Project Manager for RapidSMS School Monitoring in Uganda
TERMS OF REFERENCE
We are looking for an experienced project manager based in Kampala, Uganda to work with cutting edge mobile and web technologies to directly benefit children in the developing world. The candidate must be comfortable working with the entire project lifecycle, including: engaging end-users and government counterparts to define objectives, evaluation metrics, and budget; managing technical development of the software tools by in-house and outsourced software programmers; conducting user testing / bug testing of software; designing training and pilot strategies; data analysis; and overseeing monitoring and evaluation of projects.
Uganda’s Education system experienced a major expansion when it started implementing the Universal Primary Education programme in 1997. Enrolment figures increased enormously and there are now about 8 million children enrolled in Primary schools but quality didn’t improve at the same speed. Current characteristics of education in Uganda include high absenteeism rates for pupils and teachers (up to 20%), low completion rate (54%) especially for girls, prevalent violence against children in schools and lack of sanitation (1 latrine for 66 pupils). The Education Management Information System has recently been revised but yet captures very little information out of the traditional indicators. In addition the quality of the information is weak and unreliable.
UNICEF’s key strategies to improve quality in schools are:
- work on the implementation of Basic Requirements and Minimum Standards (which include Child Friendly Schools principles)
- support the Girls Education Movement and Safe School Initiatives
- use innovative approaches to enhance the effectiveness of more conventional methods.
UNICEF Uganda is looking for a skilled project manager (with at least a working knowledge of data management, primary and secondary education, and the educational system in Uganda) to lead the roll-out of mobile phone based tool to complement UNICEF’s strategy of Child Friendly Schools.
Direct project participants (and users of the mobile phone reporting system) are expected to be community-based and youth organizations, members of the Girls Education Movement, School Management Committees, District Education Officers and School Inspectors, as well as others to be identified at a later date.
This project intends to provide a tool to these stakeholders with the following features: 1) routine tracking of high priority indicators, such as teacher absenteeism and linking the collected information with the EMIS and DEMIS database; 2) social monitoring of general issues needing attention, such as unclean water, with an emphasis on building awareness of community entitlements; 3) linkages to other systems, such as the Child Helpline, for serious issues requiring professional follow-up.
The primary SMS/web application framework that will be used is RapidSMS, but there are other data collection projects in Uganda running concurrently, and we will want the data to be integrated on a common website/dashboard.
RapidSMS is UNICEF’s open source framework for developing SMS applications used for data collection, logistics coordination and communication projects, allowing any mobile phone to interact with the web. It allows people to SMS information to a server that then can graph, map and respond to the entries. Various implementations have been used to track food distribution during a famine in Ethiopia and collect malnutrition data in Malawi.
Learn more about RapidSMS here: http://www.rapidsms.com
SCOPE OF WORK:
Below are the key tasks to be completed:
1. Conduct background research on the existing Education Management Information System (EMIS) and the under-development District Education Management Information System (DEMIS), as well as any other major computer / mobile based initiatives currently being deployed to support the Ministry of Education.
2. Work carefully with UNICEF Learning team and the MoES to develop the pilot project plan and tentative plan for national roll-out, timeline, budget, and strategy for government ownership and management.
3. Meet with key stakeholders and users, and work with MoES counterparts to develop the details of the application in line with government work plans and the Education Management Information System (EMIS).
4. Work closely with the T4D Specialist and Software Programmer(s) to design the information flow, collection process and how the data collected through RapidSMS projects and others will be visualized.
5. Conduct user experience and bug testing for the system.
6. Create written guidelines for system use and administration for district, school and community level users
7. Hold demo/training sessions with MoES, UNICEF staff and other partners.
8. Roll-out the “learning phase” of the monitoring system in the 4 identified districts.
9. Conduct routine data cleaning and monitoring / direct follow-up of pilot, with gradual handover to government counterparts.
10. Document all aspects of training and project roll–out (print, photo and video).
1. Inception report, with project scope, containing measurable objectives, monitoring & evaluation strategy (Week 2)
2. Project implementation strategy and initial technical schematic / design (Week 4)
3. Software development version 1.0 tested and completed (Week 10)
4. Deployed Education Monitoring system, operational at District and community level, collecting and displaying data on easy-to-use dashboard (Week 16)
5. Documented project design, deployment and maintenance procedures, with clearly defined (and implemented) hand-over strategy (Week 20)
6. Ongoing documentation of project (blog, photos, videos)
Technical expertise required:
It is required that the project manager has:
- at least 3 years progressive experience with demonstrated results as a project manager
- experience with community based development, participatory rural appraisal (PRA) methodologies, and/or ethnographic research
It is highly recommended that the project manager have:
- experience managing development of software applications
- experience with monitoring and evaluation
- at least 2 years of experience in East Africa and lives in region
It is advantageous for the project manager to have:
- previous experience with mobile phone or other technology applications in Africa
- experience working with Education Management Information Systems
- experience working or coordinating with governmental agencies in Africa
- experience working with open source applications
- knowledge of environment in which UNICEF operates, and understanding of the constraints of working in a developing-world environment
Additionally, the project manager must be:
- willing to work within the constraints of information technology in the developing world (low bandwidth, thin clients, etc). Final projects need to be lightweight and simple; issues of translation of interfaces need to be taken into account
- willing to travel (sometimes on short notice) and develop software in the field, directly with end-users, in sometimes challenging conditions
- willing to live in Kampala, Uganda
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION:
26 January 2011
Image via UNICEF