Terms of Reference – Mobile Application Development
The Rakhine Winter Crops Project
The Rakhine Winter Crops Project (RWCP) is an ambitious programme to facilitate crop diversification, increased production and improved agricultural water management for the dry season in order to increase farmer incomes, employment and food security. RWCP operates in Thandwe, Taungup and Gwa Townships of Rakhine State, Myanmar. Key aspects of the 5-year NZ$11.5m programme include:
- The provision of Good Agriculture Practice training and Applied research for farmers to diversify into more productive and profitable winter crops;
- The implementation of a home garden program, particularly for landless farmers;
- Developing irrigation and water infrastructure to improve winter water management;
- Facilitating improvements to market knowledge, market access and access to credit for farmers;
- Strengthening the institutional capacity of government extension workers and Community Development Groups
Sandwiched between the Bay of Bengal and the Rakhine Yoma mountain range, Rakhine State is one of Myanmar’s least developed areas. Communities there are confronted by a number of serious challenges, including malnutrition, poverty, conflict, weak infrastructure and susceptibility to extreme weather events. The majority of Rakhine’s population are reliant on subsistence agriculture. More than half of the rural population are landless and dependent on casual labour for employment and income.
At the end of 2014 Adam Smith International worked with the Government of New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on a project that first identified and then designed solutions to these challenges. We have subsequently implemented the Rakhine Winter Crop Project (RWCP) since mid-2015.
A core part of RWCP’s approach is the promotion of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to Commercial Vegetable (CV) and Commercial Field Crop (CFC) farmers. GAP farming requires the application of appropriate levels of different inputs (e.g. high-quality seed, fertiliser, bokashi) aimed at improving soil health and fertility thereby improving farmer yields and income. RWCP has developed guidelines on the type and level of inputs that are required for a 0.06-acre plot of different vegetables (more than 20 vegetable crops), as well as 1 acre of field crops (notably groundnuts).
Up until now, RWCP has played a very hands-on role in helping farmers and the Agro-dealers to calculate input amounts and then order them. However, with one year of the project remaining, the time has come for RWCP to reduce its involvement in inputs ordering and develop a system that can be sustained beyond the life of the project and implemented easily by agro-dealers and farmers.
Thus far, RWCP has collated paper-based order forms from farmers, inputted these into an Excel spreadsheet, aggregated orders and then placed orders either with inputs suppliers in Yangon or with local agro-dealers. Unfortunately, farmers are not always literate or numerate, while local agro-dealers do not have computers and are not literate in programmes like Excel. RWCP therefore needs to find an alternative way of automating the GAP inputs ordering system to make ordering as simple and efficient as possible for farmers and agro-dealers, while also reducing the risk of error inherent in paper-based systems.
RWCP has therefore decided to investigate the merits of developing a “GAP Inputs App” (or modifying an existing one) to enable automatic calculation of GAP inputs required by a farmer, as well as enabling a farmer to place an inputs order with a local agro-dealer. In late 2018, RWCP commissioned an app development company to:
- identify user (farmer and agro-dealer) requirements through discussions with the RWCP team, project farmers and agro-dealers
- gauge farmer and agro-dealer interest in such an app
- consider the technical feasibility of using a farmer app in Southern Rakhine
- identify existing farmer apps that could be modified to include GAP inputs calculation and ordering functionality
- recommend whether RWCP should develop a new app or work with an app developer to modify an existing farmer app.
The key findings were that there was real interest from farmers and agro-dealers and confirmed technical feasibility. It identified user requirements and developed a draft prototype of the app. A number of existing farmer apps were identified. And some apps were attractive as they have large, existing user bases (like 100,000 and 300,000 respectively) and have relatively large teams of agronomists who provide the GAP advice used in the apps.
Through discussions it became clear that RWCP should work with the developer of one of these existing apps to integrate a GAP inputs calculator and ordering system into that existing app. This makes more sense than RWCP developing a new app, as the existing apps will continue to be supported in the long term – whereas the continuity of a new app would be less assured after project closure– and the new functionality could eventually be rolled out to the entire farmer user base of the existing app.
This assignment is therefore focused on the modification of an existing farmer app to include a GAP inputs calculator and ordering system. The aim is for RWCP farmers to use this app for the winter crop inputs ordering in September 2019.
- To project manage the modification of an existing farmer app in Myanmar to include a GAP inputs calculator and ordering system.
Scope of work and methodology
The contractee will be responsible for the delivery of a bespoke app addition which incorporates a GAP inputs calculator and ordering system. It will sub-contract the App Developer to develop the software required for the app modification.
More specifically, the sub-contractee will:
- Meet with key app companies highlighted through the scoping to discuss the assignment and reconfirm their interest in integrating this new functionality in to their app.
- Finalise (in consultation with the project) the prototype of the app functionality based on the previous analysis of user requirements.
- Assuming interest from app companies, prepare a simple tender document for the company, which:
- provides the prototype of the app modification and details of the scope of work required to develop the GAP inputs calculator and ordering functionality;
- requests an explanation for how the app developers would integrate this new functionality into their existing app, and integrate with a communication mode such as Viber for “real time” information;
- requests information on the people and other resources that the app developer would assign to this project;
- explains how the app developer will undertake user testing and training;
- requests a time-frame for the completion of the app;
- requests a fixed price (in US$) for the completion of this work;
- Make a written assessment of the tender responses from interested app companies and recommend to RWCP which app and app developer to work with.
- Following confirmation from RWCP of the preferred app developer, enter into a contract with an app developer for modification of the app.
- Oversee the software development of the new functionality, as well as user testing and user training by the App Developer to ensure that (a) the new functionality is fit for purpose and (b) RWCP users know how to use the app and new functionality.
- Provide a brief report (up to 8 pages), outlining the assistance provided to RWCP under this assignment
- A modified farmer app that incorporates a GAP input calculator and ordering system and is fit for use by RWCP farmers and agro-dealers. The modified app should be ready for use by RWCP farmers by the beginning of September 2019.
The contractee is requested to:
- specify the level of inputs required for each of the tasks outlined in the scope of work section;
- identify the subcontracting personnel who will be involved in the delivery of the different tasks (attaching a two-page CV for each person)
- specify the daily rates for the different personnel
- present a budget that reflects the above
As there is a stop/go point after the tender assessment, the App Developer’s software development costs will be added to the subcontractor’s contract by variation.
This assignment is to start immediately (May 2019), with the modified app ready for use by the beginning of September 2019.
- Demonstrable knowledge and experience of the development of Mobile Apps for international development, particularly relating to farmers and/or agro-dealers.
- Excellent project management, report writing and communication skills
- Tertiary qualification in a relevant field
- Availability to undertake this assignment based on the timings given above.
Adam Smith International
We are an award-winning professional services business that delivers real impact, value and lasting change through projects supporting economic growth and government reform. Our focus is on delivering projects that can bring the greatest impact and support the strengthening of societies around the world and the prospects of those who live within them. For more information, please visit http://www.adamsmithinternational.com.
Interested firms/consultant are requested to submit their proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org copying in email@example.com. Please write Mobile Application Development in the subject line. The proposals should be submitted by Sunday 26 May 2019. We are only able to consider electronic submissions, thank you.