Request for Proposals: Website development

Request for Proposals: Website development


Contracted service
14 Jan 2019
Home based

1. Background
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the world's organization of parliaments. It was founded in 1889 as the first multilateral political organization, encouraging cooperation and dialogue between all nations. Today, the IPU’s membership comprises approximately nearly all of the world's national parliaments. It promotes democracy, helps parliaments to become stronger, younger, gender-balanced, and more diverse. It also defends the human rights of parliamentarians. Twice a year, the IPU convenes over 1500 delegates and MPs in a world assembly, bringing a parliamentary dimension to the work of the United Nations and the implementation of the 2030 global goals.

IPU’s current website was redeveloped recently with the current version launched in 2017. At the time many changes were made, moving from an HTML structure to Drupal. In 2018, further developments included a major overhaul of the events pages of the website. The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to build on these previous developments to further update, refresh, and develop the IPU website.

2. Overview
In 2019, the IPU is putting in place a member-driven communications strategy focused on positioning the organization as the main global hub for parliamentary data, diplomacy and development. This new strategy will require an evolution of the current website to include the following elements:

  • More space dedicated to member parliaments and their work
  • Better bundling to bring together different parts of the website (events, press releases, speeches publications, stories, and videos) that treat the same theme
  • More space to allow story-telling and/or thought leadership pieces for IPU members, leadership and stakeholders
  • Showing the issues and especially the impact of the IPU’s work through multimedia interactive webpages or microsites with data, infographics, video, testimonials, case studies and stories that can also be fragmented, downloaded and promoted on social media
  • Better segmentation to allow different audiences to find what they are looking for more directly
  • Better hierarchy to avoid multiple sub-levels, to give more prominence to the most important parts of the website, and to find a suitable space for the day-to-day activities of the IPU (such as meetings and work with the UN)
  • A revamped home page for an enhanced user experience, to better reflect the issues, and showcase the IPU’s work

The IPU will be celebrating its 130th anniversary in June 2019. Ideally, the development work should be ready by then.

The main audiences of the IPU website are its members, made up of national parliaments and MPs from all over the world. Secondary audiences include IPU partner organizations (UN agencies and civil society) as well as media, academics and students. The international donor community is also an importance audience for the IPU.

Technical considerations
The IPU website is built using Drupal 7.56 and is hosted on Pantheon using Drupal 7.56. Modifications will include design changes, changes to content types, changes to templates, functionality and publishing workflows.

The IPU has another website with open data on parliaments. This website is built on Drupal 7.59 and managed separately. More interactions between the two sites should be explored.

The IPU website is in the official languages of the IPU, namely English and French. Some content may become available in Spanish and Arabic which is currently supported by the Content Management System (CMS).

3. Scope of work
3.1 Audience analysis
The supplier will asked to conduct some audience analysis to inform the next stage of development of the website. The IPU currently use google analytics.

  • Deliverable: Audience analysis including demographics, geography, interests, downloads and behavior

3.2 Structure and navigation
The structure of the current website needs rethinking to bring out the key areas of the IPU’s work, namely:

  • Strong parliaments
  • Gender equality
  • Human rights
  • Sustainable development
  • Peace and security
  • Global governance
  • Youth

The current hierarchy of the structure requires the user to click sometimes several times with information buried over 4-5 menu sub-levels or spread over different sections of the website.

The IPU is looking for a more optimum way of bundling its rich content (data, infographics, videos, events, case studies and news stories) around its key themes, for example, in the form of microsites or small interactives which will provide quality in-depth content with sections that can be shared, downloaded or fragmented on its social media platforms or through the IPU’s e-newsletter.

In terms of navigation, the IPU is looking for a way to make its website navigation more user-friendly and intuitive.

  • Deliverable: A new site structure and navigation system

3.3 Content templates
IPU currently has 11 templates: Archive events, Basic pages, Committee Member, Document, Events, News and Stories, Page, Publication, Section Page, Vacancy, Web form.

  • Deliverable: Refresh of all templates types + addition of new templates according to business needs including possible multimedia microsites or interactives that allow better incorporation of photos, videos etc. Includes graphic design elements

3.4 Design and home page
The IPU is looking for suggested design changes for the content templates above and particularly on the home page, in line with best practice and the IPU’s visual identity. The IPU can draw on an image data bank but the supplier will be expected to produce the graphic design elements.

The home page needs to bring out the IPU’s key areas of work as listed in 3.2. The home page should also allow the IPU to bring out key moments or campaigns during the year through, for example, a sliding carousel or something similar.

The home page should also encourage more engagement through newsletter sign-up, sharing on social media etc.

Other ideas include but are not limited to:

  • better visibility for video content
  • a ranking of the top five downloads or top five ‘most visited’ pages of the website to give visibility to different areas to encourage users to browse more
  • a timeline of key milestones in the IPU’s 130-year old history
  • a special section that links to the IPU’s earned media coverage
  • a dashboard with some of the key metrics that the IPU tracks including a monthly ranking of women in parliament; the number of MPs human rights violation cases; average age of MPs etc.
  • Deliverable: A new homepage design and structure including graphic design elements.

3.5 CMS
Currently the website is managed solely within the Communications Division with two main administrators. The IPU would like to give limited editing access to the CMS of certain sections of the website to some internal users while keeping the Communications Division staff as the gate-keepers.

  • Deliverable: Additional editing rights and publication workflows to the CMS for a limited extra number of staff

4. Optional extras
4.1 Site fine-tuning, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and paid promotion
Suppliers may make an offer for speed optimizations of the IPU website. The IPU is also looking for suggestions to update its website with current SEO best practice as well as an offer on paid promotion on social media to enhance its visibility and reach. The social media paid promotion offer should include the expected return on investment and key performance indicators.

4.2 Maps
The IPU website currently has an interactive map built using a Javascript framework (Raphel.js and Mapael.js). The IPU would be interested in exploiting the map further to pull out country-specific data. For example, clicking on a country would give the user an option to go to a page giving more details about the IPU’s work in that country, such as human rights cases or technical cooperation.

The supplier may also propose an alternative solution to the Javascript framework.

4.3 Drupal
The supplier may also add a cost proposal for a Drupal 8 migration in anticipation of an upgrade to Drupal 9 in 2020-2021.

5. Expected overall deliverables
Under the overall guidance and supervision of the IPU Communications Director and the IPU Web and Social Media Editor, the supplier will be responsible for the specific deliverables as mentioned in Section 3 as well as the following:

  • Discovery, audience analysis, and planning
  • Project management
  • Graphic design
  • Production and testing
  • Final delivery. All assets and project files are the sole and exclusive property of the IPU.

6. Project Timeline
Proposals should be submitted no later than: 14 January 2018.
Proposals will be evaluated immediately thereafter and the supplier chosen by 31 January
Discovery, audience analysis and planning 1-28 February Production time 1 March to 1 June
UAT Testing: 1-14 June
Delivery: 17 June
Hard deadline/launch: 25 June 2019 in time for the IPU’s 130th Anniversary


Contracted service
14 Jan 2019
Home based
How to apply: 

Proposals should contain the following and be sent to Thomas Fitzsimons ( with a copy to Suroor Alikhan (

  • Your company’s qualifications, credentials and bios of core team
  • Brief narrative to describe how you would approach the project
  • Three case studies demonstrating similar experience
  • Outline of proposed process with schedule
  • Detailed cost proposal with breakdown of deliverables in Sections 3.1-3-5 above
  • Detail cost proposal with breakdown of deliverables in Sections 4-1-4.3 above (optional)
  • Any additional new creative ideas (optional)

Bidders will be allowed 30 minutes briefing calls prior to the submission due date to ask questions or ask for clarifications. Please contact Thomas Fitzsimons at

Criteria for selection
The IPU will evaluate each proposal and may contact the top proposals for follow-up questions or face-to-face meeting.
The IPU will choose the supplier based on the following criteria:

  • Experience of the company
  • Technical expertise and flexibility to accommodate the proposed timeline
  • Quality of portfolio / past work
  • Cost proposal