Health strengthening for human capital development project – Request for expression of interest (consulting services – firms selection) – consultancy firm for digital applications

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Title of Assignment: CONSULTANCY FIRM TO DESIGN AND DEVELOP DIGITAL APPLICATIONS (INPATIENT, SURVEILLANCE, MATERNAL AND NEONATAL, MOM-CONNECT AND COMMUNITY HEALTH DIGITAL TOOL)   

Reference Number: SZ-MOH-292691-CS-QCBS

  1. Project Background

To meet the National Health Sector Strategic Plan’s (NHSSP 2019-23) policy objective – “build an efficient, equitable, client-centered health system for accelerated attainment of the highest standard of health for all people in Eswatini” – the MOH recognizes the need to invest in health system strengthening to improve the coverage of essential services which include surveillance to track the burden of diseases to achieve optimum health and wellbeing of the population and the quality of care. Modernizing the foundations of the health system and applying evidence-based improvements are key to achieving better quality care and, through that, reduced child and adult mortality and stunting for human capital formation. 

The country is under constant threat from communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and events of public health concern. It is therefore crucial that the country is ready to prevent, detect and respond to health needs. Such could be achieved through strengthening public health surveillance by the implementation of Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) strategy. Public Health Surveillance is the ongoing systematic identification, collection, collation, analysis, and interpretation of disease occurrence and public health event data to take timely and robust action. 

To address key challenges in the health sector, the MOH is implementing the HSS4HCDP to  improve  the coverage and quality of key reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH), nutrition and non-communicable disease (NCD) services (hypertension and diabetes) in Eswatini. The project focuses on strengthening the health system and ramping up investments in RMNCAH, nutrition and NCD services to address critical human capital challenges, including stunting, child and adult mortality, and applying a life course approach. The project includes the following components: Component 1: Improve health service delivery to increase the coverage and quality of health services to build human capital; Component 2. Increase community demand for RMNCAH, nutrition and NCD services; Component 3. Strengthen the MOH’s stewardship capacity to manage essential health and nutrition services and project activities; and Component 4: Contingent Emergency Response Component. 

The project is complementary to the Eswatini COVID-19 ERP and is designed to deepen and extend its investment impact through focusing on medium-term structural changes and the modernization of the health sector.

  1. Background to the Assignment 

The Kingdom of Eswatini is striving to achieve universal health coverage for all and to ensure comprehensive and effective service delivery by modernizing the health system and applying evidence-based improvements to make it more efficient. The recent coronavirus outbreak has underscored the importance of a responsive and resilient health system. Through the use of digital applications, the GoE has committed to improving (i) quality of data collected and utilized and (ii) quality of service delivery and demand for RMNCAH, nutrition and NCD services. For example, the MOH is in the process of migrating from a paper based to a digital data collection system and is implementing a real time client-based health information system at health facility level known as the Client Management Information System (CMIS). However, it is available in less than half of facilities (48%) and does not inadequately cover all health conditions. Also, data utilization for evidence-based decision making and system maintenance (including hardware, software, warehousing) is sub-optimal due in part to limited capacity (e.g., limited human resources, training, etc). Likewise, the use of digital health interventions  like Mom-Connect can improve provision and/or utilization of essential services and their quality, but they have not been used extensively in Eswatini. Also, a vibrant and comprehensive tool that would assist the health care workers in identifying when to take action including necessity of referral most importantly in the maternity have not been used. Hence, the use of digital tools to improve client communication, clinical case management, and healthcare provider decision support, referral coordination, and continuity of care has been limited. For example, The MOH will need the services of a firm who will technically design the content of these digital applications. This assignment will require the firm to also engage the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (MoICT) as they provide overall IT related support in its implementation such as protection and national information repository (data warehouse).

  1. Objectives of the Consultancy

A consultancy firm is required to develop digital solutions that will help MOH improve delivery and quality of services, increase demand, and monitor utilization of services at the community and facility levels. The assignment consists of two main activities: 1. Expansion of the Client Management Information System to include the following functionalities: Inpatient, Surveillance tracking, Maternal-Neonatal Digital Decision Tool (monitoring women in the maternity wing) and Mom-Connect; and 2. Development of community based digital tools including the development of a Community Based Information System (CBIS). The firm is expected to priorities NCD tracking functionality in both the CMIS and CBIS. Across all these activities, the consultant shall exercise best practices for data sharing and interoperability with the existing health information systems, and reducing redundant investments on assessments, systems, and duplicative or fragmented support.

  1. Qualifications of Consultancy Firm:

The Consultancy Firm must prove its capacity to perform the assignment:

  • The consultant should be a firm subject to their eligibility as stipulated in the “World Bank Procurement Regulations for IPF Bank Borrowers, July 2016 revised November 2017, August 2018 and November 2020”.
  • The consultant submitting a proposal for the assignment should have the necessary key staff required to carry out the services and have the financial and technical resources required to undertake the assignment.  
  • The consultant should be able to demonstrate at least eight (8) years of experience in providing similar services (health information systems development) and of at least one (1) similar assignments successfully performed in the last five (5) years. 

Key Staff: 

The preferred consultant’s composition should have at minimum, the following qualifications, experience and competencies:

Maternal and Neonatal decision toolMom ConnectComm-based HealthCMIS inpatients /surveillance
NCD Modules
Team Lead
MCH SpecComm Health Spec*
Public Health Specialist
Associate Project Officer
IT Specialist
Support staff (to be proposed by the firm)
  1. Team Lead

Job Qualification

  • Master’s degree in Computer Science or related field 
  • 5+ years of Project Management experience as team /project manager 
  • Must hold internationally recognized certificate in either Project, Portfolio, Program and Risk management certificate (PPP, PMP, Prince2, Risk Management)

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Relevant hands-on experience in eHealth, mHealth, research and implementation of digital innovation is an added advantage.
  • Experience in conducting research and implementation of digital innovations, preferably in Eswatini or neighboring countries
  • Be fluent in oral and written communication in English
  • Demonstrable experience in developing monitoring and/or evaluation frameworks or methodologies for Ministries of Health
  1. Public Health Specialist

Job Qualification

  • Master’s degree in public health, medicine, nursing, or related field 
  • 7+ years of experience in health information systems development in Southern Africa
  • 5+ years of proven previous work experience in clinical research project(s)

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Excellent verbal and written communication in English
  • Excellent interpersonal and consultation skills (including report writing and presentation to various stakeholders).
  • Experience in monitoring and/or evaluation frameworks or methodologies for Ministries of Health
  • Proficiency in eHealth and mHealth development
  1. Maternal and Child Health Specialist 

Job Qualification

  • Obstetrician/gynecologist/ pediatrician with master’s in Public Health
  • 5+ year experience in practice at the maternity service delivery area from a reputable health facility

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Experience in conducting research and implementation of digital innovations
  • Experience in developing and designing training modules 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication in English
  • Knowledge and understanding of the Eswatini Healthcare landscape and SDG targets will be an added advantage
  1. Community Health Specialist

Job Qualification

  • Masters of Public Health or related qualification in a relevant field i.e., Community Health or Community Development etc.
  • 5 years of field experience in implementing community health services 

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Experience of community health monitoring and evaluation
  • Experience in project management or change management is an added advantage
  • Knowledge and understanding of the local communities in Eswatini, their needs and SDG targets is essential will be an added advantage

Language

  • Fluent English language (both oral and written) and excellent communication and presentation skills, particularly in the preparation and review of written documents.
  1. IT Specialist

Job Qualification

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or related field 
  • Must have Professional certificate: MCSA, MCSD, MCPD or related certificate
  • Must have 5+ years’ fulltime experience developing systems using but not limited to C# MVC framework and MS SQL as core development technologies

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Proficiency in IT project Management
  • Must have at least 3 years of fulltime Mobile application development experience

Language

  • Fluent English language (both oral and written) and excellent communication and presentation skills, particularly in the preparation and review of written documents.
  1. Duration of Assignment

          The proposed duration of the assignment is twenty-four (24) months. 

The MOH now invites interested, qualified firms to indicate their interest in providing technical support and services under this consultancy. Selection shall be on the basis of examination and comparison of the qualifications and experience of the firm and proposed individuals as evidenced by their submission. The selection in this process is following Quality Cost Based Selection (QCBS) where by the selected firms shall be sent Request for Proposals to respond to.

APLICATIONS: 

Submit a detailed expression of interest that should include the required details above. Terms of Reference to this consultancy are available on request. 

Applications should be addressed to: 

The Principal Secretary, Ministry of Health; 2nd Floor Ministry of Justice Building, Mbabane. 

Postal address: The Principal Secretary, Ministry of Health P.O. Box 5; Mbabane, Eswatini. 

Electronic applications should be sent to Project Coordinator; [email protected] copy to [email protected]; [email protected] and [email protected] no later than 11.00 hours on 27th May, 2022. All applications will be acknowledged but only shortlisted firms will be contacted.  Contacts: (00268) 24045514; (00268) 24042431

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