Vacancies

Consultant Firm for Mobile App Development - SpiceUp Project

The SpiceUp team, through Verstegen and ICCO Cooperation, is seeking the services of a professional mobile app developer/designer to support us in the design and development of the app.

Background and scope

Pepper is a smallholder estate crop and a labor-intensive commodity that is mainly cultivated in Lampung for black pepper, and Bangka Belitung and Kalimantan for white pepper. Pepper is also cultivated in Sulawesi, Java and other areas in Sumatra. In the past, Indonesia was the leading producer and exporter of black and white pepper in the world; however, in recent years, Indonesia has lost its leading position to Vietnam. Many factors have contributed to the decline in production. For example, instability of price, climate change and pepper farmer’s lack of knowledge on Good Agricultural Practices, resulting in low productivity, plant diseases, lack of quality seeds and difficulties with water supply.

SpiceUp was developed in response to tackling these problems, by providing a platform where pepper farmers can be educated on these issues, so as to ensure they can gain a sustainable income from pepper farming. The SpiceUp project will implement a financially sustainable information service that supports 100,000 pepper farmers in Indonesia to increase their production, income, food security and to optimize their inputs of water, fertilizers and pesticides. The project will be targeting two specific groups: pepper farmers and Business-to-Business (B2B) clients in three locations: Lampung, Bangka Belitung and Kalimantan. Five services will be provided via our channels, including mobile App and SMS, including:

  • Water Management Advice
  • Fertilizer Advice
  • Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
  • Sustainability Tracing System
  • Pests and diseases

What makes SpiceUp unique is the combination of its use of satellite data together with data collected from the field. Funded by the Netherlands Space Office, the project is made of a consortium of eight public and private partners including: Verstegen Spices & Sauces BV (lead), ICCO Cooperation, Nelen & Schuurmans (N&S), VanderSat, Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB), Akvo, PT. Cinquer Agro Nusantara (PT CAN), and Balittro. 

SpiceUp wants to develop a smartphone app to provide these information services to pepper farmers in Indonesia, as part of our strategies. Access to these information services by farmers aims to improve both the quantity and quality of the pepper produced. At the same time, information gathered through the app should feedback into the SpiceUp platform to supplement the existing data in the platform.

The SpiceUp team, through Verstegen and ICCO Cooperation, is seeking the services of a professional mobile app developer/designer to support us in the design and development of the app. The company we are looking for should have a track record of success in designing and producing digital solutions, and who will be able to assist us in presenting SpiceUp in an innovative, modern, organized attractive and user-friendly manner.

Technical context

The SpiceUp smartphone app needs to be developed as a stand-alone application but will need to connect to the existing SpiceUp geodata platform. This geodata platform consists of the ‘Lizard’ product provided by Nelen & Schuurmans. All the SpiceUp data from the various partners is integrated in this Lizard platform.

The core of the Lizard platform is the ‘back-end’, a cloud environment consisting of databases, processing tools and an API, see figure below. Three databases contain all the SpiceUp data, such as satellite images, farmer profiles and weather forecasts. On top of these databases there is a processing layer that allows to do data analyses or make model calculations.

The mobile app developer will need to connect to the API of the Lizard platform to retrieve the required services as described above. Lizard has a standardized REST API that allows convenient access to all data and features of the platform. Nelen & Schuurmans provides a desktop web-portal to connect to this API to utilize some of the features of the platform. Technical documentation on the Lizard REST API can be found at:  https://spiceup.lizard.net/doc/api.html

  structure of dataflow in SpiceUp project
Figure 1: structure of dataflow in SpiceUp project

Role and responsibilities

  • Design and build advanced geospatial applications for the Android/iOS platform 
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to define, design, and finalize new features 
  • Ensure the performance, quality, and responsiveness of applications 
  • Connect with the Lizard API to retrieve live operational data per farmer location (GPS). For documentation, see https://spiceup.lizard.net/doc/api.html
  • Work with static data sources outside the Lizard API (e.g. GAP service)
  • Unit-test code for robustness, including edge cases, usability, and general reliability 
  • Work on bug fixing and improving application performance 
  • Continuously discover, evaluate, and implement new technologies to maximize development efficiency 
  • Coordinate with various teams to ensure all development tasks meet quality criteria. 
  • Work closely on the deadlines of the project 
  • Keep raising the bar and standards of all the quality processes with every project. 
  • The codebase should be opensource and maintained on github . All issues should be logged against the repo to provide better overview of pending tasks
  • All major features need to have a high level design document and mockups. This needs to be presented to the technical team and implemented only after approval .

Skills and qualifications

  • Reputable firm with at least 5 years of prior experience designing visually appealing and navigation friendly mobile applications (need to be able to show references);
  • Proven software development experience and Android/iOS skills development 
  • Proven working experience in Android/iOS app development and have published at least five original Android/iOS app 
  • Experience with third-party libraries and APIs 
  • Vast knowledge of the general mobile landscape, architectures, trends, and emerging technologies 
  • Solid understanding of the full mobile development life cycle 
  • Experience in Mobile Application design, development & deployment 
  • Experience in hybrid mobile app development for iOS and Android platforms using HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, JQuery mobile, XCode, Appcelerator/Titanium, 
  • Alloy framework, Eclipse, iOS SDK and Android SDK. 
  • Should have hands-on experience in all stages of Mobile app life cycle - concept, design, build, deploy, test, release to app stores and support 
  • Experience in implementing Web Applications and Web Services in .NET/Java technologies is a plus. 
  • Experience on web service integration (SOAP, REST, JSON, XML) 
  • Experience with at least one of the latest JavaScript frameworks like Xamarin, Angular JS, React JS, Ionic 2/3 and Cordova 
  • Has good team of UX design and mobile app developer who has strong sense in designing good user interface and easy to navigate mobile app

Tasks

  • The chosen company will participate in a debriefing session with the SpiceUp team to understand the overall project and expectations.
  • Based on the debriefing session and this TOR, the company will develop a design concept for the App. 
  • The company will adjust the concept based on feedback and comments from the SpiceUp team.
  • The company will develop the visual concept and language for the App, including the different components as outlined in the TOR and adjusting it based on feedback/comments.
  • Integrated different inputs/parameter from partners for different services within the app
  • Create Beta version of the App for further review
  • Integration and final approval by SpiceUp team.
  • Test app before going live/launch.

Terms of employment

  • The company will develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in six months, for which the above tasks will be executed.
  • The total duration of the contract will be 6 months (until October 2019) with the expected start date of 01 May 2019.
  • After successful completion of the MVP, we aim to continue working with the Company until April 2021 in further expansion and improvement of the app.
  • The Beta version of App should be available within three months from the date of signing and App should be ready for launch within six months after the date of signing the contract. 
  • A user manual should be available during the launching of the app
  • A debriefing call will be scheduled with the company to brief them on the background information to develop the requested deliverables.
  • The company will work in close consultation with the SpiceUp Program Manager(s) and the technical team within SpiceUp. They will follow up on the design process and answer any questions related to the content, services, data integration, etc. They will also conduct the assessment of the services and outputs of the company.

Technical questions

  • This request of bidding requires the company to submit the technical proposal in their bid
  • Technical proposal should address some of these issues:
    • Propose global technical design of the app
    • Propose concept of user interface and graphic design of the app, for easy navigation by app users (mostly farmers)
    • Propose concept of SpiceUp services interface
  • Water Management Advice
  • Fertilizer Advice
  • Good Agricultural Practices
  • Sustainability Tracing System
  • The company should be to provide technical expertise in both IT person (app developers) and creative UX designer, to make sure that the app developed is fully functioning and at the same time has good graphic quality in term of user interface and easy navigation throughout the app features.

Application procedure & Required documents

Interested applicants are required to submit the following documents with their proposal:

  • Letter of interest highlighting qualifications for assignment;
  • Technical proposal addressing the above technical questions
  • Financial proposal, proposed team member, budget requirement for app development, and budget requirement for app improvement and maintenance.
  • Portfolio of previous work; preferably highlighting examples of published mobile Apps
  • CVs of involved team highlighting relevant past experiences.

Please submit your proposals via email to Fakhrurrazi (f.razi@icco.nl), and Evert Jan Verschuren (everschuren@verstegen.nl) with the subject line: “SpiceUp Mobile App Development” latest by 19 April 2019, 17.00 WIB and (tentative) start date: 12 May 2019

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