Summary Information

·        Department: Advocacy & Themes

·        Location(s): Flexible

·        Commitment: One year (approx.) initial engagement. Vendor is requested to specify the estimated level of effort required to deliver the specified services.

·        Desired start date and duration: Start in December 2021 for initial engagement through the end of December 2022. Subsequent multi-year engagement is possible, contingent upon superior performance and continued funding availability.

·        Under direction of: Communications Manager, Accountability Framework initiative


Consultancy Summary

About the Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Alliance, a New York-based 501(c)3, and UTZ, an Amsterdam-based foundation, merged in 2018. Together, the new Rainforest Alliance is now a $70 million per year organization with offices in 17 countries (and growing) and over 500 staff. The merged organization has two main offices—one in Amsterdam and one in New York City.


The Rainforest Alliance is creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities.


We work towards making responsible business the new normal through our certification program, tailored supply chain services, landscape and community work and advocacy.


About the Accountability Framework initiative

The Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) is a collaborative effort, led by a diverse group of 25 NGOs from around the world, to bring about a “new normal” of ethical supply chains that are protective of forests, other natural ecosystems, and human rights. The initiative does this by promoting and supporting the application of the Accountability Framework by companies that produce, trade, or purchase agricultural and forestry commodities and by other key enablers such as governments and sustainability standards and tools. Rainforest Alliance leads the secretariat (“Backbone Team”) for this initiative, providing strategy development, technical support, communications, coordination, and administration to support the work of the AFi’s coalition around the world. For more information, please visit: https://accountability-framework.org.


Overview

Rainforest Alliance seeks proposals from experienced web developers to upgrade and maintain the Accountability Framework initiative’s online platform (website). This includes two components: 1) design and build a refreshed website; and 2) maintain the website and support the AFi team to implement periodic revisions and upgrades.


Relationship between this RFP other concurrently issued RFP: The website refresh process will be conducted in tandem with a brand refresh process such that the new website implements the AFi’s refreshed visual identity to help the initiative better engage with its target audiences. The brand refresh service is being solicited via a separate, concurrently issued RFP for a brand designer. We welcome proposals responding only to this RFP, as well as proposals addressing both RFPs in an integrated manner. For integrated proposals, please be sure to specify the approach to and team member roles for each component and each phase of the requested services. Please also provide a full price for the integrated service as well as a breakdown of cost for the portion associated with each RFP.


Main Objectives

The project has two objectives:

1)   Design and build a refreshed website, including a refreshed front end and, as necessary, improvements to or reconfiguration of the current Wordpress-based back end. This component will take place from December 2021 to April 2022 and should be coordinated closely with the brand designer to ensure that wireframes, visual identity, and other design elements are fully congruent with the refreshed brand framework.

2)   Beginning from the date of launch, maintain (and troubleshoot as needed) the refreshed website and support the AFi team to implement periodic revisions and upgrades.


Requested Services and Deliverables

Specific services and deliverables are elaborated for each of the two project objectives.

 

Website refresh:

·        Review the AFi’s existing website, baseline brand framework, and a recent communications audit conducted by a communications consultant to understand the existing condition and opportunities for improvement.

·        Facilitate the development of a revised information architecture with the AFi Backbone Team, building from the specifications developed by the AFi Backbone Team at the beginning of the project.

o   Interim deliverable: revised IA

·        Through iterative prototyping, design, and development in consultation with the AFi team, build a refreshed website that:

o   supports AFi’s objectives of promoting application of the Accountability Framework, engaging more widely and deeply with our target audiences, and building broader awareness of ethical supply chains and how to achieve them

o   implements the refreshed AFi brand (developed by a brand designer; see “Overview” section above); this includes creating a stronger intuitive and visceral sense of the Framework’s value to its target user groups, and benefits for those that have applied it, and adding an appropriate level of emotional appeal alongside the ‘rational brain’ focus of the current website

o   is build on a powerful and flexible CMS that can be readily used by the AFi team in addition to the consultant

·        Transfer all existing website content that will be retained and load new content into the new or refreshed back-end to populate the agreed-upon IA.

·        Test the new site pre-launch and after soft launch to ensure high performance across all major types of devices and software where it is likely to be viewed. Troubleshoot and correct issues as needed.

·        Launch the full new website

o   Deliverable: new website according to the specifications herein

·        Train the AFi team on using the CMS and managing the website going forward.

 

Costing for the website refresh should be provided as a fixed fee for the stated deliverable.

 

Website maintenance and periodic revisions or upgrading (from the date of launch of the refreshed website through the end of December 2022):

·        Provide hosting for the website.

·        Provide routine maintenance of the website and associated software and hosting according to industry best practice to ensure near-100% uptime. This includes routine software upgrades, security fixes, and the like.

o   Deliverable: continuously available and secure website in accordance with industry best practices.

·        Work with the AFi Backbone Team to design and implement periodic revisions and upgrades to the website post-launch. This includes contributing to design mockups, developing wireframes in accordance with the brand book (as needed), and implementing changes to layouts, new or revised page architecture, and new functionality across multiple language versions of the site.

o   Deliverable: revised and upgraded website sections, pages, organization, configuration, or functionality

·        Review usability tests (conducted by AFi team) and other user feedback and discuss optimal means of addressing any issues or recommendations identified.

·        Develop or integrate plugins to meet needs of desired functionality, such as social sharing for specific content within pages, page layout widgets, and advanced filtering for post content.

·        Project-manage the planning and development of new features.

·        Improve overall search engine optimization of site and provide guidance to AFi team for better SEO performance.

·        Advise and support the AFi team to generate and make use of web analytics, or to integrate data from web analytics with analytics from the AFi’s other engagement channels.

o   Deliverable: recommendations or website configurations for SEO and/or to generate more useful analytics (as requested by the AFi team)

 

Costing for the website maintenance and revision/upgrading should be provided as follows:

·        A fixed fee for core technology maintenance and hosting (including near-100% uptime, routine software upgrades, security fixes, and the like) from the date of launch through the end of 2022 (approximately 8 months)

·        A not-to exceed fee for as-needed website revisions or upgrading from the date of launch through the end of 2022 (approximately 8 months) based on an estimated usage of 15 hours per month averaged over 8 months.

·        The applicable hourly rate for any additional service that may be required for website revisions or upgrading beyond the anticipated usage of 15 hours per month.

 

General terms and conditions for Request for proposal

·        Proposals and/or any additional information received after the submission time and date are subject to rejection by The Rainforest Alliance. Incomplete proposals may be rejected by RA at its discretion.

·        The Rainforest Alliance reserves the right to request additional information at any time during the procurement process.

·        RA is at liberty to make multiple or no selections as part of the proposal process. RA also reserves the right to cancel the procurement.

·        All proposal costs shall be borne by the applicant and will not be reimbursed by RA.

 

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

1.    Strength of the technical proposal and approach, including how the applicant proposes to work with the AFi Backbone Team and brand designer to manage the website refresh process and ongoing maintenance/curation in a collaborative, efficient, and cost-effective manner

2.    Prior experience and skills of the applicant, including:

a.   Visual and front-end design

b.   Usability and UX testing

c.   Agile or similar methodologies

d.   Experience with suitable CMS

e.   Relevant backend programming languages (PHP, etc)

f.     Search engine optimization

3.    Portfolio demonstrating diverse body of work, including sites that:

a.   Reach diverse target audiences

b.   Incorporate significant depth and complexity of technical information while conveying this effectively to less technical audiences through multiple systems of organization (e.g., decision trees), intuitive information architecture, and compelling user experience

4.    Proposed cost

5.    Knowledge of and demonstrated application of current best practices in web design and development

6.    Knowledge of and demonstrated application of current best practices in online security, data privacy, and integrity

7.    Experience incorporating interactive infographics or data visualisation into web designs.

8.    Understanding of the requirements as laid out in this document

9.    Demonstrated ability to complete the assignment within the requested timeframe, including considerations of team capacity and redundancy in the event of unexpected staff member absences or resignations

10. Experience with or demonstrated knowledge of social or environmental sustainability or other mission-driven initiatives

 

Proposal Process and Format

Please email proposals to Zara Maung, AFi Communications Manager at zmaung@ra.org by Friday, November 26th. Finalist applicants may be interviewed soon after the proposal deadline, with a selection expected to be made shortly thereafter. The anticipated project start date is December 9.

 

Proposals should contain:

1.    Technical proposal, including an explanation of how you would carry out the project to meet the project objectives. Please include:

a.   ideas on refreshing the website IA

b.   proposed approach and rationale for back-end infrastructure, including the recommended CMS

c.   how the applicant intends to collaborate with the brand designer to ensure seamless integration of web templates from the brand book into the web design process

2.    Description key skills or strengths of the applicant.

3.    Portfolio of other work that is relevant to the scope of this project. Please also include an overview of your experience working with mission-driven organizations or projects, including in the social or environmental sustainability.

4.    Project team, roles, and CVs of all contributing team members

5.    Project cost, with specification and breakdown of costs in the forms stated above in the section on “Requested Services and Deliverables.” If you are submitting a proposal that responds to both this RFP and any of the associated RFP(s) (see “Overview” section, above), please provide a full price for the overall integrated service as well as a breakdown of cost for the portion associated with each RFP.

6.    Email and phone numbers of three recent references

7.    Statement satisfying compliance requirements:

a.   Please provide information on legal form and ownership structure.

b.   Offers will be rejected if any illegal or corrupt practices have taken place in connection with the award.

c.   Applicants must sign and certify the attached Certification and Representation to RA (see below).

d.   Accounting of evidence of billing for actual time will be required.

 

 

 

Thank you for your interest in working with The Rainforest Alliance

Certification and Representation to RA

 

Applicant certifies and represents that none of the situations below apply to them. 

 

a.       they are bankrupt or being wound up, are having their affairs administered by the courts, have entered into an arrangement with creditors, have suspended business activities, are subject of proceedings concerning those matters, or are in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations. However, entities in this situation may be eligible to participate insofar as the RA is able to purchase supplies on particularly advantageous terms from either a supplier which is definitively winding up its business activities, or the receivers or liquidators of a bankruptcy, through an arrangement with creditors, or through a similar procedure under national law;  

 

b.       they or persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control over them have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a final judgment;  

 

       c.           they have been guilty of grave professional misconduct; proven by any means which the RA can justify;

 

       d.           they have not fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which they are established, or with those of the country of the RA or those of the country where the contract is to be performed;  

 

e.       they or persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control over them have been convicted for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation or money laundering by a final judgment;  

 

f.        they make use of child labour or forced labour and/or practise discrimination, and/or do not respect the right to freedom of association and the right to organise and engage in collective bargaining pursuant to the core conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

 

g.       they have not been, and are not, subject to any conflict of interest with respect to the procurement process.

 

h.       they are not guilty of any misrepresentation in supplying the information required by RA as a condition of participation in the tender procedure leading to entry into this Agreement, or guilty of any failure to supply such information.

 

RA may terminate this Agreement if Applicant should ever enter into the situations described above. Applicant will notify RA immediately if any situation may arise that would invalidate Applicant’s declaration herein.

 

 

By signing this certification, Applicant agrees that it is not in any of the situations listed above.

 

 

 

 

By: ____________________________

Name: 


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