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Software Development Consultant for Busca Ativa Escolar, Brasília, Brazil

Brasilia (Brazil)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Brasilia (Brazil)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-19

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The Busca Ativa Escolar brings together representatives from different areas - Education, Health, Social Assistance, Planning - within a single platform. This assignment will enable the continuation of ongoing platforms development, based on continuous improvements required by the Education area. The process of software development is by nature an evolutional process, which requires permanent improvements, bugs identification and fixing and new modules implementation.

Background & Rationale

Quality is one of the remaining challenges to universal access to and permanence in school and it is a national priority as stated in the SDG 4 (SDG). In 2014, close to 8 million children and adolescents in primary and secondary education were 2 or more years behind their grades, one of the main causes for drop out. Other elements include discrimination, child labour, and pregnancy, inadequate curricula, including in relation to racial and inclusive relations, and undervalued teachers. Poor infrastructure also limits opportunities: for example, only 32% of all schools in Brazil have sports facilities, and only 24% have adequate facilities for people with disabilities. The access to primary education is well balanced among boys and girls, but for secondary education, especially in rural areas, the girls are more likely to do not have access and drop out of school more than boys. The access to basic WASH at school level remain a challenge in the intervention areas.

In 2013, just the 56.9% of municipal schools achieved or surpassed the established learning goal (based on IDEB). The Amazon region presents a more challenging situation. Only 42.4% of municipal schools in the Amazon, reached their learning goals, 57.1% in the Semi-Arid region and 52% in large urban centres. The analysis reflects a historical series, in which, numbers remain negative, and there has been an involution. There is a need to re-think the educational system, as well as the educational paradigms for the different regions of the country.

Under this scope the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Brazil has developed Busca Ativa Escolar, which is a free platform to help municipalities to combat school exclusion, in partnership with the National Union of Municipal Education Officers (Undime), the National Board of Managers Municipalities of Social Assistance (Congemas) and the TIM Institute.

The intention of this initiative was to support governments in the identification, registration, control and follow-up of children and adolescents who are out of school or at risk of circumvention. Through Busca Ativa Escolar, municipalities and states will have concrete data that will enable them to plan, develop and implement public policies that contribute to school inclusion.

The Busca Ativa Escolar brings together representatives from different areas - Education, Health, Social Assistance, Planning - within a single platform. Each person or group has a specific role, ranging from identifying a child or adolescent out of school to making arrangements for the student's enrollment and stay in school. The entire process is done over the internet and the tool can be accessed on any device such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones (SMS) or smartphones. There are also printed forms for community agents and technical verifiers who do not have access to mobile devices.

UNICEF Brazil Country Office (BRZ) is in the process of expanding its innovation activities as well as consolidating and streamlining existing innovations.

During the previous 11 months UNICEF BRZ has count with the expertise of two T4D (Technology for Development) Consultants to provide technical support to programme teams in the design and implementation of their respective Innovation flagship initiative(s), in close coordination with local ICT Unit. These software development skills are not currently present at UNICEF in Brazil.  

As part of the Brazil Country Programme 2017 – 2021, this contract, during the mentioned period, has supported Busca Ativa Escolar initiative with the replacement of technology maintenance and software development activities, previously executed by partner software houses. The contractors did work on the development of further technologies related to this project and other initiatives from education area, such as Trajetorias de Sucesso Escolar.

This assignment will enable the continuation of these platforms development, based on continuous improvements required by Education area. The process of software development is by nature an evolutional process, which requires permanent improvements, bugs identification and fixing and new modules implementation. The current tool is far from to become a final solution, once every week new demands come from different interested parts (municipalities, governments, UNDIME and UNICEF).

Purpose

The consultant seeks to address our current needs of software development and implementation of technological innovations in education area, in line with Components 1 and 2 of the Brazil Country Programme 2017-2021.

The consultant should assist UNICEF Brazil Country Office with the integration of ICT into UNICEF programming, contributing with technical inputs into related innovation / T4D project plans; identify, trouble-shoot and address system challenges; support on software architecture definition and software development implementation; conduct routine user testing of any new features and provide quality assurance and documentation of end user experience for analysis; strengthen office capacity to carry out T4D related projects and maximize potential for T4D scale-up and roll-out; and provide coding expertise to create innovative solutions.

The T4D Consultant should be directly supervised by the ICT Officer (innovation focal point).

Expected results:

Result 1: Support the software maintenance activities of the Busca Ativa Escolar website and related technologies and provide minor incremental updates.

Activities:

  1. Improve the user experience of these platforms;
  2. Monitor monthly the analytics with statistics of use of Busca Ativa Escolar platform and send a report to Education team;
  3. Monitor 24x7 the servers performance and service availability, taking the proper actions to restore the normal operations in the case of failure.
  4. Fix bugs in a weekly basis;
  5. Implement minor improvements on platform functionalities, keeping it up to date with eventual changes in the business requirements. The software releases related to this item should be done in a bi-monthly basis.

Result 2: Support technical planning and implementation of new modules related to the Busca Ativa Escolar and other platforms prioritized by education area, in order to increase the availability of innovative solutions for UNICEF in Brazil.

Activities:

  1. Support the development/establishment of a technology evolution roadmap, including the planning for the implementation of complete new modules to be integrated to de current platform or the development of completely new platforms;
  2. Help to keep the issues backlog and development progress on ZenHub platform, keeping the information accurate and updated;
  3. Support technically and operationally preparing technical related materials/documentations - complying with organizational processes and management systems - to support education area in program planning, results based planning (RBM) and monitoring and evaluating results, including inputs for the annual reports and reviews;
  4. Code the new modules and functionalities. The incremental software releases related to this item should be done in a monthly basis and each major release in a four-monthly basis.

DUTY STATION

An office space and equipment will be available at UNICEF Brazil Country Office in Brasília City.

TIMEFRAME

Tentative start date:  03/09/2020                        End date: 18/08/2021     

Deliverables:

  • Support the software maintenance activities of the Busca Ativa Escolar website and related technologies and provide minor incremental updates;
  • Support technical planning and implementation of new modules related to the Busca Ativa Escolar and other platforms prioritized by education area, in order to increase the availability of innovative solutions for UNICEF in Brazil.
  • Bug identification and fixing for Busca Ativa Escolar, Trajetórias de Sucesso Escolar and other platforms prioritized by education area.

For this innovation project we will use SCRUM framework as a methodology for project execution. In SCRUM, the development cycles occur every two weeks, based on the demands prioritized by the key stakeholders and the product owner in the beginning of every sprint (defined during the Sprint Planning meetings).

The deliverables above will be measured through functional software releases commited into UNICEF’s private repository on Github and via periodic meetings with representatives from UNICEF’s Education area where the deliverables will be presented and subject to formal approval.

So, twice a month we should expect the delivery of a new set of features and once a month we should generate a new software release which will go live.

 

1st Deadline: 02/10/2020

Amount: R$ 11.000

Deliverable: Software release 3.0

Duration (Estimated # of Days): 26 days

2nd Deadline: 30/10/2020

Amount: R$ 11.000

Deliverable: Software release 3.1

Duration (Estimated # of Days): 27 days

3rd Deadline: 27/11/2020

Amount: R$ 11.000

Deliverable: Software release 3.2

Duration (Estimated # of Days): 28 days

4th Deadline: 22/12/2020

Amount: R$ 11.000

Deliverable: Software release 3.3

Duration (Estimated # of Days): 25 days

5th Deadline: 29/01/2021

Amount: R$ 11.000

Deliverable: Software release 3.4

Duration (Estimated # of Days): 38 days

6th Deadline: 26/02/2021

Amount: R$ 11.000

Deliverable: Software release 3.5

Duration (Estimated # of Days): 28 days

7th Deadline: 26/03/2021

Amount: R$ 11.000

Deliverable: Software release 3.6

Duration (Estimated # of Days): 28 days

8th Deadline: 26/04/2021

Amount: R$ 11.000

Deliverable: Software release 3.7

Duration (Estimated # of Days): 31 days

9th Deadline: 28/05/2021

Amount: R$ 11.000

Deliverable: Software release 3.8

Duration (Estimated # of Days): 32 days

10th Deadline: 25/06/2021

Amount: R$ 11.000

Deliverable: Software release 3.9

Duration (Estimated # of Days): 28 days

11th Deadline: 26/07/2021

Amount: R$ 11.000

Deliverable: Software release 3.10

Duration (Estimated # of Days): 31 days

12th Deadline: 18/08/2021

Amount: R$ 5.500

Deliverable: Software release 3.11

Duration (Estimated # of Days): 23 days

The amounts to be paid will only be forwarded to completion upon delivery of each of the above registered products and after review and approval of the reports by the UNICEF supervisor of the contract.

During the project execution UNICEF will be using a SCRUM methodology for guarantee the quality of the deliverables and good communication. One of the requirements for this is to have the development team (consultants plus scrum master) and the product owner working in the same environment in a daily basis. So, the working place will be at UNICEf Brazil Country Office, located at SEPN 510 Ed. Ministério da Saúde II, 1st Floor – Asa Norte.

Remote working should be pre-agreed with the supervisor, before the event.

PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

  • Punctuality in meeting deadlines.
  • Quality of the contents.
  • It is important to be able to accomplish with all SCRUM ceremonies such as (Sprint Planning meeting, Daily meetings, Sprint Review meeting, Sprint Retrospective meeting), and to keep a good communication with other members of the team (scrum master and product owner) and key stakeholders which will be working during this same period at UNICEF office.

KEY COMPETENCIES

  • Core Values: Commitment, Accountability, Integrity.
  • Functional Competencies: Analyzing, Applying Technical Expertise, Planning and Organizing.
  • Ability to develop high quality technical recommendations, plans and reports.

TECHNICAL BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

  • A full stack developer with minimum of 5 years of professional work experience at national or international levels as key contributor in SW development projects.
  • Must have knowledge in all stages of software development.
  • Must be able to collaborate with the rest of the team to design and launch new features.
  • Experience converting designs to visual elements.
  • Understanding and implementation of security and data protection.
  • Desirable experience with the following framework/programming languages: Ruby on Rails and Laravel/PHP.
  • Proficient experience using one or more of advanced JavaScript libraries and frameworks such as AngularJS, ReactJS, etc.
  • Experience with cloud message APIs and usage of push notifications.
  • Proficient understanding of Git.
  • Fluency in Portuguese is required. Knowledge of English is an asset.
  • Solid understanding of front-end technologies, such as JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3.
  • Solid understanding of concepts of MVC and RESTful.
  • Ability for writing clean, readable code.
  • Ability to integrate multiple data sources and databases into one system.
  • Experience with PostgreSql and/or MySql databases.
  • Understanding of fundamental design and SW architecture principles behind a scalable application.
  • Able to create database schemas that represent and support business processes.
  • Able to implement automated testing platforms and unit tests.
  • Familiarity with development aiding tools, such as Bower, Bundler, Rake, etc.
  • Familiarity with continuous integration and capacity to work with tight deadlines.
  • Knowledge in the use of digital media tools and social networks.

The following qualifications will be considered an asset:

  • Experience in Mobile Aplications development using Frameworks such as Ionic or in development of native applications (Android and iOS).

UNICEF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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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