BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
APHRC is seeking firms/ individual consultants to develop a Monitoring and Evaluation Platform for the Center (including the regional office), to use across its divisions and research units. The M&E platform will be able to add projects, monitor project implementation, track progress and data collection, share trends, provide an interactive Dashboard, GIS and data management and generate reports that contribute to transparency and accountability.
The main objective of the consultancy is to establish an online M&E Platform by customizing the DHIS2 software to align it to APHRC processes and procedures and additionally build the capacity of relevant staff to enable them to maintain the DHIS2 M&E platform.
SCOPE OF WORK
The firms/ individual consultants will work to carry out the following task:
- Customize the open-source DHIS2 M&E platform and align it to APHRC’s processes and procedures.
- Explore the possibility of integrating the DHIS2 platform with Microsoft Navision 2017 ERP and REDCap Software; so as to pull relevant project-related data into the DHIS2 for analysis and producing necessary reports.
- Configure the hierarchy of APHRC by its divisions, units, regional office, and level of intervention.
- Code the data elements and indicators for interoperability purpose, and translations;
- DHIS2’s ability to integrate with ERP software Setup DHIS2 instance- live and test instances – configure security controls on the server, secure domain, and backup utilities, server monitoring tools on the server;
- Customize all the APHRC data collection tools into the DHIS2 database;
- Design data entry forms and customize the database with the country determined data elements, indicators, organization units, user roles;
- Develop Dashboards with frequently used favorites and standard reports based on the user-determined information products;
- Configure the GIS module to visualize the progress of activities and trends of different project interventions across units on GIS maps.
- Develop a data import module in DHIS 2 for the existing Excel database;
- Set quality assurance parameters (e.g., approval and acceptance of data) and data validation rules;
- Develop an automated program for reports and dashboards, with the possibility of linking to the data reporting tool in Excel;
- Determine and develop various types of reporting content, formats, and frequency based on indicator plan and donor requirements.
- Configure the data visualizer for the database to generate the required reports.
- Configure mobile (light and smartphone) data entry modules to ensure data entry via mobile devices.
- Configure SMS reminders as required.
- Configure the user rights module which can later be used to assign the access of database to the users as per their role in the organization.
- Configure the data administration module to ensure the proper administration of the database.
- Develop training materials for the core team and also train the core team on customization, system management, and administration;
OTHER REQUIREMENT FOR CONSULTANT
- Testing and Security: Vulnerability testing of all software code must be performed before going live. A comprehensive back-up system must be included in the end product, such that data resources are secure and replicated at regular intervals.
- Hosting Options: Explore and present feasible and reliable hosting options. Support APHRC to host the database on one of the selected hosting solutions.
- Staff Training and Capacity Building: Train and mentor key staff to properly develop, use, update and make changes to the database system. Create User Manual.
- Source Code/Design: Complete source code, design of the final application and database will be the property of APHRC. The consultant will hand over all required materials to APHRC.
- Ownership and intellectual property: APHRC shall acquire the ownership of all assignment deliverables in their tangible form (both hard and soft copies, including the customized source code) and the right to use them as required. The deliverables in any circumstances should not be published or used by the consultant without the permission of APHRC.
- Confidentiality: Due to the sensitivity of programming, the Consultant must sign a confidentiality agreement.
REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
- Advanced degree (Masters level) in a relevant field (computer science, data/information/health management, econometrics, advanced statistical analysis, information technology, and software engineering).
- Demonstrable skills in working with one or more programming languages including Java Runtime Environment (JRE 7 or higher) Tomcat server, Java, and PostgreSQL 4, web – Apache HTTP Server, Apache Tomcat, Databases – MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle.
- Development experience utilizing web-based applications such as J2EE, JDK, Struts, Spring, Hibernate, and HTML.
- Five years’ expertise in information system management especially on web-based software platforms and database administration;
- Five years’ experience in DHIS 2 configuration for health information systems;
- Previous work experience supporting countries in DHIS2 rollout in sub-Saharan countries including experience in training DHIS administrators and health information uses;
- Excellent skills and experience in training facilitation, mentoring and capacity development;
- Demonstrate oral and written communication skills, including presentations.
APHRC expects the consultant shall complete and submit the following deliverables:
- A comprehensive strategy along with the work plan at the start of the consultancy indicating the major milestones for the completion of the assignment.
- Report of the requirement specifications including the list of organizational units, data elements, data element groups, data element categories, data sets, data entry forms, reporting formats, and other modules as required.
- Completed structure of database containing the organization structure, data elements, data element groups, data element categories, data sets, indicators, data entry forms, data visualization, and any other data points as required.
- Configured data administration, data quality and uses modules
- Data entry set up for online and offline modules and as well as for mobile data collection plans and technological approaches.
- Reporting modules
- DHIS2 database testing and deployment plan, including hosting options both on APHRC servers or other hosting options.
- Initial maintenance plan after final deployment.
- Training plan for staff users.
- Final presentation/workshop for relevant staff.
- Completed User Manual for the database system.
We seek an individual consultant or a firm with a practical DHIS2 implementation experience. APHRC expects not more than 15 pages of a technical proposal that must include the following points:
- A description of your experience customizing and deploying the DHIS2 platform;
- A description of your proposed method for completing the project, to include planning sessions, the outline of the key steps and the sequence of the work, etc.;
- A clear and detailed timeframe to complete the tasks, with an indication of timelines against individual deliverables;
- A detailed description of possible integration with the Microsoft Navision 2017 ERP to allow DHIS2 fetch project-related data for analysis and producing necessary reports.
- A complete list of references of clients with demo links to previous work that the consultant has worked with on a similar assignment.
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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
The Measurement and Impact Evaluation ( M&IE) Project’s primary goal is to strengthen APHRC’s mission of transforming lives in Africa through research by (i) Strengthening the Center’s analytical capacity and evidence used for evidence-informed decision-making (ii) Strengthen the Center’s capacity to conduct robust impact evaluations of complex programs based on modern practices across several thematic areas, and (iii) Strengthen pathways to policy impact through focused and sustained engagement with policy actors aligned to APHRC’s signature issues.
The M&IE project will strengthen APHRC’s position in policy-relevant evaluations that are driven by measurement methodologies spanning impact evaluations, performance and monitoring systems, economic evaluations (cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis), and development of theories of change through the building of strategic relationships with key policy actors at national and sub-national levels.
The M&IE project will also strengthen APHRC’s expertise and intellectual leadership in measurement and impact evaluations to be a continental leader for evidence-informed policy-making processes, which underscores our principle of being impact-driven and a strong regional player in measurement and impact evaluation and emerging M&IE methodologies, scenario building and theory of change conceptualization.
Over the lifetime of the M&IE project, APHRC staff will benefit from in-house training on Measurement and Impact Evaluation; generate analytical datasets from APHRC or other related studies; provide continued mentorship and training to regional scholars; and develop peer-reviewed journal articles based on M&IE methodologies.
OBJECTIVES OF THE M&EI PROJECT:
- Expand APHRC’s internal M&IE human resource capacity.
- Capacity strengthening in Measurement, and Impact Evaluations.
- Scenario building for public policy decision making and adaptive learning.
- Enhanced collaboration with M&IE professionals from the North.
- Enhanced mentorship and training to regional scholars in M&IE.
- Outreach, Policy Engagement and Publicity of M&IE.
EXPECTED PROJECT ACTIVITIES
- 5 five-day sequential in-house training sessions on classical M&IE and emerging M&IE approaches.
- 2 five-day sequential in-house training sessions on scenario building (policy options) for public policy.
- 3 five-day sequential in-house training sessions on the theory of change (ToC) and real-time rapid response to policy windows.
- 3 analytical data sets generated for use by ‘trainees’ during scenario building.
- 5 blogs on M&IE published through academic blogs for major platforms such as The Conversation Africa.
- 5 M&IE papers and 5 technical policy briefs developed.
APHRC invites expressions of interest from 15 internal APHRC staff with skills in statistics, data analysis, monitoring & evaluation, performance evaluation with 3-6+ years of relevant work experience in similar/related areas, to benefit from this capacity strengthening project. We are looking for individuals who are passionate about developing their career in M&IE, and who are willing and ready to participate in all project activities listed above.
For all trainees:
- Participate in one (1) M&IE competitive proposal development for fundraising.
- Develop at least one (1) journal articles as co-author based on M&IE methodologies to target peer-reviewed journals including special issues on M&IE across APHRC’s signature issues.
- Support the development of at least one (1) blog on M&IE through academic blogs for major platforms such as The Conversation Africa.
- Participate in at least one (1) M&IE conference.
In addition to the above 4 deliverables, selected senior trainees will be expected to:
- Mentor at least 5 junior African university faculty who will be selected to benefit from short M&IE policy fellowships at APHRC.
- Mentor at least 5 fellows at PhD and post-doctoral fellows, specifically through the Center’s regional capacity strengthening initiatives such as Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA), who will be selected to receive M&IE long-term mentorship over one academic year.
APHRC staff who fit the following criteria are strongly encouraged to apply:
- Master’s degree in Measurement and Evaluation; Health EconomicsStatistics; Education; Epidemiology and Monitoring and Evaluation or related fields.
- Proficiency in STATA, R, SPSS, and strong quantitative and qualitative research skills.
- Familiarity with statistics and data analysis.
- Superior analytical, quantitative and conceptual thinking skills.
- Strong data and analytical skills.
- Provide a letter of recommendation from your head of the unit or direct supervisor in APHRC.
- Willingness and commitment to attend all the compulsory M&IE training topics/sessions (10 sessions each of 5 days).
- Provide long-term mentorship and training over one academic year to regional scholars.
The M&IE Project duration is from Oct. 2019– Sept. 2022.
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BACKGROUND AND APPROACH
APHRC is seeking monitoring, evaluation, and learning specialist and/or institution collaborate in the review, evaluation, and documentation of the impact of the policy engagement, knowledge translation, and capacity-strengthening work implemented by the Eastern Africa Health Policy Research Organization (EA-HPRO) Consortium in six countries in East and Southern Africa.
The EA-HPRO, a Consortium of three organizations – APHRC, East, Central, Southern Africa Health Community and Partners in Population and Development – is part of the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) Initiative. IMCHA seeks to improve maternal, newborn, and child health outcomes by strengthening equity in health systems and their delivery of services, using primary health care as an entry point. The initiative has paired researchers with policymakers to enhance the use of evidence and the translation of knowledge into policy and practice.
APHRC, as the lead institution for the Consortium, is looking for a consulting firm who will facilitate the review and documentation the approach and impact of the Health Policy Research Organization. The aim is to take stock of what has been achieved through different activities implemented by the EA-HPRO Consortium to enhance the translation of knowledge and evidence use.
The purpose of documenting the activities, processes, learnings, and their impact, directly and indirectly, provides an opportunity for us to demonstrate the value of knowledge translation and policy engagement in enhancing evidence-informed decision-making and scale-up. We want to have a better understanding of the practices and circumstances that have enabled or hindered the achievement of our targets. The analysis will also inform APHRC’s model of knowledge translation and policy engagement.
Figure1: HPRO’s Evidence use approach– informed by the logic model (Langer et al., 2016)
II. PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE CONSULTANCY
The aim will be to assess the value and impact of the HPRO model as part of the IMCHA Initiative in enhancing evidence use by implementing knowledge translation and policy engagement activities in six countries. Using the theory of change articulated above, we want to capture learning in the following aspects:
Objective1: HPRO model of engagement with the 13 research teams. The engagement has been in the form of capacity strengthening, development of national strategies for engagement, development of key messages, development of knowledge translation plans and products, and providing technical inputs on approaches to facilitate evidence use for decision making.
Objective 2: HPRO model of knowledge translation and policy engagement with decision-makers at sub-regional, national, and regional levels. The Eastern Africa HPRO has partners, ECSA and PPD, who convene regional forums, and these platforms where IMCHA research work has been shared. Further the EA-HPRO worked with country research teams to develop a roadmap for national engagement. The policy engagement work has been complemented by knowledge translation training, plans, and outputs.
Objective 3: Measure the different levels of impact and scale-up and how the EA-HPRO and research teams have contributed. We foresee change taking place at institutional, sub-regional, and national levels and hence would like track and document it. This should also capture the expected and unexpected outcomes that stand to contribute to the provision of quality maternal and child health services.
Objective 4: Impact of capacity strengthening courses. The EA-HPRO conducted a series of capacity strengthening courses from 2015-2018. The courses were on various research skills and knowledge translation. We would like to assess the impact of these courses on the research work.
The consulting firm will be responsible for producing the following deliverables by documenting the learnings as per the objectives:
- The model of the EA-HPRO consortium showing it’s value as part of the IMCHA Initiative by documenting the best practices as well as what has not worked to inform future programming.
- Document the engagement between the EA-HPRO consortium and the 13 research teams. Further, highlight the value that the Consortium has added to the teams.
- Track and highlight the different levels of impact and scale-up at institutional, sub-regional, and national levels informed by the EA-HPRO Consortium approach highlighted above. Further, highlighting case studies on the engagement with decision-makers at different levels.
- Demonstrate and document the impact of the capacity strengthening courses on research skills and knowledge translation done by the EA-HPRO Consortium, targeting the 13 research teams working in six countries.
The consulting firm will produce the following outputs:
- Two journal articles that will be submitted for publication.
- Thematic reports on each objective.
- Four policy engagement case studies in the form of articles that can be shared with a wider audience, including donors, partners, and governments.
- One fact sheet.
- Two policy briefs.
IV. TIME PLAN
The duration of the assignment is from January to May 2020. A phased approach will be employed based on the agreed schedule of deliverables.
V. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Consulting firm will:
- Develop a detailed work plan for completing the objectives of the consultancy, consistent with the timeframe proposed.
- Maintain communication throughout the consultancy, including being available for review meetings after each stage of the process.
- Adhere to the agreed time plan and achieve all the deliverables.
- Provide relevant internal documents.
- Facilitate contacts with colleagues and explicit management support for the process.
- Set-up a reference group for the work to provide ongoing support to the consulting firm during the process, including feedback on drafts of outputs.
- Provide a contract to the service provider and pay for the services rendered as per the contractual agreement and on the satisfactory completion of the work.
REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
This task requires the following expertise, skills, and competencies:
- Demonstrable experience in developing monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) frameworks.
- Proven capacity for analysis of complex, cross-sector programs.
- Practical development program experience and understanding of field realities.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- 6+ years demonstrated experience in doing monitoring, evaluation, and learning and knowledge management.
- Master’s degree in communications, monitoring and evaluation or public health preferred.
- Have experience in assessing policy engagement and communications programs.
- Demonstrated experience in strategy development for complex projects.
- Up-to-date knowledge of MEL and an understanding of the constraints and benefits of different approaches.
- Familiarity with the international public health sphere.
- Impeccable interpersonal skills to work with multiple teams and stakeholders.
- Excellent attention to detail and track record of producing high-quality documents.
- Strong planning, management, facilitation, interpersonal, and communications skills.
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