Terms of reference for the design & development of a web based total cost of ownership (TCO) tool

Organization: GESCI
Closing date: 22 Dec 2016

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT OF A WEB BASED TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP (TCO) TOOL

Type: Short Term Consultancy

Start date: 5th January 2017

Finish date: 10th March 2017

1. Introduction

About GESCI: GESCI, the Global E-Schools and Communities Initiative, is a non-profit organization founded by the United Nations in 2003. GESCI, with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, provides strategic advice to relevant Ministries in developing countries on the effective use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) within the context of inclusive Knowledge Societies. GESCI works with governments across 16 African countries and African Union Commission in delivering programmes in the areas of ICT in Education, Digital schools development, teachers professional development, Youth Skills Development and Leadership Capacity building for senior level government officials for Knowledge Society development in Africa. To understand more information about GESCI programmes, please visit; www.gesci.org.

2. Background and context for the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Tool

GESCI developed the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) tool during the year 2006. This is an electronic tool which is derived from a framework for identifying and assessing technology options and configurations suitable for schools, their benefits, feasibility and total cost of ownership (TCO) for educational institutions. The framework provides guidance to the user on the range of possible usage approaches, technology platform functionalities and numbers and possible combinations of devices required. The TCO tool has been used in many countries to simulate various technological options to achieve their core educational objectives.

In the past decade technology advancement has been rapid, therefore some of the ICT and the assumptions considered during the development of the first TCO tool in 2006 are obsolete hence the tool requires significant revision and revamp which will incorporate current ICT options for schools and also take in to consideration new and emerging technology, trends and advances, and be inclusive of how the tool will interface with the professional development of teachers, school leadership requirements and education administrators. Developing countries are increasingly prioritizing improving students’ competencies in Science, Technology, English and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, for acquiring the skills for higher order thinking, analysis and synthesis. Within this context, ICT integration in Education is looked at as a strong contributor and accelerator for improved teaching and learning. The TCO tool should create an enabling environment for educational planners to analyze and optimize the technology options and suggest the optimum ICT configurations for (1) large scale deployment in education systems and (2) in deployment of ICT across the school.

3. Problem statement:

The existing TCO tool was designed using Microsoft Excel which is 10 years old and a standalone system. This requires significant redesign to be web based, interactive and updated with current and emerging technology trends and changes in the ICT ecosystem, digital learning resources development, teacher professional development, ongoing support to schools, monitoring and evaluation and programme management expenses. The tool should capture all the expenses associated with capital and recurring costs for various options and provide a consolidated summary for the educational planners and policy implementers.

GESCI recognizes that every region or country has its own unique accounting or costing approaches. The tool is therefore not meant as a “one size fits all”, but rather facilitate a structured approach to considering technology options and possible configurations, platforms, devices and associated technical equipment and supports in order to develop and identify a suitable and reasonable cost estimate. However, the tool must have the flexibility, adaptability and functionality to be relevant and instructive in any educational context

4. Key features of the TCO tool

The existing tool shall be comprehensively reviewed, restructured and re-modelled and include new features and appropriate interactivity. Some of the key features are outlined below.

a) Considers the user’s institutional/school context

· In calculating the TCO, the tool takes account of the institutional/school situation and specifically the size of the school in terms of numbers of teachers, administrators and students. This school context is important as it can influence the number of devices required by the school.

b) Provides the user with different technology and system-wide component options

· This tool asks the user to make the choice of technology bundles including choosing access devices, operating systems, peripherals, internet connectivity and WIFI design and electricity backup devices. The tool should ask a series of questions (numerically coded) relating to the physical structure of schools, type of walls, length of corridors, spread of classrooms and end- to -end distances. This should translate to the generation of advice and suggestions relating to cabling, networking, numbers of routers, servers and the associated costs

· The tool also requires users to make choices among various options for accompanying the system-wide components such as those for content and applications, user training and support, maintenance and technical support etc.,

· After customizing a bundle of technology options and determining the total cost of ownership, the user can change parts of the technology bundle to see if the TCO can be reduced (e.g. running the tool to determine the cost of internet bundles and options)

c) Considers the implementation plan that the institution/school might take

· This tool can calculate the total cost of ownership even when the implementation of the technology is done in phases—for example, when schools choose to spread their technology purchases over a number of years in order to make them more affordable. The tool achieves this by asking users to provide their planned roll-out schedule.

· Allows the user to determine the device lifecycle

• The user can customize equipment replacement costs by stating how long the school intends to keep certain devices (e.g., choosing to use the same laptop for five years versus choosing to replace after three years).

d) Allows for inflation and discounting

• Users can input inflation and discount rates and determine what effect this is likely to have on their TCO over a period of time.

e) Allows the user to change their choices

• After using the tool to determine the TCO of a particular e-school model, the user can go back to earlier steps to change variables and see how different choices can impact the total cost.

f) Allows the user to input additional or unique ICT options

• The tool has been developed to allow for a moderate level of customization by the user by inputting their own ICT options.

5. Key Requirements for the consultant / consultancy / Agency

· Minimum experience of 8 years in developing web based interactive applications involving multiple inputs, simulations, analysis, formats and reporting

  • Minimum 5 experience in successfully developing platforms. Experience in developing & Implementation of website, interactive portal and similar application in Education sector would be an asset

· Samples and breakdown of report generation in similar assignments

· Demonstrable design and layout capabilities

  • Experience and thorough knowledge of technology deployment and ICT applications in the Education sector – specifically in primary and secondary education is a critical and essential requirement

· Good knowledge of programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, Python, CSS, PHP, MySQL, Ruby, Perl, C++ and C

· Strong communication, documentation and presentation skills.

· CV of the consultant(s)

6. Deliverables

· Inception report submission, review and approval – 20th January 2017

· Prototype delivery, review and acceptance – 17th February 2017

· Submission, review and quality assurance checks of beta version – 3rd March 2017

· Final product submission and acceptance – 10th March 2017

7. Consultancy fee

Interested firms/consultants should submit their financial proposal inclusive of 20% withholding tax under Kenyan legislation for external consultants. The same shall be deducted in the Gross invoice and paid to Kenya Revenue Authority. A certificate will be provided to consultant to this effect.

8. Payment schedule

· 10 % upon submission and approval of inception report

· 25 % upon submission prototype

· 50% upon submission of beta version

· 15% upon submission and approval of the TCO tool by GESCI

9. Confidentiality and copyright

The consultants will be required to sign a confidentiality clause whereby information accessed through the design and development of the Total Cost of Ownership tool and the details can only be disclosed and shared with authorized members of the ALICT programme. GESCI will have ownership over any Intellectual Property developed for or derived from the TCO tool assignment.

10. To Apply

Please submit your detailed proposal and company profile along with the CV/s of personnel giving relevant examples of past assignments by email under the heading “**TCO Tool Development”** To be submitted by 22nd December 2016 to procurement@gesci.org

Selection Process: Only consultants/Companies meeting the prerequisite experience and expertise requirements need apply. Only shortlisted consultants will be contacted. Following initial communication and exchange with shortlisted applicants, it is GESCI’s policy to select a preferred bidder with whom we will discuss GESCI’s expectations relating to the full scope and quality and each of its elements. Following a clear understanding by the preferred bidder of the project terms of reference and GESCI’s expectations of the work to be carried out, a contract will be awarded.

For further information on the consultancy you can contact Senthil Kumar, Programme Manager at: senthil.kumar@gesci.org

How to apply:

10. To Apply

Please submit your detailed proposal and company profile along with the CV/s of personnel giving relevant examples of past assignments by email under the heading “**TCO Tool Development”** To be submitted by 22nd December 2016 to procurement@gesci.org

Selection Process: Only consultants/Companies meeting the prerequisite experience and expertise requirements need apply. Only shortlisted consultants will be contacted. Following initial communication and exchange with shortlisted applicants, it is GESCI’s policy to select a preferred bidder with whom we will discuss GESCI’s expectations relating to the full scope and quality and each of its elements. Following a clear understanding by the preferred bidder of the project terms of reference and GESCI’s expectations of the work to be carried out, a contract will be awarded.

For further information on the consultancy you can contact Senthil Kumar, Programme Manager at: senthil.kumar@gesci.org

Read more here:: ReliefWeb