Organization – Adeso – African Development Solutions,
Project – CORE Online Platform (EquityConnect)
Position Type – UX Designer (Consultant)
Study/Assessment Topic – UX Design
Position Location – Remote (East Africa preferred)
Duration – 6 months
Reporting To – Organization Transformation Consultant
Working With – Organization Transformation Consultant
Starting Date – Immediately
Application Deadline – 22nd July, 2021
ADESO (African Development Solutions) is a pioneering African-led and founded international development and humanitarian organization. We strongly believe that development must come from within and not outside of African communities. Improved economic, social, environmental, and health outcomes are essential to sustainable communities which drives the nature and intent of Adeso programming. Adeso works to prevent and overcome situations that adversely affect community well-being by reinvigorating the economy, developing skills for life and work, providing humanitarian aid, influencing policy and ensuring sustainability.
Our belief that economic, social and environmental security is the bedrock of a healthy community drives the nature and intent of our programming. We work to prevent and overcome situations that adversely affect community well-being by: reinvigorating the economy, developing skills for life and work, providing humanitarian aid, and influencing policy. For the past 29 years, Adeso has worked on community-driven programs in the areas of environmental rehabilitation, peacebuilding, livelihood and education, food security, WASH and emergency relief, supporting vulnerable groups in Somalia and Kenya on a grassroots level.
Adeso has strengthened rural livelihoods through environmental awareness, training, technology transfer and innovative projects in pursuit of a peaceful, self-reliant, and greener future. Since 2010, Adeso has led consultations with civil society from the Global South which lead to the creation of the first ever global south civil society network, the Network for Empowered Aid Response (NEAR).
Adeso is an exciting and dynamic organization experiencing managed rapid growth. It offers sound employment conditions with opportunities for personal growth and development.
PROJECT SUMMARY & BACKGROUND FOR CONSULTANCY
Over the past ten years, Adeso has developed an intimate understanding of the problems faced by both local and national NGOs on a micro and macro level. Adeso has a strong understanding of the barriers that local organizations face in accessing direct funding from donors and the challenges that donors face in partnering with local organization.
EquityConnect – an online platform – is a critical component of Adeso’s five-year strategy that is focused on systems change and infrastructure development to support the creation of an ecosystem that supports more democratic and equitable resourcing and the strengthening of Global South civil society. The work involving this platform, which aims at increasing the visibility and profile of local grassroots and national organizations in the Global South, consists of two phases. Phase I is the prototype beta testing stage while Phase II involves scaling, marketing and fully launching the platform.
What is the challenge this platform seeks to address?
Globally, about USD 28.9 billion is spent on humanitarian crises with only 3.1% of those funds going directly to local organizations in affected countries. There are various barriers that limit direct funding to national and local NGOs as the first responders to crises, including:
● Slow identification of local actors at the onset and early stages of a disaster
● Lack of high-quality information for donors
● Lack of a standardized or transferable due diligence processes and evaluation results
● Failure to implement appropriate types of due diligence according to an NGO’s operating requirements, capacity, and expertise
● Implicit bias on the part of philanthropic staff
Local organizations struggle to gain visibility, and demonstrate which due diligence processes they have already previously cleared.
The solution Adeso is proposing: About Equity Connect
Create a centralized online platform (EquityConnect) that allows direct donor access to local and national NGOs in the Global South that meet industry standards. That is why it is imperative to develop a prototype, test it and incorporate feedback to fix any issues in the system prior to full-scale launch.
The solution aims to fulfill the following:
- Increase visibility of local organizations
- Grow funding flows to local organizations
- Create linkages for both donors and organizations
An exact alternative to the platform does not currently exist. EquityConnect takes important processes with existing solutions and combines them where the whole is greater than the sum of parts and brings these services to a population that is historically underserved and excluded. The team is developing an MVP of EquityConnect which prioritizes the searching, communicating, and networking functionality. The next set of functionality to be built is the ‘due diligence’ elements which support organizations to present their capacities and capabilities.
This project is a critical component of Adeso’s five-year strategy focused on systems change and enterprise development to support the creation of an ecosystem that supports more democratic and equitable resourcing and strengthening of civil society. This platform removes the need for an intermediary like Adeso or NEAR and allows the donors and funders to directly assess organizations and contact them as they see fit.
Given that this is an online platform, the geographic focus of the project is not limited to a single location. The Network of Empowered Aid Response (NEAR), founded and incubated by Adeso, currently has 277 global members that Adeso plans to reach out to for participation in Phase I. Thus, the geographic scope is global. However, during Phase I of the beta testing/prototyping, the project is limited to 100 organizations located within Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The project is serving global south Civil Society Organization and local NGOs as the primary clients of this platform. Moreover, foundations, public and bi-lateral donors will also utilize this.
SCOPE OF WORK & DELIVERABLES
The UX Design Consultant for the EquityConnect platform will play an integral part in gathering insights about the needs, attitudes, emotions, and behaviors of individuals who use the EquityConnect platform and then help the team to design experiences to meet those insights. This role will collaborate closely with the Adeso project managers and technology development team, Philanthropy.io, to inform and design the experiences. They will work with stakeholders across different groups and have impact at all stages of our user’s experience, from informing prototype development to improving flows through day-to-day tasks. They will explore user behaviors and motivations by conducting both the primary research and then, when appropriate, designing personas, mock-ups, user flows and other artifacts to guide design and development processes.
Deliverables: The work will include 3 main categories of support
1. User Experience Research (40%)
- Design and conduct various forms of user research (including contextual observation, user studies, interviews, surveys, etc)
- Work with project managers, and other technical staff to prioritize research opportunities in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment
· Provide analysis of user research and elevate patterns and pain points to project managers, and other technical staff to influence outcomes and direction of work
2. User Experience Design and Optimization (40%)
- Consult on user experiences within the EquityConnect platform
- When necessary and required design and create personas, wireframes, mock-ups, user flows, usability tests, and other UX artifacts
- Ensure designed experiences holistically meet the overall user experience
Over time the team will need to learn to gather insights and conduct user experience testing as part of the running of the platform. A smaller percentage of time will be spent helping the team come to a basic understanding of UX and acquire a basic proficiency.
3. Team Capacity Strengthening (20%)
- Support Adeso team to define user experience best practices and norms for Tech team across platforms and projects
· Recommend and establish optimization tools to measure, test, and improve user experience within the EquityConnect platform
We anticipate the work being undertaken in three phases with the greatest time commitment coming during Phase 1 and 2:
· Phase 1: Pre – Pilot – July – August 2021
· Phase 2: Pilot – September – December 2021
· Phase 3: Soft launch – January 2022
The EquityConnect pilot group consists of the following segments:
- A subset of CIVICUS – AGNA members. These are national associations of civil society organizations.
- A subset of NEAR members. These are organizations in the global south working on humanitarian assistance.
- A subset of grantees from Hilton, HU, Segal Family Foundation. These are grantees, in the global south, of the supporters of the platform.
- Member of the HLG (Humanitarian Liaison Group) + other donors. This is the Local Humanitarian Funders Group.
- Project Advisory Group members
· 6 months – 250 billable hours of work.
Mid-Career; 5+ years of experience in UX design, preferably for Global South organizations.
COPYRIGHT AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
In consideration of the fees paid, the Consultant expressly assigns to Adeso any copyright arising from the works the consultant produces while executing this contract. All images/graphics (whether used for online or print purposes) must however bear the consultant’s photo credit, as specified by international intellectual property rights. The consultant may not use, reproduce or otherwise disseminate or authorize others to use, reproduce or disseminate such works without prior consent from Adeso.
How to apply
All applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 22nd, 2021 with UX Designer on the subject line. The selection committee will review all applications as they arrive and will begin shortlisting qualified candidates immediately. All applicants must meet the minimum requirements described above, and those unable to meet these requirements will not be considered.
Each application package should include the following:
- An application letter addressing the selection criteria including how the consultant’s previous experience makes them a suitable candidate for this consultancy. The cover letter should answer the following questions:
- What is your interpretation and understanding of the needs of this consultancy?
- What would your approach to achieving the 3 objectives of the consultancy? (Refer to points 1-3 in the page above). Describe the process and/or approach, and/or methods you would use to achieve each objective. In your answer, describe both your approach to achieving the objectives and the tools you would use (we want to understand the range of your technical expertise).
- The application letter should also indicate the candidate’s availability and capacity to complete the deliverables within 6 months, as well as their proposed hourly rate. The cover letter should be no longer than 2 pages.
- A sample of recent work;
- Updated CV including relevant work experience and qualifications;
- Contact details of 2 references.
Applications not including all of the above information will not be reviewed. Adeso is an equal opportunity employer.