BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION
Under the supervision of the Director of UNESCO Office for Iraq and the direct supervision of the Project Manager and the EMIS Coordinator, the Software Engineer shall fulfill the role that falls in the framework of the project “System Building and Capacity Strengthening of Ministry of Education (MoE) and its Sub-National Directorates of Education for Effective Delivery of Quality Education Outcomes”, financed by the European Union.
The following information is about the scope of the consultancy along with a summary of the justification of the project and its strategic relevance in Iraq.
Developing and implementing an effective Education Management Information System (EMIS) is intended to improve operational efficiencies within the schools and to monitor the performance of the education system. EMIS helps capture daily operational data in the schools and analyse a wide range of information related to the educational system to improve planning, resource allocation and mobilization, monitoring, evaluation, policy formulation, and decision making in general. A school-based standardized information system is fundamental to improve the management of education at all levels and track individual students across the grades in all stages of their education journey.
As part of the project “System Building and Capacity Strengthening of Ministry of Education (MoE) and its Sub-National Directorates of Education for Effective Delivery of Quality Education Outcomes”, UNESCO is undertaking the design, development, and rollout for an Education Management Information System (EMIS) to:
Automate the operations at the eight (8) general directorates of education (Baghdad, Najaf, Anbar, Qadissiya, Basrah, Thi-Qar, Missan, and Muthanna)
Analyse and report educational information and indicators in two (2) governorates of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (Erbil and Dohuk) via the EMIS integration with the ePerwerde system implemented in the KRI.
Automate the operations nationally at the district directorates level to benefit all Illiteracy Eradication Centers (IECs).
Currently, Iraq is going through a period of transition that presents an opportunity for the evolution of national-level policies and system strengthening to support national cohesion; development; and ensure effectively managed service delivery at the grass root level that is accountable to community leadership. In this respect, the Government of Iraq has given priority to the decentralisation of service delivery to meet local needs, bringing delivery closer to the people it serves.
For the Kurdistan region, in 2014, e-Perwerde was introduced as an offline system with each school entering its own data into its own server. In early 2017, the MoE-KRI realized that an offline system is problematic because data accuracy, completeness, and timeliness were a major challenge. As a result, MoE-KRI decided to roll out ePEMIS as a centralized system. In May 2017, the MoE began the rollout of e-Perwerde across the KRI in with UNICEF’s support as a centralized system hosted at the MoE-KRI Planning Department’s data centre in Erbil. As of the end of January 2020, e-Perwerde was managing 4,523 schools (out of about 7,000 schools), 127,553 teachers and employees, and 1,372,939 students.
- UNESCO is working closely with the government and stakeholders in Iraq to ensure inclusive and equitable, accessible, quality education and lifelong learning for all. Indeed, Iraq’s potential to respond to the goals of Education 2030 Framework for Action and the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 4 is closely related to its capacity to manage, monitor, and guide responses to the identified needs of schools, teachers, students and the economy. Having a fit for purpose Education Management Information System (EMIS) and the capacity to use it as a mean to this end is critical and provides the rationale for this plan.
- This project seeks to support the Ministries of Education in Baghdad and Erbil with their directorates at sub-national level, particularly in the South to build systems and strengthen capacities to deliver equitable and inclusive quality education to improve children’s learning outcomes. These include measures that will ensure good governance, encompassing issues of accountability, transparency, decentralization of decision-making authorities to sub-national levels, public expenditure management, human resources management, and service delivery. These constitute the building blocks of modern governance that can be assessed by how accountable, effective and efficient, participatory, transparent, responsive, consensus-oriented, and equitable the existing systems are in attaining education sector policy goals. Therefore, the strategic relevance of this project lies in the need to build systems to promote good governance and build capacity for management of the education sector as critical elements in the efficient delivery of quality education services at the school level.
SYSTEM STRENGTHENING THROUGH EMIS ROLL-OUT
- The proposed plan of action is to roll out the EMIS solution in 2,803 schools and all literacy centres (382 in addition to 121 literacy centres already implemented in previous pilot phases) across the 8 General Directorates of Education to ensure statistically significant reliable outputs. In addition, for the two governorates in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), the project will support the integration of ePEMIS data for at least 4,523 schools within the national EMIS system.
- This work will be undertaken with the participation of the ministries and directorates of education. This part of the project responds to the need to enhance the capacity of MoE planners and administrators to make timely and accurate decisions about the performance and needs of public education in Iraq.
- This project will respond to the need to develop a dependable and connectable computer-based EMIS solution (including a database and an analytics data mart) that will be a management tool for the MoE Baghdad and Erbil enabling a nationwide monitoring and planning related to facilities, human resources, enrolment, student performance, and other information that should provide exhaustive administrative data and surveys when needed. This will be a web-based system that will be accessible to all DoEs nationwide. The capacity of planners and administrators will be built to make timely and accurate decisions about the performance and needs of public education in Iraq.
- The Illiteracy Eradication Program (IEP) delivered through Illiteracy Education Centres are an important part of the EMIS delivery plans because it does not only include Basic and Complementary grades for illiteracy eradication; but it includes Primary Grades 5 and 6, and intermediate grade 1. The accuracy and timeliness of reports, statistics, and indicators is ensured by having live dashboards with drilldown capabilities so that information consumers can see in real-time the information they need in the format they want and filtered by their desired criteria. The selected schools shall consist of the following stages: kindergarten, primary, middle, preparatory, and secondary. The project will ensure that the number of schools in each targeted general directorate will provide a statistically significant and accurate information that can be generalized for the entire general directorate.
- To ensure that the proposed system functions as intended, there will be a need to train existing personnel and to support the departments to recruit, train support, and equip new cadres to manage the system and the use of the data. UNESCO will develop the software, documentation, tutorials, and training materials; install the essential hardware; and establish a call centre to provide timely support to the users of the new system. UNESCO will also develop training packages and train trainers who will roll out the intervention to the governorates, districts and schools. UNICEF will complement UNESCO’s actions through a separate project by facilitating downstream training.
MAIN DUTIES AND RESPONSABILITIES
In the framework of this Project, and under the overall authority of the Director of UNESCO Office for Iraq and the direct supervision of the Project Manager and the EMIS Coordinator, the Software Engineer shall undertake the following:
- Design and develop flexible hierarchy of entities, Organization, Ministry, General Directorate of Education, Directorate of Education, Department, etc.
- Develop data load utility to automatically load Employees from Excel templates into the EMIS / Students from Excel templates into the EMIS.
- Develop statistical reports about Students, as per the Ministry of Education - Statistics Department outputs.
- Perform data load activities of MoE-KRI Data (Schools) for School Year 2019-2020 / (Students) for School Year 2019-2020.
- Perform data load activities of MoE-KRI Data (Employees and Teachers) for School Year 2019-2020.
- Develop data load utility to automatically load Courses from Excel templates into the EMIS.
- Develop statistical reports about Students, as per the Ministry of Education - Statistics Department outputs.
- Develop and implement SDG-4 educational indicators for Students and Trainees / for Employees, Teachers, and Trainers.
- Develop and author the Data Warehouse Schema Documentation for the EMIS Solution to enable the MoE-KRI technical staff to use third-party tools for reporting and analytics.
- Perform data load activities of MoE-KRI Data (Schools) for School Year 2020-2021 / (Employees and Teachers) for School Year 2020-2021 / (Students) for School Year 2020-2021.
- Develop and implement SDG-4 educational indicators for Schools? for Building Services and Facilities, for Academic Faculty, for Educational Performance.
- Develop and prepare final version of EMISInterDB source code.
- Review and provide feedback on the software quality assurance (SQA) test plan for the EMIS solution, including a User Acceptance Testing (UAT) period for the MoE to review the agreed upon functionality.
- Review and provide feedback on the Functional Requirements Specification (FRS) for the latest Education Management Information System (EMIS) Solution Release.
- Develop and implement educational indicators for Schools, Literacy Centers, Training Centers, Students, Trainees, Employees, Teachers, and Trainers.
- Develop and implement enhancements for the EMIS Solution, for testing and validation purposes, built on the Microsoft. NET technology and the SQL Server relational database management system.
The Software Engineer shall submit the following deliverables:
- Code for flexible hierarchy of entities launched,
- Data load utility for Employees from Excel templates into the EMIS,
- Code for statistical reports launched about Students, as per the Ministry of Education - Statistics Department outputs,
- Report on data load activities of MoE-KRI Data (Schools) for School Year 2019-2020
- Data load utility for Students from Excel templates into the EMIS,
- Report on data load activities of MoE-KRI Data (Employees and Teachers) for School Year 2019-2020,
- Data load utility for Courses from Excel templates into the EMIS,
- Report on data load activities of MoE-KRI Data (Students) for School Year 2019-2020,
- Code for 10 statistical reports launched about Students, as per the Ministry of Education - Statistics Department outputs,
- Code for five SDG-4 educational indicators for Students and Trainees,
- Code for five SDG-4 educational indicators for Employees, Teachers, and Trainers,
- Data Warehouse Schema Specification document for the EMIS Solution,
- Report on data load activities of MoE-KRI Data (Schools) for School Year 2020-2021,
- Report on data load activities of MoE-KRI Data (Employees and Teachers) for School Year 2020-2021,
- Monthly Progress Report (MPR) on the tasks and deliverables, Report on data load activities of MoE-KRI Data (Students) for School Year 2020-2021,
- Code for five SDG-4 educational indicators for Schools,
- Code for five SDG-4 educational indicators for Building Services and Facilities,
- Code for five SDG-4 educational indicators for Academic Faculty,
- Code for five SDG-4 educational indicators for Educational Performance,
- Source code delivered for final version of EMISInterDB,
- Source code delivered for final version of EMISREP Data Warehouse,
- Final Project Report on the tasks and deliverables,
- Monthly progress report (MPR) for each month in addition to the deliverables of that month.
- COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Accountability (C) Communication (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or related field.
Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in:
- Using development tools including DevExpress, Infragistics, Crystal Reports, Visual Studio as an integrated development environment (IDE) for development and code deployment, and Azure DevOps for source code control.
- Designing, developing, and implementing Education Management Information Systems (EMIS), proven by successful undertaking of at least 2 projects of similar nature/scope.
- Using issue tracking systems and working with agile development processes.
- Minimum 3 years of experience in the development of multi-lingual EMIS data reporting and usage strategy in line with needs of users, especially with Arabic, Kurdish, and English user interfaces.
- Ability to listen, adapt, persuade, and transform and ability to effectively communicate intensions and requirements to internal and external stakeholders.
- Excellent understanding of the current status and trends in terms of international education indicators, standards, and targets in the context of SDG-4.
- Thorough understanding and skills in EMIS related databases, data warehouses, and SQL scripts.
- Excellent knowledge (spoken and written) written in English and Arabic.