IT in Bosnia Herzegovina

Update 24 February: The expert search has successfully ended. More later …

Edna Karadza is the Coordinator of the IT review team in an EC funded project tasked with system review of public administration institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has asked me to help finding a qualified person who can help her on the project. Below, I’m posting the terms of reference for such person. If you’re looking for 60 days of hard but probably also extremely interesting – and important – work, and have the requested qualifications, read on.

Edna’s team is tasked with carrying out an assessment (System Review) of the use of information and communication technologies in public administrations in Bosnia and Herzegovina at all levels, with recommendations for possible improvements.

Although I personally don’t know much about public administration in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I know they recently introduced 2.5 million citizen ID cards containing biometric data, so even though they only rank as number 85 in the world in e-government, they do things few others do.

Via OECD, I found the EU/OECD SIGMA programme (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management), which I ought to know, but didn’t until now. From the SIGMA assessment 2002:

BiH: the administrative structure is extremely fragmented; the new legal framework is not compatible across the entities: some parts have introduced common law models to organise the economy, while others have chosen continental models. The Dayton agreement has created severe administrative problems: a proliferation of Prime ministers and different legal frameworks, not only at State and Entity level but also in each canton. These problems will need to be urgently addressed.

Edna writes:

The system review is limited to five horizontal functions common to all governmental institutions, one of which is the IT. They are currently at the beginning of the project and looking for an international expert who would be able to convey best practices in methodology and development of the government information system and eServices (ideally someone who already did something similar for an accession country).

Terms of Reference

POSITION International Short Term Expert in Information Technologies

The expert is intended to work as part of a 5-member Team comprising one Long-term Local Expert from the project (Team Coordinator) and three public employees with recognized expertise in the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) to public administration, seconded on a part-time bases by the project stakeholders (the governments of BiH, the Federation of BiH, and the Republika Srpska). The Team is tasked with carrying out an assessment (System Review) of the use of information and communication technologies in public administrations in Bosnia and Herzegovina at all levels, with recommendations for possible improvements. Within the team, the task of the International Short-term expert shall focus on conveying best European practices on the topic, throughout the assessment exercise.

Output required from the Expert shall consist of (1) a presentation on best European practices in the realm of the use of ICT in public administrations, as the Expert�s initial contribution to the creation of the Team�s assessment criteria; (2) interim reports concerning the Expert�s assessment of individual administrations visited by the Team; (3) a final report concerning the Expert�s findings from the overall System Review, with recommendations. Participation to the Team�s discussions and on-site visits is also expected.

A maximum of 60 working days, divided into missions of the duration of 5 to 10 working days each, during the 12 months of project implementation. The assignment may be split between no more than two experts, at least one of which should strictly match the below listed requirements. In such a case, work by the two experts should be closely coordinated.

The ideal candidates for the position should satisfy the following requirements:

  • A degree in informatics or related discipline, preferably with an additional postgraduate specialization at the MA or PhD level. Additional training and professional updating related to IT applications in public administration is an advantage;
  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience, at least 5 of which with meaningful ICT management responsibilities, and including at least 2 years as:
    • a manager in an central office for ICTs in the public administration; or
    • a manager responsible for the ICTs department of a line ministry or other large administration; or
    • a full professor of informatics and public administration, with a meaningful record in IT development and applications for public administrations; or
    • an external consultant with full-time, high-level involvement in large national programs for ICT in Public Administration or national e-government strategies in one of the EU member states.

    The specific topics on which we are seeking expertise include: national ICT strategies for the Public Administration; institutional arrangements for ICT management, including both central agencies and shared control models; national e-Government strategy in line with eEurope 2002 objectives and interoperability needs; workflow systems and back office processes; government information management systems and databases, including their compatibility, and data protection aspects; centralized and decentralized procurement of ICT equipment as well as the financing and management of large ICT projects for public administrations; ICT status monitoring tools and audit. Specific working experience with the formulation and implementation of national ICT strategies for the public sector is an advantage;

  • Previous relevant experience in Central and Eastern Europe or the Western Balkans. Previous involvement in BiH is an advantage;
  • Capacity to use English as a working language, both in interviews and for the drafting of reports. Knowledge of any of the local languages of BiH is an advantage;
  • Capacity to easily adapt to varying circumstances, and to work as part of a multi-national team.

In consideration of the fact that access by the BiH public to the Internet is at the moment very limited, experts with expertise focusing on ICT applications within the administration will be considered before those with prevalent experience on service delivery (e-government) issues. Also, candidates with a record of strategizing within social contexts of limited computer literacy are considered to bear an advantage.

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1 Comment.

  • John goes to Sarajevo

    A few weeks ago, Edna contacted me. She needed help finding an International Short Term Expert in Information Technologies, who could help her do an assessment (System Review) of the use of information and communication technologies in public administr…

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