SASAKAWA AFRICA ASSOCIATION
Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) is an international agricultural development NGO, co-founded in 1986 in Geneva by Nobel Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug, Japanese philanthropist Ryoichi Sasakawa (Nippon Foundation) and former US President Jimmy Carter. In 2017, SAA is also registered in Tokyo, Japan.
SAA-Ethiopia is the Sasakawa Africa Association’s country program which has been operating in the country since 1993. Through building the capacities of extension agents (EAs) as well as smallholder farmers and linking them to markets, it aims to support crop productivity enhancement and profitability of smallholder farmers and other actors along the agricultural value chain.
Digital technologies can open up enormous opportunities for farmers, Agricultural Extension Agents and other actors in the agricultural value chain to improve the efficiency of food production and consumption. Digital technologies can help to connect upstream input suppliers and downstream buyers with farmers, improve inefficiencies in resource use and marketing, provide information about weather patterns, soil characteristics, future market demand, etc., and bridge inequalities in access to inputs, technologies, information, finance, and markets. Digital solutions can also level the playing field for marginalized groups who traditionally have lower access to inputs, technology, information and product markets.
With the advent of COVID-19 pandemic due to movement restrictions extension workers was unable to move across villages and convene farmers for training, and input and output market facilitation. Cognizant of this, SAA commenced alternative extension provision methods; i.e. digital extension to transfer knowledge and technology, and facilitate inputs access to farmers via Extension Agents. Encouraged by the preliminary results and cognizant of the improved mobile phone penetration and network coverage, SAA has decided to strengthen e-extension approach to complement the conventional face-to-face agricultural extension and advisory service provision during and post COVID- 19 pandemic.
The purpose of this TOR is therefore to recruit a competent consultant for the development of mobile-based agricultural extension and advisory delivery software platform (details of the software focus area on Annex A).
To develop cloud (web-based) and android mobile software platform enhancing the speed and reach of agricultural extension and advisory service delivery to farmers. The e-extension platform will primarily serve transferring knowledge and information, proven agricultural technologies and practices, training and advisory services to Extension Agents who would in turn provide extension and advisory services to farmers face-to-face and aided by off-line digital techniques.
4. Overview of the proposed system
Masa Farm Suit (MFS) is a digital platform that allows agricultural extension agents to organize information about farm operations, crop production, harvest and post-harvest management, input/output market information, premium prices, weather information, etc. on a centralized server. Capacity building of EAs through the digital platform will enable them a speedy access of information and to reach out farmers and provide extension services which will help farmers to enhance their productivity, improve production efficiency, get access to inputs, technologies, information, finance and markets to their products (see the detail of the software focus area on Annex A below).
5. Scope of the task
The task shall focus on the development of a cloud (web-based) and android mobile-based digital platform that is suitable for providing e-extension and advisory services to extension agents, cooperative union managers, marketing experts, and progressive educated farmers in SAA’s target areas in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, and SNNP Regions. The consulting firm (software developer) will work closely with the SAA-Ethiopia team to define and refine the requirements of the proposed software platform and manage the software development life-cycle including capacity building and knowledge transfer. The scope of the task will particularly focus on:
5.1. Gather requirements and develop user stories/use cases (Requirements Engineering): In discussion with SAA-Ethiopia team of agricultural experts, the consulting firm (software developer) will gather details of the requirements and develop user stories; prepare the software requirement specifications (SRS) and get it signed off by SAA-Ethiopia.
5.2. Develop and test the software platform (cloud and mobile applications):
Based on the requirements gathered, develop a framework for the platform that includes user management, access control, security and workflow for publishing information. The framework should be able to add modules in the future and be able to share data with other applications. Hence, the system needs to have Application Programming Interface (API) that allow other developers to interface the platform. Test the framework with the real users from SAA-Ethiopia and gather feedback on the system.
5.3. Finalize the software platform (cloud and mobile applications):
Based on the feedback collected from the test by the real users, finalize the platform and prepare technical documentation and user manuals.
5.4. Train and support SAA-Ethiopia staff:
Provide orientation to the system administrators and ensure end users of SAA-Ethiopia can administer and use the system. The training needs to build capacity of users in the form of training of trainers (ToT) so that trainees can in turn train other stakeholders on the system. Finalize the users’ manual based on feedback received from the end users. Make the user manual as help file to online platform.
5.5. Handover the software platform:
Host the online software at SAA-Ethiopia designated web server and handover the documented source code, user manuals and training materials to SAA-Ethiopia with a regular maintenance plan.
5.6. Provide troubleshooting support:
Provide troubleshooting support for at least 6 months after delivering the software. The support should be in person, over the telephone, and via e–mail, as and when necessary.
NB. At the end of the assignment, the SAA-Ethiopia will have a fully functional software platform and staff will be able to maintain the software with the original developer or other available software consultants.
6. Expected Deliverables
The consulting firm (software developer) is expected to deliver the following:
A. Inception Report with project plan and SRS
B. Software developed and delivered as per the technical requirements stated in the proposed system, the scope of work and agreed through the SRS
C. Software platform testing and refining as per the technical requirements stated in the scope of work and agreed in SRS
D. Delivering refined final version of the software platform along with documented source code, users manuals, and training materials
E. Conducting training for SAA-Ethiopia staff
7. Consulting firm (software developer)’s Responsibilities
For this consultancy, the consulting firm (software developer) will be responsible for the following:
A. Managing the software development team
B. Attending meetings, workshops, discussions with SAA-Ethiopia as and when needed
C. Submitting the specified deliverables to SAA-Ethiopia for comments and approval
D. Delivering software platform using as per the scope of the work and signed-off SRS
E. Organizing and conducting training for SAA-Ethiopia staff
F. Supporting SAA-Ethiopia in troubleshooting during the piloting and after handing over of the software platform
8. SAA-Ethiopia’s responsibilities
Being the sponsor of the project, SAA-Ethiopia will be responsible for the following:
A. Guide and work closely with the software development team and follow up the process
B. Assisting in organizing meetings and workshops with the consultant
C. Develop, review and finalize contents
D. Providing technical feedback on the process, documentation and deliverables (Provide feedback based on troubleshooting findings to the software developer about the functionality and challenges of the apps on a regular and timely manner).
E. Reviewing the software platform and providing feedback to finalize
F. Getting nominations for the trainer and user training from the consulting firm (software developer)
G. Releasing the payments upon satisfactory delivery by the consultant
The consulting firm (software developer) will submit a detail timeline for completing the task in light of the following tentative timeframe for the following milestones.
Deadline / Time
Inception Report with project plan and SRS
Within 2 working weeks after starting the task
Software platform developed and delivered as per the technical requirements stated in the scope of work and agreed in SRS
Within 8 working weeks after starting the task, must be agreed and signed off by the consultant and SAA-Ethiopia
Pre-testing the software platform with some users including SAA-Ethiopia staff, DAs, SMS and Union managers:
Within 4 working weeks after starting the task, must be agreed and signed off by the consultant and SAA-Ethiopia
Delivered the refined final version of the software platform along with documented source code, users manuals and training materials
Within 4 working weeks the consultant will deliver the refined final software platform
Conducted training for SAA-Ethiopia staff
Within a week after starting the task that will be organized and conducted by the consultant
10. Financial proposal
The financial proposal by the consulting firm (software developer) should contain itemized cost, at least for the following broader level deliverables:
· Gather requirements and develop user stories/use cases (Requirements Engineering)
· Develop and test the software platform (cloud and mobile applications)
· Finalize the software platform (cloud and mobile applications)
· Train and support SAA-Ethiopia staff
· Handover the software platform
· Provide troubleshooting support
11. Proposed Payment Schedule:
The Payments are made upon satisfactory completion and acceptance of the software development task by SAA-Ethiopia for the deliverables: