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Masiphephe Network Platform brief
Centre for Communications Impact (CCI) invites bids to design and build a platform to support Masiphephe Network, a USAID funded project focused on reducing gender-based violence in selected districts in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal. Bids should be submitted to Pinky Makhaye via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) by April 3rd 2019.
We will choose a supplier within one week of receiving the bids. Our target date to have a working version of the platform is May 15th 2019.
Please address any questions to Zanele Zwane via email email@example.com
1) About CCI
Centre for Communications Impact is a section 21 South African organization that specializes in the use of strategic communication to improve the health and well-being of all people living in South Africa. We have implemented a number of public health campaigns focused on HIV and Gender-based violence (GBV) under the Brothers for Life and Zazi brands, and have created the well-known dramas Intersexions, Tsha Tsha and Sex Tips for Girls. We also run Asibonisani, a community-based programme that offers a number of inter-personal development programmes in the field of HIV, GBV and parenting in communities around South Africa.
The project for which we require a new platform is Masiphephe Network is a unique project funded by USAID designed to enable local authorities and civil society organisations to work together to reduce GBV in their areas and to improve access to justice and victim empowerment. The platform has to provide diverse user groups with specific content and tools essential to the effective implementation of the programme.
2) Project background and details
What is the problem?
South Africa has one of the highest levels of gender-based violence (GBV) in the world, primarily experienced as sexual and domestic violence against women and children. Despite the existence of well-thought out policies that integrate the activities of the South African Police and Departments of Social Development, Basic Education, Health and Justice to lower the causes and effects of GBV, recorded incidents of GBV are rising, not falling. Civil Society works tirelessly to reduce violence and support victims of violence. Government has introduced policies, laws and strategies to address the problem, yet it persists. Despite a world-renowned rights framework, access to justice is low and GBV related trauma is often untreated. While policies are designed for integrated service delivery within districts, relationships and mechanisms for collaboration are often weak and, in reality, the majority of victims fall through the cracks.
South Africa has dedicated civil servants and civil society organisations working to protect individuals, support victims, change gender inequitable attitudes, prosecute GBV perpetrators and create safe spaces and communities, and there are many examples of successful initiatives, such as Thuthuzela Care Centres. We need to integrate and amplify these initiatives and improve the implementation of our policy in all departments and geographical areas so that all South Africans are free of GBV and its effects.
Why is GBV hard to fix?
GBV is perpetuated through a cycle that is complex and difficult to break. We have pervasive attitudes towards gender and masculinity that enable high levels of GBV. Historical legacies of apartheid have left us with poor housing, inadequate child care and fundamentally unsafe communities and transport systems which local governments have been unable or unwilling to fix. Individuals who witness or experience GBV as children are at increased risk of becoming either perpetrators or victims of GBV, leading to generational cycles of violence. People traumatised by the experience of any kind of violence are at great risk of alcohol abuse, a significant contributor to GBV. Poverty renders women and children vulnerable to GBV through transactional sex, poor housing and child care, and dangerous streets and transport systems. Our criminal justice departments are overburdened, which results in low levels of successful prosecutions of GBV perpetrators, inconsistent victim support and poor investigation of GBV cases. We have to fix each element of the cycle because each contributes to its continued existence, and to do this we have to create an enabling environment for civil society and all government departments to collaborate effectively to deliver their mandates.
Contributing to the solution: Masiphephe Network
The Masiphephe Network, enabled by the USAID grant Strengthening Local Governance to Improve Gender-Based Violence Response is an integrated, evidence-based and innovative program implemented by CCI in partnership with Fixed, the Gender Health and Justice Research Unit (GHJRU) and community-based sub- through in partnership with local governments and civil society organisations. The project will be implemented initially in the following sites:
Kwa Zulu Natal
Masiphephe Network seeks to strengthen the capacity of South African structures to lead, coordinate and manage district and community level responses to GBV prevention and mitigation. The objectives of the project are:
- Strengthen inter-departmental collaboration to enable optimum policy implementation and service delivery
- Strengthen community and local government accountability and transparency
- Mitigate gender-based violence (GBV) harm and improve access to justice in order to impact on the incidence of violence against children, adolescents, and young women.
- Strengthen GBV prevention activities through structured programmes and communication activities
The project uses a participatory strategy to strengthen local governments, civil society and community members capacity to collaborate on the effective delivery of their mandates to improve the GBV response and break the cycle of violence.
Using the What it Looks Like When it is Fixed (Fixed) methodology, the project is designed to facilitate an integrated, systemic and comprehensive approach to enable multi-sectoral collaboration to deliver innovative, integrated evidence-led interventions that aim to:
- Encourage social norms and behaviour change through effective communication by local voices;
- Empower and support victims of GBV through an integrated referral system; and
- Strengthen pathways to justice through an integrated GBV support and response protocol.
How we will work
The Fixed methodology enables stakeholders to set shared priorities and clear objectives, and to commit to working within a structure that provides the clarity to deliver on their professional mandates. These activities will be fundamentally reliant on facilitated workshops and engagements and the digital platform we want to build will link those events and create ongoing coherence in the groups working together.
Community Collaborative Networks (CCNs)
The programme will be implemented through Community Collaborative Networks. These are district-based groups that include all stakeholders relevant to a particular aspect of the GBV response. They can include up to 50 people who commit to working collaboratively on their area of expertise and duty using the Fixed tools. Co-ordinated by a community-based partner, the CCNs will be capacitated to deliver interventions that integrate policy and service delivery to respond systemically to GBV.
CCNs should include local government and political leaders as well an any organisations implementing GBV prevention and mitigation interventions at community level:
- South African Police Service (SAPS),
- Departments of Health, Basic Education, Social Development, Public Works and Co-operative Governance and Traditional affairs
- The National Prosecuting Authority
- Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCC)
- Educational institutions
- Local government (traditional and ward leadership)
- Local business associations
- Community based organisations (including women, LGBTI and youth groups)
- Faith based organisations
- Community media.
3) The Digital Platform
The digital platform is part of the glue that holds the programme together. It has to offer programme managers and CCN participants easy access to resources and analytical dashboards based on the Fixed tools, and the public in our areas and the world at large access to programme information. It also has to sell the programme to funders and governments.
Primary Target audiences
We have identified three primary sets of users for the platform, which should be expressed in three distinct areas on the platform or levels of access:
- Level 1: Programme staff. CCI is working with six organisations to implement the programme. The objectives of the platform for this user group are to enable access to dynamic, bespoke programme tools, dashboards and mapping resources, support adaptive learning, individual capacity building, knowledge sharing, collaboration, inter-personal engagement across organisations and with programme principals, and to provide inter-personal links for emotional support and de-briefing. This should be a space all programme staff working in all organisations visit at least once a day, so it needs to be attractive and useful. It should have the capacity to offer regular webinars and accessible training and research materials which will be in the form of documents and videos. All of the people in this target group will have access to desk-top computers and reasonably fast broadband but much of their interaction with colleagues and beneficiaries is via mobile, and some of their organisations have limited data availability. Data consumption cannot be too high.
- Level 2: Participants in CCNs, made up of local government, civil society and programme staff. The objectives of the platform for this user group are similar to those of the first, namely adaptive learning, capacity building, knowledge sharing and programme engagement. The reason we want to separate the two groups is to give programme managers and each CCN a unique, private space for their communication with each other. Much of the content and required functionality will be common to both groups. Some of the people in this target group will have access to desk-top computers and reasonably fast broadband but much of their interaction with colleagues and beneficiaries is via mobile, as is their own preferred digital access. Data consumption cannot be too high. User groups will include professional groups within the departments of Justice, Education, Social Services and SAP.
- Level 3: General public. This is the public facing level of the platform. The objectives are to communicate programme activities to the communities we are working in and to provide easy access to programme materials. We want people to be able to access and search for content specific to their areas as well as to the programme as a whole. This is a mobile first user group which is highly sensitive to data costs.
Additional targeted users:
Partners and funders . We are continually expanding our partnership network to include government, NGOs and funders. This is the public face of the project and needs to garner support and increase engagement.
Generic activities across groups include the following:
- Subscribe to our newsletter
- Subscribe to our blog RSS feed
- Follow us on social media channels like twitter and Facebook
- Contribute blog comments and participate in conversations
- Create awareness about our project and related resources and activities
- Participate in a platform based online community
- Complete surveys
- Access a map to find local organisations ( this will be made available via a link)
- Download articles, photographs and videos
- Access local mapping resources
- Access Safetipin (see below)
4a) Specific programme tools: Safetipin and mapping tool
SafetiPin (Please take a look at the website http://safetipin.com/) is a map-based mobile application and online platform, which works to make communities and cities safer by providing safety-related information collected by users and night time photographs. At the core of the app is the Women’s Safety Audit. Safetipin will supply an API for our platform.
In addition, we will use a mapping site designed by USAID that will link people in each district to local services. We imagine that this will be accessed through a simple link.
4b) Fixed Dashboard and tools
At the centre of the programme is the Fixed methodology which is a facilitated, collective, collaborative process. The methodology mobilises a model of 48 outcomes of a shared vision of what it looks like when it’s fixed which provides a comprehensive framework for all activities in the programme, from underlying principles (human rights culture, progressive gender equality) to operational activities (collaboration, effective communication, good governance) and outputs (adaptive learning, integrated strategy), and short, medium and long-term outcomes (safe local environments, improved GBV outcomes). They refer to programme activities as well as broader CCN activities. The model of 48 outcomes provides a comprehensive framework for stakeholder mapping, status and progress assessment and for action planning, as well as for research that feeds into these. The methodology follows a series of steps facilitated in workshops which the platform should mirror in an interactive interface accessible by Level 1 ( programme staff) and Level 2 (CCN and stakeholders) users.
The key steps of the methodology for the purpose of the digital platform are:
- A stakeholder mapping exercise where users connect themselves to a number of outcomes (no one is ever connected to all 48) and can provide some information about their relationship to those they have selected (which role: Lead, Key, Support etc) and can then see which others stakeholders in the programme have connected themselves to the same ones, and what roles and other information they have provided; and
- An assessment exercise, where scores are allocated to indicators associated with each of the 48 outcomes and the tool demonstrates what the current status of each outcome is (red = terrible, orange = bad etc)
- Shared action planning, again selecting a number of outcomes as a framework of objectives for an action plan, the group is able to use the data associated with each selected outcome (which stakeholders are there, what is the current status of that outcome)
The platform service provider needs to create a dynamic digital dashboard of the 48 outcomes which will help participants understand the complexity and systemic nature of the whole programme while focussing their attention on their own narrow interests and professional mandate. For example, if your job is to prosecute gender based violence crimes in a local court, you need to understand the interlinked pathway to justice from prevention activities in the community to reporting at the police station but your mandate is to ensure a successful prosecution and that the victim is supported effectively.
The digital tool should enable this prosecutor to see which participants are involved in different aspects of the criminal justice system, look at the progress being made in each area and projects being undertaken, access resources related to each area and input her own content related to her activity, and communicate and collaborate with all stakeholders associated with the outcomes relevant to her role in the CCN and in GBV prevention and response more broadly.
The tool should provide a simple dashboard for recording all assessment exercises, stakeholder maps and existing action plans and offer an opportunity to access granular and relevant information.
Current status of 48 outcomes digital tool
Fixed, working with a platform development company, designed a tool that serves some of the above in 2010. It has been dormant for several years.
The RFP service provider has the option of developing and enhancing this tool or building it from scratch. The existing tool has the following technical proficiencies:
- Java JDK 1.8+
- Spring Framework 4.1+
- Spring Security Web Security Framework
- Spring Data JPA and Hibernate ORM
- Thymeleaf templating framework
- JUnit and Mockito Testing frameworks
- MySQL RDBMS
- Servlet Application Hosting
Existing Digital Assets for Fixed tool
An original codebase has been developed using the above technologies. The application follows a simple and familiar Model View Controller architecture incorporating the standard Java Servlet interfaces.
As is common with Spring Framework based applications, the web application programming interface is further designed into a layered pattern with distinguished feature sets across Controller, Service and Resource/Repository layers providing a discreet transactional CRUD implementation.
The existing code-base includes the minimally viable elements for the functional delivery of inter-related outcomes at a Project Simulation level.
A baseline ERD for the existing data model is included. In broad terms the business domain is defined (in Glossary) as:
Project: Named and described entity container.
Element: Named and described component attributed with ordering and weighted properties that are used in the evaluation of influence based formulae.
Indicator: Named and described entity addition allocated to and Element. An Indicator is further attributed to convey the granular, simulation-level runtime ratings within an Element.
Stakeholder: Operating as a bridge between Project participants and the User management sub-system.
Theme: Identifiable runtime object provided to annotate and elaborate on common threads between simulation-level elements.
Simulation: Representing the recorded relationships pertaining to an outcome based evaluation.
Agreed Action: Narrative recording of a to do or task item. Created at the Simulation level. Provides entity relations between the Simulation Element and an assigned Stakeholder
5) Main menu structure
We expect to develop the navigation structure of the platform with the service provider, but the outline below gives an indication of our current thinking:
- Home: Public access point
- About (who, what, where and why)
- Learn: Gender violence (repository of resources)
- Where we are: ( these are not private but may be easier for people who want to know what is going on in their areas)
- Area (Alex, Diepkloof, etc – include all area relevant information and mapping
- Project resources (activity reports, videos, photographs)
- Stay Safe (Safetipin)
- Get involved
- Public Chat
- Private Chat
- Ticketing system for help requests
- Partner and useful links
Programme Staff (closed registration)
- Fixed tools / dashboard
- Capacity building training materials
- GBV resources
- Public and bilateral chat
CCN members (Closed registration for all CCN members and for each CCN.
- Space for news, events, shared resources
- Specific CCN spaces with:
- Fixed tools / dashboard
- Capacity building training materials
- GBV resources
- Public and private bilateral chat
6) Integrating mobile and web
The idea is to create something simple and easy to navigate for the web-site, and something extremely simple for mobile. In the past CCI has created web sites and mobi sites for brands to ensure that the mobile experience has low data costs, at the expense of some interactivity. We expect the service provider to suggest an elegant solution to servicing web and mobile users. At all times we have to be sensitive to data use and video should always be selected by the user and not uploaded automatically.
7) Reporting, monitoring and evaluation
Programme managers will require access to a full suite of analytical data which will be extracted on a monthly basis. This should tell us where our visitors come from, what they do on the platform, their dwell times and bounce rates, and what they download.
8) Service provider deliverables
These are the deliverables we would like the service provider to budget for:
- Platform spec
- Fixed tool development
- Safetipin integration via the API
- Visual design and optimised user experience for each user level on web and mobile
- Ongoing site maintenance and updating
We expect the platform to be built from as much open source technology as possible, and to be built in such a way that it can be transferred to the management of new suppliers in the event that this is necessary.
9) RFP deliverables
Please include the following in the RFP if you wish to be included for consideration for this contract:
- Professional or company history
- Current tax compliant certificate
- CVS of all personnel working on the project
- BEE certificate or explanation of transformation activities in your organisation
- Budget to deliver on the platform requirements
- Technical proposal that includes mobile integration for data poor users
- Implementation plan and schedule
- Maintenance plan
- Proof of prior work that demonstrates technical competence to deliver on these requirements
- Proof of prior work that demonstrates the ability to optimise user experience