Recruitment for Chemonics International 

USAID/Kosovo e-Governance Activity

Position Title: Interoperability Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Development Expert (STTA)

Position Type: Cooperating Country National (Kosovo citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident)

Period of Assignment:  Short -Term (on/about 17/06/2024 – 31/08/2024) (50 days of LOE)

Reports To: Kosovo e-Governance Activity Objective 2 Lead

Location: Pristina, Kosovo

BACKGROUND

The USAID/Kosovo e-Governance Activity aims to improve the Government of Kosovo’s (GoK) digital service delivery and management of digital government systems by clarifying institutional roles and processes, strengthening institutional capacity to deliver services, and engaging civil society and the private sector. The activity will accelerate transformation into an agile digital government, which ensures that Kosovans receive high quality, efficient and accessible government services. The Activity focuses on the following three program objectives:

  1. Institutional roles and governance processes are clear, actionable, and implemented.
  2. Key institutions have the technical expertise and program management skills to develop, manage, and deliver digital government platforms and services.
  3. External feedback and oversight mechanisms on digital priorities and service delivery are established and used.

Position Description: 

The activities under Sub-objective 2.2 seek to support enhancing Agency for Information Society’s (AIS) capabilities in managing, delivering, and ensuring the interoperability of digital government platforms and services.

The activity involves developing comprehensive SOPs for administrative procedures and technical standards, through a collaborative approach with AIS and select GoK institutions, supporting them to operate a technologically homogenized, interconnected network of services that transcends silo boundaries. The aim is to establish a clear framework for interoperability, enhance data exchange capabilities, and foster collaboration among AIS and service providers, ultimately contributing to improved service delivery to citizens and businesses in Kosovo.

This Activity comprises three key Tasks:

  • Task 1 – involves organizing an SOP Interoperability Workshop (Task 1), to support AIS and GoK service owners to coordinate and initiate the process of building capacity to develop SOPs for interoperability processes and technical prerequisites.
  • Task 2 – involves assisting AIS to develop/revise SOPs specifically as they relate to interoperability processes. 
  • Task 3 – involves assisting AIS to develop/revise its SOPs for interoperability of government platforms and services regarding technical requirements.

SPECIFIC TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The Short-Term Technical Advisor (STTA) will have the following tasks and responsibilities:

Task 1 – SOP Interoperability Workshop Facilitation

  1. Pre-Workshop Preparation:
    • Review current AIS interoperability framework and related SOPs.
    • Meet and conduct interviews with key personnel from AIS and GoK service owners to understand the existing situation regarding interoperability and associated SOPs, and the AIS and GoK service owners’ perspective, needs and challenges regarding interoperability.
    • Identify the key SOPs that need to be amended – if existing, or developed anew.
    • Draft the outline of the amended or new SOPs to be discussed and possibly agreed upon during the workshop.
    • Draft an agenda for the workshop as well as developing presentation material.
  2. Workshop Facilitation:
    • Conduct a 2-day workshop focusing on amending existing interoperability SOPs and developing new SOPs as identified in Step 1 above, Pre-Workshop Preparation.
    • Facilitate sessions on best practices with a focus on European Interoperability Framework, and processes and technical requirements for interoperability.
    • Present the drafts of the new or amended SOP, and facilitate collaborative discussions to reach an understanding and agreement on SOPs in alignment with interoperability standards, and the GoK needs.
  3. Post-Workshop Activities:
    • Compile a workshop summary report to include findings on the actual situation re interoperability and related AIS SOPs, as well as a finalized list of all SOPs needed, both, to be amended and drafted anew. 
    • Provide finalized format and the outlines of the drafts of the interoperability SOPs as regards processes and technical requirements, which include discussions and input from the workshop participants.

The Kosovo Institute of Public Administration (KIPA) facilities are the primary option for the training venue. STTA will assess and adopt the KIPA facilities, by providing additional equipment or making necessary adjustments – if required, for the duration of the training. Alternatively, the STTA shall provide details of their training facilities suitable for hosting up to twenty participants.

Tasks 2 and 3

The consultant will assist AIS, as the principal entity operating the Government Gateway and eKosova, and the GoK institutions participating in the workshop, as principal service owners, in further developing and refining SOPs outlined during the interoperability workshop in Task 1, to achieve seamless interoperability and deliver services to businesses and citizens online via eKosova.

These SOPs will be structured into two main categories: Administrative Procedures and Technical Standards, each representing a separate task, Task 2 and Task 3 respectively.

Task 2 – Develop Interoperability Administrative Procedures (Interoperability ‘Process’ SOPs):

Develop detailed administrative procedures, referred to as ‘Process’ SOPs, outlining the steps and responsibilities involved in establishing organizational interoperability agreements between AIS – as the principal entity operating Government Gateway and eKosova, and the GoK institutions – as principal ‘service owners.’ These procedures will specify communication protocols, interaction timelines, and steps to ensure mutual understanding and interoperability between organizations. These SOPs will explicitly outline the actions and sequences necessary to facilitate interoperability between AIS and other government institutions. This may entail formulating detailed instructions enumerating the exact measures to be taken in specific situations, identifying responsible parties and defining their roles and responsibilities, setting performance metrics to monitor and assess the effectiveness of implemented procedures, including contingency plans and fallbacks for unexpected events or failures, and developing checklists to ensure completeness and consistency in execution. These SOPs will include processes for conducting pilot trials to gauge performance and instituting phased rollout plans with feedback loops for refinement, as part of identifying interoperability challenges and recommending solutions.

Task 3 – Develop Interoperability Technical Standards (Interoperability Technical Requirements SOPs):

Develop and define the ‘Technical’ SOPs: technical standards, and specifications necessary to facilitate interoperability between AIS and GoK institutions serving as service owners. These standards will encompass system requirements, including hardware and software specifications, data schemas, data formats for information exchange, communications protocols, APIs, security measures such as encryption protocols and access controls, and integration methodologies for connecting legacy and disparate systems.  These technical standards must align with international best practices while also being adapted to meet Kosovo’s specific regulatory, security, and operational requirements. The standards must include when pilot trials to gauge performance will be used, and instituting phased rollout plans with feedback loops for refinement, to identify interoperability challenges and recommend solutions.

By accomplishing Task 3, the AIS will be positioned to operate a technologically homogenized, interconnected network of services that transcends silo boundaries and yields tangible benefits for citizens and businesses alike.

By developing comprehensive SOPs for administrative procedures and technical standards, the goal is to establish a clear framework for interoperability, enhance data exchange capabilities, and foster collaboration among government agencies and service providers. This will ultimately contribute to improved service delivery to citizens and businesses in Kosovo.

Both, ‘Process’ (Task 2) and ‘Technical’ (Task 3) SOPs should be formulated in accordance with Kosovo’s regulatory requirements. SOPs should be delivered in English and Albanian.

Throughout the 3 tasks, STTA should consider the current Interoperability Framework of the Republic of Kosovo as well as more up to date practices with a view of future revision of the framework to meet European Interoperability Framework 2.0.

DELIVERABLES

  • Deliverable #1: 2-day Interoperability Workshop (Task 1) (LOE: 10 days).
  • Deliverable #2: Report outlining discussions, findings and action items from the workshop (Task 2) (LOE: 5 days).
  • Deliverable #3: SOPs on the Interoperability Processes (Task 3) (LOE: 15 days).
  • Deliverable #4: SOPs on the Interoperability Technical Requirements and documentation (Task 4) (LOE: 15 days).
  • Deliverable #5: Final written report of no more than 5 pages that describes but not limited to the following: 
    • The purpose of the consultancy
    • Work undertaken
    • Progress made.
    • Issues and/or problems encountered
    • expected follow-on interventions, as well as actions to be performed by counterparts
    • stakeholders met (Task 5) (LOE: 5 days).

Deliverables Schedule

The Subcontractor shall submit the deliverables described above in accordance with the following Deliverables Schedule:

QUALIFICATIONS

Experience – 

  • Expertise in Microsoft Government Gateway, interoperability standards, and SOP development.
  • Experience in workshop facilitation and stakeholder engagement.
  • Understanding of the technical and operational aspects of government IT systems.

Education –A bachelor’s degree in computer science, Information Systems, or a related field. A master’s degree in these fields is preferred. In lieu of a formal degree, substantial professional experience (typically 5+ years) in large IT systems, digital government platforms, interoperability, data schemas, data exchange, security, API development, or a similar field, along with a proven track record in administrative or technical procedures (SOP) development will be considered.

Language Skills –English and Albanian fluency, with excellent writing and presentation skills. Knowledge of other local language skills is a plus.

Interpersonal Skills –Proven ability to work professionally, constructively, and collaboratively as part of team, meet deadlines, communicate effectively, and deal with diverse partners (including high-level government officials, entrepreneurs, and international donors) in a challenging environment.

Self-Motivation and Guidance –Strong individual initiative and ability to manage daily activities and achieve expected results with or without direct oversight.

LEVEL OF EFFORT AND TIMING

This assignment is estimated to require 40 days of LOE within Kosovo. This work is planned to occur between May and July 2024 based on a time schedule mutually agreed with the Objective 2 Lead at the start of the assignment, subject to further modification as mutually agreed.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS:

Please send an email with ONLY a Cover Letter describing the methodology you will utilize to complete the assignment along with an outline of tasks including stakeholder engagement with start and end dates (Two pages maximum)  and CV attached and ‘Interoperability SOPs’ in the subject line to [email protected],  no later than June 13, 2024. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. No telephone inquiries, please. Finalists will be contacted.

Chemonics is an employer that does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factors.

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