reference may be reviewed to ensure that they remain appropriate for the delivery of the project.

2. Goal and Objectives of the Digitization of AU Watch’s Toolkits

The goal of the digitization of AU Watch’s toolkits is to contribute to long term improvement of the
quality of citizen participation in elections and political processes in Africa through wider
dissemination of knowledge and best practices using modern technology. The specific
objectives are to:
• provide tools to civic and voter educators, specifically Civil Society Organisations
(CSOs) and Election Management Bodies (EMBs), for effective VCE programs at
country level
• develop strategies to guide CSOs’ in post-election follow-up on implementation of
EOM recommendations

3. Technology Requirements
The toolkits are expected to meet the following functionality and technology requirements:

3.1 Functionality requirements
a. Front end
• Accessible through the AU Watch website or from a shared link
• Allow users to register and open password-protected accounts to continuously
access the toolkits
• Allow users to interact with tools, generate information, develop interactive maps,
view and download videos and documents in different formats
• Allow users to upload resources in formats such as word, excel, jpeg and pdf
• Allow users to provide feedback

b. Back end
• Administrator access should be granted to selected AU Watch staff with a degree of
flexibility
• Allow for search and continuous uploading of resources
• Possibility to track usage of end-user community members

3.2 Technology requirements
a. Software requirements
• Package
• WordPress 4.9.8
• Apache 2.4.29
• MySQL server 8.0.19
• PHP 7.4
• PHP v3.01
• Fail2ban 0.10.2
• Postfix 3.3.0

b. Hardware requirements
• 8 GB / 4 CPUs
• 160 GB SSD disk
• 5 TB transfer

4. Roles and Responsibilities of the Digitization/IT Specialist
Reporting to the Chief of Party of the STEP program and working closely with the designated Elections and Political Transitions Specialist, the Digitization/IT Specialist will perform the following duties and tasks:

• Provide technical IT advice for the digitization of the voter and civic education toolkit
and citizen observation and advocacy toolkit

• Convert toolkit components into electronic/digital format using efficient and costeffective digitization solutions

• Design and configure the digital toolkits onto a secure server

• Create a mock-up online voter and civic education toolkit

• Create a mock-up online citizen observation and advocacy toolkit

• Create a live online voter and civic education toolkit and citizen observation and
advocacy toolkit based on feedback from AU Watch and targeted users on the mock-up
toolkits

• Administer and maintain the online toolkits up to the time of the system handover to
AU Watch

• Provide technical support to AU Watch to troubleshoot the online toolkits and effectively
administer the toolkits after the handover of the system

• Provide training to relevant AU Watch personnel to ensure transference of skills for the
administration and maintenance of the digital products

• Provide any additional technical support that AU Watch may deem necessary for the
effective delivery of the project

5. Person Specification
• An undergraduate degree in information technology, computer science, or related
discipline
• At least five years’ experience in technology solutions design and development
• Demonstrable experience in design and development of e-learning products
• Fluency in English. Fluency in French will be an advantage
• Knowledge of democracy, human rights, elections, and governance issues in Africa
• High attention to detail and results-oriented
• Strong interpersonal and collaboration skills within a multi-cultural environment

6. Outputs of the Digitization/IT Specialist
Key outputs of the Digitization/IT Specialist are:
• A mock-up online voter and civic education toolkit
• A user guide for the online voter and civic education toolkit
• A live online voter and civic education toolkit
• A mock-up online citizen observation and advocacy toolkit
• A user guide for the online citizen observation and advocacy toolkit
• A live online citizen observation and advocacy toolkit
• A user guide on administration of the back end of the online toolkits
• A step-by-step aide-mémoire on maintenance and troubleshooting of the online
toolkits
• Training of the AU Watch team
• Handover of the online system

7. Deliverables and Timelines
Below are the deliverables and associated timelines:

Deliverables                                                                                                                    Timelines
A mock-up online voter and civic education toolkit August                                             November 2020
A user guide for the online voter and civic education toolkit                                            September – October 2020
A live online voter and civic education toolkit                                                                December 2020
A mock-up online citizen observation and advocacy toolkit                                             December 2020 – June 2021
A user guide for the online citizen observation and advocacy toolkit                                June – July 2021
A live online citizen observation and advocacy toolkit                                                     August 2021
A user guide on administration of the back end of the online toolkits                               June – July 2021
A step-by-step aide-mémoire on maintenance and troubleshooting of the online toolkits   June – July 2021
Training of the AU Watch team                                                                                     August 2021
Handover of the online system                                                                                     August 2021

8. Management of the Toolkit Development Project
The AU Watch Toolkit Development Working Group is responsible for the management of the project. The Working Group is currently comprised of two Elections and Political Transitions Specialists and the Chief of Party.