USAID Knowledge and Insights Team Issues Digital RFP
DAI, the implementer of the USAID-funded Digital Frontiers project, invites qualified offerors to submit proposals to provide support to the USAID Center for Digital Development’s (CDD) Knowledge and Insights team in three areas: the Digital Development Awards, Weekly Reader, and Digital Download. Digital Frontiers seeks qualified firms that can design and implement the 2019 Digital Development Awards, re-design and manage a weekly online newsletter, and produce an annual report on the Center for Digital Development’s programs.
USAID’s Center for Digital Development’s (CDD) Knowledge and Insights Team leads CDD’s work in knowledge management, communications and training. For the past several years, the Knowledge and Insights team has hosted the Digital Development (Digi) Awards, managed a Weekly Reader, and created an annual Digital Download report.
• The Digital Development Awards (https://www.usaid.gov/digital-development/digis) recognize USAID activities which are effectively using digital technology to accelerate development and humanitarian assistance impact. The award process provides a channel through which CDD can (1) identify examples of digital development work happening at the Mission level; (2) engage with USAID staff that are interested and motivated to use digital technology; (3) build a cohort of digital development champions; and (4) raise awareness of the CDD and the tools and resources available to Mission staff. Up to five Digi Award winners will be selected through an application process open to all USAID staff and implementing partners.
• The Weekly Reader, a weekly online newsletter containing information about digital development opportunities and upcoming events, has been a valuable information resource for CDD and the Agency.
• The Digital Download is the Center for Digital Development’s flagship annual report and provides an overview and highlights of the Center’s work over the past year. Past examples include the 2018 Digital Download (https://www.usaid.gov/digital-development/2018-digital-download) and the 2017 Digital Download (https://www.usaid.gov/digital-development/2017-DigitalDownload).
As part of ongoing support provided to the CDD Knowledge and Insights team, Digital Frontiers will oversee design and implementation of the 2019 Digital Development Awards, re-design and publication of the Weekly Reader, and creation of the 2019 Digital Download.
Scope of Work:
Digital Frontiers seeks qualified firms that can design and implement the 2019 Digital Development Awards, re-design and manage a weekly online newsletter, and produce an annual report on the Center for Digital Development’s programs. Digital Frontiers prefers to engage one firm to implement all three tasks, however, it is possible to submit a proposal for one or two tasks only.
DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT AWARDS
Staff from USAID’s CDD team and Digital Frontiers will work closely with the selected contractor to design and implement the 2019 Digital Development Awards. The contractor will lead implementation of the activity with input and approval of USAID and Digital Frontiers. Digital Frontiers envisions that the selected contractor will implement the following activities:
1. APPLICATION PROCESS
The selected contractor will work with CDD to update the award categories to align with the objectives of the soon-to-be published USAID Digital Strategy. In addition, the contractor will draft general application guidelines, the application questions, and develop an online application submission form (likely a Google Form). The contractor will also create scoring criteria for the evaluation of applications.
2. LAUNCH AND AWARD
The contractor will work with CDD to launch and award the Digital Development Awards. This will include designing and producing communications materials to promote the launch and working with Digital Frontiers and CDD to encourage USAID staff and implementing partners around the world to apply. These communications materials will likely include professional photographs, blogs, a social media toolkit, and drafted content for USAID’s internal communication channels. Digital Frontiers also expects the contractor to assist CDD in application review and selection of winners.
3. POST-AWARD COMMUNICATIONS
Once the Digi Award winners have been selected, the contractor will develop communications materials about the winners including:
• A communications plan and social media toolkit.
• A “Digital Development at USAID” booklet which will feature the Digi Award winners in short project profiles.
• An online long-form version of the “Digital Development at USAID” booklet. For reference, please see this link for the 2018 product (http://www.digitaldevelopment.org/digis)
• “Exposure” (https://usaidpubs.exposure.co/) articles for each winning project which focus on the human impact of the projects and share a story of human transformation. The contractor will be expected to send a professional photographer to take photos of the beneficiaries of the winning activities in their respective countries of implementation and collect stories. The Exposure articles will include these professionally taken photos and quotes from the beneficiaries demonstrating how digital technology and/or digital-enabled development activity is making a difference in their lives.
4. AWARDS EVENT
Once the Digi Award winners have been selected, the winners will come to Washington, DC to be recognized at a Digi Awards event. Digital Frontiers expects that the contractor will:
• Coordinate and pay for travel to/from Washington, DC, and lodging for one representative from each Digi award-winning project. For budget assumption purposes, please assume that representatives will be in Washington DC for 5 days.
• Lead planning and facilitation of the awards event for approximately 50 people. Digital Frontiers expects the Digi Awards event to be an internal event, with primarily USAID staff in attendance. The contractor is expected to create and disseminate promotional materials for the event, design invitations and the agenda as well as support event logistics and secure catering. CDD will be responsible for securing the venue.
• Work with CDD to create a gallery walk of photos that tell a compelling story of each Digi- winning project. The contractor will support drafting captions for the gallery walk while CDD will print out the photos at USAID’s print shop.
Staff from USAID’s CDD team and Digital Frontiers will work closely with the selected contractor to re-design and manage a weekly reader. The contractor will lead implementation of the activity with input and approval of USAID and Digital Frontiers. Digital Frontiers envisions that the selected contractor will implement the following activities:
CDD would like to re-design the look and content of the weekly reader – an online newsletter published every week to an existing email list. The contractor will work with CDD and Digital Frontiers to strategically think through an overall vision for the re-designed weekly reader. The contractor will also provide CDD with several design mockups for the new weekly reader and work with Digital Frontiers and CDD to finalize a new design.
Digital Frontiers expects that during this phase, the contractor’s activities may include:
• Review of past CDD weekly readers.
• Review of similar newsletters at USAID to avoid duplication of content.
• Facilitated brainstorming workshops with CDD staff to talk through the strategic vision and goals of the newsletter as well as design concepts.
• Create engaging, eye catching mockups of the re-designed weekly reader.
The contractor will work with CDD and Digital Frontiers to promote the launch of the re-designed weekly reader. This will include reaching out to current subscribers with information about the re-boot and promoting the weekly reader through various channels to USAID staff and external audiences.
The contractor will manage publication of the weekly reader for one year after the initial launch. This timeline has the potential to be extended. During this time, Digital Frontiers expects the contractor will:
• Consult with CDD and Digital Frontiers every week to receive inputs for the weekly reader.
• Conduct research on recent developments in the digital development field and other topics as relevant.
• Draft the weekly reader and share with Digital Frontiers and CDD for approval.
• Publish the weekly reader to online subscribers using USAID’s MailChimp account.
Staff from USAID’s CDD team and Digital Frontiers will work closely with the selected contractor to develop CDD’s flagship annual report, the Digital Download. The contractor will lead implementation of the activity with input and approval of USAID and Digital Frontiers. Digital Frontiers envisions that the selected contractor will implement the following activities:
• Develop content for the Digital Download (https://www.usaid.gov/digital-development/2018- digital-download) including highlights from the year for CDD teams and the Message from the Director.
• Design the Digital Download in a format appropriate for digital distribution.
• Regularly solicit feedback from the Knowledge and Insights team on the design of the report.
November 8, 2019