Consultant to Develop a Management Information Sytem 

 

Introduction

Child’s i Foundation was established in 2009; having transitioned from a children’s home- Malaika Babies’ home.  The organization focuses largely on the prevention of child-family separations and the institutionalisation of children in Uganda. Specific interventions include supporting vulnerable children and families to prevent separations, recruiting and training foster carers, and building community structures for child protection. Child’s i also works alongside orphanages to support the transition from institutional care to family and community-based care. 

Currently, the organisation runs programs in five districts (Eastern Uganda and Central) and a division in Kampala, the capital city in Uganda. We also do national advocacy and training in Uganda and are currently supporting organizations in Tanzania and collaborating with Hope and Homes for Children to consolidate our work on care reform in the region.

BACKGROUND OF THE EXISTING MIS SYSTEM

The Child’s i Management Information System (MIS) was designed in 2020 to cater for the organization’s growing numbers of beneficiaries and evolving reporting needs from different donors and partners. The system was designed to:

  1. Enhance monitoring of Child’s i interventions/activities, including tracking of beneficiaries, to improve programming.
  2. To improve the quality of data reported from program activities
  3. To capture all client/beneficiary data from Child’s i programs
  4. To meet donor reporting requirements.

To date, the system in place has been tested by different users. However, in its current form/state, it does not adequately meet the case management and reporting needs of Child’s i. For example, it lacks some features such as dashboards, and its capacity to generate reports remains limited. 

JUSTIFICATION FOR THE DATABASE (MIS)

Against the above background, the organization seeks to upgrade or redesign the current system to ensure that it suits the current case management, performance management and reporting needs.

The upgrading or re-designing of the system will ensure that data on beneficiaries and project activities is comprehensively captured, stored, analyzed, reported and used. This will ensure more evidence-based decision-making and ensure timely reporting

Over the years, Child’s i Foundation has been using Excel-based spreadsheets (in silos and or isolated from each other) to monitor, capture, and analyze program data. With the expansion of program activities, it has become increasingly challenging to track and maintain performance-related information from different projects using uncoordinated spreadsheets.  Therefore, Child’s i Foundation is seeking to procure the services of a competent firm or individual consultant to develop a functional computerized and integrated phase II database to facilitate reporting, performance monitoring, and case management.

OVERVIEW OF THE PROPOSED MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (MIS)

The offline version will allow data capture/entry of data without internet connectivity that can later be uploaded to the online version to generate reports. Whereas the online version should be designed to receive data and process data from the offline system, the online version should entail all reports, beneficiary information, donor indicators and all other reporting requirements. All the data collection tools should be uploaded to the offline version.

OBJECTIVES OF THE CONSULTANCY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MIS

The central purpose of the consultancy is to design, develop and support the implementation of a cost-effective comprehensive computerized fully-fledged MIS system for Child’s i Foundation that is user-friendly and functional to respond to Child’s i Foundation MEAL needs for improved tracking, capture, analysis and reporting on different organization projects. It is anticipated that this will support a coordinated and integrated system to monitor and manage project activities in a manner that provides accurate information to the right set of stakeholders, at the right time to enable timely responsiveness to project management and evidence-based decision making.

Specifically, this consultant will:

  • Develop and set up an automated fully-fledged cost-effective MIS system with capabilities to export and import data to support the monitoring of program performance.
  • Develop offline and online systems where data will be entered on the offline system and then synchronized to the online system after uploading.
  • Upload project data collection tools onto the offline system. The consultant will be expected to migrate all existing data from the old system into the new system that will be developed.
  • Provide technical support/training to MEAL and program staff on the use and maintenance of the system once it has been set up.
  • Develop the interlinked modules for specific target beneficiaries planned and reached by different projects or donors to improve evidence-based reporting to Child’s i donors reporting requirements.
  • Train and transfer the required knowledge and skills to MEAL staff to run and troubleshoot the system using the advanced MIS system to allow them to make further improvements or changes to the system for implementation and sustainability purposes. The MIS system should be able to pick services provided to the beneficiaries as on the data capture tools for different interventions for different projects and donors.
  • Carry out corrective and adaptive maintenance to improve the database when necessary.

METHODOLOGY

The consultant is expected to use a triangulation of methods in the systems development process by applying at least two or more methods. The required systems development approach are as follows:

  1. Bottom-up Approach
  2. End user approach
  3. Top-down approach
  4. Prototyping approach

The MIS development shall be an iterative process, requiring ongoing engagement with the end user to ensure that their needs are met.

The consultant is expected to include the description of the general methodology used in the development of the database, with the following items:

  • A list of technical specifications required to develop near-automated
    database.
  • A definition of the process followed in the development of the database in accordance with the necessities defined by the consultant him/herself.
  • A definition of a precise tool to report all the specifications and
    requirements for the program MIS, including a clear description of the
    modules, options and general inputs and outputs of the database
  • Design or adjustments of the database, database architecture, generating the descriptive documents including all database components.
  • Installation of the database onto child’s i Foundation server, one drive or share points for testing and deploying.
  • Preparation of the user manual to help provide guidance to end users.
  • Corrective maintenance when it is required and the process-oriented toward repairing any defects that may arise with the database; such as:
    • Whenever the database fails or aborts operation;
    • Designs and requirements do not agree with the supporting software;
  • Adaptive maintenance when is needed to improve the database, hardware and documentation operation-ability. This mode will be applied upon the user’s request, to be implemented during the execution of the program and will involve:
    • Definition of database requirements;
    • MIS system design;
    • MIS system module design; and
    • MIS system development and deployment.

ACTIVITIES TO BE PERFORMED AS PART OF THE CONSULTANCY/SCOPE OF WORK.

The MIS system design should include the following components:

  • Clear dashboards displaying data summary disaggregated according to project donors per district of operation (Examples of districts are Mpigi, Kampala and Tororo districts)
  • Data related to target beneficiaries (Targeted/planned vs. reached/actual)
  • Program indicators (process indicators, output indicators, outcome indicators and impact indicators)
  • Auto-generated reports (per target, per donor, and overall report).
  • Generated reports should be tagged to reporting time frames for example monthly, quarterly, semiannual and annual reports throughout the year.
  • Clear tables, pie charts and graphical statistics from each project indicator should be displayed on the dashboard for teams to view the performance.
  • Disaggregation of beneficiaries in terms of gender, age and category
  • Create a tab that shows demographic information example District, sub-county/ Division, parish/ Ward and village/zone.
  • Create a tab for case management and risk registers
  • Create a tab for households/ beneficiary lists for different project areas with codes for beneficiaries and households
  • Create a tab for different reports for each reporting indicator for different project areas and donors. 
  • Develop a default mechanism to avoid double counting for beneficiaries.
  • Establish error trap mechanisms, the system should have the capacity to detect and red flag errors such as repeated beneficiary names, wrong age not in line with the date of birth, incomplete forms or data collection tools and wrong demographic information among others.
  • Filtering capabilities; the system should filter information according to year/ month, demographic information and bio-data information.
  • Upcoming events, the system should be able to prompt the users for upcoming events like trainings, conferences, active cases, closed cases, pending cases etc.
  • Backing up all the data on the MIS to different servers for example i cloud to avoid crushing of the data available on the system. Provide database backup redundancy capabilities.
  • Create a tab for community structures, CDNs, CVs para-social workers, foster carers, Active Family Support and prevention/gatekeeping numbers
  • Real-time updates: The system should automatically prompt updates in relation to the different tasks done.
  • Create a tab for services offered to the project beneficiaries for different interventions/domains for different donors.
  • Tracking work plans and milestones accomplished under each activity for different indicators and different projects.
  • Archiving function: The system should have the archive tab where old tools, reports and beneficiary lists can be kept for future reference.

Administration function: The Administration module should enable general administration of the basic components of the database. This should enable access to the database through the use of previously assigned user accounts. The access to the database and the modifications made to the database should be automatically registered in the database and records kept for users who make modifications, including the activity date and place it was made. The database should also include usage rights example viewing, editing, deleting and deactivating.

MIS usage rights: The end user rights for each category can be illustrated as follows

Social workers: Will only view, add notes and upload documents.

Project managers:  They will view, add notes, upload documents and deactivate beneficiary information

MEAL department: As primary users of the database, they should have all the rights ranging from viewing, add notes, upload documents, editing beneficiary information, add a user, deactivate beneficiary information, import and export data sets.

Target beneficiaries

The database must provide the option of selecting specific geographic areas, and displays the predetermined target beneficiaries. The selection of beneficiaries can be performed using the different variables which will be selected according to the various needs of MEAL staff. All selection requirements may be ranked before the process. The variables for filtering should include but are not limited to Districts, sub-counties/ Divisions, parishes/wards/ villages/ zones, and biodata for each of the beneficiaries.

Donor: This MIS is expected to generate donor or project-based reports with clear details for the required reporting period based on data stored in the system.

Project planned and actual target numbers: The information registered in the database should enable the generation and display of planned and actual numbers that the families that are defined as beneficiaries of the programs/projects will have throughout the project period.

Updates: This module should enable the generation of all information updates
that are required from the beneficiary participating in the program. The updates should be as per agreed indicators, projects and donors.

Reports / Queries: This module should provide the capability for the generation of hard copy reports as and when they are required. The forms are displayed on the screen as automatically generated by the combination of process indicators, output indicators, outcome and impact indicators that were selected by the user and then printed in that order so that the reports can be presented. These reports should be presented on the MIS dashboard and in an excel sheet that can be exported for further analysis.

Related Assignment for the consultant

  1. The consultant shall sign a non-disclosure agreement and maintain strict confidentiality on any information accessed from Child’s i beneficiaries. This condition shall apply even after the end of the contract.
  2. The consultant shall install the database and demonstrate the functionality of the database to Child’s i management for final approval.

III. The consultant shall provide on-call for technical assistance for about three months from the close of the contract.

 

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DATABASE

The implementation of the MIS should at least include three specific steps:
-Development of the database with all the required design levels, and which
matches the initial design of the database 
-Adjustment of the tool according to the needs discovered during the operational implementation of the database
-Delivery of the database with all its functionalities adapted to the
operational implementation of the database

 

CONSULTANCY DELIVERABLES

Below are the deliverables for the consultant engaged to carry out this assignment:

  • Inception report, showing exactly how the work will be carried out and the human resources assigned
  • Clear work plan and budget
  • MIS system ready product: fully functional and adapted MIS to Child’s i Foundation MEAL operational needs
  • User manual/guide
  • Report of user training

IMPLEMENTATION AND TIME FRAME FOR THE CONSULTANCY

  • Inception report, the consultant should write an inception report to respond to the terms of reference before the contract is awarded.
  • Technical proposal; the consultant should describe their capacities and how they intend to accomplish the assignment.
  • Financial proposal; the consultant should provide the overall cost of the assignment and should be broken down
  • Provide a detailed work plan with milestones for the activity/assignment.

The consultant is expected to finish the assignments in three (3) months starting from the time of award of the contract. The consultant will be required to give a presentation on the progress of the MIS development at the end of every month.

BUDGET: The prospective consultant should submit an itemized budget and work plan detailing how the MIS development activity shall be implemented. All payment is subject to verification of works at every agreed phase. The consultant proposes the payment plan to be decided on during the negotiation with the selected bidder.

Supervision: Supervision of the consultancy will be provided by the Country Director of Child’s i Foundation with the support of the Head of Programs.

EXPERTISE AND MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS OF THE CONSULTANT

For carrying out this consultancy, a consultant/firm, with expertise in the
implementation of development and humanitarian program information systems is required. The suitable candidate for this assignment should have at least;

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in information management systems, Computer science, Information Technology or any other related discipline.
  • Must have worked or participated in design in at least two different projects with certificates of good performance from his/her past clients.
  • Must have worked or participated in the management information system
    architecture design in at least two different projects with certificates
    of good performance from his/her past clients.
  • Proven ability to make adjustments to the database as required by the MEAL department within 3 months after the deployment.

Note: The consultant is expected to attach his/ her CV and if it is a company, attach a certificate of registration company profile.

Selection Criteria for hiring the consultant:

The selection of the consultants will be based on the following criteria;

  • Clear understanding of the subject and objective of the consultancy.
  • Well-defined triangulation of methods for the MIS development approach
  • Relevant qualifications, experience, and competencies for MIS development
  • Detailed itemized budget indicating work breakdown structure
  • Task schedule/work plan including 3 months for systems development
  • Inception report indicating a clear understanding of the Terms of Reference
  • Technical proposal clearly illustrating how the work will be done
  • Financial proposal clearly illustrated MIS development costing
  • Detailed presentation of the consultant before a selection panel

How to Apply

You are required to submit a concept paper of 5-10 pages detailing the methodology to be used, time frame, budget, qualifications and assignments carried out in a similar field. This should reach Child’s i Foundation no later than 5th August 2022 at 5.00 pm Ugandan time. Applications should be emailed to applications@childsifoundation.org