Assignment: Electronic commerce consultancy
Introduction and Background
The Near East Foundation (NEF) is seeking qualified candidates and firms for an Electronic Commerce Consultancy to provide design, development, and integration for NEF’s prospective web-based and mobile-based business- to-business and business-to-customer platforms.
For 100 years, the Near East Foundation (NEF) has worked to build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East, Caucasus, and Africa through education, governance, and economic development initiatives. Working through a network of country offices and local partners, NEF currently has operations in nine countries: Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, and Syria. Its programs are organized around three themes: Peacebuilding through Economic Cooperation, Climate-resilient Agriculture, and Microenterprise Development. More information on NEF’s and its affiliates’ work and geographic focus can be found on NEF’s website: www.neareast.org.
The Electronic Commerce Consultancy is designing, developing, and rolling out an accessible cloud-based platform (Siraj Market) aimed at supporting NEF’s micro-enterprise program in Jordan, by enabling participant businesses to register, advertise their validated business and available products/services, network with peer businesses (online and via communication apps), and, ultimately, interact directly with potential customers. NEF’s micro-enterprise program in Jordan aims at supporting aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to start and grow sustainable businesses through a tailored and holistic approach embedded into NEF’s Siraj platforms, including Siraj Digital (www.sirajdigital.com) and Siraj Finance (www.sirajfinance.org).
NEF anticipates the following needs through December 2021. NEF may choose to postpone some of the features. Estimated budgets and days of work are provided for reference only and may be adjusted during the final negotiation phase. NEF will consider reasonable financial proposals over these amounts with justification.
- Develop an NEF-managed cloud-based online platform: Siraj Market
- Ability to add and edit profiles of participating businesses
- Ability for viewers (general public) and peer businesses (registered users) to search, sort, and filter participating businesses (registered users)
- Ability for NEF to monitor business performance and interaction, facilitate connections between business users, deliver training and other services (through integration with NEF’s www.sirajdigital.com), receive user feedback, and issue business validation certificates.
- Ability for participating businesses (registered users) to issue digitally certified validations of their businesses
- Ability for participating businesses (registered users) to exchange information between registered business users
- Ability for participating businesses (registered users) to search for, apply for, and track business opportunities with other users: e.g., exchange of products; offer services; exchange business opportunities
- Ability for participating businesses (registered users) to advertise products and services and interact with potential users (through multiple mediums, including social media, communication app (WhatsApp), SMS, email, etc.)
- Ability for basic platform functions to be available through WhatsApp and Telegram apps (the platform can be integrated with NEF’s WhatsApp and Telegram wrapper using Twilio API)
- Ability for basic platform functions to integrate with social media platforms such as Facebook pages and other relevant social media platforms in Jordan
- Ability for NEF to feature specific businesses and share announcements and information
- Ability for customizable dashboard displaying key performance indicators and disaggregated by multiple variables such as gender, age group, type of business, sector, time period, location, etc.
- The platform will be available on the web through a dedicated website (NEF uses AWS servers)
- Integrate the userbase and services with Siraj Digital (www.sirajdigital.com) in order to deliver the Siraj Digital services through the Siraj Market platform
- Bilingual interface (English and Arabic)
- User access management and permission control
Phase I: Design (Estimated timeframe: 1 month): Design and wireframes developed and finalized with NEF
Phase II: Development (Estimated timeframe: 2 months): Development and soft launch
Phase III Deployment (Estimated timeframe: 1 month): Deployment and onboarding of NEF staff and a selection of users
Platform Maintenance (March through September 2022; estimated 1-2 days per month plus 10 days for bug fixes): Provide ongoing support and maintenance to ensure the platform is operational.
New or additional features will be costed separately.
- Proven experience in website development, HTML and ASP.NET
- Proven experience in cloud-based solutions, including preferably using AWS services
- Proven experience in connectivity integration, including integration with cellular networks (e.g., SMS), mobile communication apps (e.g., WhatsApp), and social media (e.g., Facebook pages), preferably with Twilio experience.
- Proven experience in database development and management, including preferably in MSSQL database coding, querying, upgrade, and maintenance.
- Proven experience in business-to-business and business-to-customer solutions, preferably including proven experience working on enterprise and economic development projects.
- Familiarity with business-related information management tools and global standards.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and Arabic.
- Familiarity with international data privacy and transfer laws and regulations (e.g., GDPR).