Expert Report: User Experiences by Governmental Agencies and Multi-government Organizations on Communication Toolboxes (PEN-CP-2020-ER3)

Background

Customs innovation networks like the Pan-European Network of Customs Practitioners (PEN-CP, H2020 project, years 2018-23, www.pen-cp.net) rely on efficient communications that allow customs experts from all around Europe to exchange information with one another. GoToMeeting, Webex, LinkedIn, and Whatsapp are examples of popular communication and networking tools and applications, with certain potential use in the frame of “European Customs cross-border communications”. However, no de facto solutions, neither single ones nor combinations of two or more, are known to be in wide use today.

This Expert Report is about analyzing user experiences on communication platforms and toolboxes that government agencies (customs, police, security etc.) as well as related European and international organizations (Europol, Interpol, World Customs Organization etc.) use today, particularly in the context of organizing international cross-organizational communications. The outcomes of the report will guide PEN-CP consortium in their planning towards future tools and platforms.

Goal for the Expert Report

The Expert Report should analyze user experiences that four government agencies and international governmental organizations have about communication platforms and tools:

  • Which features and functions are most useful?
  • What works technically well and what does not?
  • What/how to improve with these platforms and tools?

The outcomes of the Expert Report will be presented and discussed in a broader PEN-CP web-meeting once the report has been finalized.

As a reference, please use the “Features and functions relevant for the customs community” listed below; to be finetuned in (web)discussions between the selected Expert and action leaders from the PEN-CP consortium.

Features and functions relevant for the customs community

Based on a preliminary User requirement collection, carried out during Year 1 Annual Event of the PEN-CP network (November 2019), Customs administrations find the following features and functionalities useful for the future Communication tools and platforms:

  1. Videoconferencing
  2. Screen sharing
  3. Instant messaging
  4. Secure system compatible with several interfaces, i.e., computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc.
  5. Directory of users with basic information, such as the country and the area of expertise of the user.
  6. Collaborative editing of documents
  7. Possibility to create thematic groups where customs officers can join. In such a group, each person should receive notifications when a message is posted in the system. The notification settings should be customizable.
  8. Ability to tag a person or an organization, so that you particularly ask a question to someone and receive a direct response.
  9. Automated transcription, voice recognition, and translation of transcripts and documents.
  10. Calendar with all the events/calls of the groups as well as the notes and documents from the meeting.
  11. Link the system with virtual/augmented reality like Google Glasses.

Note: although the requirements listed above are not in a strict priority order, one can note that the requirements in the beginning of the list are more important than the last ones.

Tasks to be carried out

  • Get familiar with the first outcomes of the PEN-CP Expert Report 2 (Review on Communication Toolboxes Suitable for Government Agency Usage)
  • Agree with PEN-CP experts on minimum three organizations to carry interviews with – for example one multi-government organization (e.g. WCO or Interpol), one innovation-oriented practitioner network (e.g. iLEAD or iLEAnet), and one national agency (e.g. a customs or police agency)
  • Collect and analyze user experiences and expectations on tools and platforms these organizations use today, highlighting cross-organizational and international aspects, when available
  • Discuss study findings with PEN-CP experts
  • Compile all information into the final Expert report, and provide recommendations for PEN-CP

Report structure, length and language

  • Chapter 1. Analysis of user experiences on communication platforms and toolboxes, across the case organizations
  • Chapter 2. Recommendations for PEN-CP

 

Expert report is expected to be 15-20 pages, plus possible annexes.

 

The language for the report is English.

Applicants and application process 

You can apply either as a natural person or as a legal entity (registered company with a VAT ID). In case you are a team of two natural persons, please identify clearly who is the main contact person for contractual purposes. It is also important to note that the call is announced in public and is open for anyone knowledgeable on the topic to apply. We may also approach potential experts by email.

The application process consists of following three steps:

  • Step 1: Applicant expresses his/her interest by sending an email to pen-cp-arttic@eurtd.com
  • Step 2: Applicant receives credentials by email (from PEN-CP) enabling the proposal submission
  • Step 3: Applicant submits the proposal (both technical and cv -sections)

Documents to submit 

Submit the following documents as part of your proposal here:

Submit proposal

  1. Technical proposal (max 2 pages)
    • Describe the methodology you will use to achieve the goal for this project
    • State a list of planned activities, with a respective time frame (please plan for project duration of three months)
    • List the main risks/limitations you foresee with the assignment, with a mitigation plan
  2. CVs of 1-2 experts who will carry out the work, highlighting their past experiences working on similar topic(s).

Evaluation criteria and points (max 100 points in total)

  • Criteria 1: The quality of the methodology, project work and risk plan = max 60 points
  • Criteria 2: The relevant past experience of the 1-2 experts included in the proposal = max 40 points
  • Minimum threshold to be considered for selection: Criteria 1 = min 35 points; Criteria 2 = min 25 points

 

Evaluation and contract signing process

  • Step 1: Evaluation of all applications by scoring and ranking them.
  • Step 2: Selection of the applicant with the highest score and initiation of the contractual process.
  • Step 3: Communication with the non-selected applications of the evaluation results.
  • Step 4: Contracting with the selected applicant.
  • Step 5: Possibility to contact the unsuccessful applicant (if the contract cannot be closed with the selected applicant for appropriate reasons), to suggest contract negotiation (then follow with Step 4)

 

Dates, contacts and consulting fee

  • Call publication date: 29 September 2020
  • Deadline for proposal submission: 10 November 2020
  • Call results available (expected): 1 December 2020
  • Project start date: Latest on 15 January 2021
  • Project duration: Three months
  • Administrative contact person: Ms. Amrita Choudhary, ARTTIC; pen-cp-arttic@eurtd.com
  • Consulting fee: 5.900 EUR

 

Note: PEN-CP reserves rights to make updates on the dates listed above, in case no proposal reaches the minimum threshold