Consultancy Services to Develop Project Information Management System for Data Collection and Reporting – Kenya


About ChildFund International

ChildFund is a child-focused international development organization that works in 24 countries to connect children with the people, resources, and institutions they need to grow up healthy, educated, skilled and safe, no matter where they are. ChildFund Kenya works through 11 implementing partners (IP’s) and 2 Direct Program Implementing Units 9DPIU) to implement various development interventions across 26 counties in Kenya. The thematic areas that we focus on are Child Protection, Household Economic Strengthening, Early Childhood Development (ECD), Education, WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), Emergency Response, Health and Nutrition. Under ECD, ChildFund Kenya works with caregivers, communities, and the government both at the national and county levels to support responsive caregiving, child protection, improved health and well-being of infants and young children (IYC) through systems strengthening of government and community structures to provide nurturing care for ECD interventions. Our aim is to strengthen the nurturing environment to promote protective and responsive parenting and supportive structures for early childhood development.

Background and Context

Several variables contribute to poor progress on child health indicators, including adverse health behaviors and practices at the household level, inadequate knowledge and skills on responsive parenting and child protection, and limited access to quality essential health services, all of which are exacerbated by household poverty. The key to addressing these challenges often lies with strengthening existing parenting knowledge and skills among caregivers and families; creating an enabling environment to provide equitable and quality services at national and county levels; working with other sectors and partners in a multisectoral approach, strengthening government and community structures among others. Recognizing the critical role of caregivers in facilitating the holistic development of children, there is a need to institute and support programs that enhance their capacity to be responsive to the cues of their children while meeting their basic needs and building secure attachments. Though Kenya has made strides towards increased funding allocation for Early Childhood Development (ECD), children face multiple threats that put them at risk of not developing to their fullest potential—maternal mortality, low birth weight, child poverty, and violent discipline. Other challenges include no official data on violent discipline, inadequate child supervision, use of harsh discipline measures, inadequate early stimulation at home, and children’s books and playthings unavailability.

Although Early Childhood Development (ECD)-related laws and policies exist in Kenya, there is a lack of harmonization of the various policies and implementation with no central functional organization for coordination and monitoring of the integrated services; weak multisectoral coordination for ECD service provision at the county level; unregulated the childcare environment that lacks policies and standards; poor quality caregiving practices in existing day daycare facilities. ECD is a recognized priority program area for ChildFund Kenya. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in significant disruptions in people’s lives with restrictive measures such as the closure of markets, preschools and daycare centers and loss of income, there is an opportunity to reboot efforts supporting families and parenting.

Based on the lessons learned in implementing A Strengthened Partnership for Nurturing care project in Siaya County, the project can support the government’s efforts to improve access to quality integrated ECD services for children 0-3 years and their caregivers in target counties, strengthen joint advocacy initiatives in county, sub-county, and community levels, and support the government and other actors to contribute to generation of evidence and reporting of data related to ECD and Nurturing Care.

About the Project

ChildFund received funding to implement Operationalization of A Strengthened Partnership for Nurturing Care project for 8-month initial planning phase. The planning phase seeks to undertake consultations with relevant government ministries, county government departments and other stakeholders implementing nurturing care intervention at national and county levels with the aim of identifying opportunities for strategic collaborations to support the expansion of Nurturing Care in Kenya.

The planning phase has three objectives that need to be achieved as follows for Kenya: Objective 1: Review, refine and adapt the existing parenting program in alignment with the evidence-based, baseline situational analysis data and government ECD priorities in Kenya Objective 2: Assess potential local implementing organizations and co-develop implementation plans Objective 3: In consultation with the Hilton Foundation and its external evaluator, finalize an evaluation plan including proposed objectives, evaluation questions, child development indicator profiles, data collection tools, and analysis plans to support the measurement of child development outcomes

Based on the lessons learned in implementing A Strengthened Partnership for Nurturing care Project, the project team routinely collected data monthly using numerous paper base tools. This method of data collection was unfriendly to primary data collectors in the field and required regular and consistent support to ensure the data collected was accurate and complete. A consideration to adopt digital data collection tools and uploading the same on a digital platform for ease of reporting and analysis of project data was given hence the need to hire a consultant to support this exercise.

The 8 months planning period will therefore allow ChildFund Kenya to identify digital platforms, accessible both online and offline, that can be used by primary data collectors in the field, for routine data collection, analysis, tracking and reporting during the implementation phase for improved data quality. The purposes of Management Information System (MIS) are to:

  • To enhance monitoring of proposed project’s activities including tracking of beneficiaries to improve the quality of programming.
  • To improve the quality of data reported from program activities including completeness and accuracy of the collected data.
  • To capture all participants data from various implementation platforms such groups, ECD center-based and households where project activities are undertaken.
  • To meet donor reporting requirements for the project.
  • To promptly provide the necessary information to project staff, mentors and supervisors at various levels to help them to discharge their functions of organising, planning, control and decision making.

Purpose of the assessment

ChildFund is seeking to engage the services of a reputable and experienced consultancy firm or individual to develop and implement a secure web and mobile based data collection, analysis and reporting system. The system should be a digital platform(s) that can be accessed both online and offline, and usable by primary data collectors with low levels of education for routine data collection. The system should be easy to use project staff in the entry, analysis, tracking and reporting during project implementation thereby improving data quality. The proposed system will promote good governance, transparency, and accountability with a specific focus on strengthening integrity of the data collected. Data analysis and visualisation will improve the quality of feedback to management and aid in improving the decision-making process. This project seeks to improve the data collection, data analysis and reporting processes for ChildFund through the implementation of a fully integrated digital data collection and reporting system

Specific Objectives

  • To ease the process of collecting primary data in the field while ensuring accuracy and completeness
  • To provide a means and ease of consolidating the collected data from the field, analysis and reporting of data.
  • To ease the process of validating and verifying the data collected from the field
  • To enhance tracking of beneficiaries by helping eliminate double or triple reporting of project clients/beneficiaries being reached by various project activities in the various implementation platforms
  • To give users at all levels of management an integrated, secure and consistent data source from which they can derive business intelligence for reporting and decision support.
  • To provide am easy to use dashboard of indicators for high-level decision-making processes.
  • To provide training tailored to meet the specific needs of end users.

Scope of Work

  • Develop the interlinked modules for specific target beneficiaries planned and reached by different activities to improve evidence-based reporting meeting the donor requirements.
  • Train and transfer the required knowledge and skills to 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.
  • Provide technical support/training to MEAL and program staff on the use and maintenance of the system once it has been set up.
  • 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.
  • 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 ChildFund Kenya’s 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: o Whenever the database fails or aborts operation; o 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: o Definition of database requirements; o MIS system design; o MIS system module design; and o MIS system development and deployment. The MIS system design should include the following components: • Clear dashboards displaying data summary disaggregated according to project county of operation • 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, semi-annual 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 category, project activities, reach for each project activity but not limited to these • Create a tab that shows demographic information example County, Sub-county, Ward and Village. • Create a tab for case management and risk registers • Create a tab for project entry point specifically households visits and group sessions/ beneficiary lists for different project areas with codes for beneficiaries, households visits and group sessions • Create a tab for different reports for each reporting indicator for different project areas. • 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 cloud to avoid crushing of the data available on the system. Provide database backup redundancy capabilities. • Create a tab for community structures, frontline workers and mentors • 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 nurturing care for ECD components. • 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 authorised 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 Primary field data collectors / Frontline workers: Will only view, add notes/data and upload documents. Project managers: They will view, add notes/data, upload documents and deactivate beneficiary information using a digital tool developed for specific project needs MEAL: As primary users of the database they should have all the rights ranging from viewing, add notes/data, 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 counties, sub-counties, parishes/wards/ villages/ zones, and biodata for each of the beneficiaries. The 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 I. The consultant shall sign a non-disclosure agreement and maintain strict confidentiality on any information accessed from ChildFund beneficiaries. This condition shall apply even after the end of the contract. II. The consultant shall install the database and demonstrate the functionality of the database to ChildFund management for final approval. III. The consultant shall provide on-call for technical assistance for about six months from the close of the contract. IV. The consultant shall make any amendments resulting from failure of the database to function as required free of charge within the 6 months as specified under bullet III above.

Outputs and 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, logical and detailed work plan of activities to be undertaken during the assignment. • MIS system ready product: fully functional and adapted MIS to projects operational needs including non-android and android mobile applications for data collection; database to store integrated data collected from the field; web-based Backend for data management. • User manual/guide • Report of user training

Qualifications of Consultant (s) For carrying out this consultancy, a consultant/firm, with expertise in the implementation of child development programs information systems is required. The suitable candidate for this assignment or the lead consultant of the consulting firm should have at least; • Possess a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems, Computer science, Information Technology or any other related discipline. • 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 adjust the database as required by the MEAL department within 6 months after the deployment. Note: The consultant is expected to attach his/ her CV, and list of at least 3 similar assignments successfully completed. If it is a company, attach a certificate of registration company profile, CV of the lead consultant and list of at least 5 similar assignments successfully completed

Selection Criteria for hiring the consultant: The selection of the consultants will be based on the following criteria; • Clear understanding of the assignment, subject and objective of the consultancy. • Well-defined triangulation of methods for the MIS development approach • Relevant qualifications including technical skills, experience, and competencies for MIS development • Clear, logical work plan 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 with detailed itemized budget that is comprehensive to include professional fees, logistical costs where required and taxes for MIS development costing • Detailed presentation of the consultant before a selection panel

Management and Coordination The consultant will be directly reporting to M&E manager however other key people that the consultant will be working closely with at ChildFund include the Support Analyst, Global Shared Services, IT, Technical Specialist Early Childhood Development, The management of the day-to-day activities in the field will be supported by Project Coordinator and Project M&E Officer.

Work plan & Timelines The development is expected to take place from the October to December 2022. Specific timelines applicable will be agreed during the inception meeting. 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.

Application Process 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 logical work plan with milestones for the activities/assignment with total number of days required to complete the assignment. Financial proposal: The prospective consultant should submit an itemized budget and justification for the costs budgeted for. The budget should be budget that is comprehensive to include professional fees, logistical costs where required and taxes. All payment is subject to verification of works at every agreed phase.

Payment process

Payment upon submission and acceptance of the inception report to ChildFund 20% Payment upon pretesting of the MIS system and confirmation that it is working 30% Payment upon submission and acceptance of the MIS system and user report to ChildFund Kenya 50%

NB: • The Consultant’s compensation shall be paid NET, within 30 days from receipt of a proper invoice unless otherwise specified. • Payment will be made through direct bank transfer otherwise specified. • The payment shall be subjected to 5% withholding tax as required by the Law at the time of payment.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit their Expression of Interest through [email protected] by 24th September 2022. An evaluation of the proposals will be made by ChildFund Kenya who may engage in an interactive process with the consultant to further specify the scope and methodology to be used as well as budget, deliverables and deadlines.

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