Associates in Development (AiD) Pvt Ltd
Database Specialist
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Posted date 5th June, 2024 Last date to apply 1st July, 2024
Country Pakistan Locations Peshawar
Category Monitoring & Evaluation
Type Full Time Position 1
Experience 5 years
Status Closed

Position:

Database Specialist 

Base Station: Peshawar/Remote (with need based travel to Peshawar)

Contract Type: Full-time (For 6 months but could be extended)

 

Activity Background:

Associates in Development (AiD) Pvt. Ltd. is a Pakistan-based consulting firm specializing in development and management services across social sectors, engineering, infrastructure, and environment and climate change. AiD has received USAID’s award for the Economic Recovery and Development Activity (ERDA), which is a five-year (2022-2027), Activity designed to expand economic opportunities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and its Merged Districts (MDs) by strengthening and modernizing agriculture sector and promoting on-, off- and non- farm micro- small- and medium enterprises (MSMEs).


Activity Objectives:

USAID-ERDA’s objective is to expand economic opportunities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its NMD’s by strengthening and modernizing the agriculture sector and promoting micro and small enterprises.

  • Sub-Objective 1: Agriculture sector capacity enhanced and modernized through strengthening of agriculture production resources.
  • Sub-Objective 2: Micro, small, and medium businesses promoted by strengthening MSME’s in both farm and non-farm sectors.
  • Sub-Objective 3: Improved business enabling environment through policy reforms and technical assistance to the GoKP.


Job Summary:

The USAID-ERDA’s Monitoring and Evaluation (MEL) team is responsible for tracking the progress and effectiveness of various initiatives. To manage and analyze generated data effectively, USAID-ERDA aims to develop a web-based MEL Database. This database will consolidate activity-related data, aiding in progress tracking, performance evaluation, and reporting. The objectives include compiling and analyzing data aligned with MEL Plan indicators and USAID/Activity goals, integrating real-time monitoring and feedback mechanisms, generating reports with data visualizations and dashboards, and providing training and support for continuous learning and improvement.

 

The Database Specialist's role encompasses the design, development, implementation support, and training for a MEL Database for USAID-ERDA. This involves stages such as requirements gathering, database design focusing on security and privacy, dynamic scopes, user interface design, development, testing, deployment, and training. The specialist must ensure the database meets functional requirements, including performance data tracking, disaggregation, KPI management, user-friendly data entry, geographic roll-up, analysis capabilities, automated alerts, workflows, reporting, scalability, and data migration. Additionally, the specialist will provide training, documentation, and support to ensure effective system utilization. Deliverables include a system requirement specification, user interface design, development and customization, staff training, data migration, and implementation support, all to be completed within a six-month period from July 1, 2024, to December 31, 2024.


Position Reports to:

For all routine responsibilities and duties, either directly or indirectly related to this position description, the individual holding this position shall report directly to, and be supervised by, the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Specialist, USAID-ERDA or her/his designee.


Tasks / Responsibilities:

The Database Specialist's scope encompasses database design, development, implementation support, and training for USAID-ERDA staff. Each stage of the development process will necessitate clearance from ERDA. The functional requirements of the MEL Database will be explained during formal requirements gathering phases. The SOW includes but is not limited to the following:

1.     Stages of Database Development:

1.1.     Requirements Gathering and Analysis

The Database Specialist will collaborate with the MEL team to understand requirements and identify essential features. Program and grants teams will also contribute to ensure comprehensive needs identification.

1.2.     Database Design

Designing the database with a focus on security and privacy, incorporating encryption, access control mechanisms, and backup/recovery features.

1.3.     Dynamic Scopes and User Interface Design

Creating an intuitive and user-friendly interface with visualizations and reports to support data analysis, utilizing prototyping tools for iterative testing. The scope should address the dynamic nature of project scopes and geographic boundaries. This involves providing tools for easy updating of technical and geographic scopes, especially considering the complexity of managing multiple indicators and locations. Additionally, the user interface design should prioritize usability and accessibility, ensuring smooth navigation and intuitive interaction for end-users.

1.4.     Development and Testing

Utilizing agile methodologies for iterative development and testing, incorporating automated testing tools and continuous integration and deployment pipelines for efficient deployment. The integration includes generating various reports for performance management, integrating with external systems like USAID Pak Info and the Development Information System, and supporting interoperability for data exchange and analysis.

1.5.       Quality Assurance:

This involves implementing rigorous testing protocols, including automated testing tools and continuous integration and deployment pipelines, to ensure the reliability and accuracy of the MEL database.

1.6.     Deployment 

Deploying the MEL Database to a secure, cloud-based environment, with detailed infrastructure requirements provided by the Database Specialist.

1.7.     Training

Providing comprehensive training materials and support to end-users, ensuring effective utilization and continuous improvement of the system through collaboration with MEL team.

2.   Work Requirements:

2.1.  Non-Functional Technical Requirements

Under non-functional technical requirements, the MEL Database needs features like detailed audit trails, data import/export, electronic signature maintenance, & report exporting in various formats.

2.1.1. System Architecture

For system architecture, it should be developed using open-source technologies, accessible from anywhere with a single sign-on, and seamlessly deployable for other projects.

2.1.2. Security Features

Security features should include role-based access control, multi-factor authentication, data encryption, auditing/logging, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems. This includes addressing data encryption, access control mechanisms, and backup/recovery features comprehensively.

2.1.3. Service Levels

Service levels should ensure prompt bug resolution, responsive support, and a clear timeline for maintenance and upgrades, along with one year of free technical support post-deployment.

2.1.4. System availability and trainings:

System availability and training require 24/7 availability, comprehensive documentation such as data dictionary, schema, system architecture, Data Flow Diagrams (DFDs), class diagrams, and other necessary documentation for system customization., installation guides, hands-on training, and a test environment setup.

2.1.5. Other Requirements

Other requirements include providing development tools, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), ownership of the source code by USAID-ERDA, and one year of free technical support post-deployment.

2.2.  MEL Functional Technical Requirements

The MEL Database Specialist will be developing a robust MEL database in collaboration with the MEL team, ensuring it meets the following essential functional requirements:

2.2.1. Performance Data Tracking:

It should efficiently store, and track performance data based on the Results Framework (RF), ensuring disaggregation levels are appropriately maintained. Additionally, it should monitor progress, timelines, and budgets against targets outlined in the Life of Activity (LoA) Plan and Annual Work Plans.

2.2.2. Disaggregation and Computed Indicators:

It should ensure comprehensive coverage of disaggregation requirements and support for computing indicators. This includes addressing specific demographic and program-related dimensions and ensuring validity and integrity of computed formulas.

2.2.3. Interventions and KPIs:

It should allow users to define interventions and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), categorizing each KPI at various levels of disaggregation and storing baseline and actual beneficiary data.

2.2.4. Data Entry Interface:

It should provide a user-friendly data entry interface for specified users to input activity progress and KPIs on prescribed templates and at desired frequencies. It should be capable of receiving surveys data from online survey tools like SurveyCTO etc.

2.2.5. Geographic Roll-up and Integration with Online Survey Tools:

It should be equipped with integration capabilities to interface with online survey tools. This functionality ensures direct ingestion of survey data into database, streamlining data collection processes. It should include geographic roll-up of data and ensuring seamless aggregation of data at different geographic levels and compatibility with location-based reporting.

2.2.6. Analysis Capabilities:

It should enable various analyses, including cost-effectiveness evaluations, performance trend tracking, and deviation analyses. It should facilitate performance data entry and specific report generation for different types of grants.

2.2.7. Automated Alerts:

Additionally, it should incorporate automated alerts management for deviations from planned timelines, targets, and budgets.

2.2.8. Workflows and Data Submission Mechanics:

Clear mechanisms for data submission approval workflows and data submission mechanics are vital. This includes defining roles/responsibilities for data review, establishing notification systems, and providing intuitive interfaces for various data collection methods, including offline mobile data collection tools.

2.2.9. Reporting and Integration:

It should generate progress and performance management reports for each intervention, component, KPI, and partner. It should integrate with USAID Pak Info and the Development Information System and generate reports for Annual Performance Reviews and Mid-term/Final evaluations.

2.2.10.    User-Friendly and Scalable:

It should be user-friendly, scalable, and secure, accompanied by comprehensive documentation and training materials. This involves providing adequate training materials and support to end-users, including technical and operational manuals. Additionally, the scope should ensure ongoing support and capacity building to leverage the MEL system effectively for continuous learning and improvement. Moreover, scalability considerations should encompass the potential expansion of the system to accommodate future data growth and user requirements. This would involve outlining plans for ongoing maintenance, support, and potential future enhancements or expansions of the system.

2.2.11.    Data Migration Strategy:

It involves completion of existing data migration to the new Database as a deliverable, The data migration strategy covers data cleansing, mapping, validation, and testing procedures to ensure accurate and seamless migration from the legacy system to the new database.

2.2.12.    Change Management and User Adoption:

The change management and user adoption strategies would include plans for user training, stakeholder engagement, communication strategies, and addressing resistance to change to facilitate smooth adoption of MEL database.

2.2.13.    Risk Management Plan:

The risk management plan detailing potential risks and mitigation strategies associated with the development, deployment, and operation of MEL database. This would help anticipate and address any challenges that may arise during the project lifecycle.

2.2.14.    Monitoring and Evaluation Framework:

It should incorporate a M&E framework that would provide a structured approach to assess the effectiveness and impact of the database implementation. This involves defining KPIs, data collection methods, and evaluation criteria to measure project success.

2.2.15.    Operational Manual:

It should be accompanied by manual(s) for MEL database, followed by training of ERDA’s relevant staff by the Database Specialist.

3.   Deliverables

The deliverables for this role will include, but are not limited to, the following key milestones and completion times:

 

Key Deliverables /Milestones

Time

1. System Requirement Specification document duly approved by ERDA

Week 04

2. Design of the user interface, developed in consultation with USAID-ERDA

Week 08

3. Development or customization, testing, and creation of technical and 

    operational manuals for the MEL Database[1].

Week 16

4. Training of ERDA MEL and other staff on the MEL Database

Week 18

5. Completion of existing data migration to the new System

Week 20

6. Implementation support

Week 24

 



[1] MEL database developed for USAID-ERDA should have the capability to be seamlessly adapted and deployed for other projects /initiatives/ interventions. Applicants to demonstrate this flexibility and capability in their proposals/applications.



4.   Period of Performance and Reporting

The Database Specialist will be reporting to MEL Specialist and will be engaged for six months initially from July 1, 2024, and December 31, 2024 under an output based contract, supported by a clear, time-bound action plan and timeline.

 
Qualification & Skills Requirements:
 

Database Specialist should possess the following academic qualifications, skills, and experience:

Qualification:

·        Bachelor's degree in software engineering, computer science, or Information Technology.

Work Experience:

·        Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in designing and implementing IT/ MEL/Management Information Systems.

Skills & Competencies:

·        Proficient understanding of qualitative and quantitative data collection, validation, analysis, and visualization              methods, database development and management.

·        Experience in designing online & offline data collection and analysis using advanced tools.

·        Excellent understanding of M&E framework, indicators, data collection, cleaning and processing tools

·        Prior experience in USAID-funded and donor funded projects

·        Demonstrated interpersonal, leadership, and decision-making skills.

 

Language and Computer Skills:

·        Strong IT skills, particularly in MS-Office, and effective communication abilities.

Application and Proposal Submission

Interested applicants should provide their CV along with a proposal outlining their approach, methodology, details of completed IT/MEL databases and work plan (Gantt chart) for the assignment by Monday, July 1, 2024. The proposal should include the Applicant’s previous experience in similar assignments, highlighting relevant expertise and successful project implementations. Delayed or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Requirements


  1. Requires you to add current salary information.
  2. Requires you to add cover letter.
  3. Requires a minimum of 5 years of experience
  4. Resume attachment is required.
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