VACANCY: Consultancy firm to develop Digital ID blueprint

Vacancy Summary

  • Organisation Type: Government / non profit
  • Sector: IT, NGOs / Government
  • Field of Expertise: Specialist
  • Work Experience: 6-10 years
  • Preferred Candidates: Both international and national jobseekers invited to apply
  • Posted on: Dec 06, 2019
  • Vacancy closing date: Jan 10, 2020

Job Description

Recruitment of a consultancy firm to develop a Digital ID blueprint for Smart Africa member states that facilitates and enables Pan-African interoperability.

Mind you, this is not a job opportunity, but Smart Africa is looking for companies who can provide these services.


Based on a concept-note developed by Smart Africa and the guidance of the Smart Africa digital ID Working Group, the Consultancy firm will produce three deliverables to support the implementation of a demonstration pilot of digital ID interoperability across three African countries, as well as carry out the necessary preparatory research:

• A blueprint serving as a global strategy for digital identity in Africa;
• Detailed implementation roadmaps for three pilot countries;
• A proposal for a technical architecture and legal frameworks to support interoperability between the identity schemes of three pilot countries.

1.1. Smart Africa Digital ID Blueprint

In order to develop the Smart Africa Digital ID blueprint, the Consultancy firm must review relevant and comparable initiatives on digital ID developed by other countries, especially in Africa. Because different countries carry different features, the Consultancy firm must firstly assess national characteristics and peculiarities of member states in the relevant areas of civil registration, technology, legislation, regulation, network coverage and mobile phone penetration, financial inclusion, among a number of others. Some governments and organizations are now equipped or are developing specific systems for digital ID management. This background data will provide an invaluable source of information that together will enable a comprehensive evaluation of the most relevant lessons learned elsewhere, upon which the Smart Africa blueprint can then be built.

The Consultancy firm will also review the existing literature on digital identity in Africa, recommendations, principles and guidelines developed by international organizations, in particular the World Bank, ITU, AU, UNECA, GSMA, Omidyar, the European Union (eIDAS Directive), ETSI, and Secure identity ALLIANCE (osia). He will then compile a composite summary of the key relevant guidelines and standards to which countries should pay attention when developing their national digital ID schemes.
The Consultancy firm will develop the digital ID blueprint based on the concept note on digital identity developed by Smart Africa and its digital ID Working Group and by engaging key stakeholders from the public and private sectors.

In a number of African countries, the use of digital ID to support electronic government services and/or commercial/financial transactions will not yet be catered for within the framework of existing legislation and regulation. Therefore, the blueprintt needs to put forward a clear proposal for a governance framework that references other relevant standards and legislation (e.g eIDAS, ETSI and GDPR in Europe), and defines the key components of a successful legislative and regulatory framework that would enable good governance.

1.2. Implementation roadmaps for three pilot countries

Prior to the commencement of the Consultancy firm ’s work, Smart Africa and its digital ID Working Group will have identified the three countries which will host pilot ‘proof-of-concept’ digital ID implementations (“pilots”).

The Consultancy firm will be required to work with the Smart Africa digital ID Working Group to define the scope and nature of the pilots, and the services that they will support. The timeline, dependencies between tasks and efforts needed for the implementation of these pilot projects should be prioritized in accordance with their criticality to ensure that limited resources are appropriately leveraged.

The Consultancy firm will define a typical implementation roadmap or action plan for a digital ID scheme in three (3) member countries. This roadmap will include appropriate milestones and key deliverables, including consideration of adequate human and financial resources to ensure sustainability. The Consultancy firm will develop the implementation plan by engaging key stakeholders from the public and private sectors. It will contain details on what concrete actions are to be taken, when, and by whom in order to prepare for, implement and evaluate the pilot, as well as governance arrangements. Key aspects of the implementation plan will be how digital ID systems in the participating countries may need to be built or modified and how the use cases can be successfully exploited (i.e. what the relying parties have to do to modify their existing business processes and systems).

The implementation plan should provide practical guidance for Ministries, Departments, Agencies, private sector ID providers, relying parties, international organizations or otherwise to implement the digital ID interoperability pilot for a limited set (1-3) of demonstration use cases. To the extent possible, the implementation plan should be able to be scaled up to the continental level.

As part of the definition of the implementation roadmap, the Consultancy firm shall identify any legal instruments and/or regulations that do not yet exist (or need modification) in the pilot countries. The Consultancy firm shall provide draft texts for these new/modified legal instruments and/or regulations, taking guidance from the countries in question. Particular attention should be paid to any changes that may be needed to support and facilitate the pilot projects.

1.3. Technical architecture and legal framework proposal

The Consultancy firm will develop detailed technical and functional documentation for how the interoperability between identity schemes will be designed and implemented. The proposed technical architecture should align with the implementation plan and have minimal cost to the participating countries. The Consultancy firm will build upon the technical options considered globally (e.g. eIDAS, Latin America and other) and build upon the summary conducted by the World Bank.

As part of the preparatory work, the Consultancy firm will analyze existing digital ID systems in the participating countries (including their plans for development) and of potential use cases for interoperability of the three identity schemes.

The Consultancy firm is encouraged to draw on existing architectures for mutual recognition (such as Europe’s eIDAS and Latin America’s interoperability in Mercosaur), and research (such as by UNECA and the World Bank).

The Consultancy firm will identify any legal instruments and/or regulations that do not yet exist (or need modification) in the three participating countries and clear areas where the legal instruments and/or regulations need modification.


The mission will be carried out by the Consultancy firm in collaboration with Smart Africa and its digital ID Working Group. The blueprint should be based on the existing Smart Africa concept-note on digital identity and focus on the development of concrete roadmaps to support the three host countries to implement interoperable pilot digital identity schemes.

It is expected that the Consultancy firm 's methodological approach will, among other things, consist of:

• Conduct a desktop literature review to gain a good understanding of the ICT ministry and other relevant actors in the main flagship sponsor country, and the two additional countries. The review to include an analysis of the structure, relevant current programs and cross-ministry initiatives being undertaken in these three countries;

• Conduct a review of existing international guidelines and recommendations on Digital ID, in particular those from the African Union (AU), the GSM Association (GSMA), the World Bank, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the European Union (eIDAS Directive), ETSI, and then compile a composite summary of the key relevant guidelines and standards to which countries should pay attention when developing their digital ID schemes.
• Write an interim draft version of each planned report and provide a presentation of these interim reports at workshops to be organized by Smart Africa;
• Collect comments on each interim report and make consequential revisions in the final version;
• Assume primary responsibility for drafting the blueprint, implementation plans and interoperability proposal, and work closely with the designated staff of Smart Africa and the digital ID working group to carry out the task;
• Provide support and facilitation from the Smart Africa Secretariat for exchanges with countries and the collection of documents for the analysis of the existing situations;
• Develop the digital ID blueprint, implementation plans and interoperability proposal on the basis of an in-depth analysis of the needs of pilot project countries in terms not only of the establishment of a digital ID scheme but also in terms of the major adaptations to infrastructure, legislation, regulation and government processes that will be required for successful implementation of such a scheme.


The selected Consultancy firm must carry out the project within 3 months from the date of signing the contract.

The indicative timetable is as follows:
T0 Start of the project and adoption of a schedule for the execution of the mission with the dates of the deliverables
T0 + 2 weeks Conduct an analysis of the African context for the establishment of a digital ID blueprint in the Smart Africa Alliance
T0 + 3 weeks Organize a first workshop with key stakeholders to present the analysis and gather additional insights
T0 + 6 weeks Develop and submit to the Smart Africa Secretariat a draft digital ID blueprint, and detailed project definition reports (PDR) for the related pilot project(s) (which include budgeted action plans)
T0 + 10 weeks Organize a second workshop with key stakeholders to present the blueprint and collect feedback and proceed with pre-validation of the blueprint at Pilot country levels.
T0 + 12 weeks Develop jointly with the three countries a draft implementation roadmap for interoperable digital identity schemes
T0 + 14 weeks Finalization of documents incorporating the remarks of the feedback workshops, and submission to the Smart Africa Secretariat for validation.


In addition to the human resources required to assemble its team, as described below, the firm must meet the following requirements:
• Have at least five (5) years of relevant experience in the development of international or cross border strategies in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and in the more recent field of digital technologies and developments;
• Demonstrate technical, economic and regulatory skills for the development of a digital ID strategy and designing and implementing digital ID systems;
• Have work experience in ICT Policy development in Africa, and in particular in the member countries of the Smart Africa Alliance;
• Firms should submit three recommendation letters from previous clients of similar projects with same magnitude and complexity in the ICT and/or digital sector.

The work shall be carried out by highly qualified consultants/experts in the requested specialties, namely:

• Lead Consultant/Head of Mission (1)
 Experienced in the development of international or cross border economic and technology strategies;
 A minimum of a Master’s degree in Economics, Business administration, computer engineering, electronics engineering or Project Management with 7 years of experience in strategic plan development for ICT projects or Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Project Management, computer engineering, electronics engineering, combined with 10 years of experience in Telecommunications and ICT sector.
 Having been head of mission for four (4) similar projects over the past six (6) years.

• IT Expert (1):
 A University graduate with a minimum of a master’s degree in Information Technology (IT), engineering, data or computer science, or related discipline;
 Having at least 5 years of proven experience in the area of digital ID / Cryptography / PKI / Information Security;
 Having participated in at least two (2) similar projects.

• Socio-Economist (1):
 A University graduate with a minimum of a master’s degree in Economics, with a specialization in development economics, development studies, sociology, and project management or related discipline, combined with experience in socio economic development projects in Africa.
 Having at least 5 years of proven experience in the economic and financial evaluation of development projects and programs, as well as in private sector development and in the establishment of Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects;
 Having participated in at least four (4) similar projects.

• Legal Expert (1):
 A University graduate with a minimum of a master’s degree in law from a recognized university.
 Having at least 5 years of proven experience in the drafting of legislative and regulatory texts in the field of legislation for digital ID, data protection, privacy and financial crime (AML etc.);
 Having participated in at least two (2) similar projects.

The Consultancy firm shall propose additional staff as deems necessary.


This assignment is expected to be conducted for a period of three (3) months from the contract signing date.


The following deliverables should be submitted to the Smart Africa Secretariat:

1) T0 + 1 week: Preliminary report including the methodology to be adopted by the Consultancy firm and the proposed timetable for the execution of the assignment with the dates of the deliverables;
2) T0 + 2 weeks: Benchmark report on the analysis of the African context for the establishment of a digital ID blueprint in the Smart Africa Alliance, including literature review of principles and guidelines developed by international organizations and a comparison of relevant initiatives on digital ID developed by other countries, both within and outside Africa;
3) T0 + 6 weeks: A draft digital ID blueprint, along with detailed PDRs for each of the three pilot project(s);
4) T0 + 12 weeks: A final digital ID blueprint, and final PDRs for each of the three pilot projects, reflecting feedback from the workshop and digital ID working group.

The Consultancy firm shall submit each report in five (5) paper copies and all working documents in soft copies, editable files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), in both French and English


A model will be used to evaluate all respondents and proposals submitted.
The financial proposal of only those firms will be opened which secure a minimum score of 70/100 in the technical evaluation.

- Budget and Financial Criteria
+ Budget Estimates: This project has a budget allocation of not more than $120,000 covering all related expenses.


A specific outline must be followed in order to facilitate the Smart Africa Secretariat’s review and evaluation of the responses received.

A response to this RFP must include the following sections in the order listed:

1. A cover letter confirming the firm’s interest to provide the services required

2. Technical proposal containing the following content:
● Executive summary
● Business experience/Profiles
● Approach and Methodology
● Work Plan / Schedule
● Mission team experience/profiles
● Updated Curriculum Vitae for the team and academic certificates requested
● Duly signed and stamped recommendation certificates/letter
● Company registration certificates and tax clearance

3. Financial Proposal containing the following tables;
● Summarised Total Cost VAT Inclusive (Value of tax indicated on final cost)
● Breakdown of remuneration package
● Breakdown of reimbursable expenses


Technical and financial proposals must be presented in separate envelopes each showing the nature of the offer concerned (technical or financial offer), the firm’s name and both put in a third anonymous envelope marked as follow: “021/S.A/RFP/09/2019: “Recruitment of Consultancy firm for the formulation of a digital ID Blueprint for the Smart Africa Secretariat”.

Well-printed proposals, properly bound and presented in two (2) copies, with one (1) in English and another French Version must be submitted in sealed envelopes not later than 10th January, 2020 at, 12:00 am local time (Kigali) prompt to the Director General Smart Africa Secretariat at the address on the cover page of this RFP: or they can send soft copies (separate emails, clearly marked) of both technical and financial proposals to :


This RFP does not obligate the Smart Africa Secretariat (SAS) to complete the RFP process. SAS reserves the right to amend any segment of the RFP prior to the announcement of a selected firm. SAS also reserves the right to remove one or more of the services from consideration for this contract should the evaluation show that it is in SAS’s best interest to do so. SAS also may, at its discretion, issue a separate contract for any service or groups of services included in this RFP. SAS may negotiate a compensation package and additional provisions to the contract awarded under this RFP.

Late proposals will be rejected.

The envelopes shall be opened on the same day in public session at 1:00 pm in the Smart Africa Secretariat conference room and interested bidders are invited to attend the bid opening session.

11. Validity

Proposals and quotes must remain valid for a period of 180 days after the date of closing noted above. After, the closing date and time, all proposals received by the Smart Africa Secretariat become its property.

12. Enquiries

Any enquiries will only be received and addressed 3 days or more prior to the bid submission deadline. Prospective respondents who may have questions regarding this RFP may submit their enquiries to