This is part two of my posting on Helpdesks. The countries in which the
IDRC will initially be looking to contract Helpdesk support in are Benin,
Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda , and
Here follows the HelpDesk contract model. Questions or comments on the
below are very welcome as is anyone's interest in becoming a HelpDesk
partner. Please pass these two postings on to anyone you feel may be
interested. Potential HelpDesk partners could range from individuals to
ISP`s to computing centres in research institutions to anyone or any
institution capable of and interested in providing this kind of service.
Terms of Reference
1) Connectivity Status Monitoring
Each client identified in the contract must be contacted at least once per
month throughout the contract period. The contact will establish whether
the client is experiencing:
a) problems sending or receiving Email;
b) problems encoding or decoding attachments;or
c) problems accessing information via the Internet.
Client contact will be logged in the spreadsheet supplied. Problems
identified through this process will be addressed in Section 2
(Connectivity Problem Resolution). The preferred medium for status
monitoring is via Email, with a follow-up by telephone in the event of
bounced messages or no reply within 5 days.
2) Connectivity Problem Resolution
The Helpdesk will resolve client connectivity problems either by telephone
or in person. During the period of this contract the helpdesk will
allocate support time against the block of support indicated in this
contract. This contract defines support in terms 'support units' where 1
support unit is equal to 30 minutes of telephone support or 15 minutes of
onsite support. Travel time to and from the client site will be included
in the support time.
The Helpdesk is contracted for [2000 for example] support units during the
period of [start date] to [end date]. This contract defines the value of
one support unit to be [amount].
Onsite support visits of over three hours in duration will require a
signature from the client confirming work performed. All support calls and
visits must be logged in the spreadsheet provided with a one or two line
explanation of the nature of the support provided.
During the contract period (six months), the Helpdesk will carry out two
one-day or one two-day Email and/or Internet related training workshops for
up to two representatives from each client organisation. In delivering the
training, the Helpdesk is required to (i) conduct an informal survey of
each client to determine training needs; and (ii) assess -- on the basis of
monthly connectivity status monitoring, common problems encountered by
clients, and frequently asked questions -- training needs appropriate to
the needs and skill levels of the Helpdesk clients.
The training will be paid for at a fixed rate of [amount] per trainee per
The Helpdesk will submit monthly a copy of the "Status Monitoring
The Helpdesk will submit monthly a copy of the "Connecitivity Problem
A report for each training workshop must be submitted containing the
i) List of Participants
ii) Course Outline
iii) User Evaluation (supplied with the Internet training materials we
c) Final Report
i) Client Evaluation
At the end of the contract the Helpdesk must submit completed client
evaluation forms from each of
their clients. The evaluation forms will be supplied by the contractor and
will be used as a basis for improving the quality of the relationship
between contractor and Helpdesk; and between Helpdesk and client.
Evaluation of the Helpdesk by the clients may impact on Helpdesk contract
ii) Helpdesk Report
The Helpdesk will submit a short final report which will contain a summary
of the monthly contact and problem resolution spreadsheets and an analysis
of the effectivenes of the Helpdesk and recommendations for its
5) Additional support and / or training
Helpdesks are invited to propose on behalf of their clients, additional
support mechanisms and/or training.
The Bidding Process
All HelpDesk contracts are six months in duration. Contract renewal will
be dependent on both need and approval of Helpdesk recipients. All parties
interested in participating in the HelpDesk process must provide the
following information to the contracting agency:
1) A brief description of their organisation and a description of their
experience in providing IT support and/or a URL pointing to a website
containing that information.
2) Two references from people or organisations to whom support has been
provided in the last two years. References should include an email contact.
3) A breakdown of costs including:
a) Connectivity Status Monitoring - a flat fee per organisation monitored
for the six-month period
b) Connectivity Problem Resolution - a cost per support unit based on the
explanation of support units above.
c) Training - a cost per trainee per day based on the training outline
Steve Song <[log in to unmask]>
Unganisha (Connectivity) Project <http://www.idrc.ca/unganisha>
International Development Research Centre
P.O. Box 8500, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1G 3H9
Tel. +1 613 236 6163 x2268 Fax +1 613 567 7748