Expression of interest for Children Support initiatives

Issuance Date: 28.11.2019
Deadline for Expression of Interest: 14.12.2019

Description:             Expression of interest Children Support initiatives in the regions

For:                          Moldova ICT Excellence Center Project
Funded By:              United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Government of Sweden, Contract No. AID-117-A-15-00002
Issued By:               National Association of ICT Companies (ATIC)
Point of Contact:      
ioriol@ict.md, contact person Irina Oriol, cc achirita@ict.md

About the Tekwill Project

Tekwill has been designed as a national public private partnership between the Government of Moldova, USAID, Microsoft, and IBM to answer the needs of the ICT industry to close the gap of the human capital shortage, as well as support the development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. The initial goal of the project was to contribute to the extension of the Tekwill project as a sustainable network and deploy its programs on regional/national level. The project aims at determining the operation model of the network, determining business plans for the relevant created centers or partners in the regions, deploy scalable activities to connect an estimated of 150,000 people to ICT (school and university students, community, etc.), deploy entrepreneurship programs aiming at both scaling up existing programs, as well as create inclusive innovation platforms for the regions, with their respective specifics and potential to absorb/apply ICT. We envision a minimum 10,000 beneficiaries/year for each direction (education and entrepreneurship) As a result of the project, 2 main outcomes of the project are expected: more and better qualified skills and workforce developed leading to a stronger ICT industry in Moldova, as well as creating the premises for a Startup Moldova program driving opportunities for companies seeking capitalization.

 

The first phase of the project represented a USAID grant for Development matched by both cash and in-kind contributions provided by private and government partners that brought significant new resources, ideas, software, technologies and development activities, such as trainings, practical assignments, and mentorship. Private partners included multinational companies, IBM and Microsoft, but also members of the Information Technology and Communications Association (ATIC) comprised of local Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies. Among government partners which have provided their support are the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, the e-Government Center and the Technical University (TUM). Hosting the first Center in its premises, the Technical University of Moldova has contributed with resources for initial investment and maintenance costs during the startup phase.

 

On September 19, 2017 USAID/Moldova has entered into a partnership with the Government of Sweden to join forces in the establishment and creation of the ICT Excellence Center (Tekwill). It included an arrangement that governs the relationship between the Parties regarding the financing, implementation and reporting methods of the activity. 

Tekwill has offically opened on March 15, 2017. During 2.5 years of the project activity, Tekwill has completed or supported 429 educational initiatives, and 388 entrepreneurship initiatives, transforming Tekwill into one of the most successful Tech initiatives in Moldova. It has helped over 389 teams to reach  better results in business, create opportunities and seek investment. Altogether it trained and oriented over 43,000 people.

The next phase of the project is envisaged to fortify the existing Tekwill’s capacity, create linkages with other universities and expand the activities to the national level. New activities are planned to transform Tekwill into a strategic focal point for Moldova, in relation to boosting creativity, innovation and growth in the ICT sector. The Government of Moldova envisages the creation of a network of mini Tekwills around Chisinau and throuthout the country, keeping all main stakeholders (academia, private sector, donors, government) in the loop, aiming to reach high impact on the economy, as a whole. Few more universities are seeking to be part of this initiative and benefit of private sector and development partners involvement in upgrading their curricular content. At the same time, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research is willing to promote the optional programs, developed by Tekwill, to be accessible in schools under the program „Tekwill in every school“. Throughout the implementing process, each program will be designed and developed in accordance with the context of the region, school or university specifics. All programs will be inclusive, involving different target groups such as children, women, students, etc. 

The overarching goal of Tekwill as a network is to ensure maximum impact on Moldova’s economy through enhancing the entrepreneurial and educational capacity, as well as Research&Development potential of the higher education institutions in line with the industry needs; hence achieving quantitative and qualitative increase in qualified ICT professionals and ICT skills and nurturing successful technology startups based on modern ecosystem and world-class sales and marketing force. The project will expand the current areas of cooperation and continue to contribute to growing competitiveness of the ICT industry and of other economic sectors on a national level.

The project aims to:

  1. Mitigate the human capital gap identified as the major problem for the ICT sector growth;
  2. Expand successful Tekwill projects into the regions;
  3. Impact the IT related educational system by contributing at nurturing STEM education;
  4. Develop curricular and extracurricular educational programs to be adopted nationwide in partnership with leading private ICT Companies;
  5. Expand existing Tekwill or Tekwill-related/supported programs to be adopted in the regions;

  6. Assess the existing startup ecosystem and improve its investment opportunities;

  7. Create linkages between ICT and non-ICT businesses;
  8. Provide support to projects/startups in accessing the global market;
  9. Create premises for favorable investment instruments such as seed funding, acceleration programs, venture funding, etc.;
  10. Encourage and support tech community events;
  11. Get affiliated to international hubs, innovation centers, camps (such as google campus, Station F, etc.);
  12. Empower women/girls to participate in ICT educational programs and entrepreneurial activities;
  13. Provide access to Tekwill content and programs for talented kids from underserved and remote areas, supporting career orientation, STEM educational programs, etc. 

During the new project phase, ATIC intends to consolidate and extend various educational programs and trainings; targets being students, IT-professionals, those who look for a change in the career path, with a focus on market demands. The Center will continue to be the major attraction point for all the IT training programs, events, projects, and entrepreneurship initiatives. The set of initiatives and activities planned are training courses and events focused on different categories of beneficiaries.

Tekwill Project aims at supporting private sector initiatives and partners in extending its activities throughout the regions.

As a continuation of existing activities, Tekwill in Chisinau and the satelites/partners/ or as defined by the conducted assessments, will focus both on technical and soft skills. It will continue the existing partnerships with Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, PMI and others, as well as establish new partnerships with the aim to bring the best curricula from top international vendors, top international universities and partner organizations. It will create a bridge between the universities and the Moldovan IT labor market to offer access to education to the students in order to meet industry needs. It will also focus on life-long learning for professionals who want to deepen their knowledge and/or receive certain certifications and qualifications as such.

The educational directions will focus on:

  • providing a range of training courses in modern IT topics, as required by industry. Courses will be at different levels, short and long-term, full time and part-time, depending on market needs.
  • Determining fellowship professor programs as part of the existing university courses and curricula
  • providing transverse (or personal or “soft”) skills, eg English language, communications, presentation skills, team-work, entrepreneurship, etc integrated in optional Kids academy programs, Tekwill in every school, and stand alone programs
  • Certification will be offered, both as an adjunct to the training courses, and independently. Certification is a growing requirement of advanced western markets.
  • Curricula development. The Center will continue to collaborate with the Universities on updating curricula. It is expected that courses on newer topics will progressively move into mainstream Bachelors and Masters degree courses.
  • Professional development of lecturers. The Center will provide update training in new topics (and new teaching methods) for university and industry lecturers with a range of train-the-trainer courses.
  • Career Orientations. The efforts towards promoting a carer in ICT by delivering inspirational presentations, as well as advice to students and graduates on opportunities in the industry will be continued
  • Internships. Alongside this careers role, the Center will explore the possibility of either training the capacity of universities, and other educational institutions to attract and manage internship programs, or provide assistance towards career guidance and further possible career tracking.
  • Students and university professors will benefit of special conditions to participate in the programs.

Tekwill seeks to translate most of its programs:

  • Kids academy
  • Career Orientation Programs
  • Tekwill Academy for teachers and for university professors
  • Tekwill Academy programs with international course providers and certifications based on industry needs (Java, Cisco, PMP, Agile, etc)
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Community programs

Currently, Tekwill is in the phase of a feasibility study on regional assessment that aims at covering the following areas:

  • conduct a thorough research on international experience in similar countries such as Armenia, Georgia, Albania, Kosovo as developing countries, as well as Sweden, Estonia, Finland, etc as world known success examples;
  • create a vision related to worldwide experiences in a) introducing digital skills as a must b) nurturing tech skills to meet market needs c) create demand for IT related solutions introduced in education
  • evaluate existing educational initiatives and their business models on the market provided by donor community, private sector and the Government together or on a separate basis
  • conduct interviews with the main stakeholders on the market, including private companies, implementing agencies, government, educational institutions representatives, donors, or civil society
  • based on the findings of the interviews and evaluation, propose a roadmap for improving the situation of IT skills gap in Moldova, as well as acquiring digital skills at various levels
  • Propose continue, merge existing initiatives or access new interventions by evaluating efficiency, effectiveness, impact, cost, available resources under a roadmap for better IT skills in accordance with EU and world trends
  • Deliver a report that will be used by ATIC in its implementation of extending existing programs or define new initiative for a national reach out
  • Validate proposed concepts with the main stakeholders

About the expression of Interest call:

Taking into consideration the limited capacity and scope of work of the team, Tekwill Project is interested in identifying 3-5 stakeholders interested to extend children initiatives on a partnership level. The model is expected to be based on a co-investment and partnership model, where each parties are ready to invest into:

On behalf of Tekwill Project:

a) Endownment

b) Metholodogy

c) Marketing

d) Capacity building

e) Content development

 

On behalf of the third party:

a) Operational costs

b) Sustainability

c) Content development

Through this call, we would like to request responsible and interested companies to express their interest for the potential assignment on Children activities programs by completing the proposed template form.

Criteria for potential call applicants

The team's experience

  • 80% of mentors have experience / educational studies and technologies
  • The ability to provide the human resources (mentors, coaches and program developers) with the programs to be implemented
  • The team's previous experience of managing at least 2 national projects
  • Previous experience of connecting the corporate sector (companies) and educational programs

Expertise programs

  • Experience in creating full educational cycle with the diversity of programs for each age category:
    • 6-9 years
    • 10-12 years
    • 13-17 years
  • Expertise in creating programs in the following fields: Engineering, Programming, Creative industry for each of the above mentioned age categories
  • The ability to provide educational programs in Romanian and Russian
  • The methodology for each proposed course tested at least 6 months
  • 40% of the proposed programs represent innovation in the field of education (through the subject of studies or teaching methodology)
  • Ability to deliver a curriculum for 1 year of study in each domain / programming language (cumulative programs of 3-5 short term domains are not accepted)

Evaluation and monitoring

  • The presence of a short and long term motivation strategy.
  • Mechanisms for evaluating the performance of children, mentors and the entity as a whole
  • Strategy to promote success stories

This is an expression of interest only. A full application is expected to follow the preselected candidates after Tekwill project evaluates and has full interviews with all potential applicants.

 

Expression of Interest Procedures:

Expression of interest Deadline

 Applicants shall submit their expression of interest to participate and propose offers until December 20, 2019 via e-mail to ioriol@ict.md, cc achirita@ict.md.

Applicants shall submit their offers in hard-copy and/or electronically.

Hard copy offers must be received no later than December 20, 2019, 17:00 at the following address: 

In attention of Mrs. Irina Oriol

Deputy Project Coordinator Str. Studentilor 9/11

Emailed offers must be received by the same time and date at the following address:

In attention of Irina Oriol, Deputy Project Coordinator

ioriol@ict.md

and cc Ana Chirita, Strategic Projects Director/ Tekwill Project Coordinator

achirita@ict.md

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their expression of interests are received in accordance with the instructions stated herein. Late applications may be considered at the discretion of ATIC. 

Questions regarding the technical or administrative requirements of this Call for Expression of interest may be submitted no later than December 14, 2019, 18:00 local Chisinau time by email to achirita@ict.md. Questions must be submitted in writing; phone calls will not be accepted. Questions and requests for clarification—and the responses thereto—that ATIC believes may be of interest to other Applicants will be circulated to all Call for Expression of Interest recipients who have indicated an interest in the current call.

Only the written answers issued by ATIC will be considered official and carry weight in the Call for Expression of Interest process and subsequent evaluation. Any verbal information received from employees of ATIC or any other entity should not be considered as an official response to any questions regarding this Expression of Interest Call.

Download here the full Terms of Reference.