Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Request for “Expressions of Interest” for Individual Consultant Consultancy Services: Innovation Support Program Consultant Organization: Project Implementation and Coordination Unit (PICU) of MCIT Project: ICT Sector Development Project of Afghanistan Reference No.: PPF/C-3 Position: Innovation Support Program Consultant Contract Type: Service Contract (Advisory Services) Duration: 14 Weeks Closing Date: 29th January, 2011(Saturday): 11.00 AM-Kabul time Duty station: Kabul The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) of the Government of Afghanistan (“Government”) seeks to hire a qualified individual consultant (“Consultant”) to design an innovation support program. Context The World Bank is currently preparing a project that will support ICT sector development in Afghanistan. This project aims to (1) expand broadband connectivity, (2) mainstream use of mobile applications across the Government, and (3) develop the capacity of the IT sector to facilitate improved service delivery across Afghanistan. The project will be funded through an emergency grant from the International Development Association (IDA) to the Government of Afghanistan (henceforth Government), and will be implemented by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). The indicative total cost of the project is US$40 million. Part of these funds will be used to create an IS Program. The objective of this Program is to support the mainstreaming of mobile applications across the Government. To do this, the Program will reward innovation in mobile applications and support the development and rapid deployment of applications that address specific challenges to the delivery of public services and effective management of Government programs. Apart from the IS Program, the ICT sector development project will also fund two related activities: (1) the creation of an Expert Group—consisting of members with wide ranging experience and knowledge of ICT innovations and mobile applications—that will work with the ministries and agencies to define the exact innovation challenge; and (2) set up of an m-Government platform which will include shared infrastructure and services to enable the rapid and inexpensive deployment of mobile applications to support public service delivery and program management. While these activities are separate from the IS Program, they will be closely linked. A high-level description of the intended objectives of the Program is provided below. The Consultant should design the Program—including the program management, grant competition in phase 1, and activities in phase 2—based on the following high-level description. The Consultant should also base the design on emerging best practices for innovation competitions and funds worldwide, tailored to the particular context of Afghanistan and in line with fiduciary management practices of the World Bank. A summary of some innovation competition and funds in operation globally is in Annex A. Description of the planned Program The IS Program will take the form of a grants competition that will fund the most innovative tools that address specific development ‘innovation challenges’ in priority areas identified by various ministries and agencies of the Government. The IS Program will fund the best ideas that address these innovation challenges. The IS Program is envisaged to consist of two phases. In Phase 1, which could last for about two years, the focus will be on providing grants to address innovation challenges. The scope of Phase 1 will be wide to include the largest number of thematic areas and sectors (e.g. health, education, rural development, agriculture, livelihoods, and urban development). Phase 2, which could last another two years, could either focus on providing larger size grants to scale m-Government applications that have been successful, or could reduce the scope to cover only a specific theme or sector. Through Phases 1 and 2, the IS Program will also support the growth of the local IT industry through competitive processes that encourage participation of competent local IT firms, individuals, or non- government organizations that respond to the innovation challenges and to scale m-Government applications. The IS Program will also encourage cooperation among partners across disciplines to develop effective and comprehensive solutions to the innovation challenges. The Program could be designed to include one or many types of awards, e.g. exposition award, market stimulation, point solution, etc. and into various means of structuring the competitions (hybrid, multistage, exhibitions).1 For example, one possibility is for the Program to include two streams of awards: one addresses a large group of stakeholders and constituents and mainly aims to educate participants and generate excitement about the field, while the other stream seeks to reward those who design innovative solutions to specific problems. The budget to support all activities will be about US$5 million over the period of the Program. This includes the costs of program administration, the grants itself, and possible second stage activities. The design of the Program should minimize administrative costs. The program as a whole could be implemented in collaboration with appropriate local stakeholders such as the National ICT Alliance of Afghanistan (NICTAA), the National ICT Council of the Government, and other industry, civil society, or educational institutions and agencies. Program management Given that the IS Program requires competitive selection of winners based on innovation challenges, and the management of a significant fund (up to US$5 million), it is essential that the Program should have a transparent, well defined, efficient, and effective program management structure. In order to secure buy in, visibility, and high-level political support, the program management should include a mechanism to have representatives from MCIT and from the Ministries of Finance, Economy, and other members of the National ICT Council of Afghanistan. This could be in the form of an Executive Board that has broad strategic oversight and guidance functions, but whose members are not directly involved in the definition of innovation challenges or in their selection, or in the day-to-day program management. Program management functions including day-to-day management, the selection of the winners in cooperation with the Expert Group, and fund management should be with a qualified IS Program Manager (ISPM). The ISPM will handle the grants competition and related auditing, financial management, and competitive selection. Overall fiduciary management of the IS Program will remain with the Project Management Office of the ICT Sector Development Project, which will be following World Bank procedures in its work. The ISPM will be guided by an operations manual that establishes the operational procedures and detailed principles that govern program implementation. One possible structure for the program management is provided in ANNEX B. 1 For a typology and examples of various innovation prize competitions, see McKinsey & Company, And the winner is…, available at: http://www.mckinsey.com/clientservice/Social_Sector/our_practices/Philanthropy/Knowledge_highlights/And_the_winner_is.aspx?sc_lang= en Phase 1 activity: Grant competition The Committee will issue calls for proposals—about every six months—over a period of at least two years. The Committee will evaluate proposals and identify winners through a competitive selection process. Winners will receive seed funding in the form of a one-time grant to implement their proposal. The following provides an indicative workflow of how the Program could work during this Phase: 1. Any interested social or economic ministry or agency of the Government2 will work with the Expert Group to define an innovation challenge to address some specific public service delivery or program management problem; 2. The Expert Group will forward the innovation challenge to the ISPM. The ISPM will release the call for proposals to address the innovation challenge, run a competitive selection process, and select the winner of the innovation challenge along with the Expert Group; 3. The winner—an individual, a consortium, a company or a non-governmental organization—will implement the solution. The proposed solutions could include new, planned, or in-pilot-stage solutions and could use as possible and needed, the shared infrastructure and services set up through the larger project; 4. The Expert Group and ISPM will work with the winners and concerned ministries to create the enabling environment for the implementation of the solutions; 5. The ISPM will evaluate the performance of the solution on a regular basis and provides support— in conjunction with the Expert Group—to the winner to support their work. The ISPM will also be expected to manage some mechanisms to enable discussions and exchanges among potential innovators, technical experts, non-government organizations, academic institutions, public and private sector agencies, and the public that encourage discussions about possible ideas and innovations. The participations in this discussion should focus on Afghanistan, although it might be possible that the overall mechanism is part of a global effort. The ISPM’s working and approach should consider the potential for political, financial, coordination, and security risks to disrupt implementation of winning proposals. The ISPM should ensure that appropriate risk mitigation measures are in place to reduce or counter these risks. Phase 2 activities: Scale up of successful activities, focused activities Following the completion of Phase 1 activities, the ISPM should design a follow up phase that will either scale up activities that were successful in Phase 1 or that will focus the scope of the Program to cover a selection of themes or sectors. Phase 2 activities could also include targeted investments in delivery mechanisms, the development of public-private partnership models, mainstreaming of some successful program management technique, application of ICT focused on some specific theme (e.g. maternal health, primary education, developing labor markets). 2 These ministries include the Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock, Economy, Education, Public Health, Rural Rehabilitation and Development The ISPM should design proposals for Phase 2, and MCIT, the Executive Board, or some combination of strategic actors could take the decision on the way forward. The World Bank task team will also provide support and clearance for the design of Phase 2 activities when it takes place (in the second half of year two of the Program). Scope of Work The Consultant should work with the World Bank task team on the following tasks. Design the program management structure and functions Identify global best practices on innovation fund and program management structures—including best practices for market stimulation competitions—and identify possible options for the design of the IS Program that is relevant to and focused on the Afghan context.3 Consult with various stakeholders including the MCIT, other ministries, private and public organizations in the ICT sector, non-government organization to identify a possible program management structure that will be transparent, effective, efficient, and help keep administrative costs low. Design the Operations Manual of the IS program that establishes the operational procedures and detailed principles that govern program implementation. The Manual should include: o An organizational chart including the proposed program leadership mechanisms and which should include the Expert Group, Project Management Office, and any other agencies identified as relevant and important through the consultation process; o Draft mandates of any committees and groups including detailed recommendations defining the working relationship between any committees, program management staff, the Project Management Office, Expert Group, and any other body or agency identified by the Consultant or the World Bank task team. o The required fund management mechanisms from which all grants will be allocated including the appropriate operational framework for fund administration. See Annex C for indicative considerations. The fund should be administered ensuring the highest level of financial transparency and in accordance with all required financial management procedures as defined by the Government and the World Bank task team. o The terms of reference for all staff to be hired as to establish the complete IS Program management structure—including detailed objectives which should be motivational for all stakeholders, actionable, results-focused and time-bound. o A preliminary monitoring and evaluation framework for the program. Design Phase 1 of the Program Analyze and assess international trends and best practices from relevant countries on innovation programs and competitions for mobile applications, which present applicable models for the IS Program. 3 For example, the Consultant could refer to documents on the Afghanistan ICT sector that will be provided by the World Bank task team, and documents related to the creation of innovation programs (example: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/memoranda_2010/m10-11.pdf) or from global consultancies such as McKinsey & Company (example: And the winner is…, available at: http://www.mckinsey.com/clientservice/Social_Sector/our_practices/Philanthropy/Knowledge_highlights/And_the_winner_is.aspx?sc_lang= en). Consult with local stakeholders and international experts to assess possible models, scale, and scope of innovation prize competitions that are best suited to the Afghan context and which will result in the attainment of the key objective, i.e. to mainstream mobile application across the Government, even as it supports ICT industry development. Consult to identify possible ways to structure the program and priority areas for development interventions that could benefit from the application of mobile technologies. Together with the MCIT and World Bank task team design the grant competition program including: operational processes; competition rules and guidelines; proposal request and management processes; evaluation and competitive selection processes; grant management and disbursement mechanisms; post-award monitoring processes. See ANNEX D for a more detailed list of activities. Build capacity throughout the Consultancy for the various individuals to effectively work together on successfully implementing and managing the IS Program. Work with the MCIT and World Bank task team to develop an action plan and all required documents to launch the first round of the grant competition in Phase 1 and the competition process. Make recommendations on mechanisms and criteria according to which the IS Program and its impact should be evaluated including clear indicators for defining the success of the Program. For example, such an indicator could be the number of ministries that successfully adopt competition winners’ solutions. Design appropriate risk mitigation measures to counter security, political, economic risks that could prevent the adoption and implementation of winning solutions. Identify some options for the design of Phase 2 of the Program Provide possible options in consultation with international and local innovation and “ICT for development experts” on how to ensure sustainability for highly successful projects post- implementation and beyond the scope of the IS grant. Deliverables The following deliverables should be submitted to the World Bank task team: Inception Report: This should include: o A work plan for the consultancy period and a schedule of milestones and events; o An assessment of innovation programs, funds, and competitions from around the world along with specific lessons learnt and possible implications for the design of the IS Program including the program management and the two phases. Detailed proposal on program management: This should include: o Proposed program management structure of the IS Program; o Draft terms of reference for various staff that are included in the proposed program management structure; o Draft mandates of any committees and groups including detailed recommendations defining the working relationship between any committees, program management staff, the Project Management Office, Expert Group, and any other body or agency identified by the Consultant or the World Bank task team. Detailed proposal on setting up Phase 1 of the IS Program: This should include specific proposals on: o Design of the fund mechanism; o Assessment of local context and rationale for the design of the specific model(s) chosen for this Program; o Design of the grant competition models including all rules for participation rules, deliverables, selection criteria, post-award monitoring mechanisms, grantee reporting requirements, and any other documents required to implement Phase 1 of the IS Program; o Design of grant management and disbursement mechanisms; o An action plan and all required documents to launch the first round of the grant competition in Phase 1 and the competition process. Final report: This should include the o The operations manual for the IS program which includes: Plan including the management of the fund, grant allocation and competition mechanisms, and the intended outcome of the IS Program, accompanied by a presentation that summarizes the report; o Possible options for the design Phase 2 of the IS Program. Other deliverables: This includes: o A weekly briefing report in email form for the World Bank and MCIT team. Timeline and payment schedule Timeline and payment schedule The Consultant will complete the assignment in 4 months (14 weeks equivalent) comprising of 40 working days starting from the contract signing and shall be paid as per the schedule as follows: Milestone Timeline (number of Payment schedule (% of weeks from contract total contract amount) inception) Contract inception; delivery of inception +1 10% report Delivery of detailed proposal on program +4 20% management Delivery of detailed proposal on setting up +6 30% Phase 1 of the IS Program Delivery of final report +4 40% TOTAL 14 weeks 100% Milestones will be considered complete only upon the acceptance and formal approval of the World Bank task team. Qualifications An Engineering graduate or any other graduate with relevant experience in Computer Sciences, with at least 10 years experience in design and/or operation in the fields of grant management, fund management (e.g. development trust funds, on-budget programs), innovation support systems, or venture capital. Candidates with demonstrated experience in designing or implementing innovation competitions will be highly preferred. Familiarity with the potential of mobile technology and ICT for development. Working experience in either Afghanistan or South Asian or Middle Eastern markets is desirable. Fluency in English is necessary, while knowledge of Pashto or Dari is desirable. Demonstrated experience in simultaneously coordinating several stakeholders in different cultural environments and operating in a complex reporting structure. Consultant should be willing to travel to Afghanistan for the accomplishment of this task, spending at least 15 working days in Kabul with representatives of the World Bank and the Government of Afghanistan. Reporting relationship The Consultant should report to and work closely with the World Bank task team, which will be identified to the Consultant upon contract signing. The Consultant should also work with various officials and staff of the Government of Afghanistan. The Consultant should be able to effectively manage a complex reporting structure and relationships with the World Bank task team and various stakeholders such as the IS Program staff and Government ministries. The Consultant should integrate regular group and individual meetings with IS Program staff, the Expert Group, Project Management Office, and the Government ministries into the consultation processes. ANNEX A: EXAMPLES OF INNOVATION FUNDS AND PROGRAMS These competitions aim to address technological, community and government challenges in wide-ranging disciplines: InnoCentive connects organizations to innovators to find solutions on technical challenges that organizations face through its online community that is open to the public. An organization facing a technical challenge can identify the type of category experts online through InnoCentive, which will then brief and train the expert to address the particular challenge. The company can evaluate the submitted proposals at the final stage and decide who the challenge winner is. See more at http://www2.innocentive.com/what-we-do Apps4Africa is a contest in East Africa for local technology experts to develop mobile applications that address the needs of citizens, civil society organizations or governments in the region. The winners are showcased and receive cash, technical tools, training as well as are connected with a network of technical innovation specialists. Participation is open to the public, and submissions can be built for any platform using any open source code format submitted on the Apps4Africa website, Facebook, Twitter and through SMS in Kenya. See more at http://www.apps4africa.org/index.php The Investing in Innovation Fund under the U.S. Department of Education provides competitive grants to applicants who put forward innovative practices that are demonstrated to have an impact on improving student achievement or student growth. These grants enable the winning individuals or teams to develop and expand the winning proposals; to work in partnership with the private sector and the philanthropic community; and contribute to best practices that can be shared and taken to scale based on demonstrated success. See more at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/index.html Apps4Finland is an open competition organized by the Finnish Internet Democracy Association (Suomen Verkkodemokratiaseura ry) where technology developers and designers compete to design functional web applications that facilitate collaboration between citizens and public organizations. The prizes in the implementation category are segmented according to the type of competitor. See more at http://www.apps4democracy.eu/wiki/Apps4Finland_at_Mindtrek%27s_Page Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is an initiative of the U.S. Government that targets millions in public-private funds to expand effective solutions across three issue areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures and, youth development and school support. This work will directly impact thousands of low-income families and create a catalog of proven approaches that can be replicated in communities across the country. On July 22, 2010, the Corporation for National and Community Service awarded SIF grants to 11 organizations. The grantees will address urgent needs in three key issue areas – economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development and school support. The portfolio includes $74 million in secured match funds. Combined with federal resources, $123 million will be targeted toward projects that train the unemployed, increase access to health services for the underserved and prepare youth for academic achievement and employment. See more at http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/serveamerica/innovation.asp The Apps for Healthy Kids competition seeks to motivate American entrepreneurs, software developers, the public, and students to use recently released USDA Data to create innovative, fun, and engaging tools and games that encourage children - directly or through their parents - to make more nutritious food choices and be more physically active. See more at http://www.appsforhealthykids.com/rules ANNEX B: ONE POSSIBLE STRUCTURE FOR THE PROGRAM MANAGEMENT Figure 1 shows one possible organizational chart for the program management. The Consultant should design a program management structure based on international best practices while considering the structure proposed in Figure 1 as a starting point. Figure 1: One possible structure for program management Executive Board MCIT Project Management Office Expert Group IS Program Manager Participating ministries (e.g. MAIL, MoE, MoPH, MRRD…) Competition winner(s) The Expert Group and MCIT Project Management Office (PMO) will be entities created as part of the project and can support the activities included as part of the IS Program. The PMO will retain overall fiduciary management role for the IS Program, although the IS Program Manager will remain responsible for the competitions, management and evaluations of the individual grantees, and the flow of funds from the IS Program fund to the winners. ANNEX C: SOME PRINCIPLES IN DESIGNING THE IS PROGRAM The Consultant should consider the following principles while designing the IS Program: Ensure Simplicity: fund management—including the competition grants and the Program’s administrative budget--should be as simple as possible to ensure that the available resources are applied to achieve the Program’s objectives; Avoid Duplication: duplication of administrative and managerial processes should be eliminated for more efficient fund management; Allocate based on Needs: the amount for grants to be allocated should be needs-based for each winning solution in compliance with the IS Program budgetary requirements and limitations; Provide options for Sustainability: examine ways of phasing grant payments and financially sustaining successfully implemented projects beyond the scope of the grant; Ensure Equity: the financial requirements of implementation for each winning solutions must be equitably assessed; Ensure Transparency and Accountability: make sure that fund management is fully transparent and accountable to stakeholders, and that it complies with Afghan law and World Bank stipulations; Follow Program Strategy and Capacity: design the fund management processes according to the strategy and objectives of the IS Program and based on an assessment of program management capacity. ANNEX D: VARIOUS TASKS TO OPERATIONALIZE THE IS PROGRAM The Consultant should develop mechanisms, documents, and techniques to operationalize the IS Program including: Draft calls for proposals; Open and accessible platform to communicate with participants and allow proposal submission; Recommendations on preparing a public relations and marketing campaign to raise awareness of the competition, the winning solutions to the challenges, and the Government’s role during and post-implementation; Proposed criteria for participation in the competition and entry requirements, which are submitted to the Government for approval; Draft standard contractual agreement between the grant provider and the grant recipient including recommendations for a legal clause on intellectual property rights and ownership of the mobile application technology in the contractual agreement; Proposed guidelines to code of conduct during the competition; Proposed methodology for grant allocation including decision-making processes about grant allocation and the allocated amount and grant disbursement mechanisms that follow Afghan law and World Bank financial management guidelines. Selection criteria that are transparent, competitively neutral, robust, and are aimed at selecting proposals that emphasizes: o Specific outcomes to address the innovation challenge while creating opportunities for scalability, future innovation, and proposes improved outcomes to what the innovation challenge seeks; o Usefulness to the government of Afghanistan and Afghan citizens; o Long-term sustainability of the proposed project through revenue generation, cost savings, or high-impact; o Usability including for people with limited literacy, varied language skills, disabilities; o Inventive and original nature of the application; o Vendor and technical neutrality and is able to be implemented with the least number of proprietary or customized components; o Balances selection among new, existing, and planned applications to ensure inclusion of early stage pilots, entirely new ideas and proposals, and applications that might be planned but not yet deployed; o Appropriate level of evidence to ensure validity of proposals, competency of the applicant, and the quick deployment of the proposed application; o Potential to apply in a variety of situations; o Scalability, covering the population included in the innovation challenge for that period, but also with the potential to be cost effectively scaled to serve up to the entire population of Afghanistan; o Integration with the mGovernment platform, either as it is planned for deployment, or through the use of open architectures and protocols. INTERESTED AND ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the Services and are invited to submit their CV (Curriculum Vitae), including education background, employment records, description of similar assignments, experience in similar conditions, availability of appropriate skills, previous remuneration, etc). Expressions of interest must be delivered or sent by e-mail to the address below no later than 29th January, 2011(Saturday): 11.00 AM-Kabul time. Foreign Procurement Department (FPD) Attn: Mr.Samimullah Samin General Manager for External Procurement Procurement Department, Ministry of Communications and IT (MCIT) Mohammad Jan Khan Watt Kabul, Afghanistan Office: +93 20 210 37 41 Cell phone: +93 700 222 009 Email: email@example.com Web site: www.mcit.gov.af Copy to: Eng. Baryalai Hassam Deputy Minister-Technical Ministry of Communications and IT, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammd Jan Khan Watt, Kabul Afghanistan Landline: +93 20 210 11 03 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org And email@example.com Any queries on the position may also be addressed to the above mentioned email addresses, latest 3 working days before the deadline for submission of applications.
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