Request for proposals (RFP)
Opening date: 30 January 2020
Closing date: 26 Feb 2020 23:59 GMT
Submission: Proposals should be sent to Joshua@isealalliance.org by the closing date with the subject line “online community platform application”. Applicants should be prepared to start work in early March 2020.
ISEAL is the global membership organisation for ambitious, collaborative and transparent sustainability systems. We support and challenge our members to continually improve their impact for the benefit of people and planet.
ISEAL’s headquarters are in London with a global membership base. Our members are voluntary standards and similar sustainability systems that meet our Codes of Good Practice and promote measurable change through open, rigorous and accessible systems. They include Fairtrade International, Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council, Better Cotton Initiative, Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials and many others.
ISEAL’s online community platform is a dynamic hub of resources, news, events, jobs and trends for professionals who work in the sustainability standards, accreditation and certification sectors. It contains hundreds of in-depth reports, articles, webinars, expert interviews, sustainability news and events, and technical resources.
The platform is intended to be a one-stop-shop for users to learn about our sector’s latest news and trends and liaise with other like-minded experts working in credible standards. The platform serves two main customer groups with different access levels: (1) ISEAL members and (2) subscribers who have a more limited access to resources.
ISEAL’s current community platform is built on Drupal 6; additionally, ISEAL uses Salesforce as its CRM system, which is currently not integrated.
In December 2019, on behalf of ISEAL, independent consultants conducted interviews with a representation of the platform users – including ISEAL staff, members and subscribers. Although most users expressed basic satisfaction with the website, they also fed back a number of key challenges.
These have informed the following objectives for the new online community platform:
Platform design to include an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, which allows different user groups (e.g., platform administrators, ISEAL staff, full members, subscribers) to complete tasks easily and quickly. More specifically the platform should:
The contractor should build the platform according to proven and accepted website development standards, whilst maintaining flexibility so the site can expand and new functionalities can be included over time at minimal cost. Solutions should be easy to maintain for ISEAL’s administrators and non-technical content creators, allowing ISEAL to streamline its business operations and increase productivity. Current systems used by ISEAL where greater integration with the community site is desirable include Salesforce and Mailchimp. In addition, the community platform should be able to reference resources currently hosted on its public site. ISEAL has been reviewing the information architecture of its public website, which is hosted on Drupal 8, focusing on an updated taxonomy for resource metadata. This taxonomy can serve as a model for resources referenced or stored on the community platform.
ISEAL intends the new online community platform to be more modern, including the pages, database of resources and associated tools. In addition, ISEAL intends to expand the platform’s functionality (including tools for community engagement and built-in analytics) and wishes to enhance the user experience and opportunities for knowledge exchange of its existing user member Working Groups and Communities of Practice.
ISEAL is seeking a technology contractor to design and implement, as well as to provide strategic recommendations for ISEAL in-house maintenance of the platform’s technology components and for optimal, ongoing operation of the platform.
Collaborative effort: The design of the online community platform will be developed through a cooperation between ISEAL and the technical contractor and will be facilitated by a project manager employed by the contractor.
Initial design guidelines and client engagement approach: The contractor should employ a data-driven design process to gather comprehensive information for online community platform development. The techniques should include succinct summaries of the best practices of usability and user experience and the proposal should indicate or outline how and when they intend to engage with ISEAL.
Strategy for in-house maintenance of the platform: This should include estimates of the amount of time that will be needed for ISEAL to maintain the site, taking into consideration that non-technical ISEAL staff must be able to update and use the site. It will also need to be easy to train new staff to use the site.
ISEAL envisages an iterative project delivery approach with clearly marked milestones, with delivery of a pilot-ready platform by early June 2020 and the platform ready for public launch by early August. Applicants should outline the timeline and steps needed to deliver the platform’s key objectives and scope of work.
The project budget for the online community platform development services is £30,000 GBP. Based upon the responses to the RFP received and other considerations, ISEAL may modify the scope of work to best meet the RFP objectives and proposed budget allocation.
ISEAL will evaluate respondents based on the following criteria:
Successful respondents will be able to demonstrate experience and expertise in the following areas:
Please submit a proposal that includes:
As stated, ISEAL expects to start this project immediately after the contract has been signed, expected in early March 2020.
Short listed candidates may be contacted for an interview as part of the selection process.
ISEAL reserves the right not to accept any proposal submitted.