Call for Proposals: Online Platform

ACT Alliance South Africa
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Monday, 25 June, 2018
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals

Interested and qualified organisations and consultants are invited to submit quotations to the ACT Alliance for the following functions within the Ubumbano Community Voice Project outlined below:

  • Conceptualise and design a communication and advocacy strategy that will ensure the community stories that will be captured through the Ubumbano app and website reach decision makers, policy makers, media and the public, and
  • Design and facilitate an initial train the trainer workshop for the roll out of the Ubumbano Voice App.In a brief document (no more than 2 pages), please present the following:
    • Your understanding the Ubumbano project and what it seeks to achieve,
    • Your suitability to undertake the assignment, and evidence of experience in similar work, 
    • The estimated costs of carrying out this work.

Ubumbano Community Voice Project Objectives

  • To equip activists and community members with media and communication technology to allow them to speak directly to the general public, without the need for intermediaries or filters, in order to bring their experience into the public domain.
  • This will inform a communication and advocacy aspect of the work in order to influence decision makers and strengthen calls for accountability from authorities, particularly around social justice concerns.

Project Scope
ACT Alliance seeks an online platform for community activists and partner organisations to publicise their struggles and successes in order to raise public awareness and influence change. This online platform will consist of a WordPress blog and an Android smartphone app.
The project consists of three main components:

  • A WordPress website for sharing stories and an accompanying Android app to view stories more conveniently on smartphones,
  • Establishing a network of community ‘monitors’ or activists that will log stories and experiences of community struggles as they happen, and
  • A communication strategy that seeks to broaden the reach of these online tools and bring community stories into the mainstream media and the public policy influencing space.

Services are required for number 3, and for facilitating the training for number 2 to happen. The rest of the project such as the website and app is already in place.
New Website

The primary platform for sharing stories is the website, a mock-up of which can be accessed at The landing page will be primarily about community stories, but will feature a blog capability, as well as resources and links to the main ACT Alliance / Ubumbano site.
Community stories can be categorized by geography (“South Africa”, “Zimbabwe”, etc.) and by content (“Elections”, “Informal trading”, “Gender-based violence”, etc.). As the site develops and more stories are shared, new categories can be added. In the initial stages, though, there will be a generic focus on community struggles.
The site will have responsive design to accommodate a variety of screen sizes, with a special focus on optimising the blog for mobile devices.
Smartphone App
In conjunction with the new website, a smartphone app will be created to share the new content. The app will feature the same categories as the website, which will make it easy to filter stories based on the user’s interests. For example, they will be able to click one button to see all stories from Zimbabwe, or about GBV, etc. The app will be available for free on any Android device via the Google Play store. If a version for iOS/Apple devices is required, additional development is necessary.
Facebook (and other social media platforms) Integration
A new Facebook page specifically for this project will be set up. A best practice would be to automatically integrate the WordPress updates and Facebook posts, so people who follow the Facebook page are updated whenever there is a new post on the blog. Integrating the blog updates into the Facebook page will increase the traffic to the website and increase public awareness of the work of Community Voices.
Community stories and coordination of voice
The website, blog and moderation of uploaded stories will require resources in the form of tech support and editors / moderators. Two options for this can be explored.
The first is to piggy-back on the current editors handling the blogs for Tunatazama – it is understood they are part time, and their stipend can be added to for managing the community app. This will also allow cross-fertilisation of relevant stories.
The second option will be to employ someone full-time. For either option, the function will be housed within one of the participating organisations.
Establishing the network of community activists / storytellers will require training of those activists/storytellers. A training of trainers is proposed, with support for localised roll out of training in the communities.  Possible support through the purchase of data bundles for a cohort of storytellers must be considered, as well as pursuing corporate sponsorship through the foundations of the network operators.
Communication and Advocacy
A detailed plan to get the stories into the public space will be developed in partnership with the communications and advocacy departments of participating organisations. This will further ensure the continued active participation of the organisations that work with these communities, and tap into the networks of partner organisations. The plan will include the rollout of the app to journalists, commentators, government officials and politicians, and churches and FBOs, among others. 

Submit your quotation by email only to Ashley Green-Thompson at by 10h00 on Monday 25 June 2018. You may also use this address for any questions you may have.

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