The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the global organization of national parliaments. The IPU has published reference data on national parliaments in the Parline database since 1996. The database covers the structure and working methods of all national parliaments in the world (193 countries & 270+ parliamentary chambers).
A new version of Parline based on Drupal 7 was launched in September 2018. Given that Drupal 7 is no longer supported, and in the light of changes in the strategic technology environment, the IPU intends to launch a process to redevelop the technology architecture of Parline. The redevelopment will be the subject of a separate Request for Proposals (RFP). This redevelopment should lead to the publication of a revised version of Parline in the second half of 2022.
The purpose of this RFP is to select a supplier to ensure maintenance and support to the existing Parline database during the redevelopment. This maintenance and support should continue until the revised version of Parline goes into production and the existing version is retired.
Parline is a comprehensive database that includes around 600 data fields and is updated daily. Some Parline data, such as the percentages of women and youth in parliaments, is featured on the IPU website (www.ipu.org). Parline data is regularly consulted by the IPU Secretariat, parliamentary administrations, international organisations, researchers and journalists. As such, keeping Parline operational is essential to IPU’s overall communication strategy, its support to parliaments, and provision of data for comparative research.
The supplier will be asked to provide maintenance and support services for Parline to ensure optimal performance without interfering with the performance of the IPU website which shares the same hosting platform as Parline (Platform.sh).
The supplier will be expected to familiarise themself with technical documentation describing Parline (provided by the IPU) and to advise on the best options for maintenance and support. The latter is inclusive of clearly outlining the benefits and potential implications of interventions and estimated time to complete them.
The workflow and platform for outlining, monitoring and completing tasks is to be determined between the IPU and supplier. In the past – the IPU has utilised Jira. Depending on the task, the developer may use development and stage environments before deploying code to production. Clear documentation of work undertaken is expected.
Parline is built using Drupal 7 and is hosted on Platform.sh
The underlying code is PHP programming language.
Parline database is available in the official languages of the IPU, namely English and French.
Scope of work
It is expected that the work will consist of 3 phases:
- Discovery: familiarization with the technical architecture and Parline documentation; prioritization and planning of work to be carried out
- Stabilization: implementation of outstanding software updates and patches to address the following known issues:
- Update versions of Drupal 7, PHP and other software
- Apply outstanding Drupal 7 security updates
- Optimize settings on Platform.sh
- Ongoing maintenance and support
- Maintenance including Drupal security updates, source code storing and backup, patch updates and monthly reporting.
- Support including swift bug-fixing and incident management.
The volume of work is estimated at 2 days of work per month, equivalent to 24 days of work over 12 months.
The exact scope of work will be determined by mutual agreement on a monthly basis.
Expected overall deliverables
Under the overall guidance and supervision of the Programme Manager for Parliamentary Standards and working closely with the Parline team, the supplier will produce and implement a Services Level Agreement for the maintenance and support of the Parline database.
Discovery should begin shortly after the signature of the contract, followed by Stabilization.
Ongoing maintenance and support should continue until the existing version of Parline is retired, which is expected to happen towards the end of 2022.
The maintenance and support contract will conclude when the existing version of Parline is retired.