IT Platform for the Universal Energy Facility –Stand-alone Solar for Productive Use (SSPU) Programme

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IT Platform for the Universal Energy Facility –Stand-alone Solar for Productive Use (SSPU) Programme

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Job title
IT Platform for the Universal Energy Facility –Stand-alone Solar for Productive Use (SSPU) Programme

Sub-Saharan Africa
Type of job
consultancy contract

Language of description
Job description
Purpose of Work

2020 marked the start of the final decade to achieve SDG7 – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all – by 2030. The world is not on track and a renewed sense of urgency and new approaches are required.

Providing finance at the speed and scale needed to achieve SDG7 requires a paradigm shift towards results-based financing (RBF). RBF allows governments and donors to shift risk of delivery to the private sector, provides regulatory certainty to industry about financial support to be provided, aggregates financing and scales support across multiple countries.

The Universal Energy Facility (UEF) is a multi-donor RBF facility established to support the electrification of households, businesses, public institutions, and other potential electricity consumers in sub-Saharan Africa that do not have reliable access to modern electricity services. The UEF provides incentive payments (i.e., grants) on a ‘results-based’ approach to selected eligible organisations that develop and operate systems and provide verified electricity connections.

SEforALL, the UEF Programme Manager, established this facility in collaboration with a number of implementing partners. UEF’s Wave 1 (proof-of-concept pilot) was launched in 3 countries (Sierra Leone, Madagascar, and Benin) in sub-Saharan Africa, with the goal of delivering more than 14,000 electricity connections through mini-grid developments. The UEF is now embarking on the scale-up and expansion of the facility to support Stand-Alone Solar for Productive Use (SSPU).


The UEF is seeking services of an IT / software development company that can provide a secure, web-based digital platform to facilitate the UEF’s administrative processes, including application, tracking and verification, for the UEF window on Stand-Alone Solar for Productive Use. UEF seeks to build or attain a pre-existing- platform (the “platform”) that can provide a full-scale web-based service to aid its functions in providing electricity connections to households, businesses and other potential consumers through the development and operation of SSPU in eligible countries. The platform is expected to provide application administration but also includes project monitoring, remote connection verification and data aggregation. The UEF team is seeking to provide an efficient and user-friendly way for interested applicants to go through the different stages of the UEF process. The team seeks to develop several modules in the platform or customize pre-existing ones; that correspond to these different stages; providing a seamless and cohesive platform, with requirements explained in a summary below and in more detail under the Scope of Work (SoW).

The platform should deliver an efficient and visually pleasing interface for applicants to submit pre-qualification applications and site or country specific project applications, including providing an initial assessment of technical and financial proposals based on some pre-defined criterion. At the execution stage it should also enable Grantees to submit claims reports, view project status, payment status, and other details on their UEF award; and communicate with the UEF Programme Manager. The platform should also allow remote communication (using an API interface) and integration with the Grantee’s unique Customer Relationship Management/Pay-As-You-Go (CRM/PAYG) platform, and/or smart inverters installed as part of SSPU projects to allow for remote verification of installed and functioning electricity connections and enable remote monitoring of system quality and performance. Finally, the Platform must also provide a data aggregation function to enable stakeholders such as Applicants, Grantees, UEF donors among others to view anonymized, aggregated UEF key performance indicator data, including certain financial, technical, and customer information required for key stakeholders to understand the UEF’s operations.

The platform provider (the “supplier”) is expected to design, develop and/or customize the platform(s) as per the following scope of work. The UEF also has a Mini-Grid (MG) platform based on the same framework. It is the supplier’s responsibility to ensure a seamless integration of the SSPU platform with the UEF MG platform to ensure easy flow of information.

Scope of Work

The SSPU Platform shall have the following modules common:

Configurable and secure “UEF” portal within the platform, including a customized and unique landing page to provide programme information.

The Platform should be able to self-generate programme reports for KPIs, as agreed with the UEF. This includes maintaining records for the UEF for at least 5 years post connection verification. To supplement this, a web hosting plan should be shared; if applicable

The platform shall deliver to three core target users; 1) Applicants interested in UEF funding (“UEF Applicants’’), 2) Grantees qualified for the UEF programme (“UEF Grantees’’), and 3) UEF admin (includes platform administrators, UEF Programme Manager, and UEF governance board/ Investment Committee, among other users as advised)

UEF Applicants - Prequalification module requirements:

A “pre-qualification” module to facilitate submission, tracking and checklist verification of pre-qualification documentation.

Custom web-based forms, templates, and document checklists for the “pre-qualification” stage.

A customizable data room for providing participants documents and automated notifications for document additions, and registration forms.

UEF Admin - Call for applications module:

Customized project (deployment-specific) application modules to facilitate UEF applicants’ submission of information and documents to the Programme Manager on a rolling basis. This will include a “call for applications” email announcement to facilitate submission of project applications, tracking and checklist verification of required document and individual scoring of applications against set criteria.

Custom web-based forms, templates, and document checklists for the “call for applications” stage.

Tracking of submitted applications, and automatic notifications with status changes.

A portfolio-level module that enables each UEF applicant to group their individual project (deployment-specific) applications into a portfolio of projects.

Applicant/ UEF Admin – Technical and Financial Tools/Module

Customized SSPU system sizing tool, to facilitate the input of component-based solar systems and to calculate and validate the electrical power capacity of the inputted components of the SSPU system

Customized cost benchmarking tool, to facilitate the input of the various costs of the component-based solar systems and enables the validation against a pre-determined cost benchmark

Customized financial model tool, to facilitate the input of the total investment costs and revenue of the project for each Grantee

UEF Admin – Communication Module

Online messaging between Programme Manager and Platform administrators to track project stage and other messages.

Online messaging and application approvals within the platform from UEF Governing Board / Investment Committee members.

Develop functionality that displays information to UEF Governing Board/ IC members in a checklist format to inform them of the eligibility and status of each application before each approval.

‘Permission’ systems by programme administrators to invite accounts to access the programme.

UEF Admin – Data tracking and visualization Module

Ongoing tracking of key performance indicators of the UEF, with internal and public-facing dashboards.

Grantee/ UEF Admin – Connections and Claims’ Module:

A “connections” module to allow:

Receiving uploads from deployments and connections, automatically checking for completion (i.e., all required information is provided) and for duplication and accuracy before uploads are accepted.

for remote verification of submitted deployments and connections based on pre-defined SSPU system capacity and consumption criteria via API connections to Grantee’s CRM/PAYG platform and/or smart inverters.

automatic generation of random sample of deployments and connections for purposes of verification, if possible.

Allow for linking the data from the UEF’s existing data collection app to the IT platform via API; a module as above to allow for pre-defined standardized CSV uploads (where API integration may not be available).

A “claims” module on the Programme Manager and/or Fund Manager’s side to review submitted claims, track verification of deployments and connections and approve disbursements.

The SSPU platform must be able to integrate seamlessly with the UEF existing MG platform to ensure easy flow of information between the two and allow for a consolidated UEF overall platform.

Further details and application:
Application deadline

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