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  • Organization: OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
  • Location: Warsaw | Poland
  • Grade: Mid/Senior - Internationally recruited position - Mid/Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2016-02-29

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Lead IT and Database Expert

Warsaw (Poland) | Poland


Within the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, (ODIHR), the Election Department is tasked to conduct election observation. Every year, ODIHR co-ordinates and organizes the deployment of numerous election observation activities with hundreds of observers to assess the compliance of elections in OSCE participating States with OSCE commitments, other international obligations and standards for democratic elections as well as national legislation. Its well-developed and comprehensive methodology provides in-depth insight into all elements of an electoral process.

Since its inception, ODIHR’s election observation methodology has been largely reliant on a secondment mechanism through OSCE participating States to recruit long term observers (LTOs) and short-term observers (STOs). However, over the past few years, the number of seconded observers has been falling short of the required numbers.

An Election Observation Sustainability Fund has been created to cover the participation of additional observers, directly recruited by ODIHR. Recruitments under the new fund would also serve to supplement the secondment process. Observers to be deployed under the new fund would be selected by ODIHR from among the experts registered in the new election expert database.

To adequately manage the ODIHR Election Department recruitment processes, the existing expert database would be replaced by a new database, involving a technological update and numerous modifications. Such modifications would permit ODIHR to better track individuals in the database, identify those with required skill-sets and ensure more timely and effective recruitment and deployment. The new database would also integrate and replace the functions of the current ‘STO database’, an existing separate application through which focal points from OSCE participating States currently transmit information to ODIHR about seconded STOs.


ODIHR is looking to work with a team of experts to develop and test a complete and user-friendly expert database application based on ODIHR’s needs by 31 March 2016.

Under the overall supervision of the Deputy Head of the Election Department, and following the guidance of ODIHR Database Co-ordinator, the Lead IT and Database Expert will be responsible for co-ordinating the work of the expert team and for delivering a functional tool to ODIHR. In particular, the expert will design the web architecture, translate the Election Department requirements into an integrated and functional system, ensure the overall user-friendliness, and fitting the different components into a holistic framework. The expert will also be responsible for conducting a thorough testing of the new application.

Additionally, the expert will advise on technical aspects of the migration process from the current database and on future maintenance requirements.

The web-based application, hosted by ODIHR, will be used to manage recruitment and staffing processes for ODIHR’s election missions, training, and other election-related activities. It would serve as the main mechanism for users and ODIHR Election Department staff to add, update, search, and store information about individuals involved in ODIHR election-related activities, as well as for transmission of recruitment and deployment information among ODIHR staff, registered users, and external focal points from all 57 OSCE participating States for recruitment for ODIHR election-related activities.

First, the database should serve as a unified recruitment and staff management tool for different types of recruitment processes managed directly by ODIHR for observation activities such as experts, core team members as well as LTOs and STOs and selected under various funding mechanisms, as well as participants to ODIHR’s various election observation training activities.

Second, the database should facilitate external focal points of OSCE participating States to identify and select LTOs and STOs for specific missions (or, in some cases, for pre-selection), and transmit all relevant data and documents concerning the observers to ODIHR in a user-friendly manner allowing for quick processing of the information.

Third, the database should serve as a repository of information including a comprehensive list of ODIHR election experts, seconded observers, and all individuals involved in various types of ODIHR electoral activities and training. The new database should also be able to generate statistical data concerning ODIHR activities, which should be easily extractable.

The new database will be built around individual profiles of all experts/applicants. Search functions would allow the selection of individuals for specific assignments based on defined search criteria (such as experience, gender, and language, specific regional or thematic experience). To allow for correct filtering of individual profiles for recruitment and a thorough selection of candidates, the design of the updated database will include a large number of fields of information for each individual.

The system will have different types of user groups and access levels depending on their role and function. Individuals would have front-end access to the database to create their profile, view current vacancies and the status of past applications, and insert additional information/upload documents if recruited. ODIHR staff would have back-end access to create and manage vacancies, filter individual candidates’ profiles and recruit them. External focal points would have a limited back-end access to some database functions, mainly to transmit to ODIHR information about seconded observers.

The database shall ensure a high degree of self-sufficiency in daily operations, with minimal need for regular maintenance by an external provider.

Tasks and Responsibilities

The Lead IT and Database Expert will fulfil the following tasks, under the overall supervision of the Deputy Head of the Election Department, and following the guidance of the ODIHR Database Co-ordinator:

• Deliver to ODIHR by 31 March 2016 a fully-functional and tested Election Expert Database application based on requirements.

• Gather requirements and content on the application based on consultations with ODIHR Database Co-ordinator: collect all required functions and apply them when designing the overall structure of Content Management System (CMS) and customised modules for the application.

• Supervise the work of the Software Developers, in full co-ordination and constant liaison with ODIHR Database Co-ordinator;

• Supervise the work of the Legal and Data Protection Expert, in full co-ordination and constant liaison with ODIHR Database Co-ordinator;

• Update the ODIHR Database Co-ordinator throughout the process to ensure a smooth integration of the proposed solution with existing business processes; which may involve travel to ODIHR headquarters in Warsaw, Poland;

• Lead a comprehensive testing exercise to be performed in Warsaw with selected ODIHR staff to test the application against requirements;

• Submit a written final project report;

• Remain available for consultation with ODIHR until all outputs are delivered to ODIHR.


The expert shall deliver the following outputs to ODIHR:

Within two weeks from start of assignment and once every two weeks:- Prototypes of the application, at least one every two weeks, until the final product is delivered;

Within two weeks from start of assignment:- Estimation of performance parameters such as necessary band width and expected size of the application.- Estimation of all costs related to each aspect of application development: indicate cost of all main functions, including optional requirements, subscriptions, software licenses, and web-domain purchases.- Comparative examples and options of data protection solutions adopted in similar circumstances by other bodies operating in the same areas.

By 31 March 2016:

  • Fully-functional and tested Election Expert Database application based on requirements. The application will be owned by ODIHR and should be designed in a way that will not restrict ODIHR from seeking the assistance of different experts from those who developed it, in case of future need for system maintenance or update.

  • Comprehensive exercise to test the application against requirements.

  • Knowledge-based solutions: user-friendly procedural manuals for all aspects of the application and for all types of users, including screenshots and explanations.

  • Written final project report containing:

  • Description of the activities performed by the expert team.

  • Detailed technical documentation describing the solution in terms of CMS, technology used and database engine.

  • Results of the testing exercise, indicating whether requirements are met by the application.

  • Advice on possible future steps and related costs in terms of:

a. Possible additional testing needs with ODIHR staff.

b. Possible additional functions for the application.

c. Possible additional training needs for ODIHR staff on using the application. d. Pilot exercise on three missions in 2016 and full migration to the new system.

e. Possible solutions for ensuring future maintenance and upgrades of the software and related costs.

Necessary Qualifications

• Minimum 6 years of professional experience, including at least 3 years in developing large-scale web-based solutions;

• Experience in implementing and maintaining complex IT projects involving teamwork and co-ordination among several people;

• Be familiar with database systems and with major web development programming languages, such as .NET, JavaScript, PHP, or other;

• Strong analytical skills;

• Excellent organizational skills;

• Previous experience in managing and supervising a project team;

• Experience in testing/maintenance of IT solutions;

• Command of English language, both written and spoken;

• Excellent interpersonal skills, with ability to work well within a diverse team;

• University degree in computer science or a related discipline;

• Experience with implementing custom recruitment applications is an asset;

• Previous work with election observation organizations is an asset, especially if related to projects involving development of IT solutions and databases.

Remuneration Package:

Remuneration will depend on the selected consultant’s qualifications and experience and be in accordance with OSCE established rates. Coverage of travel expenses and a standard per diem will be provided by the OSCE/ODIHR, in accordance with OSCE travel policies.

How To Apply:

If you wish to apply for this position, please send your complete CV in English to

When submitting their applications to ODIHR, applicants are invited to:

• Attach CV and cover letter.

• Demonstrate experience with projects of similar size and nature through a portfolio of existing and past clients.

• Describe how to create and test the application requirements, including a proposed timeline;

• Describe how ODIHR would be kept regularly updated throughout the design and development phase.

• Estimate all costs (except from expert salaries) related to each aspect of database development.

• Estimate costs related to maintenance of the software beyond initial development.

Deadline: Open until filled. Early applications are welcomed, as deadline for the project to be delivered is 31 March 2016.

Please note that only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

The OSCE is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious, ethnic and social backgrounds to apply to become a part of the Organization.

No application fees or information with respect to bank account details are required by OSCE for our recruitment process

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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