National Consultant on comprehensive methodology of web accessibility monitoring of government-sponsored online resources
On 1 January 2021, UNDP launched its new Digital, Inclusive, Accessible: Support to Digitalisation of State Services in Ukraine (DIA Support) Project. The project is made possible due to support of the Government of Sweden and is carried out in close collaboration with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine (MDT) and other government stakeholders. As part of the project, UNDP will help the government partners – primarily MDT – select several service clusters in use by citizens representing vulnerable groups. Services will be packaged to accommodate everyday needs and transposed into a fully digital format.
At the same time, one of most important aspects of the DIA Support Project is to enhance accessibility of digital solutions through design of relevant IT instruments and creation of relevant regulatory tools that would guide state entities and their contractors / developers for production of equitable, genuinely inclusive e-service tools according to the principles of the universal design. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) have been developed with a goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.
WCAG provisions are a step-by-step checklist to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities and, by extension, more useable for all types of clients in general. The term “web content” generally refers to the information in a web page or web application, including text, images, and sounds, as well as machine-readable code or mark-up that define the structure of a given web page and the way it will be presented to requesting users. Multiple governments have adopted WCAG as a mandatory standard and benchmark for state-sponsored and municipal online resources.
Ukraine adopted the WCAG 2.0 (currently version 2.1 is available) in 2019, as part of amendments Regulation of Cabinet of Ministers No 3 from 4 January 2002 as well as state standard DSTU ISO/IEC 40500:2015 (based on ISO/IEC 40500 standard).
However, ISO/IEC 40500 standard was never translated to Ukrainian officially, and was never properly communicated with government agencies, state enterprises, that are responsible for development and modernisation of government online-resources, NGOs and public. This creates issues with effective awareness-building and capacity-development, limits the effect and usability of initiatives in sphere of digital accessibility. Moreover, while the common standards to verify accessibility of web-content (sites, portals) already exist in many countries – through the widely-applied WCAG framework – there are limited universal practices in terms of the accessibility assessment of mobile-based services.
To bring Ukraine closer to European standards of web-content accessibility and support approximation of regulations in the area of state standards, UNDP seeks services of a qualified Consultant to develop a unified methodology for monitoring of state-sponsored web-based service providers’ accessibility. While any sort of standards or well-established operational procedures for designing, building and assessing websites or applications have not yet been established for state-developed resources, the Consultant shall elaborate comprehensive, understandable and easy-to-follow instructions that may be efficiently utilized by public authorities with an aim to revise the content and services accessibility, and thus – to enhance digital inclusion standards in Ukraine.
Based on the proposed methodology, the Consultant will also conduct the accessibility monitoring of the government-sponsored online resources to enable UNDP, MDT and other counterparts to mitigate the inconsistency and digital barriers for people with disabilities.
In tight cooperation with MDT, UNDP also works on updating of the state standard (DSTU) on web accessibility, mentioned above, mirroring the EU standard EN 301 549, and relevant amendments to the legislature to facilitate web accessibility of the content and services, provided by the state authorities. These activities, as well as the web accessibility monitoring, go in line with the Action Plan on implementation of the National Strategy on Barrier-Free Environment, recently adopted by the government.
Please see the list of governments that have adopted WCAG globally: https://www.w3.org/WAI/policies/
Duties and Responsibilities
The main objective of the assignment is to produce comprehensive methodological guidelines in terms of web accessibility monitoring with possibility for being further used widely by all interested parties. Complementary, the newly formulated methodology will be applied for monitoring of approximately 100 currently functioning state-owned online service providers with follow-on recommendations on their technical improvement. The Consultant is also expected to provide necessary clarifications, furnish explanatory notes, and perform other works that may be necessary to achieve the expected end results.
It is expected that the Consultant will be engaged in the following types of activities:
- Participate in working meetings of UNDP, MDT and other stakeholders to finalize the assessment requirements and discuss the proposed structure of the guidelines indicating its volume and other technical criteria;
- Based on the results of those meetings, the draft methodology guidelines should be submitted to UNDP and UNDP for commenting and approval;
- Develop a concise methodology of web accessibility monitoring of government-sponsored websites including both automated and manual monitoring approaches;
- Conduct monitoring of about 100 websites managed by central authority bodies. The list of the websites will be timely provided by UNDP and MDT.
- Prepare complex recommendations on improving the accessibility of the monitored web resources.
3. DELIVERABLES AND IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE
The methodological guidelines, fully corresponding the indicated structure and volume, approved by UNDP and MDT. The methodological guidelines should include but shall not be limited to:
20 working days after signing the Contract
The first draft of the report on monitoring of up to 100 existing government-sponsored service websites including recommendations based on the accessibility monitoring results. The proposed structure of the report with the relevant volume indicated as approved by UNDP and MDT.
20 working days after approval of Deliverable 1
The finalized version of the report, with the UNDP and MDT comments addressed, including but not limited to:
- all textual sections of the report with comments from UNDP and MDT fully addressed in *docx format;
- tables, statistics, graphs, raw data (Excel) and other elements of the report with comments from UNDP fully addressed in *.docx, *.xlsx or other suitable formats.
10 working days after approval of Deliverable 2
MONITORING / REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
The Consultant will be primarily responsible for achieving the objectives of the assignment in close cooperation with DIA Support project team. The Consultant will report to the DIA Support Project Manager. The Consultant will be responsible for all personal administrative expenses associated with the assignment, which may include printing costs, stationery, telephone, and electronic communication. In case any public events are planned jointly by the Consultant and UNDP as part of the present assignment, the Consultant will not be responsible for logistics of events. UNDP will cover the conference costs (including possible printing, food, accommodation and etc.) on its own.
The Consultant will work under the overall supervision of the Project Manager. The Consultant will interact with UNDP to receive any clarifications and guidance that may be needed. The Consultant will duly inform UNDP of any problems, issues or delays arising in the course of implementation of assignment and take necessary steps to address them.
UNDP will be the final authority to control the quality and evaluate the work. The satisfactory completion of each of the deliverables shall be subject to the endorsement of the Project Manager. Each deliverable will be delivered in a draft for comments and feedback before finalisation. No reports or documents should be published or distributed to third parties without the approval of UNDP.
All reports and results are to be submitted to the UNDP in electronic form (*.docx, *.xlsx or other formats accepted by UNDP). The language of the materials and reports is Ukrainian. The finalized version of the report should be submitted to UNDP for comments and approval not later than 30 November 2021.
UNDP will provide payment upon provision of each deliverable duly certified by UNDP in accordance with the schedule below:
Deliverable 1. 40%
Deliverable 2. 40%
Deliverable 3. 20%
- Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
- Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Treats all people fairly without favouritism;
Fulfils all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment
Required Skills and Experience
- Master’s / Specialist’s degree in Public Policy / Administration, IT or other relevant social sciences / information technology field;
- At least 2 years of experience in issues of accessibility of information technology (web-based resources, software, mobile-based accessible software);
- Demonstrated track record in academic research, civil society advocacy, or advice to international organizations / national government institutions / CSOs on issues of accessibility of public services and ICT products. First-hand experience in problems with accessibility of government online resources considered as an asset;
- Demonstrated experience in producing advisory notes and reports in the past. Experience of working with international technical development projects would be an asset;
- Fluent Ukrainian, working-level English.
DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE PROPOSAL
Lump sum contract
The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (please, refer to Section 4 Measurable outputs of the work assignment/deliverables). Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR. In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of Cost by Components.
- Educational background – 5 points max
- 5 pts – PhD in Public Policy/Administration, IT or other relevant social sciences / information technology field;
- 3 pts – Master’s / Specialist’s degree Public Policy/Administration, IT or other relevant social sciences / information technology field;
- Experience in issues of accessibility of information technology (web-based resources, software, mobile-based accessible software) – 10 points max
- 10 pts – over 4 years of relevant experience;
- 9 pts – between 3 and 4 years of relevant experience;
- 8 pts – at least 2 years of relevant experience.
- Track record in academic research, civil society advocacy, or advice to international organizations / national government institutions on issues of accessibility of public services and ICT products – 12 points max
- 12 pts – over 5 relevant examples demonstrated;
- 10 pts – 3-4 relevant examples demonstrated;
- 8 pts – at least 2 relevant examples demonstrated;
- First-hand experience in problems with accessibility of government online resources – 3pts max
- 3 pts – the candidate has first-hand experience;
- 0 pts – the candidate does not have first-hand experience.
- Quality of the methodology proposed for approaching the work (no more than 4 pages, Times New Roman, 12 font, single-space) – 17 points max
- 17 pts – the proposed methodology is clear, concise but rich in content, and is fully in alignment with the TOR’s tasks; the proposed techniques and approaches to conducting the monitoring is relevant and shows Consultant’s understanding of the ultimate need of the monitoring exercise. All noted themes are adequately covered;
- 15 pts – the proposed methodology is wordy, has some irrelevant or inapplicable pieces of information, and shows general understanding of the TOR and the tasks to be undertaken. The language is either verbose or not precise enough and some themes as indicated in this TOR are left out. The text requires some re-working and clarification;
- 0 pts – the proposed methodology is barely relevant to the TOR and the tasks therein and would need significant re-working.
- Quality of the writing sample – 15 points max
- 15 pts – the extract presents a top-quality, cogent, well-articulated practical assessment of an issue at hand with practical advice on the way forwards;
- 13 pts – a generally well-developed, well-grounded assessment of an issue at hand with meaning conveyed clearly;
- 12 pts - presents the assessment of an issue at hand with acceptable clarity with a trend to academism or unnecessary vagueness, generally demonstrates control of the conventions of standard written language;
- Experience of working with international technical development projects – 3pts max
- 3 pts – the candidate has experience;
- 0 pts – the candidate does not have experience.
- Language Skills – 5 points max
- 5 pts – Fluency in both Ukrainian and English;
- 3 pts – Fluent Ukrainian and working-level English knowledge.
Maximum available technical score - 70 points.
Contract award shall be made to the incumbent whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
a) responsive/compliant/acceptable, and
b) having received the cumulative highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.
* Technical Criteria weight: 70%
* Financial Criteria weight: 30%
Only candidates obtaining a minimum 70% from the maximum available technical score (49 points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation
The maximum number of points assigned to the financial proposal is allocated to the lowest price proposal and will equal to 30. All other price proposals will be evaluated and assigned points, as per below formula:
30 points [max points available for financial part] x [lowest of all evaluated offered prices among responsive offers] / [evaluated price].
The proposal obtaining the overall cumulatively highest score after adding the score of the technical proposal and the financial proposal will be considered as the most compliant offer. After successful completion of the validation interview the offeror will be awarded a contract.