Request for Proposals – Consultant – ePhyto developer

The Alliance is looking for an IT firm to support implementation of the IPPC ePhyto solution in Colombia.

Request for Proposals – Consultant – ePhyto developer

Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation / Center for International Private Enterprise


1. Background

The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (the Alliance) is a public-private partnership for trade-led growth, supporting governments in developing and least-developed countries in implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. Alliance projects cut through red tape and end costly delays at borders by bringing together governments and businesses of all sizes as equal partners to deliver targeted trade reforms.

The Alliance is led by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), the International Chamber of Commerce, and the World Economic Forum, in cooperation with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). It is funded by the governments of the United States, Canada, Germany, and Denmark.

On behalf of the Alliance, CIPE is in the process of implementing a project to modernise the Colombian Institute of Agriculture and Livestock (ICA) and streamline the import and export process of goods under its purview by the implementation of “ePhyto”, which is a solution that allows government agencies to electronically exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates through a central hub, quickly, accurately and at low cost. This will help ICA connect to the International Plan Protection Convention (IPPC) hub using its own national system and seamlessly issue, modify and exchange e-Phytosanitary certificates with other National Plant Protection Organizations worldwide.

ICA has made efforts on an ad hoc basis to exchange ePhytos with the Pacific Alliance countries and the Netherlands. Most recently, in December 2020, ICA carried out an ePhyto exchange test with Argentina which highlighted the agency’s needs to meet the standards required by the IPPC. The agency lacks the technology and resources to improve its own national system to be able to exchange certificates with the approximately 120 countries connected to the IPPC hub, including Colombia’s major trade partners such as the United States of America and the European Union.

ICA issues most of the phytosanitary certificates in hard copy and transfers them between importers/exporters and government agencies by post or courier. These exchanges can take up to 10 days depending on the country of origin and are prone to errors, loss, theft, and counterfeiting. The lack of a standardised and efficient ePhyto system in line with IPPC standards may cause serious delays in completing import/export process and may result in spoiled goods, additional demurrage charges, and frustrated customers and governments. Online applications are not available, and verification of certificates from importing countries is difficult and time-consuming.


2. Objective

The overall objective of the project is to reduce the time and cost to import and export agricultural and livestock products under ICA’s purview by strengthening ICA´s ePhyto solution within ICA´s platform SISPAP* , a health information system for the import and export of agricultural and livestock products.


3. Scope of work

To support the implementation of the project, CIPE wishes to contract for the services of an IT software company that will work closely with the Project Team, ICA, the ePhyto specialist and other relevant stakeholders to implement the ePhyto solution. To have a more robust system able to issue and exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates, the solution should be implemented according to the prioritised recommendations established in the Project’s “TO BE Report”.

The IT software company is expected to engage all project stakeholders actively and continuously to:

  • Identify gaps and challenges and recommend specific and sustainable IT solutions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of ICA’s ePhyto solution.
  • Develop new standard operating procedures to facilitate the adoption of the ePhyto solution.
  • Conduct the necessary training and awareness sessions with key ICA officials about the ePhyto solution.
  • Liaise with ICA officials to identify any concerns they might have about the implementation of the ePhyto strategy and propose mitigation actions accordingly.
  • Conduct the necessary workshops and awareness sessions with ICA and the private sector about the ePhyto solution according to project team requests.


  • Based on the prioritised recommendations established in the Project´s TO BE Report and SISPAP software architecture, propose a detailed IT workplan for the implementation of the IT solution.
  • Implement and deploy the software ePhyto solution according to the approved IT workplan.
  • Develop standard operating procedures and user manuals for the proper maintenance and use of the ePhyto solution.
  • Undertake the necessary training of ICA key personnel on the ePhyto solution.
  • Produce monthly progress reports summarising all activities conducted during the reporting period and objectives for the following month.
  • Conduct all the necessary workshops and awareness sessions with ICA and the private sector involved in the project in coordination with the project team about the ePhyto solution.
  • Develop a final post implementation report including, but not limited to, the activities performed, an analysis of the effectiveness, efficiency, performance, and utilization rate of the ePhyto solution, as well as lessons learned and recommendations to improve the solutions performance. The report should be in Spanish and in English.


4. Selection criteria and characteristics

Proposals will be evaluated based on a combination of Quality (70%) and Cost (30%).

The estimated duration of the assignment is 8 months maximum (including the testing period). It is desirable for the ePhyto software developer to be based in Bogotá, Colombia. Services will be provided in Bogotá, Colombia and they should provide their own laptops.

Quality evaluation of the proposals will be based on the qualifications and experience of the company.

Cost evaluation will be as follows: The lowest compliant financial proposal (FP) is given the maximum financial score (FS) of 30. The formula for determining the financial scores of all other proposals is:
FS = 30 x (FP/F)

In which “FS” is the financial score, “FP” is the lowest price, and “F” the price of the proposal under consideration.


5. Public official disclosures

Proposals should disclose whether any owner, senior officer or manager, or key employee of the provider is a public official or related by blood or marriage up to second-degree to a public official. “Public official” includes, a person holding a legislative, administrative, military, or judicial office for any country, an employee of a government-owned or controlled enterprise, an official of a public international organisation and/or an official of a political party.

The fact that a public official is employed by or associated with an applicant will not disqualify a company from consideration, however no proposal will be considered unless it includes this information.


6. Application 

Candidates are requested to submit a response by February 16, 2023 to and, Senior Program Officer, Trade Team with the subject line “ePhyto developer”. ICA and relevant stakeholders will provide conference rooms and meeting spaces throughout the duration of the assignment.
Submissions should include:

  • A detailed technical proposal outlining how deliverables will be completed
  • A detailed financial proposal (max 5 pages) that breaks down all relevant budget categories into the lowest unit possible.
  • All documents are submitted in English and the financial proposal must be inclusive of all taxes, fees.
  • Team developers CV in English

We invite you to participate in the open Q&A session related to the Request for Proposals that will take place on Monday, February 6th at 3:00 p.m. Bogotá Time. Please click on this link to join the meeting by Teams.


Required Skills and Experience:


  • University degree in information technology, engineering or similar. A master’s degree in relevant areas with consulting such as systems engineering, data technology, statistics or mathematics is desirable.

Professional Experience

  • Professional experience of at least 8 years in new technologies including, but not limited to: Information and data architecture, systems integration and interoperability, data management, data science, digital transformation, digitalisation and optimisation of business processes, project management of information systems and / or data, in the public or private sector.
  • Strong working knowledge of IT systems and experience conducting business process reengineering activities.
  • Solid working knowledge of IT systems and experience in performing process re-engineering activities, such as: hardware infrastructure, platforms, and software integration in languages such as. PHP, .Net, Python and SQL Databases, MySQL, Maria DB and Oracle, Azure Cloud computing, big data analytics, predictive business intelligence and analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, business intelligence and data analytics, scrum methodology.
  • We consider prior technical experience working with government agencies in Colombia as an advantage.

Other knowledge and skills:

  • Excellent proven oral and writing skills in Spanish and desirable in English, with excellent analysis and synthesis skills;
  • Knowledge of the country context, development issues, trade practice and challenges;
  • Authorisation to legally work in Colombia and the ability to travel within Colombia;
  • Proactive, self-starter with strong attention to detail.
  • Flexible and adaptable to changing environments.


7. Payment breakdown

The total value of the assignment will be paid to the consultant in four tracts, corresponding to the following deliverables:

  • Completion and approval of the work plan: 10%
  • Deploying the approved and functional software e-Phyto solution: 60%
  • Standard operating procedures and user manuals: 15%
  • Final post implementation report: 15%

Candidates are advised that payment to the selected Consutant will be made upon receipt and approval of the deliverables, in accordance with an approved schedule, by the CIPE Officer overseeing the Project. Invoices must be accompanied by a properly prepared invoice in compliance with CIPE’s instructions and requirements.


*SISPAP is a WEB application with three layers, it is developed with the .NET framework 4.5 C#; the database currently used is Oracle 11g. In Production it is running on a server with Windows Server R2, 2012 Standard operating system. 64 bit and the application platform is Windows IIS. The production environment is located in a Tier 3 outsourced Datacenter. Additionally, SISPAP complies with the use of the standard interoperability protocol of the Republic of Colombia (XROAD).